Top-notch reporting!TMZ harassed George Lucas in Los Angeles yesterday to learn what (almost) every Star Wars fan already knows: There will be no more Star Wars movies. “Never,” you can barely hear Lucas say over the ‘reporter.’ Just let the guy have a visit with his daughter, jeez.
Ringing in with a better-than-expected $19.1 million, Red Tails is second only to the fourth Underworld film in this weekend’s box office numbers. It’s a strong debut, bolstered by support from the African-American community and good word-of-mouth. (CinemaScore audiences have rated the movie a solid “A-.”) Viewers increased 40% from Friday to Saturday as well – a good sign for next weekend’s numbers, according to Entertainment Weekly. Box Office Mojo notes that this is 20th Century Fox’s best opening for “a non-franchise title” since last year’s Rio.
Also of note to Star Wars fans, given the February 10 release of The Phantom Menace 3D, is the performance of Disney’s recent release of Beauty and the Beast in 3D. It’s not doing near as well as the 3D version of The Lion King did last year, plummeting 52% this weekend. (It was #2 last week.) Lion King 3D spent a surprising two weeks at #1 in September. On the other hand, there’s little doubt that the 3D revenues from Underworld: Awakening helped bolster the film to #1. Who can say what it all really means for TPM?
We got a note from our pal and Lucasfilm’s Event guru this afternoon, encouraging folks to go see Red Tails, which opens tomorrow. Give it a read, and be sure to spread the word – or at least go see it yourself this weekend!
You often hear from me when we plan Star Wars events together, or when I ask you for information for Bantha Tracks, or we make plans for Star Wars Celebrations.
These past months, however, I’ve been working on something different: Red Tails. Most of you probably know that it’s Lucasfilm’s new movie about the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII, a story that has been a passion project for George Lucas for years. The Airmen were African-American fighter pilots, who not only broke down barriers in the military, but helped break down racial barriers here in the States. They were exceptional pilots and support crew, with heroic records of service.
I’ve traveled to a number of different places, working on events to promote the movie, as different as Memphis and Eugene and New York City. I just returned from working at a three-day festival celebrating the movie release, and the Airmen, at Tuskegee University in Alabama, the place where the Airmen were first trained. Each time I watch the movie I am impressed with what it means to the audience, and I’m inspired by the story. The determination and talent of the Airmen can encourage us all.
This is an important movie based on real heroes and true events. And… bonus… the ILM-driven dogfights totally kick butt. I like the characters and story, I’m excited about the release, and proud to be involved in the events that have helped support it.
I very much hope you can see Red Tails this weekend, and bring your friends. The story of the Tuskegee Airmen is important, and many of us were not aware of it before this movie. Hopefully this weekend many thousands more will learn their story, appreciate it, and want to share.
It’s important, but it’s also a lot of fun at the same time!
After you see it, drop me a line and let me know what you think.
Feel free to post this on blogs or message boards as well. Thank you so much!
“I’m retiring,” Lucas said. “I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”
He was careful to leave himself an out clause for a fifth “Indiana Jones” film. But otherwise, “Red Tails” will be the last blockbuster Lucas makes. “Once this is finished, he’s done everything he’s ever wanted to do,” says Rick McCallum, who has been producing Lucas’s films for more than 20 years. “He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker.”
The profile focuses on Red Tails, of course, but also features a bit of frank talk on Star Wars. Of the special editions, prequels and backlash, and why we’re not going to see any more:
Lucas seized control of his movies from the studios only to discover that the fanboys could still give him script notes. “Why would I make any more,” Lucas says of the “Star Wars” movies, “when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”
It also covers the Indy 4 refrigerator, girlfriend Mellody Hobson, ‘personal’ films and all things “corny and wonderful.” It’s worth a read.
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Rick McCallum at last night’s Red Tails premiere to follow up on the IGN interview. McCallum confirmed that ‘Underworld’ is indeed the show’s working title (read: not likely to make the final cut,) and reiterated the show’s theme of “smugglers, gangsters, bounty hunters, and a few Wall Street-type power brokers.”
More revealing was his talk of the technological factors, and how it’s likely even further off than the “three or four years” he said back in June.
When I asked McCallum if the show is still three or four years off, he said, “Even longer. Because I think we don’t have the technology yet to be able to do it for the level of money that it would have to be done. Plus, the world of television is imploding. No one knows whether you should make a network show or a cable show. I’m really excited about it though, and I hope George does do it. I really do.”
As for Seth Green’s comedy show:
Closer on the horizon is Seth Green’s Star Wars comedy series. “That’s coming along great,” McCallum says. “I’ve seen a few of their little skits. They’re great.”
‘Skits’ is quite revealing, implying that the show’s format may indeed resemble the Robot Chicken specials. McCallum said we may see that one as soon as 2013.
“I hate to say it, but basically I’m retiring,” George Lucas said Monday during a dinner with higher-ups at Ebony, according to a New York Daily News blog post. But he goes on to say he wants to focus on making more movies – without having “to worry about entertaining people.” Which is pretty much what he’s been saying for years! Oh, George.