The wait is over! Fans of the Star Wars saga are flooding movie theaters across the country today as The Last Jedi makes its nationwide debut. Following 2015’s The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi picks up roughly 30 years after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and finds a new band of heroes struggling to defeat the evil First Order. But unlike The Force Awakens, which was written and directed by JJ Abrams, The Last Jedi takes on a much darker tone, diving further into character backgrounds and bringing to light the tragic fate of Luke Skywalker and his failed Order of Jedi Knights. That means fans will get to see much more of Mark Hamill in the new film but, given the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, can also expect to see some beloved characters get killed off in the telling. Thus far most critics are hailing writer/director Rian Johnson‘s installment in the series, which is said to be entirely his own, despite what Abrams may have set up with in the previous film. Although The Last Jedi is expected to launch with a worldwide box office haul of roughly $425 million, it will likely not be enough to match the North American Box Office earnings record for 2016. Continue reading →
Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma. Stephen King’s It. As if the brute force of nature isn’t enough to unite Americans in these tumultuous political times, Stephen King’s It might just have done the trick. King, an ardent opposer to Donald Trump, has been in a Twitter-war with the President ever since his infamous 2016 presidential campaign and subsequent election. To quote the author’s own Twitter account, “Trump is no leader. He has 2 default positions: “Not my fault” (it’s China’s) or “not my job” (DACA). What a bitter joke he is!” The feud has gone so far as to cause Trump to block King on Twitter. It also prompted Trump supporters to call for a boycott of director Andy Muschietti’s new adaptation of King’s 1000+ page horror novel, It, about a demon that terrorizes children in a small town in Maine by taking the form of a fiendish clown. The call was made via Reddit, so one might think there was a pretty good chance of a successful boycott. There wasn’t. Continue reading →
Like last Christmas, and likely the next four, five, six, or even seven still to come, Star Wars fandom is again dominating the box office. The first Star Wars prequel, Rogue One, opened in theaters worldwide this weekend, earning an impressive $290.5 million in box office ticket sales. Disney, who now owns the Star Wars franchise, initially predicted a $120-150 million take for the North American market, which ended up at $155 million. The worldwide box office haul does exclude China, which won’t see Rogue One in theaters until after the New Year. China, incidentally, is the second-largest market in movie ticket sales, so the grand total will likely reach into the $300 million range with ease. As impressive as the opening weekend was, Rogue One failed to break the box-office record set by last year’s Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, which took home $248 million in its opening weekend. Still, the success of Rogue One demonstrates the potential for future Star Wars spinoffs Disney has, and will likely soon have in the making. Fans are already looking forward to next year’s Star Wars Episode 8, and a Han Solo origins story is still in the works for 2018. Needless to say, Star Wars fans will be getting their fix for years to come if Disney keeps up at this rate. And with $290 million world box office hauls, why wouldn’t they make more? The trailer for Rogue One is available here on MADE. If you get a chance, be sure to see it on the big screen this holiday season. Enjoy!
The biographical pic Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher as the late computer innovator, opened in theaters across the country this week to some harsh reviews but decent box office scores. The movie has so far secured $2 million in nationwide ticket sales, coming in 6th this week behind The Butler (which has already made $8 million!), Kick-Ass 2, We’re The Millers, Elysium, and Planes. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, however, was not impressed with the movie and said that despite its entertaining quality, he wouldn’t personally recommend the film to anybody. According to Wozniak (who refused to collaborate on the film because a script had already been written), the film, and Ashton Kutcher, portrayed Jobs to be a naturally gifted genius, without the need for personal growth and development that lead up to his breakthrough technology that was the iPod.
Harsh words, but I guess Wozniak would be the most appropriate person to criticize considering Jobs played a crucial part in his life. He did maintain, however, that the movie held his attention and was entertaining to an extent, so if you’re an Ashton Kutcher or Steve Jobs fan it might still be worth your time to go see it anyway; just know you’re about to be told a story that may not be entirely accurate. There is supposedly another Jobs movie that will be coming out in which Wozniak is said to be providing some personal input, and then another film that rumors are flying around about, but for now this is the only publicity Steve Jobs will be getting for the immediate future. The Butler is projected to the top contender this week, having already made $8 million (excluding Saturday and Sunday sales) followed by Kick-Ass 2 which is already pushing $6 million.