92% of Chinese Theaters Abandon “Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi” 7 Days After its Debut

While “#StarWars VIII: #TheLastJedi” has done financially well in the U.S. & many other countries, that’s not the case in China where 92% of theaters have pulled it only after 7 days after it debuted and is believed to be unprecedented. Moviegoers in China have simply rejected the film: its earnings for its opening weekend are very poor: the movie only made $27-million and an additional $7-million since for a total of $34-million.

To date, “The Last Jedi” has earned over $1.238-billion worldwide making it the 11th highest grossing film of all time. In the U.S., the movie has earned nearly $583-million, making it the 6th highest grossing film in the U.S.

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2017 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Celebrity Deaths

It’s that time of year when we remember & honor the #SciFi & #Fantasy actors & celebrities that we lost in 2017. They and their legacies will never be forgotten.

The sci-fi & fantasy franchises that experienced loss in 2017 are listed below:

  • Alien
  • Babylon 5
  • Batman
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Doctor Who
  • Godzilla
  • Harry Potter
  • Iron Man
  • RoboCop
  • Six Million Dollar Man
  • Space 1999
  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars
  • True Blood

Our condolences to all of the families, friends & fans of the following actors & celebrities that we lost in 2017.

January

Miguel Ferrer (died on Jan. 19, 2017 at age 61). He played a First Officer in #StarTrek III, Bob Morton in #RoboCop, VP Rodriquez in #IronMan, & more.

Miguel Ferrer

Miguel Ferrer (1955-2017)

John Hurt (died on Jan. 25, 2017 at age 77). He played Kane in #Alien, Mr. Ollivander in #HarryPotter, the “War Doctor” in #DoctorWho, himself in #Spaceballs & more. He celebrated his 77th birthday only 5 days ago. The 2-time Oscar-nominated actor was battling cancer. One of his best roles was as #TheElephantMan. He also starred in a film adaptation of George Orwell’s book #1984. Sir John Hurt is sorely missed.

John Hurt

John Hurt (1940-2017)

February

Richard Hatch (died on Feb. 8, 2017 at age 71). He played Captain Apollo in the original 1978-1979 #BattlestarGalactica TV series. He then came back in the 2004-2009 series as the politician Tom Zarek. He also appeared in a variety of other TV shows & movies. He is deeply missed.

Richard Hatch

Richard Hatch (1945-2017)

Bill Paxton (died on Feb. 25, 2017 at age 61). He played Jeff Tracy in #Thunderbirds, Jerry Lambert in #Predator2, Private Hudson in #Aliens, punk leader in #Terminator, John Garrett in #AgentsOfSHIELD, & much more, such as his roles in #Apollo13, #WeirdScience, #Twister & more.

Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton (1955-2017)

March

Lawrence Montaigne (died on Mar. 19, 2017 at age 86). He played Decius / Stonn in #StarTrek #TOS, Dr. Aquila in #CityBeneathTheSea, Mr. Glee in #Batman, Dr. Braddock in #VoyageToTheBottomOfTheSea, Capt. Alvarado / Yellow Elk in #TheTimeTunnel, & more.

Lawrence Montaigne

Lawrence Montaigne (1931-2017)

May

Powers Boothe (died on May 14, 2017 at the age of 68). He played Gideon Malick in #AgentsOfSHIELD, a World Security Council member in #Avengers & much more.

Powers Boothe

Powers Boothe (1948-2017)

Roger Moore (died on May 23, 2017 at age 89). He played James Bond / Agent 007 in #Moonraker (& in 6 other movies), & much more.

Roger Moore

Roger Moore (1927-2017)

June

Adam West (died on June 9, 2017 at age 88). He played the original #Batman & more!

Adam West

Adam West (1928-2017)

Stephen Furst (died on June 17, 2017 at age 63). He played Vir Cotto in #Babylon5 & much more, including the character in Flounder in the comedy #AnimalHouse.

Stephen Furst

Stephen Furst (1954-2017)

July

Nelsan Ellis died on July 8, 2017 (c. 1978 – 2017, birthdate unknown). He played Lafayette Reynolds in #TrueBlood & more.
Nelson Ellis

Nelson Ellis (c. 1978 – 2017)

Martin Landau (1928-2017) died on July 16, 2017. He played Cmdr. John Koenig in #Space1999, Rollin Hand / Miguel Cordova / Gen. Rio Dominguez in #MissionImpossible, Peter Van Garrett in #SleepyHollow & much more. He also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the 1994 movie “Ed Wood”, as well as 2 other Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor in other films. He won numerous other awards, including a Golden Globe for “Mission Impossible”.

Martin Landau

Martin Landau (1928-2017)

John Heard (1945-2017) died on July 21. He played Cmdr. Barry Garner in #BattlestarGalactica & more, including playing Peter McCallister in “Home Alone”.

John Heard (1945-2017)

John Heard (1945-2017)

August

Robert Hardy died at 91 on August 3, 2017. He played Cornelius Fudge in #HarryPotter & was in #BuckRogersInThe25thCentury, #GawainAndTheGreenKnight & much more.

Robert Hardy

Robert Hardy (1925-2017)

Haruo Nakajima has died at 88 on Aug. 7, 2017. He played the iconic kaiju monster #Godzilla in 14 different films between 1954 & 1973:

  • Godzilla 
  • Godzilla Raids Again
  • Godzilla, King Of the Monsters
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla 
  • Mothra vs. Godzilla 
  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
  • Invasion of Astro Monster
  • Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster
  • Son of Godzilla 
  • Destroy All Monsters
  • All Monsters Attack
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan 
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon (stock footage)

He also played several background characters in multiple movies; Kiylu / Police Captain / Kemur Man II / Jirass / Gabora / Nerongo in #Ultraman; King Kong in #KingKongEscapes; Gaira in #WarOfTheGargantuas; Baragon in #DestroyAllMonsters & #FrankensteinConquersTheWorld; Matango in #Marango (#AttackOfTheMushroomPeople); Magma in #Gorath; head of Mothra larva in #Mothra; Moguera in #TheMysterians; Rodan in #Rodan; & much more.

Haruo Nakajima

Haruo Nakajima (1929-2017)

Richard Anderson (1926-2017) died on August 31. He played Oscar Goldman in #SixMillionDollarMan & #BionicWoman; Chief Quinn in #ForbiddenPlanet; & more.

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson (1926-2017)

September

Comic book author Len Wein died on Sept. 10, 2017 at the age of 69. He co-created D.C.’s #SwampThing & #Marvel’s #Wolverine; helped revive the #XMen & edited the #Watchmen.

Len Wein

Len Wein (1948-2017)

Harry Dean Stanton died on Sept. 15, 2017 at the age of 91. He played Brett in #Alien, a security guard in #TheAvengers & much more, including Carl Rodd in #TwinPeaks.

IMG_5162

Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017)

Former football star turned actor Bernie Casey died on Sept. 19, 2017 at the age of 78. He played Cmdr. Calvin Hudson in #StarTrek #DS9, Derek Cranston in #Babylon5, Admiral Vanalden in #SeaQuest2032, Major Jeff Spender in #TheMartianChronicles & much more, including U.N. Jefferson in #RevengeOfTheNerds.

IMG_6188

Bernie Casey (1939-2017)

October

Roy Dotrice died on Oct. 16, 2017 at the age of 94. He played Hallyne in #GameOfThrones, Commissioner Simmonds in #Space1999, Benson (voice) in #Saturn3, the Elder in #Earth2, Frederick Lantz in #Babylon5, & much more, including a lot of voice work in animated TV series. His non-sci-fi & non-fantasy work included playing Leopold Mozard in #Amadeus and he was also a well known stage actor & won a Tony Award for his work in the revival of “A Moon for the Misbegotten”.
Roy Dotrice

Roy Dotrice (1923 – 2017)

December

Alfie Curtis died on Dec. 26, 2017 at the age of 87. Born on July 28, 1930, he is best known for his portrayal of Dr. Evazan in “#StarWars IV: #ANewHope” in the iconic cantina scene, where he says, “I have the death sentence on 12 systems!”. He also played the milkman in the Oscar-winning movie #TheElephantMan in 1980.

Alfie Curtis

Alfie Curtis (1930-2017)

May they all rest in peace.

RIP Alfie Curtis

#RIP: actor Alfie Curtis has passed away at the age of 87. Born on July 28, 1930, he is best known for his portrayal of Dr. Evazan in “#StarWars IV: #ANewHope” in the iconic cantina scene, where he says, “I have the death sentence on 12 systems!”. He also played the milkman in the Oscar-winning movie #TheElephantMan in 1980. Our condolences to his family, friends & fans. He is one with the Force. May he rest in peace.

Alfie Curtis

Alfie Curtis (1930-2017)

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The Audience Strikes Back: Box Office Receipts for “Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi” Plunge 77% in 1 Week; Worst Ever for the Franchise

#StarWars news: with controversies surrounding the low audience ratings on #RottenTomatoes, the Friday-to-Friday box-office receipts for “#StarWarsVIII: #TheLastJedi” have plunged 77% at the start of its 2nd weekend of its theatrical release. This is the worst-ever Friday-to-Friday drop in attendance for any Star Wars film in the franchise’s history, outdoing the previous record-holder of “#RogueOne: A Star Wars Story”, which dropped 68% last year in its 2nd weekend out.

From its opening day gross of $104.7-million, “The Last Jedi” plunged $80-million to a mere $24.6-million in gross receipts a week later. The Friday-to-Friday gross receipts between each movie’s opening and its 2nd weekend are shown in the following graph:

star-wars-fri-to-fri-drops

The 77% Friday-to-Friday plunge for “The Last Jedi” is almost exactly the opposite that was experienced by the franchises first ever movie, “Star Wars IV: A New Hope” in 1977 (40 year ago), in which it’s gross receipts increased by 79.37% in its 2nd Friday.

What the plunge says (which is still the franchise’s worst when Thursday & possibly Wednesday opening numbers are taken out) is that “The Last Jedi” is failing to bring moviegoers back for multiple viewings. As one fervent Star Wars fan, Miles Bailey, told the writer of the Forbes article,

“Disney shouldn’t bank on the hardcore, cosplay, convention crew like myself seeing this film 6, 7, 8, 9 times. Episode 8: The Last Jedi set out to kill everything about episodes 1-7 and succeeded. I’m not excited by Solo or episode 9. Star Wars is done for me.”

If the gross receipts for “The Last Jedi” continue in the same direction, they will likely end up being closer to the lifetime gross of “Rogue One” and not that of “The Force Awakens”, which would be truly catastrophic for the franchise & its future. Disney may need to rethink its strategy for “Star Wars”.

the-last-jedi-theatrical-blog

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Mixed Reactions to “Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi”

Reactions to the latest movie entry in the #StarWars franchise, “#StarWarsVIII: #TheLastJedi”, are quite mixed. While the movie received a rating of 93% from movie critics on #RottenTomatoes, the audience score is only 56% (which equates to a rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars). The situation on IMDB.com is somewhat similar as the rating for TLJ has dropped since opening day from an initial rating of 8.1 stars (out of 10) to rating of 7.8 (out of 10 stars), which is similar to the rating on rottentomatoes.com, but slightly higher.

the-last-jedi-theatrical-blog

To gain perspective on how fans are reacting to TLJ, it’s a good idea to compare the reactions to the other Star Wars movies in the franchise. We have listed the ratings from both websites in the table below:

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Currently, TLJ is in last place for the “Star Wars” franchise with voters on RottenTomatoes, while it’s in roughly 6th place with voters on IMDb. Where voters on the movies are in pretty much total agreement is their 5 top movies: “Empire Strikes Back”, “A New Hope”, “Return of the Jedi”, “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One”. After that, voters on IMDb prefer TLJ over the prequels, while voters on Rotten Tomatoes prefer the prequels over TLJ.

Either way, “The Last Jedi” is not being received as well by fans as “The Force Awakens”, “Rogue One” or the original trilogy. Perhaps the direction that was taken by director Rian Johnson in TLJ was not the best direction for the film or the franchise, which tends to go along with Mark Hamill’s initial disagreement with the direction of his character, as we had previously posted.

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Mark Hamill Visited Terminally-Ill Boy as Luke Skywalker

#StarWars news: 8 years ago, Mark Hamill agreed to meet a young boy as Luke Skywalker. The boy, who was terminally ill, wanted to talk with Luke Skywalker in person. The boy was dying from a disease known as juvenile Batten’s Disease (JNCL), but was obsessed with “Star Wars” and watched the movies everyday, according to his father, a former Santa Monica police officer.

His father (Joe Sikorra) was friends with a screenwriter, who was able to make contact with Mark Hamill’s agent. 2 minutes later, Mark Hamill called the boy’s father and setup the meeting for the next day. The boy (whose name was John) would ask Mark the same question sometimes three times in a row, but Mark was very patient. In an interview, the father described the disease in this way:

“The disease robs kids of their vision first followed by cognitive motor function. Typically kids die in their late teens, early 20s. It is a very complicated disease and most doctors aren’t that familiar with it. So we lived in the moment, did as much as we could.”

John succumbed to the disease in Sept., 2015. On Monday, Joe Sikorra tweeted about his son and thanked Mark Hamill, who tweeted a response,

“There’s no sweeter sound than a child laughing-I’ve been so lucky-feel it’s my duty 2 give back in any way I can-Much prefer visits 2 hospitals than talk-shows Heartbreaking but inspirational-makes my career seem trivial in comparison-Wish I could do more ❤️”

John had also wanted to meet Princess Leia, but a meeting with Carrie Fisher (who wanted to meet John) wasn’t possible as John’s condition had deteriorated.

Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill

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