Iconic Toy Store “Toys R Us” to Close All U.S. Stores

A source of many #SciFi & #fantasy based toys (including for collectors), #ToysRUs will be closing all 800+ of its U.S. stores with over 30,000 employees losing their jobs.

Having filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017, lackluster Christmas sales combined with excessive amounts of debt has forced “Toys R Us” to shut down.

Here’s a vintage 1980’s “Toys R Us” TV commercial:

1990’s “Toys R Us” TV commercial featuring the kids (grown up) that were in the 1980’s TV commercial shown above:

CNBC’s view of “Toys R Us” demise:



The Last Days of Stan Lee: Being “Picked Apart by Vultures”

Since retiring from appearing at #ComicCons & the death of his wife of 70 years 7 months ago, reports are surfacing that people surrounding #Marvel’s Stan Lee are trying to grab as much money from him as possible. One insider described it as, “It’s a real f*cking mess over there. I think his money will be gone in a few weeks… Stan and [his daughter] JC are literally being picked apart by vultures.”

The following questionable actions have occurred over the past 2 months:

  • An unauthorized check for $300,000 was written without Lee’s knowledge from his business account to “Hands of Respect”, a so-called merchandizing company & ersatz charity formed by Lee & Jerry Olivarez.
  • A West Hollywood condo was purchased for $850,000
  • $1.4-million disappeared in a complicated wire-transfer. (Forensic accountants are investigating.)
  • Police were called to Lee’s home on Feb. 16 to remove Lee’s longtime bodyguard Mac “Max” Anderson (often seem accompanying Lee at lucrative live appearances) after allegedly threatening Lee & his daughter JC.

Other issues have also been occurring:

  • Several former nurses have accused Lee of sexual impropriety, which Lee denies.
  • Other 5-figure checks were written to Olivarez.
  • Money missing from other larger financial transactions.
  • Olivarez temporarily obtaining power of attorney over Lee after his wife died, but later rectified by Lee’s daughter JC.
  • The firing of Lee’s longtime Merrill Lynch accountants and his lawyers of 20-30 years.

We hope things will improve for Stan Lee & his daughter JC.


Rian Johnson Scrapped J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars VIII Script

#StarWars actress Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey) has revealed that #StarWarsVIII (#TheLastJedi) director Rian Johnson scrapped a script that J.J. Abrams drafted after he directed #StarWarsVII: #TheForceAwakens.

In an interview for French magazine Le Magazine GEEK, Daisy Ridley revealed that J.J. Abrams drafted scripts for both Episode VIII and IX before Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow jumped in to direct the sequels.

“Here’s what I think I know. J. J. wrote Episode VII, as well as drafts for VIII & IX,” Ridley said. “Then Rian Johnson arrived and wrote TLJ entirely. I believe there was some sort of general consensus on the main lines of the trilogy, but apart from that, every director writes and realizes his film in his own way.”

“Rian Johnson and J. J. Abrams met to discuss all of this, although Episode VIII is still his very own work,” Ridley explained regarding Abrams’ involvement with The Last Jedi. “I believe Rian didn’t keep anything from the first draft of Episode VIII.”

As of 2017, J.J. Abrams replaced Colin Trevorrow as director of Episode IX, but we’ll never know what J.J. Abrams version of The Last Jedi would’ve been like.


The Oscars: “The Shape of Water” Wins Best Picture!

Congratulations to director Guillermo del Toro (who won the #Oscar for #BestDirector) and the cast & crew of #TheShapeOfWater for winning #BestPicture at the 2018 #AcademyAwards! It’s been 14 years since another #SciFi or #fantasy film has won Best Picture, and that was Peter Jackson’s 2003 film “#LordOfTheRings: #TheReturnOfTheKing” in 2004.

Science fiction & fantasy movies are rarely nominated for “Best Picture” even though many of them out-perform the actual nominees at the box office. Other sci-fi & fantasy movies that have been nominated for “Best Picture”, but didn’t win include the following:

  • “Arrival” (2016)
  • “The Martian” (2015)
  • “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)
  • “Her” (2013)
  • “Gravity” (2013)
  • “Life of Pi” (2012)
  • “Hugo” (2011)
  • “Inception” (2010)
  • “Avatar” (2009)
  • “District 9” (2009)
  • “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002)
  • “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)
  • “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000)
  • “The Green Mile” (1999)
  • “Beauty and the Beast” (1991)
  • “Ghost” (1990)
  • “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” (1982)
  • “Heaven Can Wait” (1978)
  • “Star Wars IV: A New Hope” (1977)
  • “A Clockwork Orange” (1971)
  • “Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)
  • “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)
  • “Heaven Can Wait” (1943)
  • “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
  • “Lost Horizon” (1937)

Sci-fi & Fantasy movies that were never nominated for “Best Picture”, but (arguably) should have been, include the following:

  • “The Dark Knight” (2008)
  • “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006)
  • “Aliens” (1986)
  • “Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi” (1983)
  • “Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)
  • “Alien” (1979)
  • “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977)
  • “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)



“Black Panther” Becomes Highest Grossing Film for February Ever

Move over #Deadpool: #BlackPanther has now taken the slot for highest grossing film for February ever earning an estimated 3-day weekend of $192-million domestic and heading towards a 4-day estimated $218-million.

It’s also the fifth highest grossing film for a 3-day opening ever after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, “Jurassic World” and “Marvel’s The Avengers”.



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.



Fox Moves Release Dates for “Deadpool 2”, “Gambit” & “The New Mutants”

Fox has moved the release dates of several movies. #Deadpool fans will be happy that “Deadpool 2” has moved up 2 weeks to May 18, 2018 from June 1, 2018. This places the movie 1 week ahead of “Solo: A #StarWars Story”.

The release date for #TheNewMutants has also been moved back by 10 months to Feb. 22, 2019 from April 13, 2018. #Gambit is also being moved back 4 months from Feb. 14, 2019 to June 7, 2019.