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:

Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 9.04.35 PM

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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J.K. Rowling Receives Rarely Given Honor

#HarryPotter author & creator #JKRowling has received a rare honor from Buckingham Palace: she is now a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, which was first established by King George V in 1917 & can only be given to 65 people at one time.

The Order of the Companions of Honour is a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion. It consists of the sovereign, plus no more than 65 Companions of Honour. 45 members could be from the United Kingdom, 7 from Australia, 2 from New Zealand and 11 from other Commonwealth realms. Foreigners from outside the realm can be added as “honorary members”. While membership confers no title or precedence, recipients of this one-class order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters “CH”.

Other Companions of Honor include:

  • Dame Judi Dench
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Peter Higgs
  • Sir Ian McKellen

The Order of the Companions of Honour is second only to the Order of Merit, which is awards to people who have made ‘major contributions to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time’.

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J.K. Rowling Defends Casting of Johnny Depp

#HarryPotter author #JKRowling has defended the decision to cast Johnny Depp to play Gellert Grindelwald in #FantasticBeasts. Many fans are upset about the casting due to allegations of domestic abuse following the divorce of Depp from actress Amber Heard. Depp has denied the allegations.

Oh her website, J.K. Rowling released the following statement:

“When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.

Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.

The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected.  Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.

I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.”

Cast of "Fantastic Beasts"

Cast of “Fantastic Beasts”.

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