Tag Archives: First Order

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens or How long til Episode VIII?

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

There isn’t a good way to start a review of the most anticipated film of 2015.  But, we have to start somewhere.  And all I can think of is…

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away….

The Star Wars franchise wasn’t in the best of shape.  From 1999 to 2005, George “These are my toys” Lucas released prequels to the beloved Star Wars franchise.  He wrote and directed each film and after 17 years since Return of the Jedi, his creation fell flat.  Perhaps it was an expectation that could not be matched by any film trilogy.  However, The Force Awakens seems to disagree with the anticipation vs. fan enjoyment argument, seeing as it could become the number one grossing film of all time.  That’s right, it’ll pass Avatar by James Cameron.

Can you even remember a quote from this movie?
Can you even remember a quote from this movie?

When the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney was completed (to the tune of $4.05 Billion) in 2012, they wasted no time in announcing new Star Wars films.  A great tremor was felt in the collective fan community.  How could the ‘House of Mouse’ ever do this franchise properly?  Could they possibly do the The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn (which this reviewer thinks is the best Expanded Universe tale ever told)?  What would happen to the excellent Clone Wars animated show?  All questions, but no answers.

Best representation of the above statement.
Best representation of the above statement.

Finally, after what seemed like ages, news slowly trickled out about the state of our Galaxy Far Far Away.

  • From the movie production:
    • Who was the director?  J.J. Abrams.
    • How much CGI?  Lots, but hey they’re using practical effects too!
    • Who are the writers?  Those that did screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back, Toy Store 3, and Armageddon (don’t know about that one J.J.)
    • Would the original cast be part of it?  Maybe.

Reasonable expectations began for the film.  Then came the dark times. Clone Wars was cancelled in favor of a new Disney Star Wars cartoon. The Expanded Universe many fans had been reading since the 1980’s was disbanded as canon and rendered to a “Legacy” status. It seemed that our worst fears had been realized, Disney had taken away everything we loved and filled it with hollow promises of movies, shows, and merchandise.  Then a new hope arose in the form of a trailer in November 2014:

In my opinion, that’s when the tide changed.  Instantly everyone changed into a five year old with their Star Wars toys.  Of course a lot of people made fun of Kylo Ren’s cross guard lightsaber, but everyone was pumped and just like that…December 2015 couldn’t get here fast enough for anyone.

"No longer used for just Jedi/Sith battles: the Brand New Swiss Saber will take care of all your galactic needs. "
“No longer used for just Jedi/Sith battles: the Brand New Swiss Saber will take care of all your galactic needs.  Available for 12 easy payments of 1M New Republic credits.”

More trailers came out.  And so did the merchandise.  “Star Wars all the things!” cried every manufacturer and retailer.  I honestly don’t have a problem with this as long as it wouldn’t effect the storytelling.  Now if Luke Skywalker had been playing with the amazing Hot Wheels line while some dialogue, I think there might have been a problem.

There are a lot of things to be said about the film itself.  I could really go into the amazing space battles, which were the center of the action over any lightsaber battle shown.  Truly, it was well done.  Then there was the acting.  Every single person there was excited to be in a Star Wars filmed and their enthusiasm and talent showed.

Sorry buddy
Sorry Hayden, it wasn’t all your fault, you were too young and seduced by George

The old cast really meshed well with the new characters introduced and the delight was very evident on everyone’s face.  The writing, the actors, the sets, the CG, and the thrill…it was all there.  Star Wars is back and I cannot wait for the next iteration.

Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:

You didn’t need my review to decide if you were going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you were either going to see it or you were never going to see it.  Sure there are plenty questions left unanswered and of course I could really nitpick at details and find reasons why this issue or that issue…blah blah blah.  Nothing I can say will change what you’re going to do.  I can say it’s as simple as this: I really enjoyed the film.  And I hope you do as well.

And today is the last day of the year, and the last post of 2015.  We hope that you all enjoyed our random writing, be it reviews or some of our other content.

Manchicken and I will likely share our favorites from 2015 over the next few days, but the best all around movie in 2015 was The Martian.  There is lots more to say (comedy, action, failures, etc.) but I’ll get to that in another post.  For now, I wish you all a wonderful New Years and hope you’re looking forward to 2016 as I am!

-Darkmovienight

Monday Morning Shower Report: Star Wars Broke All the Records

Good morning Bleary-Eyed fans, are you awake enough after your third or fourth viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens?  Well, prepare to drop the soap as we spend some time on how amazing Star Wars did this weekend.

I'm not getting it, I made that mistake once before and someone stole my wallet
I’m not getting it, I made that mistake once before and someone stole my wallet!

1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens- $238M

There isn’t going to be much else to talk about this morning, so we’re going to get really involved with this film.  And from now on, I’m just going to type “Star Wars” as the movie title so I don’t contract irreversible mega-carpel-tunnel syndrome.  Like I said last week, we all knew that Star Wars was going to break records, but had no idea that it would break all the records.  Let me quickly tick off the records it shattered:

  • Largest opening weekend: $238M, previously held by Jurassic World earlier this year ($208.8M).
  • Largest Thursday showings: $57M, previously held by the final Harry Potter installment ($43.5M) four years ago.
  • Largest opening day (FYI, this does include the above Thursday showings): $120.5M, beating the crap out of the Kid Wizard again which previously held it at $91.1M
  • Largest dollar amount per theater of a wide release: $57.6k per theater, with Star Wars releasing in 4,134 theaters.  There really is no comparison to any other movie here, that’s how far it eclipses everything else.
  • Largest IMAX release: $30.1M out of 391 IMAX screens, making extinct the dinosaurs from earlier this year which had $20.9M.  I’ll do the math for you, that’s $77k per screen…
  • International opening of $279M.  They still have India, Greece, and China (opening in January) to go.

The entire global weekend gross for Star Wars was $517M.  If each person who saw Star Wars only once (not the case, but for sake of jaw-dropping figure), then each human of the Earth’s population (7.3 Billion), will have spent an average of $14.12 a ticket.  That’s right, even toddlers spent $14.12 on average to see Star Wars.

"When does this thing
“When does this thing start, we’ve been in line since 2014!”

Honestly, I knew it was going to be big, but I had no idea the power of the Force, I mean hype.  Now it is estimated that the production costs of Star Wars was north of $200M (not including advertising).  If that is a true number, then Disney/Lucasfilm might eek out a tiny profit…

Kathleen Kennedy (CEO of Lucasfilm) seen in her own shower this morning.
Bob Iger (CEO of Disney) seen here .  Not depicted are Kathleen Kennedy (CEO of Lucasfilm) and J.J. Abrams.  They don’t take golden showers…

All this success does cause a little bit of a problem for I Watch Too Many Movies: we’d love to do a review of Star Wars, but we’ve got a few roadblocks in our way.  We don’t want to spoil it for the 1% who didn’t go this week, and those of you who did see it (likely ANYONE who reads this site) you’ve already made up your mind about how you feel about the film and did your own micro-review on Facebook or Twitter.  I think Manchicken and I will give our thoughts on the film separately in the next few days, but I’m pretty sure those opinions won’t differ too much.

"Let's watch it again." -Manchicken and I
“Let’s watch it again.” -Manchicken and I

2) Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip- $14.4M

Apparently some film studios decided to find a convenient excuse for their movies failing by sacrificing, er, releasing them against Star Wars. 20th Century Fox pulled this move by releasing the fourth movie in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie franchise.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that being a Babysitter this weekend was quite lucrative. And likely this is the film the babysitters’ took the kids to while their parents went and saw Star Wars in the theater next door.

Seen here taking a group selfie after leaving the kids in the Chipmunks theater
Horrible dressed babysitters seen here taking a group selfie after leaving the kids alone in the Chipmunks’ theater.  Who knows, they may have even used a Lightsaber selfie-stick to take this picture

3) Sisters- $13.4M

Universal pulled this trick with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s new comedy, Sisters.  Apparently this wasn’t a horrible film, so I don’t know if they just dumped it here or had the misfortune of having this weekend booked for quite a while.  At any rate, it’s a comedy, so it likely didn’t cost much to make and the fact that it made any movie this weekend was an achievement.  The audience consisted mostly of women over 25, so that fits squarely in the demographic that grew up watching these two on Saturday Night Live and haven’t seen or don’t care about seeing Star Wars.

Yeah, you would probably be happier watching Star Wars too
Yeah, you two would probably be happier watching Star Wars as well

4) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2- $5.6M ($254.4M Total)

Katniss’ bow, speeches, or constantly waking up in a hospital bed were no match for a good blaster at Star Wars’ side.  After being in the top spot for four straight weeks, the final chapter in The Hunger Games film series finally toppled.  It’s okay, Lionsgate made their money and now they’ll just have to wait for the Blu-Ray/Digital release.  This shouldn’t surprise anyone since it was more or less the same crowd seeing Star Wars.

Startles
Except Startles.  He is continually amazed at the obvious.  We keep him around because it makes us laugh when he watches the movie Memento

5) Creed- $5.1M ($87.9M Total)

Since this is likely the last week in the Top 5 for Creed, there isn’t much to say except we’re looking forward to any type of continuation to this franchise.  Good job Sly, you did a good job here.

That my friends was an intense box office recap session.  I think I need to take a nap.  Sadly, I’ve got movies to watch (I feel like seeing Apollo 13 today), and real jobs to apply for (unless someone wants to pay me for this gig…yeah…didn’t think so).

One thing I worry about is that we continue to teach Hollywood and their evil Tribunal the wrong lessons.  Everyone went to see Star Wars because it was Star Wars and we had faith it was handled properly by J.J.  What they learned: “Franchise all the things!  Revive every film from the 1970’s!  Reboot everything!”  They’ve heard this lesson for so long it’s more of a mantra they chant than something new.

"Oh almighty Box Office master, show us the way!"
“Sequels, franchises and reboots arise!  Sequels, franchises and reboots arise!  Sequels, franchises and reboots ARISE!”

Have a great week my friends and wake up, I know you saw Star Wars four times, but falling asleep in the shower is dangerous to yourself and others.

-Darkmovienight