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How Star Wars revolutionized movie merchandising

Before the 1977 release of Star Wars merchandising tie-ins with movies were very rare. That all changed when George Lucas was forward-thinking and negotiated licensing and merchandising rights for Star Wars.

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Apr 22

Star Trek 4: ‘NO guarantee’ film will go ahead after Beyond disappointment

by Shaun Kitchener

Zachary Quinto plays Spock in the new films, but after Star Trek Beyond failed to meet sky-high box office expectations in 2016, the future of the franchise has been thrown into doubt.

Speaking on Today, Quinto gave an update and didn’t sound too certain.

"I know that they are working on a script for another one and we'll see how that all plays out," he said.

"But the nice thing about that experience is that the time in between those big tentpole films allows us to go off and cultivate a lot of different creative experiences for ourselves."

He added: "I'm hopeful that we'll do another one, but there's no guarantee."

In December, Simon Pegg hinted that he is working on the new script with Doug Jung, so it seems that even if no plans are set in stone, the possibility of a fourth movie has at least not been scrapped.

Star Trek Beyond received strong reviews and audience feedback but its worldwide box office gross of $343.5 million was some way down on its predecessors.

By contrast, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) generated $467.4 million and 2009's Star Trek took $385.7 million.

Continue Reading at: Express

Apr 21

Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Nathan Fillion reveals DELETED cameo - is it Arkon?

A screen cap from Nathan Fillion's post regarding the scene cut from 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' (image courtesy Nathan Fillion / Instagram)
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by Shaun Kitchener

The actor took to Instagram to share a photo of himself in costume on the set of the movie, but said the scene did not make the finished film.

He seems to be a sort of viking-like character in control of a ship - leading to an assumption that he could have been Arkon from Weirdworld.

However, the likelihood is that Fillion was part of a sequence set on Earth at a film festival; a scene revealed by James Gunn to have been scrapped.

Fillion's photo caption reads: "From a scene you won't see in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2."

"Is the movie still spectacular without it? Yes."

Guardians Vol 2 is now weeks away from release, and Gunn was recently confirmed to be returning to write and direct Vol 3.

He explained: "Much of what's happened in the MCU for the past ten or so years has been leading, in a big way, to the Avengers' Infinity War.

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will happen after all that."

Continue Reading at: Express

Apr 20

The Last Jedi: Mark Hamill 'fundamentally disagrees with virtually everything' written for his character

Luke Skywalker looks back in this scene from 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' (image courtesy Disney / Lucasfilm)
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by Christopher Hooton

Mark Hamill aka Star Wars Press Junket MVP is at it again, this time speaking his mind on the plot of upcoming saga movie The Last Jedi in no uncertain terms.

"When I read 8, I told Rian [Johnson, the writer-director], 'I fundamentally disagree with virtually everything you've decided about my character'," Hamill said during an ABC interview.

He did however clarify: "But it might be a good sign! I was really wrong about 7; I said, 'When I turn around [at the end], the audience is going to hoot and holler because it's such an obvious cheat'.

"I didn't foresee John Williams's incredible music and the shots of Daisy [Ridley] or the build-up to it all."

Luke is set to play a key part in The Last Jedi, ominously declaring at the end of the first trailer "It's time for the Jedi to end."

Last week, Hamill outlined what he saw as a "great missed opportunity" with Han Solo's death in The Force Awakens.

Continue Reading at: Independent

Apr 18

Alien: Covenant promos see eerie found-footage teasing fate of the doomed crew

by Amy West

20th Century Fox has released two new promos for Ridley Scott's hotly-anticipated sci-fi sequel Alien: Covenant ahead of the film's upcoming release date. The short clips see Katherine Waterston's character Daniels and Billy Crudup's Christopher Oram sending transmissions to Earth from aboard the Covenant... but the broadcasts are anything but heartwarming.

Found footage snippets – from cameras attached to exploration suits – interject their communications, adding an ominous undertone to messages sent back home as it spells out their future fates. "Hi Dad, I'm here on the Covenant. We're each allowed one transmission back to Earth so..." Daniels begins before the body-cams reveal her and other crew members wading through waters and traversing a seemingly undiscovered paradise.

...

Check out the two teasers here:


Continue Reading at: International Business Times

Apr 17

It's Official: The Fate of the Furious Sets New Global Opening Record

A promotional image for 'The Fate of the Furious' (image courtesy Universal)
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With actual figures now in, Universal Pictures' The Fate of the Furious has now officially set the record as the biggest opening of all time with $532 million in global box office, including $98.8 million from the U.S. and Canada and $433.2 million from 63 international territories this weekend. The record was previously held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens with $529 million. This is also the all-time biggest international weekend by a large margin, beating the previous record holder Jurassic World ($316.7 million).

The Fate of the Furious elevated Universal's international box office past $1 billion on Friday. Universal is the second studio to reach this milestone in 2017. It is Universal's 11th year in a row grossing $1 billion in international box office and this is the second fastest getting there after 2015.

The film opened No. 1 in every territory and scored all-time opening weekend records in 19 territories. They are Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Middle East, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, U.A.E., Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The Fate of the Furious is Universal's highest-grossing opening weekend of all time in 27 territories. They are the above 19 territories plus Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Israel, and Mexico.

Continue Reading at: ComingSoon.net

Apr 16

Box Office: 'Fate of the Furious' Nabs $100.2M in U.S. for Record $532.5M Global Start

Vin Diesel in a scene from 'The Fate of the Furious' [aka Furious 8] (image courtesy Universal)
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by Pamela McClintock

Thanks to an all-time best China launch of $190 million, the eighth installment in the popular franchise surpassed the previous worldwide record launch of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'

Universal's Fast and the Furious franchise is showing no signs of running out of gas on the world stage.

The Fate of the Furious, directed by F. Gary Gray, raced to an estimated $532.5 million global debut over Easter weekend, including $100.2 million domestically and a $432.2 million overseas.

If those estimates hold when final numbers are tallied early Monday, Furious 8 will eclipse Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($529 million) to boast the biggest worldwide opening of all time. Either way, it is assured of scoring the top international launch of all time, surpassing fellow Universal title Jurassic World ($316.7 million).

Furious 8 had the advantage of opening day-and-date in China, where it earned a massive $190 million, the biggest three-day bow in history. Overall, the tentpole debuted at No. 1 in all 63 foreign markets, and it did more business than any previous installment in 32 of those.

In North America, Furious 8 scored the second-biggest launch of the franchise behind Furious 7's $147 million. Furious 7 (2015) was the final film in the series to star Paul Walker, who died in a tragic car crash in November 2013. Globally, Furious 7 launched to $397.7 million (it didn't open in China until a week later).

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Apr 14

Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer debuts

by Jake Coyle, Associated Press

Is the Force still strong with Luke Skywalker?

The first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi dropped on Friday, showcasing a morose and withdrawn Skywalker. The two-minute teaser, unveiled by director Rian Johnson at the "Star Wars Celebration" fan event in Orlando, Fla., offered few clues to the film. But it notably includes Mark Hamill's iconic hero gravely intoning, "It's time for the Jedi to end," from a dark cave.

The trailer whetted the appetites of ravenous Star Wars fans who turned out in droves in Orlando and online, where the event was streamed live. Actor Josh Gad, a Disney star from another universe (Frozen, Beauty and the Beast), hosted a panel including Johnson, producer Kathleen Kennedy and cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and a new addition, Kelly Marie Tran.

The Last Jedi picks off where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey (Ridley) meeting Luke on a remote island, filmed off the coast of Ireland. Some shots in the trailer also suggested Skywalker training Rey on the island. In The Force Awakens, Adam Driver's Kylo Ren has turned to the dark side after being tutored by Luke.

The presentation was mostly a game of teasing hints about the film while revealing very little about it.

See for yourself with the trailer:

Continue Reading at: The Toronto Star

Apr 13

The Hitman's Bodyguard trailer shows hilarious riff between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson

by Asmita Kundu

Lionsgate Movies has dropped the first red-band trailer of The Hitman's Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson.

In the movie, Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds plays a bodyguard to Jackson's hitman. However, the hitman is all set to testify at the International Court of Justice and his bodyguard has to help him out as many people try to pop him off.

The story revolves around the relationship between the relentless bodyguard and the manipulative assassin who have been on the opposite ends of a bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours.

During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and merciless Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman) who is out for blood.

Salma Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson's equally notorious wife.

Check out the RED BAND trailer here, so perhaps NSFW:

Continue Reading at: International Business Times

Apr 13

Cannes Lineup Announced: Coppola, Haynes and Safdie Brothers in Competition

by Peter Debruge, Elsa Keslassy

The Cannes Film Festival turns 70 this year, and for its anniversary edition, the glamorous cinema showcase will launch star-driven new work from American directors Sofia Coppola ("The Beguiled"), Noah Baumbach ("The Meyerowitz Stories"), and Todd Haynes ("Wonderstruck") - which should see such celebs as Nicole Kidman, Adam Sandler, and Julianne Moore walking the red carpet - but not a single Hollywood studio film.

The lineup also includes fresh features from such world-renowned filmmakers as Michael Haneke ("Happy End"), Andrey Zvyagintsev ("Loveless") and Hong Sangsoo - who brings two films "The Day After" and Isabelle Huppert starrer "Clair's Camera" - plus English-language entries from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (who follows up his Cannes-launched "The Lobster" with "The Killing of a Sacred Deer") and South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho, whose "Okja" stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton.

At Thursday's press conference, festival president Pierre Lescure and general delegate Thierry Frémaux announced 49 films from 29 countries, including films from 12 women directors and nine first-time feature helmers. Russia makes a strong showing this year, while prolific film hubs China and India are entirely unrepresented.

Continue Reading at: Variety

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