Weekend BO Report: Impressive Weekend Drops Mark The End Of The Biggest Box Office Month In History!

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Written by Dapo Olowu

June 2018 saw the biggest month (and the end of the biggest quarter) in U.S. Box Office history, with the $1.268bn earned from cinema-goers beating the $1.236bn made in June 2013. This, of course, was boosted by a stunning opening from ‘Incredibles 2’ and strong showing by ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ — both of which topped the charts this weekend with further impressive runs.

It was ‘Jurassic World 2’ that predictably stomped into first place, earning $60.9m from 4,485 cinemas (in-line with our $60m estimates on Friday) for a $265.7m domestic gross. Internationally, it was a similar story, with J. A. Bayona’s flick coming in at number one for the 4th week in a row, again grossing around $60m. Its international total stands at a mighty $669m with China its biggest non-U.S. market (the $237m made there is already more than the first ‘Jurassic World’ earned in its entire Chinese run). Worldwide, ‘Jurassic World 2’ is now sitting on a comfy $934.9m and will look to be the third film of the year to break the billion-dollar-barrier by the end of the week.

Incredibles 2’ took in $46.4m domestically, leaving it just $600k short of ‘Shrek 2’ as the 2nd biggest animated film in U.S. history. Of course, it will have passed the 2004 sequel by the time you’re reading this, and will overtake ‘Finding Dory’ as the biggest ever by next week, as it draws nearer to making $700m globally. It’s a figure that crime-thriller, ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ can only dream of reaching, but its $19m opening was a shot above even the most optimistic predictions — to place it 3rd on the U.S. Box Office charts this weekend. Not even a reduced score on Rotten Tomatoes (now at 62%) could stop this from becoming Sony’s second biggest opening of the year, behind ‘Peter Rabbit’s $25m in February. Now, all ‘Sicario 2’ needs to better its predecessor’s domestic total is a 2.47x multiplier, which would be an achievable goal if its critical reception (like its bang-average B on Cinemascore) wasn’t so mixed.

The $15.2m made in the first 3 days of sports comedy, ‘Uncle Drew’s release marks director Charles Stone III’s best ever opening, and also means a solid start for the film that cost less than $20m to produce. The release of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ next weekend provides some unwelcome competition, but ‘Uncle Drew’ will hope to use its 67% on RT and A on Cinemascore to hold its own against the MCU tentpole. ‘Ocean’s 8’ sneaked over the $200m global figure this weekend after dropping just 28% from last weekend, earning $8.3m in the U.S. Similarly, ‘Tag’ dropped by only 29% to gross $5.9m. It’s currently at a $41.1m domestic total, and lies just $2m short of $50m worldwide.

Now into its seventh weekend, ‘Deadpool 2’ grossed $3.6m to reach $310.5m domestically, trailing ‘Deadpool’ by $52m. Surprisingly, Bollywood film ‘Sanju’ grossed $2.7m from just 356 cinemas, giving it the 3rd best per-cinema average of the weekend, with $7,650. The biographical flick is based around Indian film veteran Sanjay Dutt, who has starred in over 180 movies. Finally, ‘Solo’ and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ round off the top ten with $2.7m and $2.4m alike.

With Ant-Man 2 entering cinemas next week, which of these do you think will be hit the hardest? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Uncle Drew’ And ‘Sicario 2’ Go To War In Tightly Contested Weekend

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Written by Dapo Olowu

There’s going to be a battle for third place in the U.S. Box Office this weekend as sports comedy ‘Uncle Drew’ looks to play ball against ‘Sicario 2’, the eagerly awaited sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 crime thriller ‘Sicario’. Both will take a backseat to J. A. Bayona’s ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ however, with the dinosaur epic looking to endure a more frustrating run than its 2015 predecessor. A drop close to 60% would still earn ‘Jurassic World 2’, the 3rd biggest film of the year so far, a pretty monstrous $60m, but it’s a far-cry from the $106.6m that Trevorrow’s ‘Jurassic World’ made just 3 years ago.

Incredibles 2’, on the other hand, is rapidly closing in on ‘The Incredibles’ worldwide total of $633m, as it looks to break through the $600m barrier by the end of the weekend. Domestically, a $45.8m gross this weekend would see it keep second place and near a $450m total, enough to become the second biggest animated film of all time in the U.S.

Stefano Sollima’s ‘Sicario 2’ can only wish for a similar performance – the first only opened to $12.1m in wide release, for a $46.9m domestic total off of a $30m budget. Director Denis Villeneuve doesn’t return this time around, alongside household name Emily Blunt, and Oscar-nominee Daniel Kaluuya. It does though see the return of Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro, alongside acclaimed writer Taylor Sheridan of ‘Wind River’ and ‘Hell or High Water’ fame. An opening close to $20m would be a solid start, but critical reception pales in comparison to ‘Sicario’, with the sequel holding a decent 72% on the Tomatometer, compared to the first’s 93%. A gross just over $16m should therefore be on the cards.

Following closely is ‘Uncle Drew’, starring NBA superstar Kyrie Irving in the titular role. The comedy, based on his character from Pepsi Max adverts, also stars ‘Get Out’ actor Lil Rel Howery, as well as Nick Kroll, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tiffany Haddish. The presence of Haddish automatically draws comparisons between the film and last year’s breakout comedy ‘Girls Trip’, which opened to huge $31.2m, and finished on $115.2m domestically. However, ‘Uncle Drew’ doesn’t have the critical acclaim (50% on RT vs. 90%), nor the specific charm that ‘Girls Trip’ offered. A closer comparison would be to 2016s ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’s $20.2m opening, meaning ‘Uncle Drew’ should be close to ‘Sicario 2’ this weekend by earning around $16m.

Also keeping its place in the top ten is ‘Ocean’s 8’ which looks to close in on ‘Ocean’s Thirteen’s domestic total with a $7.5m gross this weekend. Comedy ‘Tag’ may endure a bit of audience competition from the two new entries, and should earn just under $5m to continue a pretty poor year for comedies. ‘Deadpool 2’ sets to continue its trend of 40% weekend drops by pulling in $3.2m, while ‘Solo’ in theory should bounce back after being hit hard by ‘Jurassic World’ 7 days ago, for a gross of $2.7m. Finally, we round the weekend out with ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ and ‘Hereditary’; the former looks to perform similarly to documentary ‘RBG’ earlier this year to earn $1.9m from its limited release, while the latter will pull in close to $1.8m.

Who do you think will win the battle for third place between ‘Sicario 2’ and ‘Uncle Drew’? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: A Blistering June Weekend Sees ‘Fallen Kingdom’ In A World Of Its Own

Written by Dapo Olowu

On the biggest June Box Office weekend in domestic history, it was ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ that snatched first place with a remarkable $148m 3-day haul. Early tracking, like with ‘Jurassic World’ in 2015, saw a much more conservative $130m figure being touted by industry analysts, as well as yours truly. But, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the franchise relies heavily on on-the-day walk-ups – pre-orders and heavy anticipation just isn’t the audience preference here. This means that the duo of films, led by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, have become Universal’s first and second highest openings of all time (with the former pulling in a then-record $208.8m), showing that audiences in the U.S. still have a mighty appetite for the Dinosaur franchise. The same can be said for International viewers, as ‘Fallen Kingdom’ now boasts a mighty $715m global gross and is looking at finishing in the region of $1.2bn worldwide.

Flying in for a second place finish this weekend is ‘Incredibles 2’, Pixar’s record-breaking sequel. Unfortunately, it cut our dreams of a $100m 1-2 in the Box Office short, bringing in a smaller but still solid, $80.3m. The interesting bit here is the similarities in its weekend drop to both ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’, whose 55.5% falls almost mirror ‘Incredibles 2’s 56%, indicating that the Brad Bird-directed hit may end up performing more like an archetypal superhero movie than a family-oriented Pixar animation. A box office run like ‘Infinity War’ would earn ‘Incredibles 2’ a domestic finish of $475m, while a run like ‘GotG2’ leaves the film at $485.9m. Disney and Pixar will be optimistic for a stronger performance, though, as the summer period should see it beat ‘Finding Dory’s record of $486.3m. Internationally, ‘Incredibles 2’ fared especially well in China, earning a Pixar-record $21.2m in the region.

A gross of $11.5m leaves Sandra Bullock’s ‘Ocean’s 8’ on a domestic total of $100.3m, and a worldwide gross of $171.6m – a fantastic return after just 3 weeks. As the film closes in on $200m, and critical reaction stands to be mostly positive, a possible sequel is looking more and more likely. True-story comedy ‘Tag’ has managed to take in $8.3m to bring its domestic total up to $30.4m – on-track with last month’s Melissa McCarthy comedy ‘Life of the Party’. The former will hope to better the $52.1m domestic total that the latter ended up on, as ‘Tag’s inflated $28m production cost requires a leggier Box Office run.

Deadpool 2’ triumphed over ‘Solo’ this weekend, earning $5.3m compared to the latter’s $4.5m, moving past ‘It’ as the 3rd biggest R-rated global hit (behind ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ and ‘Deadpool’). ‘Solo’ was hit a little hard by ‘Fallen Kingdom’, dropping 55% from last week’s gross. On the other hand, ‘Hereditary’ held steady after losing 1,000 cinemas, earning $3.6m  and leaving it just $2m short of $50m globally. The A24 film will be confident at landing somewhere close to $60m worldwide; a fantastic return for the studio with a patchy Box Office record to date.

Sony action film, ‘Superfly’, dropped by 50% from last weekend to gross $3.4m – a figure similar to Tyrese Gibson thriller, ‘Waist Deep’, from 2006, which also saw a $3.4m second weekend. While the latter’s $21.3m domestic total looks reachable for ‘Superfly’, it’ll be a disappointing run for the film that cost $16m. Finally, ‘Infinity War’ earned $2.6m in its final weekend in the top 10, while limited-release documentary ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbour’ brought in $1.8m for 10th spot.

As worldwide audiences can’t seem to get enough of the ‘Jurassic’ franchise, where do you the current film ending up? Will it break into the top ten biggest of all time? Let us know your thoughts – we’re on Instagram and Twitter at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: On A Potentially Record-Breaking Weekend, Will ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Open With A Roar?

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s sequel season in the Box Office sphere, with ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ following in the footsteps of ‘Ocean’s 8’ and record-breaking ‘Incredibles 2’ in its attempt to top the charts this weekend, in a live-action record 4,475 cinemas. The follow-up to Colin Trevorrow’s 2015 continuation of the ‘Jurassic Park’ franchise (which surprisingly broke the then-opening weekend record with $208.8m) looks to follow in the footsteps of last week’s ‘Incredibles 2’ and provide mass appeal. The problem is, Pixar sequel completely smashed expectations and performed brilliantly across the four main audience quadrants, providing men, women, alongside over and under-25s alike worth quality viewing. This then led to an animated record-breaking $187.2m opening for the film, practically ensuring it’s future Box Office profits. ‘Jurassic World 2’, on the other hand, has a 53% rotten rating on the Tomatometer, and is the sequel not many Americans seemingly asked for, much like ‘Solo’ some weeks ago.

Fears of this being another ‘Solo’ are quite extreme however; ‘Jurassic World 2’ has already made $450m in International markets without the film even reaching U.S. cinemas, and crossed over the $100m mark in China in its first 3 days. It aims to see a drop akin to ‘The Last Jedi’, which fell 13% from ‘The Force Awakens’ for a $220m opening. The same for ‘Jurassic World 2’ would give it a massive $181.7m domestic start, but without such a dedicated fanbase as ‘Star Wars’, even the most optimistic of analysts would roll their eyes at such a prediction. Therefore, I’m looking at ‘Rogue One’, which dropped by 37% from ‘The Force Awakens’. A similar fall from ‘Jurassic World’ would leave its sequel opening to $131m, and taking into account ‘Incredibles 2’s performance, we’re thinking ‘Jurassic World 2’ will hit $125m in its first 3 days. Fun fact: this is to be only the second time ever that a $100m opener has immediately followed another $100m opener in the next week, after ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 3’ followed ‘Shrek 3’ in 2007.

Looking to take advantage of ‘Jurassic World’s disappointing opening is ‘Incredibles 2’, which aims to make history by being the first film to ever make $100m or more in the same weekend as another. No two films have ever simultaneously achieved the feat on the same weekend; the closest this ever came was in 2015, when in a curious case of reverse fortune, Disney favourite ‘Inside Out’ opened to $90.4m during ‘Jurassic World’s second weekend (where it itself grossed $106.6m). ‘Incredibles 2’ would have to drop by 45.3% to reach $100m, and that’s where we’re hoping it reaches.

Next, is ‘Ocean’s 8’, and this continues to emulate ‘Ghostbusters’ with around a $10m 3rd weekend. Comedy ‘Tag’ would love to mirror ‘Game Night’s second weekend performance with a 38.8% drop, but will probably perform closer to ‘Neighbors 2’ and fall somewhere in the 50% region. A gross of $7.5m will be enough for fourth place, ahead of ‘Solo’, who will finally pass the $200m domestic total this weekend, for a gross of $6m, in-line with the performance of ‘Days of Future Past’. Closely trailing is ‘Deadpool 2’ with $5.6m, now reaching $700m worldwide and $300m domestically.

A24 horror ‘Hereditary’ continues its impressive run, and looks to earn $4.3m in the U.S. this weekend, leaving the film just $19m away from being A24’s biggest domestic hit, and close to making $50m globally. ‘Infinity War’ should come 8th with a gross of $3.8m, and finally ‘Superfly’ and ‘Adrift’ round off the top ten with $3.2m and $1.1m each.

Will ‘Jurassic World 2’ and ‘Incredibles 2’ make Box Office history, or will the latter fall just short of the $100m target? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

 

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Weekend BO Report: ‘Incredibles 2’ Destroys Animated Opening Record On A Memorable Father’s Day For Disney

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s Disney’s world, and we’re all just living in it. After securing the two biggest openings of the year so far in ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Infinity War’ (the latter being the biggest domestic and global opening of all time), the studio strengthened their position as a Box Office powerhouse by breaking its own animated opening record, with ‘Incredibles 2’ making $182.7m in the first 3 days of its release. The gross, almost $50m more than ‘Finding Dory’s $135.1m in 2016, eclipsed the entire 3-day opening of ‘The Incredibles’ in just 24 hours — including, in total, a record-breaking $18.5m from Thursday previews. The $53.1m brought in from overseas gives ‘Incredibles 2’ a worldwide opening of $233.8m; a blistering start for the sequel that cost a reported $200m to make.

Looking ahead, it’s hard to see this film not going after ‘Finding Dory’s final record of being the biggest animated film of all time in the States. The $486.3m grossed by the ‘Finding Nemo’ sequel would only require ‘Incredibles 2’ to have an opening week multiplier of 2.7x to better it, and when considering that no film with an A+ Cinemascore has ever had a multiplier under 3x, ‘Incredibles 2’ looks to become the first animated film to make $500m in the U.S.

In second place is ‘Ocean’s 8’, bringing in $19m for a $78.6m domestic total. Its 54% drop mirrors that of ‘Ghostbusters’ and franchise predecessor ‘Ocean’s Twelve’, increasing the likelihood that its final U.S. gross will land in the $120m+ region. It’s currently on $115.4m globally and will need to pull in another $70m or so if it wants to start raking in a profit. Next is new release, ‘Tag’, that matched our expectations by grossing $14.9m in its opening weekend. The R-rated comedy was a surprising hit with the ladies; with 51% of viewers being female, it will hope to use the even audience demographics to its advantage, and continue to attract a wider-than-expected audience in the upcoming weeks.

Star Wars origin story, ‘Solo’, held strong against ‘Incredibles 2’, bringing in a solid $10m and leaving the film just $6m away from the $200m domestic mark (and $9m away from $350m globally). ‘Deadpool 2’ is looking at doubling that worldwide figure, and is well on the way to doing so, after this weekend saw it earning $8.7m for 5th place. It’s just $5m away from the $300m domestic mark and $10m away from earning $700m worldwide. Those over at Fox will be hopeful it passes ‘Days of Future Past’s total of $747.9m to become the second biggest ‘X-Men’ film of all time.

New release ‘Superfly’ and A24 horror ‘Hereditary’ battled it out for 6th spot, with $6.9m each. The former grossed around $15k more, but with just $9m domestically so far, off a $16m budget, it’s nothing to write home about. ‘Hereditary’, on the other hand, has already out-grossed ‘Winchester’ in just its 2nd weekend to become the third biggest horror of the year, and is already the A24’s third biggest domestic hit ever after dropping by only 50% this weekend — making a $27m domestic total.

Infinity War’ sticks with the trend of continuously smaller weekend drops, and fell by only 25% from last weekend. Its $5.4m means it’s passed ‘Titanic’ to become the 4th biggest film in the U.S. of all time, with $664.3m. Although it’s likely to remain in 4th domestically, it aims to finish 3rd globally, as it’s just $50m away from passing ‘The Force Awakens’ $2.07bn worldwide total. Finally, ‘Adrift’ and ‘Book Club’ both lost over 1,000 cinemas each, and thus saw falls close to 60%, grossing $2.2m and $1.8m respectively. While it seems as if studio STX is cutting their losses with ‘Adrift’, as it struggles to even gross back its $35m budget, Paramount can rest easy knowing that it’s costs are repaid (and then some) with ‘Book Club’ closing in on a $70m worldwide gross.

Next weekend sees ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ enter American cinemas, and after already grossing close to $400m in International markets, how will ‘Incredibles 2’ and the rest cope? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

 

Rank Last Week Rank Film Total U.S. Gross Weekend Gross Weekend drop JUMPCUT’s prediction Difference Week number
1 Incredibles 2 $182.7m $182.7m $150m $32.7m 1
2 1 Ocean’s 8 $78.6m $19m -54.4% $20.8m $1.8m 2
3 Tag $14.9m $14.9m $15m $0.1m 1
4 2 Solo $193.8m $10m -36.5% $6.3m $3.7m 4
5 3 Deadpool 2 $294.6m $8.7m -38.6% $7.5m $1.2m 5
6 Superfly $9m $6.9m $4.5m $2.4m 1
7 4 Hereditary $27m $6.9m -49.5% $6.4m $0.5m 2
8 5 Avengers: Infinity War $664.3m $5.4m -24.8% $4m $1.4m 8
9 6 Adrift $26.9m $2.2m -58.3% $2.6m $0.2m 3
10 7 Book Club $62m $1.8m -57.4% $2.8m $1m 5

 

 

 

Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Incredibles 2’ Hints At A Record-Breaking Opening Worth the 14 Year Wait

Written by Dapo Olowu

What’s new?

It’s taken well over a decade for Brad Bird and Pixar to release a sequel to the 2004 sensation ‘The Incredibles’, and ‘Incredibles 2’ looks to blast the animated opening weekend record to shreds. The current record of $135.1m was set by ‘Finding Dory’ in 2016, another Disney sequel that built upon the anticipation following one of the most popular animated films of all time. The edge that ‘Incredibles 2’ has over ‘Finding Dory’, however, is that a) it’s following a film that had always hinted toward a sequel, and b) it’s a superhero film in an age where caped crusaders regularly top the Box Office charts. From this, we believe ‘Incredibles 2’ will make around $150m in its first 3 days.

Making a sequel 14 years later does pose problems; retirement caused Jonathan Banks to replace Bud Luckey as the voice of Rick Dicker, while young Dash’s voice artist, Spencer Fox, is now too old to play a child. The World Cup kicking off on the same weekend also brings strong competition for viewers. However, a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes (and the fact that the USA didn’t even qualify) hints that the only thing that’s truly changed from its predecessor, was dropping ‘The’ from the title.

In a potential triumph in counter-programming, star-studded comedy, ‘Tag’, opens in over 3,300 cinemas in the U.S. this weekend — and hopes to use the unique premise to its advantage. It stars (amongst many others) Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Hannibal Burress, and Annabelle Wallis, and is a completely different type of offering to the family-friendly (and millennial darling) ‘Incredibles 2’. First time director Jeff Tomsic helms this $28m production, which aims to emulate ‘Central Intelligence’s opening (on the same weekend as record-breakingFinding Dory’) and make around $35m. No chance here though, as its R-rating puts it in the camp of this year’s ‘Game Night’, and a bunch of others in the mid-teens region. Therefore, an opening of around $15m is likely, and it’ll look to hone in on a male, over-25 audience in the coming weeks — one that won’t have too much competition until ‘Sicario 2’ at the end of June.

Finally, there’s action crime film ‘Superfly’, which actually opened on Wednesday to avoid a complete collapse against ‘Incredibles 2’. Unfortunately, the plan backfired as it only brought in around $1.2m from its opening day. The remake of the 1972 Blaxploitation film, ‘Super Fly’, stars Jason Mitchell, Rick Ross, and Michael K. Williams, and is produced by rapper, Future. What it will inevitably lack in Box Office numbers (not helped by a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes), it’ll at least make up for in catchy songs (the soundtrack features everybody from Future to Miguel), and a stylistic look, as Director X (known for many famous music videos) takes charge. We’re not expecting this to really take off, and will only see around $4.5m from Friday to Sunday.

What else is on?

Ocean’s 8’ looks to cement second place with around $20.8m, a 50% drop from last weekend. Its daily changes almost mirror that of ‘Ghostbusters’, which saw a 54% fall in its second weekend. Superhero flick, ‘Deadpool 2’ looks to close in on the $300m domestic mark and, although it won’t hit it this week, a $7.5m gross will aid its pursuit. ‘Incredibles 2’ won’t affect it too much, but it will see a massive impact on ‘Solo’, which could have a large chunk of its audience lost to the animated blockbuster. A gross around $6.3m is similar to what we believe ‘Hereditary’ will land in its second weekend, showing that audiences weren’t as put off as its Cinemascore suggests. Although horrors are quite a front-loaded genre, ‘Hereditary’ should take advantage of a summer that promises a leggy run.

Next is ‘Infinity War’, which recently became the first ever comic book movie to make $2bn worldwide. Its run in recent weekends has been particularly impressive and will continue in the face of superhero competition, with a $4m gross. Finally, we have ‘Book Club’ with an estimated $2.8m, and ‘Adrift’, which barely remains afloat on $2.6m.

Is ‘Incredibles 2going to break the animated opening record, or will it fall just short of ‘Finding Dory’? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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It’s Not Your Star Wars…

Written by Dan Massey

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away… People used to behave in a decent respectable way towards each other.

There has been a tonne of furore of late regarding ‘Star Wars’; the films and the fandom. More specifically, the treatment of talented actors, directors, producers and crew behind the latest installments in the ‘Star Wars’ legacy since it’s sale to Disney. Particularly post ‘The Last Jedi’, and pre the release of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, the atmosphere has reached toxic levels. The treatment of Rian Johnson, Kelly Marie Tran & Daisy Ridley, amongst others (but who I see targeted the most) is nothing short of disgusting and shameful. The idea to boycott a ‘Star Wars’ movie to prove a point and hurt the company and talent producing it is sad, especially from so called ‘fans’, who in truth are only doing themselves out of seeing a fun ‘Star Wars’ film on the big screen.

The reality breaks down like this; it’s absolutely fine to dislike a film, to criticise a story, character or a performance. It’s not ok to harass, bully and abuse hard working people who worked on those films.

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Yet all this got me thinking, what really are the issues the fandom has with the Disney iterations of ‘Star Wars’? The answers are complex and varied. A common criticism of ‘The Force Awakens’ was that it was a rehash of ‘A New Hope’. One of the most common criticisms of ‘The Last Jedi’ was that it was too different, a total disregard for the structure and lore of ‘Star Wars’. Another common theme amongst those who dislike everything Star Wars has done since TFA, is that “diversity and ‘social justice warrior-ism’ is being forced down our throats”.

A female protagonist? A black protagonist? An apparently sexually-ambiguous character? A female stormtrooper captain? A feminist, equal-rights focused droid? Asian and Mexican characters?

Well, that’s crazy, unrealistic and only included to force diversity upon us, let’s go back to the original films where all was good, men dominated the screen time and the Admiral of the resistance army was a fucking fish. Seriously, it’s a movie containing all kinds of Alien races, so let’s not get caught up on the race, gender and sexuality of the characters being unrealistic. It’s tiring, and while you aren’t racist or misogynistic if you dislike these films, you probably are if your reason for disliking these films is because of the inclusion of POC and female actors getting bigger, more important roles.

The most disappointing thing about all this, in my opinion, is that ‘Star Wars’ has always had deep-rooted messages and themes about society, politics, inclusion, failure, redemption, balance and inner conflict. It always had an overriding message of hope. The newer films take these themes and crank them up further than their predecessors. That’s a good thing; and reflects that society today is more open-minded, inclusive and accepting. George Lucas’ original vision was to create something that could provide moral guidance, a sense of spirituality that could transcend religion;

I see Star Wars as taking all the issues that religion represents and trying to distill them down into a more modern and easily accessible construct […] I put the Force into the movie in order to try to awaken a certain kind of spirituality in young people”

Obviously, mentioning George Lucas brings up an important point in the discussion, ownership. Now, as fans, we’re all important. As people, all of our opinions matter. None of that gives you ownership of ‘Star Wars’. IT’S NOT YOUR STAR WARS. ‘Star Wars’ doesn’t exist to be what you want it to be, it exists to be what the creators wanted to be. ‘Star Wars’ owes you nothing, so boo-hoo if the story hasn’t gone the way you wanted it to in your own mind.

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Now, I was born after the OT, saw them and fell in love with them as a kid. I’m old enough to remember ‘The Phantom Menace’ being released in cinemas, the line going all the way down the road, everyone in costumes, a full 16 years after the release of ‘Return of the Jedi’. 16 years. And it actually wasn’t very good. None of the prequel trilogy was actually great, and that was George Lucas telling the story George Lucas wanted to tell. 16 years! So spare me the talk of Disney ruining SW with its story direction and release schedule. We’re getting great ‘Star Wars’ movies almost every year. It’s a huge galaxy, there’s a million stories to tell, as long as the films are good and fun, there should be no issue. Who cares who makes them, so long as they’re good. George Lucas gave us three amazing films, followed by 3 average films and Jar Jar Binks.

So let’s look at the aforementioned issues; TFA being too similar to past ‘Star Wars’ stories. Lucas himself said that the stories always repeat, because that’s human nature. That was his vision for the expanded ‘Star Wars’ galaxy over time; and they do. Luke, a poor boy from nowhere, had incredible Force powers, and rose up to become the galaxies great hope against the evil of the Empire. In the prequel trilogy, Anakin, a poor orphan boy from nowhere, had incredible Force powers and rose up to become the galaxies greatest hope before succumbing to the Dark Side and becoming the greatest evil in the galaxy. TFA, Rey, a poor orphan girl has incredible Force powers, rises up to become the next great hope against the evil of the First Order. You could even make a prequel trilogy about Ben Solo’s rise and fall into Kylo Ren. That’s how in-sync the stories are. AND IT’S EXACTLY AS GEORGE LUCAS INTENDED IT.

Yet, it’s different. The themes of balance are much more present. Internal conflict, not only in force-sensitive people, but in a stormtrooper? The mindless soldiers of the Empire/First Order. That alone raised so many exciting new questions and possibilities, the exploration of the moral compass and conscience of Finn has been fantastic and fresh. Kylo Ren explores the inner conflict and pull of the light and dark more than any other character in previous ‘Star Wars’ films. It’s different because it’s more in touch with modern world views. It’s different because it doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been or what you’re past is.

“Let the past die, kill it if you must”.

That line, apply it to the original films. The Skywalkers? The last of that bloodline is now Kylo Ren. Rey? A nobody. Snoke, unimportant, didn’t matter. Bold new steps in the way we tell ‘Star Wars’ stories, yet in line with how we tell Star Wars stories. It completely drives the saga in new directions while being faithful to the original ideals. Good vs bad, balance, inner conflict and redemption.

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In terms of Rey being a ‘Mary Sue’, why does nobody ever mention that Luke is the biggest Mary Sue of them all? He’s amazing at everything and quite easily dispels the pull of the Dark Side without a tonne of effort or sacrifice. I love that ‘The Last Jedi’ particularly explores the idea of Luke as a failure, to himself and to Ben, and the wider universe by his self-imposed exile. I love that there’s redemption for Luke, and his death is a sacrifice after finding inner peace and faith in the force again, knowing that Rey will restore balance and be the light vs Kylo’s dark. A large part of why I love that is because it’s such a fresh take on a central ‘Star Wars’ theme, failure. Obi Wan failed Anakin, and ultimately, he paid the price. His death was sacrificial, but willing, as he had found inner peace, and knew Luke would take up the mantle for the light vs the darkness.

Ultimately, ‘Star Wars’ doesn’t owe anyone anything, it’s not your ‘Star Wars’,  and people should be grateful that we get so much good SW content so often these days, whether it matches how it should of been in your head or not. Trust me, its better than waiting a decade and a half for a movie that didn’t match what you expected. But even when the prequel trilogy didn’t hold up in quality compared to the OT, that was fine. Agree to disagree, discuss what you’d have preferred and your critiques by all means. But, above all, be a decent person and resist the dark side of online abuse and bullying.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or discuss with us over on Twitter – @JUMPCUT_ONLINE

 

Weekend BO Results: ‘Oceans’s 8’ Steals The Show As ‘Hotel Artemis’ Fails To Impress

Written by Dapo Olowu

Crime really did pay this weekend with ‘Ocean’s 8’ breaking the franchise record and opening with $41.6m, $2.4m above ‘Ocean’s Twelve’, and just $600k off our original estimates. It’s a solid start that almost mirrors ‘Ghostbusters’, which made $46m (but also had double the budget). The plan now for ‘Ocean’s 8’ is for a nice, leggy, summer run – it was never really a highly-anticipated blockbuster. Its skewed audience (69% female, and 69% over-25s) may scupper the scheme, but even a decent 2.5x opening weekend multiplier would land ‘Ocean’s 8’ with a strong $104m domestic final gross.

Solo’ posted a better-than-expected 46% drop this weekend, right before its inevitable double-knockout at the hands of ‘The Incredibles 2’ and ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ in the next two weeks. Maybe that’s harsh; its numbers are decent, if you forget that a) it’s a ‘Star Wars’ film, and b) it cost over $300m to produce. A budget of $125m max would have seen the film possibly break-even, but the extensive reshoots removed any possibility of that happening. It’s currently pacing $13m behind ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, which ended up grossing $233.9m in the U.S. – ‘Solo’ would be lucky to even hit $200m.

In third place was ‘Deadpool 2’, continuing its impressive run by bringing in $14.1m. Its current worldwide total of $655.7m is still $130m away from ‘Deadpool’s original total however, showing just how massive the first film was. At $363.1m domestic and nearly $800m worldwide, it was the 6th biggest domestic hit and 9th biggest global film in 2016. ‘Deadpool 2’ is currently 3rd on both lists for 2018, but is $400m away from ‘Infinity War’s $655.1m domestic total and a massive $700m off of ‘Black Panther’s $1.35bn global gross.

Hereditary’ broke A24’s opening record with $13.6m, making it two in two for the new releases this weekend. This 3-day total is solid for a $10m budget, but hopes of the film having a long Box Office run is seriously harmed by its audience reaction; its poor D+ Cinemascore harkens back to the audience reactions of ‘Mother!’ and ‘It Comes At Night’, two horrors famously mis-marketed, resulting in an F and D score on Cinemascore alike.

Remarkably, ‘Infinity War’ held best this weekend with only a 31% drop, bringing in $7.2m. Its worldwide figure of $1.999bn is just $500k away from making ‘Infinity War’ just the fourth film ever (behind ‘The Force Awakens’, ‘Titanic’, and ‘Avatar’) to reach $2bn. Impressive stuff. ‘Adrift’ was nearly drowned by ‘Ocean’s 8’ eating into its audience, posting just $5.3m (a 55% fall) for a $22m domestic total. Profit for this is probably beyond reach now, but rom-com ‘Book Club’s weekend makes for good reading, as it brought in $4.3m in the last 3-days. Although this was ‘Book Club’s biggest drop so far, it’s still one of the leggiest films of the year, boasting a 4.2x opening weekend multiplier, with at least $10m left in the tank.

In possibly the most disappointing news of the weekend, ‘Hotel Artemis’ continued new studio, Global Road’s abysmal Box Office run this year, by opening to just $3.2m, below even the most pessimistic of expectations. The crime thriller, by first time director Drew Pearce, was in direct competition with ‘Hereditary’ for the male, over-25 demographic, and its C- on Cinemascore has seemingly cemented its fate. Finally, in 9th and 10th place, we saw ‘Upgrade’ bring in a decent $2.4m to close in on BH Tilt’s record of $10.8m (‘The Darkness’) with $9.4m so far, and ‘Life of the Party’ grossed $2.2m for a worldwide total just shy of $60m.

What impressed you the most this weekend? Is ‘Ocean’s 8’ on its way to becoming the biggest film in the franchise? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

 

Rank Last Week Rank Film Total U.S. Gross Weekend Gross Weekend drop Jumpcut’s prediction Difference Week number
1 Ocean’s 8 $41.6m $41.6m $41m $0.6m 1
2 1 Solo: A Star Wars Story $176.7m $15.7m -46.4% $13.8m $1.5m 3
3 2 Deadpool 2 $279.2m $14.1m -39% $12.8m $1.3m 4
4 Hereditary $13.6m $13.6m $13m $0.6m 1
5 4 Avengers: Infinity War $655.1m $7.2m -31.1% $6.8m $0.4m 7
6 3 Adrift $$22m $5.3m -54.6% $6m $0.7m 2
7 5 Book Club $57m $4.3m -39.1% $4.7m $0.4m 4
8 Hotel Artemis $3.2m $3.2m $5m $1.8m 1
9 6 Upgrade $9.4m $2.4m -49% $2m $0.4m 2
10 7 Life of the Party $50.3m $2.2m -38.2% $2m $0.2m 5

 

6 Months Later: A Look At Our 2018 Most Anticipated Films And How They Measured Up

Written by Tom Sheffield

Back in December we asked our team what their most anticipated films of 2018 were, and we compiled a list of our top 10. We are now half way through the year, and eight films that made our top ten have been released – but did they live up to our expectations? Click the film titles to be taken to our official verdicts!

The two films in our list we are still twiddling our thumbs waiting for at Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’, which has now been pushed back to 2019, and the return of the Parr family in ‘Incredibles 2’, which we only have a few more weeks to wait for!

We’ve also just had a fantastic week of trailers for upcoming films to be excited for, so be sure to check them out if you missed any!


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#10 – The Irishman

 

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#9 – A Wrinkle in Time

“With stunning visual effects and incredible costume, hair and make-up design; this film was a feast for the eyes”

 

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#8 – Deadpool 2

“There are problems abound that come with trying to exceed the expectations set by a great first outing, but I honestly feel ‘Deadpool 2′ has more re-watchability than the original because of its attempts to go bigger than the first.”

 

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#7 – Incredibles 2

 

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#6 – Ready Player One

“Ultimately, one of 2018’s most anticipated productions does not disappoint, nor purge Ernest Cline’s concept of its defining qualities. Instead, Sir Steven — God of euphoric adventure — deserves one thunderous high-five for letting us break free from the mundane and witness a magical journey too colossal for the real world.”

 

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#5 – Annihilation

“It’s a miraculous achievement in filmmaking across the board, and it deserves your attention. It’s on Netflix right now. Watch it, experience it, and prepare for it to take over your every thought for some time.”

 

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#4 – Solo: A Star Wars Story

“Is this a Star Wars film we needed in the timeline? Not really, but I’m glad we have it because Ron Howard just whetted my appetite for more of this sort of anthology film away from the ‘Episodes’. And on the basis of a certain cameo towards the end, the timeline just got a whole lot spicier!”

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#3 – Isle of Dogs

“‘Isle of Dogs’ stumbles occasionally when the dogs aren’t on screen, but this doesn’t diminish the film as an impressive achievement in animation. Most importantly, ‘Isle of Dogs’ is better than ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’  in my opinion. Yes, I went there.”

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#2 – Black Panther

“‘Black Panther’ wasn’t just a Marvel superhero movie, it was a rattling of the cages type film. It spoke a lot of truth that we often sweep under the rug about the world we live in. It raises awareness and then offers the global society an olive branch. ‘Black Panther’ is well-crafted in every sense of the word. “

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#1 – Avengers: Infinity War

“‘Avengers Infinity War’ at its best is epic, emotional and very, very shocking. It has impressive set pieces and of course it’s very funny. The few faults it does have are going to be down purely to the viewer. A knowledge of all that has happened before is essential. This is not the film for newbies. “