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Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

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For the first time, all six films in the “Star Wars” saga will be available on digital HD starting Friday. That will give moviegoers plenty of time to watch or rewatch before the December release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
 
Here is part of the press release from the Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilms Ltd. and 20th Century Fox: 
 
“Since the debut of the first film nearly 40 years ago, ‘Star Wars’ has become a worldwide phenomenon with legions of fans from every generation,” said Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios. “It’s only fitting that audiences enjoy this legendary Saga and its many fascinating behind-the-scenes stories on a wide variety of platforms, and we’re very excited to finally bring all six films to Digital HD for the first time.”
 
“We’re thrilled that fans will be able to enjoy the ‘Star Wars Saga’ on their digital devices wherever they go,” commented Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. 
 
“These films broke new ground in technology, design, sound, and visual effects, and we’ve created some very special bonus material which delves into the Saga’s rich history, including new and never-before-released conversations between legendary ‘Star Wars’ artists -- the masters who helped George bring his iconic universe to life.”
 
Enhancing the movie collection are a host of never-before-seen special features including “Star Wars: Discoveries from Inside” and conversations between key contributors, plus a curated collection of classic “Star Wars” extras from each film. 
 
Digitial bonus offerings may vary by retailer. Here are the details: 
 
STAR WARS EPISODE I: The Phantom Menace
Conversations: Doug Chiang Looks Back
Discoveries From Inside: Models & Miniatures
Legacy content includes “The Beginning”; The Podrace: Theatrical Edit; plus eight deleted scenes.
 
STAR WARS EPISODE II:  Attack of the Clones
Conversations: Sounds In Space
Discoveries From Inside: Costumes Revealed
Legacy content includes “From Puppets To Pixels: Digital Characters In Episode II”; State Of The Art: The Previsualization Of Episode II; and “Films Are Not Released, They Escape”; plus Episode II Visual Effects Breakdown Montage and six deleted scenes.
 
STAR WARS EPISODE III: Revenge of the Sith
Conversations: The Star Wars That Almost Was
Discoveries From Inside: Hologram & Bloopers
Legacy content includes documentaries “Within A Minute: The Making Of Episode III”; The Journey Part 1; and The Journey Part 2; plus six deleted scenes.
 
STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A New Hope (20th Century Fox)
Conversations: Creating A Universe
Discoveries From Inside: Weapons & The First Lightsaber
Legacy content includes “Anatomy Of A Dewback”; Star Wars Launch Trailer; plus eight deleted scenes.
 
STAR WARS EPISODE V: The Empire Strikes Back
Conversations: The Lost Interviews
Discoveries From Inside: Matte Paintings Unveiled
Legacy content includes “A Conversation With The Masters” (2010); “Dennis Muren: How Walkers Walk”; “George Lucas On Editing The Empire Strikes Back 1979”; and “George Lucas On The Force: 2010”; plus six deleted scenes.
 
STAR WARS EPISODE VI: Return of the Jedi
Conversations: The Effects
Discoveries From Inside: The Sounds Of Ben Burtt
Legacy content includes “Classic Creatures: Return Of The Jedi”; “Revenge Of The Jedi Teaser Trailer”; Return Of The Jedi Launch Trailer; “It Began TV Spot”; “Climactic Chapter TV Spot”; plus five deleted scenes.
 
   

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Furious 7: From zero to $144 million in one record weekend

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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What a spectacular send-off and sign of affection for actor Paul Walker, above with Vin Diesel.

His final movie, “Furious 7,” opened in North America with nearly $144 million, propelling Easter Weekend past $200 million for all movies in the marketplace, Rentrak reports. It's grossed an estimated $384 million worldwide, Universal Studios says.

Here are the early numbers for the top 10:

“Furious 7: -- $143,623,480.

“Home” -- $27,400,000.

“Get Hard” -- $12,925,000.

“Cinderella” -- $10,289,000.

“The Divergent Series: Insurgent” -- $10,000,000.

“It Follows” -- $2,465,000.

“Woman in Gold” -- $2,004,000.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” -- $1,700,000.

“Do You Believe?” -- $1,500,000.

“Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” -- $1,000,000.

Paul Dergarabedian from Rentrak reports that “Furious 7” enjoyed the first $100 million-plus launch for April, topping the “$95 million debut of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” That makes it the ninth biggest weekend debut in box office history and the biggest opening for the franchise, improving on the popular sixth installment in the series.

He attributes the record to a pitch-perfect marketing campaign, great release date  and devoted fan base, especially as they pay tribute to Walker, who died in an unrelated car accident in November 2013. Production on the movie shut down for several months, the script was retooled and Walker’s brothers were brought in, and some CGI magic employed, to finish the movie.

Looks like it was the right decision. 

furiousvindieselblog

 

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Groundhog Day is Broadway bound -- as a musical

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

groundhog phil - Copy

“Groundhog Day” is heading for Broadway as a musical.

Variety reports the new version from the creators of “Matilda” will open on Broadway in March  2017. No casting has been announced.

“Groundhog Day” the movie stars Bill Murray as a prompous weatherman for a fictitious Pittsburgh TV station. He is dreading Groundhog Day and not only does he have to live through it once, but he is trapped in Punxsutawney on a seemingly endless loop – until he learns something about himself, life and the producer played by Andie MacDowell.  

 

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Rated PG movie podcast: Reviews of Furious 7 and '71

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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There's no place like "Home" at the box office for families

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

Home1
 
It was home, sweet “Home” this weekend at the box office. 
 
The animated comedy, about an alien race called the Boov and featuring the voices of Jim Parsons, Rihanna and Steve Martin, did better than anyone predicted and was No. 1 with an estimated $54 million. 
 
That was almost $20 million more than the R-rated “Get Hard” (which received largely harsh and negative reviews) starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. 
 
Here are the early figures, courtesy of Rentrak: 
 
1. “Home” — $54,000,000.
2. “Get Hard” — $34,610,000.
3. “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” — $22,075,000, bringing its North American gross to $86,393,823 so far. 
4. “Cinderella” — $17,515,000, for $150,022,529 to date. 
5. “It Follows” — $4,021,000, or $4,755,463 since very limited release. 
6. “Kingsman: The Secret Service” — $3,050,000, or $119,423,759.
7. “Run All Night” — $2,205,000, for $23,822,518 so far. 
8. “Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” — $2,185,000, for $28,134,803. 
9. “Do You Believe?” — $2,150,000, or $7,051,559. 
10. “The Gunman” —$2,044,746, for $8,809,611.
 
This weekend, expect it to be all about “Furious 7” starring Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker. 
 

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