While fans from around the world have gathered to share their love of Star Wars at this year’s Star Wars Celebration, there has been one sobering element to the festivities. The loss of Carrie Fisher has been felt at every level of the convention, from Thursday’s bittersweet memorial video put together by Lucasfilm to the sadness felt while Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson shared his behind-the-scenes footage from the set. And since this is a convention of all things Star Wars, fans have also speculated about the role the actress might play in the next film. Is there a place for Fisher in Star Wars: Episode 9?
After several weeks of limited movement, a handful of new releases prompted a pretty thorough shakeup of the Box Office Top 10. While Beauty and the Beast continued its unstoppable assault on the domestic box office, we also said hello this weekend to three new movies and goodbye to a handful of old favorites from the first few months of the year. Let’s start with the estimated numbers as of Sunday afternoon.
It might be a tale as old as time, but audiences have proven there’s still a few petals left on that old flower. Despite being projected to open at somewhere between $214–245 million worldwide, Beauty and the Beast knocked the pants off those projections, eclipsing $350 million at the international box office and setting a March record for domestic releases along the way. Let’s take a look at how things shook out this past weekend with some of the expected grosses.
As a teenager in the ’90s, no actor better represented blockbuster movies than Bill Paxton. Although Paxton wasn’t typically a leading man in those movies — he would often play the brother, the second-in-command, or the comic relief — he served as a kind of talisman of quality. If you saw Paxton’s name in the opening credits of a movie, you knew that the film was going to be better for it.
A December release can be a tricky thing for a horror film. On the one hand, with the holidays just around the corner and award season in full swing, the overall demand for blood and monsters will never be lower. On the other hand, however, the right horror movie can serve as a smart piece of counter-programming for those tired of reruns of A Christmas Story on TBS or another politically charged conversation with the in-laws. Sometimes, even the best of us just want to slip away to the theater and watch a weird, messed up movie.
Ah, the Pokémon franchise. It seems like only yesterday that millions of people were wandering the streets of their hometowns, eyes locked to their smartphone screens as they flung Pokeballs at imaginary creatures hovering over local businesses. The Pokémon Go craze, with its innovative use of technology and beloved cartoon characters, brought the popular animated series back into the public spotlight. And with news that Legendary Pictures would shoot a new live-action Pokémon movie in 2017, it was only a matter of time before some of the original films found their way back into theaters.
Even months before the movie was released, it was pretty obvious that Thor had no real place in Captain America: Civil War. That film was rooted in political intrigue and manipulation of trust; Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is really more of the Mary Poppins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not really worrying so much about the day-to-day and just popping in whenever he’s needed the most. To remain true to the character, there was no scenario in which Thor did not just roll his eyes and head back to Asgard until the whole thing had blown over.
This weekend, as he normally does, Dwayne Johnson went on Instagram to say goodbye to his most recent movie shoot and say hello to the next thing in his pipeline (seriously, the only time this guy sleeps must be when he is flying from one movie location to another). And while it’s worth noting that Johnson thanked many of the Fast 8 cast and crew excluding Vin Diesel — the feud lives on! — it was another small comment about his upcoming production of Jumanji that turned a few heads.
Where were you when you first found out that Seth Rogen was making an animated movie about sex-crazed foodstuffs? I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say that this will be the kind of moment that defines a generation. Grizzled old men will sit around campfires and tell bright-eyed children wondrous stories about the Before Time, a time when animated movies were for children and food was just a thing you ate. The world is much different now.
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