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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by The End Is Nigh Klady

Friday Estimates 2017-12-30 at 10.51.00 AM

The massive success of The Last Jedi continues. It’s inarguable, unless you just like to argue. The film passes $500m domestic and $1 billion worldwide today, 16 days into its run. You can have story issues with the movie, but claiming audiences are bailing on it is simply false.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is working. It not a world-beater. It’s seems unlikely to pass $600 million worldwide, the low bar of success for mega-movies these days. But the 500s is a range that Sony has seen only three times in the past five years… for a Bond and two Spider-Man films. Sony was the only major that didn’t have any film that wasn’t part of an “established franchise” do over $500 million worldwide in this last half decade. No one else had fewer than two. Sony’s last $500m+ grosser that wasn’t part of a franchise was 2012, released in 2009. So however you feel about Tom Rothman, he’s broken a bad streak longer than his tenure. Credit is due.

Did Universal know that Pitch Perfect was played out, leading it to shove it into Christmas, hoping the Sing audience might show up and that the intense viewing window would bump up the box office? Possibly. Or maybe we are just asking too much of the franchise. PP3 will pass the original’s total domestic box office before the weekend is over. It has no chance of getting close to PP2‘s $184 million domestic gross. But it is reasonable to question the idea that every film needs to become a franchise beyond a single sequel success. This is not the stock market. Films are not simple commodities. Easy to forget that, but it remains the simple truth.

The Greatest Showman is heading beyond the low-50s musical graveyard of Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd. A little past Moulin Rouge. But not as big as one of the worst musical movies of all time, the Annie reboot, which was a crime against cinema AND musical theater, but still did $86m domestic. Showman is not in that category of bad. Not close. I dislike the film, but it is not an act of cruelty. Still, you can fool some of the people…

All The Money In The World opened Christmas Day and hasn’t hit $1k per screen on any day after that first day. My take is that the attention to the change in the Getty role distracted from the conversation about the movie to the degree that few people even seriously considered if they wanted to see the movie. Plummer is great, and if he gets nominated, will deserve it. But very few go see a movie to see a role change. And Sony didn’t do enough to change the conversation to the movie.

Like the movie, the campaign lacks a clock. The premise that the richest man in the world won’t pay a ransom didn’t click with wide swaths of audience. Didn’t that come up in testing? So what else is there? Well it’s not “Michelle Williams in Taken” either. Nor “Mark Wahlberg in Taken.” So what is it? It’s a kidnap victim passed around between criminals as a commodity. It’s Getty as Scrooge in the Christmas season. It’s five months of nothing happening. It’s The Ear. They did those billboards of The Ear, but they didn’t do a great job making the one thing people remember about the story the centerpiece of the marketing. The movie, which is sumptuous, has its own issues. But you have to find something to sell. And from my outside vantage, the marketing was as unfocused as the movie.

Darkest Hour and Downsizing are two very good,  or at least very interesting movies, if they aren’t your cup of tea, that are dying on the vine. A shame. There are clock movies this season that have no clock. Darkest Hour not only has a clock, but, by far, the most compelling clock. Not what they are selling… busy trying to make the Dunkirk association about now, which is death (that is, trying to ride the wake of another film that is not at all similar). And Downsizing is trying to sell the first third of the film that is physical comedy. The movie is better than that. And you are only seeing Oscar candidate Hong Chau in a few shots when she is, really, the female lead of the movie. Not an easy sell. But right now, it feels half-baked.

Not on this chart today are holding-tight holdovers The Post and Hostiles, on nine and five screens, respectively. The Spielberg is doing well on nine, but not expanding at Christmas was not a show of strength. Lincoln was Spielberg’s only other exclusive release film since Schindler’s List and it went wide after one week. Will there be Globes wins? Will it help?

And Hostiles just went for it too late in the game with too fresh a distributor. Really hard get… not getting it, it seems. Too bad. Strong movie. (And that outdoor looks like a History Channel series coming in January.)

116 Responses to “Friday Estimates by The End Is Nigh Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    I’m having a hard time comprehending the fact JUMANJI 2 now looks like it could well be Sony’s biggest domestic hit of all-time outside of Maguire/MCU Spider-Man and SKYFALL. It’ll be tracking a bit ahead of SING by weekend’s end, which finished at $270 million. Will Moana style inauguration gowns be en vogue at Mr. Johnson’s swearing in, in January 2021??

    A24 definitely is in full “slow-roll” mode with LADY BIRD now. The movie is below 400 screens but it still generating decent PTA. Milk that baby!

    And, boo hoo, Disney will fall about $30 million shy of Universal’s 2015 for 2nd best domestic year of all-time….with only seven features released this year, surely an unbreakable record for average gross by film for a studio ($180 million per release!)

    As you’ve said DP, the SW result is by no means disappointing…domestically….but Mouse House execs have to be a little let down internationally given they didn’t dispute the idea of a 20% offshore increase from TFA, and are looking at -20% with China pending. Which means it may be in the same range as FURIOUS 7 and AVENGERS 1 worldwide when all is said and done. Boo hoo.

  2. Dr Wally Rises says:

    So…. that’ll be faster to $500 million domestic than any other movie in history bar one. And yet…… ‘damaged the brand’, ‘the backlash is real’, ‘Kathleen Kennedy needs to be fired over this’ etc.

    So, let’s let sanity prevail and talk about something else instead. Sony really have sold Jumanji brilliantly. People tend to forget that the original was actually something of a fizzle at the time. Robin Williams ruled Christmasses in the Nineties, and yet Jumanji came up short of the grosses of Mrs Doubtfire, Aladdin, Hook, even Patch Adams. It’s just become a perennial in the years since (and was one of the big early DVD sellers in the format’s early days). So Sony have got right what Fox with Independence Day Resurgence got so spectacularly wrong – selling to the Nineties nostalgia crowd while also appealing to newcomers with a funny and accessible trailer and charming cast. They could yet ride this one all the way to $300 million, and have themselves a reinvented franchise ripe for more instalments. Bravo.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    Let’s not undersell the original JUMANJI as a fizzle, as it was the 7th highest grossing movie of 1995. The Sequel will be the #8 domestic grosser of 2017 tops. $100 million 21 years ago was nothing to sneeze at. It also did well overseas, crushing PATCH ADAMS at the WW box office.

    Let’s also not forget SONY has been start-stop for the last two decades on this sequel, at one point abandoning all hope with the failed ZATHURA (ironically a better movie than either JUMANJI) spin-off.

    That being said, it’s amazing they finally got it off the ground and achieved this level of success. It WILL out-do the original adjusted for inflation by a good margin.

  4. Geoff says:

    “So…. that’ll be faster to $500 million domestic than any other movie in history bar one. And yet…… ‘damaged the brand’, ‘the backlash is real’, ‘Kathleen Kennedy needs to be fired over this’ etc.”

    Dr. Wally, you can actually have those first two without the third – Kathleen Kennedy isn’t going anywhere because she will do what’s necessary as result of The Last Jedi under-performing: Rian Johnson won’t be allowed near a Star Wars script for four to five years, JJ will retcon a ton of shit in Episode IX to placate fans, and Lucas will likely be invited back into the fold at least in a public way as the “creative consultant” he was touted to be a few years ago.

    And if you think ANYTHING I’m saying is crazy then I’ll just ask you to rewind back to 2015 for Kennedy’s own year-long Prequels Apology Tour to know that she’s not going to act like a Paramount executive and just SUDDENLY tell a lot of these same hardcore fans to fuck off. :)

  5. Aaron Aradillas says:

    I’m still stunned at how massively the studio fumbled PITCH PERFECT 3. I wasn’t even aware of it until a week or so before it opened. By the time I read up on it, I knew they had messed up. This is a franchise for the summer, not Christmas. Also, this entry offered absolutely nothing new. They should’ve had the Bellas getting close to signing with a record label only to have one of them get pregnant and decide to get married. This would’ve turned the movie into a kind of musical BRIDESMAIDS as one of the Bellas has to decide to stay or go. Melissa McCarthy would’ve killed as the head of the record label.

  6. Heather says:

    I don’t know..pitch perfect is likely to end up with $110 million on a 45 million budget..I think the studio is happy.(and got what they expected). The idea that Jedi damaged the rand is ridiculous. The movie opened bigger than expected and is o course to do what was predicted(650 domestic) if not more. The backlash is tiny and those same people will be first in line for any new star wars film.

  7. Christian says:

    Another face-plant for an acclaimed foreign film with long-shot Oscar hopes: “In the Fade.” Kruger’s very good in it, though it’s so dispiriting I can’t really fault people for steering clear of the film.

  8. Geoffs says:

    Heather, I’m sure folks were saying the same thing after The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones both made bank despite many pissed off fans….. probably the folks in Lucas’ hea

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    What Heather said Re: PP3

    And for what it’s worth, LAST JEDI will be well above AOTC and ROTS even factorin in inflation. It’ll even pass EMPIRE and ROTJ with inflation, removing the ’97 Special Edition.

    @Christian, just when I think the nadir of foreign language films has happened, we have a year like 2017. Awful and sad.

  10. Ray Pride says:

    At least the director had the good taste to include an R. Kelly song.

  11. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Regarding ATMITW – I don’t think Ridley’s astonishingly bitter and negative press interviews have helped at all. He’s even trashed his own production (to be honest, I don’t think BR 2049 was too long at all). And he seriously thinks that The Counselor should have had a $50 million opening weekend? I love the guy, he’s an icon and a legend, but you know, sometimes Grandpa says some dumb shit.

    Get off my lawn.

  12. Geoff says:

    Ethan adjusted for inflation, it’s going to end up 5th out of 9 for the series overall between Rogue One and ‘Empire – it will finish above two mildly received prequels (‘Rogue, ‘Sith) and one poorly received Prequel (‘Clones). Not saying the “franchise is doomed” just saying that plans will be adjusted.

  13. EtGuild2 says:

    @Geoff, you’re factoring in decades of re-releases and the special edition. Give me a break, let’s count “initial releases” here not the 35 years of staggered milking that you’re referencing like a 20th Century Fox poolboy. It’s 3rd, easily 2nd in profitability due to overseas and modern merchandising.

    And no, when you have the most profitable direct-sequel ever made in cinema history, you don’t worry about “adjusting,” especially if the movie you just made was a narrative adjustment.

  14. palmtree says:

    I have a feeling the adjustments Kennedy will make are to lean into the new direction of the franchise. The fact that there’s a backlash is not a good enough reason to reverse course, certainly not artistically where just covering your ass and retconning everything will end up pleasing no one.

  15. EtGuild2 says:

    Kennedy has shepherded two (probably soon to be three) nostalgia-fests and the most complete break from the franchise in history, so who knows what comes next. Either way, she hasn’t delivered a clunker, and she’s navigating headier waters than Mr. Feige.

  16. Night Owl says:

    I fully expect Episode 9 to be a jarring change from Last Jedi but not for any box office reasons. They are bringing back Abrams after tossing aside 99% of his “mystery boxes” and changing his characters. Very curious how this works out. The question is does Episode 9 get advertised as the “last” for this storyline and characters (for at least the next few years). Daisy Ridley may have spoken out of turn but I believe she spoke honestly; She’s done. I always assumed Driver and Isaac would be done. Maybe Boyega is a question mark? His character has been bumped down to supporting in Last Jedi, so who knows. “Last” versus “ongoing” will likely push the box office one way or another.

  17. GdB says:

    Adjustments to the franchise will be based on toy sales (and stock price) way more than B.O.

    There’s a reason Disney releases the big ones 2 weeks before X-Mas, and it ain’t B.O.

    Toy sales are way down and were abysmal for Rogue One. You’d think Disney would get that kids don’t want action figures and playsets to make imaginary adventures with, when they know the hero of the movie dies at the end of the movie.

    Bottom line, while Disney has made two gorgeous and well crafted films of the Skywalker saga, they totally underestimated that audience attachment to the brand is based on the love of the three OT trio.

    And in trying to clear out any Lucas era stuff (I assume to stop any sort of royalty payments to Lucas) they totally mismanged the ending story for these 3 characters and took away the happy ending those characters earned in the original 6 films.

    It’s not about how good the movies are. It’s what they did to the OT characters that have the people that spend the most on toys for themselves and their kids walking away.

    I don’t blame RJ or JJ, I blame Disney for not seeing it themselves, or not having a respected “fan” of the franchise to tell the filmmakers that they can’t take the characters out the way they did.

    That’s the damage done that is the crux of the issue. Not how good the movies are.

    How many on here are dropping $$ on Sphero R2-D2 or Sideshow or Kotobukiya, Hot Toys and Hasbro?

    I bet not many. And so really Disney doesn’t give a fuq what the box office film fans think. They care about toy sales and video game sales and merchandising. And all that stuff is taking a hit. Whether they’ll adjust somehow and give the OT three a better sendoff to get fans back and pay Lucas more royalty $$, or just give us the finger and keep it moving remains to be seen.

    Either way, it’ll be decided on toy sales and if the perceived image of brand tarnishing affects stock price. Not ticket sales. Not really.

  18. Jerryishere says:

    Um, Disney doesn’t care about royalties to Lucas.
    They have to pay royalties on new characters too.
    Do you really think a corporation cares who they have to cut a check to? Either way, they’re paying. Whether it’s for Luke or Kylo.

  19. GdB says:

    Then why kill off OT characters that you could’ve used for two to three more films, have three different looks for each character and have 9 versions of figures to sell?

    Why kill off the Rogue One heroes instead of having them get off planet, and become the Black Ops of the rebels, and create a whole sub franchise? You telling me those characters had to die to explain their absence in the OT? Not make them a black ops team or put them in Rebel version of witness protection? That’s a whole narrative line of $$ they pissed off and the toy sales showed it.

    If its not a royalty to Lucas, then its scarier to think that its just mis-managememt.

    (Not disagreeing with you abt Lucas royalties, I was making assumptions)

  20. Ray Pride says:

    When Disney bought Lucasfilm, didn’t they buy… everything?

  21. GdB says:

    Yeah, that’s why I don’t understand why they’re leaving $$ on the table killing characters that don’t have to die..

    It’s a space fantasy. Anything can happen.

  22. JS Partisan says:

    Ethan, she isn’t navigating jack and shit. Star Wars, is the biggest property, with the biggest built in fucking audience. JJ gave a fucking amazing setup, and then she lets Rian fucking Johnson shit on it with the next movie? I’ve stated it once and I will state it again: Kevin Feige would never make a movie for his audience, that FLIPS THEM OFF FOR LIKING THE PREVIOUS MOVIE! It is insane, that Kennedy gets a pass, when this level of inconsistency drove Warners/DC into the ground.

    Also, they aren’t even nostalgia-fest. Nostalgia-fest, would mean Han and Luke weren’t dead. That’s a nostalgia-fest! This is a shit show. An absolute shit show.

    Never forget, that there are no making of books for TFA or TLJ, because they don’t want people to know all the shit they pointlessly changed.

    Let’s get to this:

    “The massive success of The Last Jedi continues. It’s inarguable, unless you just like to argue. The film passes $500m domestic and $1 billion worldwide today, 16 days into its run. You can have story issues with the movie, but claiming audiences are bailing on it is simply false.”

    Oh look. David pushing an agenda, as if nothing else is happening on the outside contradicting every point. Star Wars, is a massive franchise, and it plays on its own level. This is a success, for a freaking Marvel movie. This film? It’s middling. It’s going to struggle to get JURASSIC WORLD money, because it’s not like China really went all out for TFA.

    And you know what’s cooler than BOX OFFICE money? MERCHANDISING MONEY! GdB is right. Much like LFL and Disney being completely oblivious, to how no one would want to buy DEAD CHARACTER FIGURES with Rogue One. They have completely bungled more merchandising with The Last Jedi.

    You know why you make Rey someone? So she can sell you action figures for the next 25 years, at 20 to 10 bucks a pop, because that’s what makes you the money. Disney, aren’t in the toy business, and their bungling of fucking SW toys shows it. Marvel are raking it in. While Disney flails away blowing money.

    Seriously. 14bn dollars and more from SW toys, but these idiots are fixated on stupid park attractions and box office. It’s embarrassing, but let’s keep acting like everything with SW is super duper great, when it’s not.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, there certainly are a lot of people here posting about toys on what’s supposed to be a movie site.

  24. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, SW isn’t just SW. Master of the Universe, and GI JOE: RAH exist… because off SW. If you want to devalue the importance of toys to Star Wars, then continue to ignore how Disney have completely fumbled the ball with the “MERCHANDISE.” Seriously. WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE PORGS? They should be fucking everywhere. They are barely at Target, Walmart, and even TRU. That’s dropping the ball on FREE MONEY!

    Have you ever not noticed, that only CARS has a successful toy line for ALL OF THE PIXAR MOVIES? Disney doesn’t get toys, doesn’t know how to sell toys, and they now own something that has made ALMOST THREE TIMES AS MUCH FROM “MERCHANDISING,” than BOX OFFICE.

    GbD made the point, and it is a good one. They could have printed money off of Rogue One, at the bare minimum… 5 to 10 years. What did Disney chose to do? Make their box office, and close the door. What’s cooler than a billion dollars? ANOTHER BILLION DOLLARS!!!

    Movies are more than just movies, and when the biggest film franchise on earth is being bungled this badly. It’s worth bring it up, because Disney are just not utilizing SW to the best of it’s ability.

  25. GdB says:

    True that Joe, all I’m saying is:

    1. the films success in terms of franchise matters more in toy sales than ticket sales.

    2. Disney misunderstood; thinking that the core fans attraction to Star Wars was over lightsabers and stormtroopers and not the attachment to the primary 3 characters. Which it totally is. And the core complaints about the movie are not really about the movie itself but how Disney chose to close out these 3 character stories.

    3. And in doing so, they have driven away the crux of their toy buyers, to try and increase ticket sales. Potentially to the detriment of the franchise.

    4. Disney is leaving $$ on the table needlessly killing characters that don’t have to die to move the story forward. Rogue One crew and Han and Luke being the obvious examples. It is asinine business logic for running the biggest film franchise of all time.

    I’m putting a shout out to Martin S. He always knows the inside score of what really went down on these tentpoles.

    Martin, jump on here if you can and give us the inside scoop on why the choices that were made on this film were made. Did Disney order the OT characters killed and the slate cleaned? Or was this really choices made by the filmmakers? And how does the big brass feel about TLJ’s reception?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  26. palmtree says:

    Toy Story has also done pretty well in the merchandising department, something like $18 billion.

  27. Geoff says:

    @Ethan, I was actually using the franchise chart on Box Office Mojo which separates the Special Editions (and the 3D re-releases) from the stand-alone domestic box office so those rankings are JUST based on whatever the OT made in their year of release…and a few short-term re-releases as well, I’m guessing but all around the same time frame for each of those films. So no ranking 6th out of 9 is not a “franchise-killer” but it’s not an invitation to rest on your laurels either.

    And just to dismiss ticket sales of this franchise is foolish – the absurdly high ticket sales of that first trilogy DROVE absurdly high merch sales and high home video sales. I was eight when Return of the Jedi came out and yeah, almost every boy on my block WANTED that Ewok village set because they ALL saw the movie and LOVED it – I think back then, the Ewok village set retailed for at least $25….NOT chump change in ’83 even if it was initially driven by the purchase of $2.00 box office admission.

  28. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah. I completely forget Toy Story, for some unknown reason. If you look at all the properties Disney should have made more money from… it’s pretty damn long. The Pirates films never had good toys. Tron Legacy should have been a bonanza for toys, but they half assed it. They tried with Big Hero 6, but those designs are just shit, and it’s hard to sell shit designs up against Marvel figures.

    I understand, that driving toy sales should never be the goal of a “SERIOUS FILM.” Guess what? TLJ isn’t fucking Lady Bird, but I bet someone would buy a Lady Bird figure. Which is the point: people want to have a tangible part of these films, and Disney has the film saga people most people want to have something from… and they have seemingly blown it three times in a row now.

    I find it hilarious, that the plan for the new trilogy was… killing one of the OT BIG THREE IN EACH FILM! It’s like they never thought to themselves, “How will people who have spent 14bn dollars on all of this stuff. Think about our poor decision making?”

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    OK, I am going to put this as politely, yet as bluntly, as I can: People who insist that creative and artistic decisions about movies should be driven, or even influenced, by what dolls and sheets and toys and other spinoff merchandise can be sold, are enemies of cinema. Period. You are in league with the people who decide what movies should be green-lit based largely on things that have little or nothing to do with movies. Movies as both art and entertainment would be far better off if you had never been born. You are the enemies of innovation. You are the enemies of risk-taking. Seriously: David should set aside a special thread for folks like you, where you can bitch and moan about how this or that plot twist or narrative thread will affect how many action figures get sold. Again, I am trying to be polite, but I would be a liar if I said I had anything but contempt for the likes of you.

  30. Geoff says:


    And honestly I don’t get the hyperbole surrounding this film from either side – I have seen it three times now, twice out of obligation for birthdays for friends and family, and my opinion has not moved ONE bit with each viewing. It’s a solid C+/B- entertainment and RIGHT in line with the overall quality of Star Wars films in general – I like how they handled Luke including his “death” and yeah seriously, he’s not going ANYWHERE…they’ll give him 15 to 20 minutes of screen-time as a Force ghost in the next one and to placate hard-core fans, they’ll probably give him more cool shit to do this time.

    The film is beautifully shot, has mostly very strong performances, and has a decent amount of genuine emotion behind it….and it’s also overstuffed and poorly paced, I FELT the 2.5 hours each time I saw it…shit just drags. But regardless, it’s fine – I would rank it probably 4th or 5th in the series overall:

    1) Empire Strikes Back
    2) A New Hope
    3) Revenge of the Sith
    4) The Last Jedi
    5) Return of the Jedi
    6) The Force Awakens
    7) The Phantom Menace
    8) Rogue One
    9) Attack of the Clones

    And mind you, the top two are LOCKED but the next three are VERY fluid…Sith, ‘Return, and ‘Last (?) each have some gaping flaws that can’t be ignored just a matter of which film’s flaws hurt it the most at any particular time.

    What I don’t get is the extreme gushing and/or savaging that this film is receiving…I mean I get it, Star Wars films always stir up passions but I mean I’m not getting what these folks are talking about: the film does NOT take any real risks, it just doesn’t sorry! :)

    The two main characters are pretty much in the EXACT same place they were at the beginning of the movie….there is TONS of lip service given throughout the movie about “Kill the past” and apparently a lot of critics actually bought that bullshit hook, line, and sinker because it’s NOT actually delivered within the story. At the end, we’re told, “Well the Empire/First Order is REALLY powerful and just tore some shit up….but look out because even though the Rebellion/Resistance just took a hit, they’re still out there and it’s coming back so keep hope alive!” THAT’S killing the past and taking the story in a NEW direction really??

    Oh and they killed off a legacy character in some mysterious way… Yoda, Obi Wan, and Darth Vader….ooohhh how BALLSY! :)

    WHAT film did a lot of these folks see that took “risks at every turn” as if this was a Star Wars film directed by Gasper Noe or Lars Von Trier or some shit like that?? :) We need a clarification on that: “gotcha” moments where the story twists a different way than you might have been expecting at that very moment are NOT “risks.” And this film has tons of the former and hardly any of the latter.

    And sorry JS but this film WAS and IS a Star Wars movie through and through – it’s didn’t blow up anything Star Wars or any concepts from Star Wars, it’s an entertaining serviceable Star Wars movie nothing more and nothing less. IF they had Rey and Kylo join up in that scene – whether it be for dark, light, or just their own unique Bonnie & Clyde direction – THAT would have been blowing shit up and taking the story in a completely new direction. Because it would no longer just be about the now 50 year struggle between Rebels vs. the Empire….and I venture to guess that Rian Johnson MIGHT have wanted to take the story in that direction….but NO, that’s not the Disney way. Why have an actual “Civil WAR” when you just have a few entertaining Civil scuffles/scrimmages along the way to keep folks entertained but comfortable.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m giving Rian Johnson too much credit – I still think he was handed a series of shitty story choices to make left to him from JJ – but who knows, maybe HE wanted to BB8 to be a fucking weaponized slot machine or to give Chewy nothing to do but yell at Porgs any time he appeared! We probably won’t actually know for a long time….

  31. Geoff says:

    I agree with you 100% Joe Leydon, amen!

    But if any one could watch THIS particular film and observe that Disney wasn’t trying to sell toys….well I could point you to any number of perfunctory scenes featuring Porgs or “crystal critters” or of BB8 piloting an AT-ST (WTF seriously??) to tell you that they weren’t really paying attention.

  32. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, I have contempt for your entire generation, and did you read what I wrote above? It’s like you just have a bug up your ass, and decided to just vent at me. Guess what? I get your point, but this is Star Wars. Star Wars, is 40 years old, and it’s supposed to flow like a mighty river. It’s not supposed to be a really nice creek.

    Now, if you want to get personal, then let’s get personal: your generation is trash, and it’s destroying the planet. Anything positive that you may have given the world, is complete negated by your unmitigated greed. We would all be better off. If you ceased to exist, so the younger people could maybe not go into debt, and have a better chance a life.

    You have sucked the marrow from the earth, and only left bones for people who want to live a better fucking life… yet can’t because the world has decided, “If you are 30, fuck you. You don’t get to have a better life.” Get over yourself, Joe. They would make a Boyhood action figure if they could. Your entire fucking existence is a lie. You aren’t virtuous. You aren’t innovative. You are a mistake, that just decided, “Hey! Fuck getting on the ice drift. Let’s throw the young on there, and let them die.” You are so great, and noble. You’re disgusting, and this president represents you. Rather you voted for him or not, because he is you.

    What really makes your comment absolute old man BULLSHIT, is Jyn Erso is a good character. Captain Cassian Andor is a good character. K2SO is a good character. What’s wrong with wanting more time with them? Keeping them around, would have been innovative and creative, and could have led to Rogue Two. Oh I am sorry. You think the sexist, cis-gendered, and heteronormative narratives from the 70s were the end all and be all cinema. Go eat some radishes.

    Geoff, I don’t need anyone in this thread to ever dare, try, or condescend with telling me what’s fucking Star Wars. It’s not, but you take your mansplaining ass somewhere :P!

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually — and I am only half-joking — I think Disney has bigger fish to fry right now. My son, who is 31, spent over $400 for his Sony Playstation 4 Limited Edition Star Wars Battlefront II Console Bundle.

  34. Joe Leydon says:

    JS, I know this bullying shit works on other people here. It does not work on me. You are a little punk ass bitch who got your panties in a bunch way back when you got upset because Steven Spielberg dared suggest in War of the Worlds that people might not be nice to each other after an alien invasion. Your lack of maturity long ago became a running gag on this site. So go play with your dolls and games, and wrap yourself up in your Star Wars sheets. But if you try to fuck with me, sport, I’ll tear off your face and wipe my ass with it.

  35. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, your dumb white ass just wished death on me, and I am immature? Get the fuck out of here. Also, your son wasted money on a shit game, that is shit. Hopefully, he knows that it’s shit, but god forbid there is a NETFLIX SERIES FEATURING THE HISTORY OF THESE TOYS WITH VETERANS AND MEN AND WOMEN WITH MORE INTEGRITY THAN YOU WILL EVER HAVE. I mean. It’s right there… ON NETFLIX!

    And like I remember War of the Worlds? This is the problem with this blog: You people remember the stupidest shit, and I just don’t care. War of the Worlds is a shit film, and guess what, genius? You can find a lot of people online, videos, and what not going on about the film’s lack of humanity. It’s a thing, but you keep on thinking YOU AREN’T A BULLY AND YOU ARE RIGHT! It’s funny, that the bullies don’t get, that they are the bad guys. It’s really funny.

  36. Joe Leydon says:

    And now you’re going to pull the race card? Jesus, you really are pathetic.

  37. JS Partisan says:

    Pull the race card? You wished death on me, so I responded by referring to you, as an old white bastard. Are you not an old white bastard? If you think that is racist, then hip hop never found your soul. It’s shame, but don’t go WISHING DEATH ON ME… YOU OLD WHITE BASTARD!

    Oh yeah. I will, SINCERELY, apologize to Glamourboy right here and now. I am sorry, that I called you trash. You aren’t trash. You hate me, but you would never wish death on me. The same with brack, so I am sorry for insulting you as well! I mean, when wishing death on someone comes along. You need to see how other situations are, and it presents a real sense of clarity!

    Hey Geoff, he’s wishing death on you as well! Same with Gdb! YOU AGREED WITH IT! I MEAN, COME ON GEOFF! COME ON!

    Seriously. If I went over the line up there, then sorry. I literally should have never been born, because I like action figures. My brother as well. I mean… that’s some harsh shit, and the only way to respond to harsh shit is harsh shit. Or not? I don’t know.

    The highlight of this blog forever, will be, “YOU ARE SO IMMATURE, BUT I WANT YOU DEAD FOR LIKING ACTION FIGURES!” Seriously. WHAT… THE… FUCK?

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    I don’t know hip-hop? Hah! Have you ever been invited to venture behind the velvet rope and drink Grey Goose in the VIP section while Ice-T performs just a few feet away from where you’re sitting? No? Then I guess you don’t know what you’e talking about, sport.

  39. JS Partisan says:

    To quote one of my favorite movies, “What happened to you? What’s wrong with you?”

  40. Joe Leydon says:

    Sometimes, the more you know and the older you get, the less you forgive.

  41. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah. The older I get. The more I know, that people like you are the enemy of everything that’s good in the world. No matter how progressive or liberal you believe you are. You just wished death on someone, and totally did it for the most asinine of reasons: MOVIES! You know? THE THINGS THAT HAVE PRODUCT PLACEMENT, OBVIOUS BILLBOARDS, and TOYS! Rambo? TOYS! Commando? TOYS! Robocop? TOYS! Predator? TOYS! FRENCH CONNECTION? TOYS! PLANET OF THE FUCKING APES? TOYS!

    Jesus christ. How insane must you be, to think innovation or artistic merit is removed from anything, because of merchandising? I am sure, that Lady Bird thanks APPLE or SOMEONE in their credits, but yeah! I AM KEEPING YOUR PRECIOUS FILM WORLD FROM BEING INNOVATIVE AND ARTISTIC!

    You are full of fucking shit, and you should be banned. If I ever wished death on anyone. I should have had Dave or Ray’s foot of my ass, and I would have accepted it. Seriously. Brack and Glamourboy, at least insult my tact, and I will admit tact isn’t my friend. You want me dead. You want my dad and mom to never have a kid, and my kid not to be born… OVER FUCKING MOVIES!

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    Just a minor clarification: I don’t want you dead. I think the world would be better off if you had never been born. Now that you’re here, well, I guess we’ll just have to deal with you.

  43. JS Partisan says:

    No, you don’t to get to clarify. YOU STILL WANT ME DEAD. You don’t get to walk away from this. You don’t get to be jolly ol’Joe. You fucking wished heinous shit on me, over something so petty and dumb. Something that’s a hateful opinion over something that’s… inconsequential to fucking existence. You can fuck right off, because there’s no putting that cork back in the bottle.

    It’s like… did SW keep CMBYN from coming? Three Billboards? I, Tanya? Don’t think so. Same with Marvel Studios or the DCEU, but you think me and USC FILM GRAD, GbD, is the impediment to artistic and innovative film? For someone so old… you are so fucking dumb.

  44. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, JS, I must admit: In the unlikely event that I outlive you, I probably will not mourn your passing.

  45. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, you most certainly are… trash. Glamourboy? HE’S NOT TRASH? Brack? HE’S NOT TRASH! No one on here, is trash. You though? You are trash. You are this enraged over nothing, and you are this fucking old. What’s the point of living this long of a life, if your empathy goes out the window?

    I am the immature one, and I have never wished anything physical on anyone in here. Never wished death on anyone. You do both to me, and you think it’s a funny ha ha. Yeah. This is why I love this blog, because the hypocrites take it up to another fucking level of stupid.

    You are trash, and I apologize for wasting that term on people who aren’t you.

  46. Joe Leydon says:

    OK, I think I understand: You think I am trash. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s about the gist of it, right?

  47. Nick says:

    Rian Johnson is boring as shit. His movies and tv shows are boring as shit. His aesthetic is boring as shit. He brings nothing to the table. Zack Snyder has created more memorable moments.

  48. Nick says:

    And Geoff – your list fucking sucks. Nothing you say has any weight once you put fucking revenge of the sith at any place at all. “I have the high ground”

  49. GdB says:

    Joe, Joe, Joe.. smh.

    Man, I get where you’re coming from. I really do. So much so, I’m not even going to take the dig you threw my way personally.

    I’m just bummed that a critic I’m a fan of is seeing things so binary.

    You say toys and merchandising is the enemy of cinema.. (That’s on the same level of Ebert saying video games can never be art, btw)

    Consider this:

    Where did the money come from to fund the edit droid that led to avid and the creation of non-linear editing?

    Toy sales.

    Where did the money to finance the creation of surround sound come from?

    Toy sales.

    What was the engine that bankrolled the animation studio that pioneered computer animation that eventually became Pixar?

    Toy sales.

    What was the engine that bankrolled a trilogy of movies, good or bad, that the true impetus of being made by the creator, was so
    he could create a new type of technology that allowed for the democritization of cinema making technology? Taking it out of the studios hands and put it in everyone’s hands creating a new wave of filmmakers that never would’ve had a shot in hell of getting their stories made in the studio system? What was the engine that bankrolled the prequels as a vehicle to invent that technology?

    Toy sales.

    So Joe, if you think toy sales are the enemy of cinema then, respectfully, you have not been paying attention the last 40 years. Whether it all came from one man or not, the principle still stands. It’s not how you make the money to fund your art, its what you do with it when you make it.

    And as someone who admires your work, it bums me out to see you get in the gutter with JS. What tone are you applying to his words? I don’t get a bully vibe at all.

    I get why he rubs many the wrong way. It’s because he doesn’t and never has conceded someone else’s point. But so what? When I get into back and forths online, good natured or not, I don’t ever expect to change the mind I’m having an exchange with or them to concede my point no matter how factually based, I’m hoping to convince or change the mind of those silently reading along.

    Just as I don’t truly expect you to change how you feel and concede or consider my perspective for how toys can be connected with cinema in a positive way; I’m putting it out there still for anyone we don’t know of reading along that may be open minded.

    You’re too accomplished to get so easily riled up, vulgar and personal. It hurts your cultural capital. I say this with respect as an admirer of your writings.

  50. EtGuild2 says:

    @Geoff, I owe you an apology on the inflation side. That is not an excuse to continue arguing about the second most profitable release in the franchise by a wide margin, more profitable than any movie since AVATAR outside of TFA. I think arguing about this as a need to readjust isn’t just preposterous, it’s some kind of legitimate fanboy derangement syndrome.

    TLJ/SW is why I drift away from this blog at this time of year (cue Leah and DP calling to greenlight more SW movies). It’s depressing arguing over whether $675 million instead of $750 million changes things when there is actual cinema and grosses of consequence in the air.

    So I can’t really argue with you much JS. I consider Abrams the most overrated director in film, and TFA an eye rolling snoozefest (Abrams gleefully lighting Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek vision on fire in order to prep for SW is the apex of the man’s creative vision). TLJ at least roused me from my slumber for a few minutes. I guess it’s good for people to be so invested in something? Carry on

  51. Joe Leydon says:

    GdB: I have no problem with anyone (or any corporation) making money from toys and dolls and whatever inspired by popular movies. But when people start trying to put the cart before the horse, and claim this character should not have been killed or that character should not have evolved because it will hurt merchandise sales, that’s when I reach for my gun. I have no great insights into George Lucas’ mind — I have only ever interviewed the guy once and, frankly, toys didn’t figure into the conversation — but I seriously doubt he ever thought, “Wow, I had better not kill off Character X, because that will cut down on the number of sheets I can sell at Target.” Sorry, but when I read something like, “Disney is leaving $$ on the table needlessly killing characters that don’t have to die to move the story forward,” I think, OK, that’s the kind of thinking I associate with someone who is an enemy of not only cinema, but storytelling in general.

  52. Joe Leydon says:

    Or this: “Then why kill off OT characters that you could’ve used for two to three more films, have three different looks for each character and have 9 versions of figures to sell?” Sorry, I have this image of a small child bawling and whining: “Waaaah! I wanted two more Han Solo action figures!”

  53. JS Partisan says:

    I don’t have to concede any point, that personally offends me, or doesn’t represent where I stand. His name is Joe Budden, and he spent 2017 standing his ground. That’s how it works. Nevertheless, the one who wishes death on someone, is the immature little twat in this discussion. He’s disgusting and deplorable, and he shouldn’t be allowed to post here. Period.

    Ethan, that seems to be the thing: TLJ works for some casual fans, but pisses hardcore fans off. This is a problem, because it’s the hardcore fans that keep Star Wars going. It’s not like seeing a SW movie, is something people have to do. They didn’t see the Clone Wars. One day? They may not go see Solo, and less people will see IX. It’s a slippery slope of dumb, that Disney has decided to enact with these films.

    If you hate JJ, that’s fine. He still made a Star Wars movie, that gave hope and interesting storylines for the future. Rian… shat all over them.

  54. GdB says:


    Excellent job of ignoring my refutations to your claim that toys are the enemy “to the innovation of cinema.” Exactly as predicted.

    I don’t need to get inside the guys head. I took the first class taught on him at USC film which is where all those examples were learned. He had direct contact with Drew Casper on the whole course and syllabus and had a q&a with the class the last day. It came up. He used toy sales to fund film technology innovation and has said as much. That’s why he vetoed killing Han’s character off in Return of the Jedi. He knew it would kill toy sales.

    Well, when I see you go off on JS the way you do, I don’t have an image in my head of a champion of cinema who cares about storytelling that wrote for Variety. I see a seemingly drunkard texan who is acting like a bully.

    So it seems we’ll stick with the poor character judgement and mischaracterizations and keep it moving I guess?

  55. Stella Boy says:

    Ok so now you’re calling names. Awesome. Seeing JS call for someone else to be banned is hilarious. Poland told him to cut the shit like two days ago. He is the problem and always has been. He’s a cancer here. No one else who posts here has drawn the ire of others like he has.

  56. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Which is what you get when you have the stones to give an indie director the keys to the biggest franchise in the world. Interesting take – on Friday I saw TLJ again (I wanted to check it out in the theatre in 3D since 3D Blu Ray seems to be on its outs) and then watched Looper again. They are thematically VERY similar (the telekinetic kid with a dark side is essentially Ben Solo in TLJ, and the central conflict of the Bruce Willis character in Looper is parallel to that of Luke).

    “This is a problem, because it’s the hardcore fans that keep Star Wars going.”

    Not even remotely true. It’s the families who are going to pile en masse into Galaxy’s Edge in 2019 that are the important revenue stream right now for Star Wars right now. True story – I was at the Animal Kingdom recently and had to queue a combined five hours for those new Avatar rides. They were freaking great, but, point being, that’s just Avatar. What’s the foot traffic going to be for a dedicated Star Wars park on both coasts in a couple of years? What they take just at the concession stand is going to more than make up for any ageing fortysomething fanboy who’s bailed out of the saga because he’s pissed that Luke tossed his lightsaber over his shoulder. Come on.

  57. GdB says:

    No one who posts here has the same level of passion he does either. Maybe there’s some subconscious hate envy going on?

    Btw, LexG’s history still has JS beat by a mile on problem posting.

  58. Stella Boy says:

    I was never attacked by lex. Over the years I’ve been attacked by JS more times than I can count. I’m passionate too as are many others here. Passion doesn’t excuse his behavior. I have deja vu because this happens all the time he here, him fighting with people. It happened like a week ago with different people. It’s endless.

  59. GdB says:

    Two theme parks with hardly any Lucas era stuff is not going to match 14billion a year in merchandising.

    The Avatar rides are hot because they’re new just like any new attraction at Disneyland.

    Let’s see how they are in 5 years. SW park at Disneyland will make a killing, but not 14B a year. Maybe I’m wrong? I may be. I’m totally going off conjecture.

  60. GdB says:

    I’m not excusing his behavior. I’m saying I don’t let it get to me.

    You think I haven’t had run ins with JS? Guy told me once years ago I wasn’t a legit Star Wars fan. Did he make my shitlist and make me decide to go to war with him? Obviously not. Because I know that’s just JS. When he’s right, he’s right. When he’s not, I don’t try to convince him he’s not to the point of hostility. I just keep it moving. Because he’s not going to say in the moment you’re right and he’s wrong. But eventually it gets through. Like I think JS would say now that I’m a legit SW fan. So I don’t let him get to me the way you all do. I used to, but then I just decided to accept him as he is.

    I doubt JS has said anything as offensive to you as Leydon said to me up thread. I’ve busted my ass since I was 4 for this career. From lousy go nowhere childhood acting gigs to applying 3x to USC film before getting in and still being in debt over it. I ate shit from Producers fighting for stories while this guy was watching Ice-T and sipping drinks. (Ice and I have close friends in common. I see him a couple times a year. I’ll have to ask him about Joe).

    Dude decides to judge me just because I point out how suits are slipping at their own game? Sorry, that’s way more insulting than anything JS has said.

    And Joe, if you think decisions like how many toys can a story generate off a film franchise is something that can hurt the integrity of storytelling, then clearly you’ve never been in pre-production on a film in the last two decades. Because storytelling decisions are made all the time in Pre over much less worthy and more offensive issues.

  61. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s just JS shouldn’t excuse it though. That doesn’t make it ok. He has said vile things to me over the years on par with what’s been said here. I wish it didn’t happen and it happens all the damn time. Obviously some people are sick and tired of it. I don’t blame them and he’s brought it on himself.

  62. GdB says:

    No, it shouldn’t.

    But the sooner we can all recognize that every single soul in this world has their own style of crazy, because nobody in this world is perfect, the easier it becomes to not take shit so personally when those repeated behaviors are experienced.

    Just my opinion.

  63. movieman says:

    What SB said; I second that emotion.

    I was never attacked by lex. Over the years I’ve been attacked by JS more times than I can count. I’m passionate too as are many others here. Passion doesn’t excuse his behavior. I have deja vu because this happens all the time he here, him fighting with people. It happened like a week ago with different people. It’s endless.
    That’s just JS shouldn’t excuse it though. That doesn’t make it ok. He has said vile things to me over the years on par with what’s been said here. I wish it didn’t happen and it happens all the damn time. Obviously some people are sick and tired of it. I don’t blame them and he’s brought it on himself.

  64. GdB says:

    Well, everyone’s entitled to feel the way they feel.

    But then keep it to JS and don’t put up Fox News spin move BS arguments about TLJ, because you’re really trying to take down JS, rather than make a genuine case for or against the actual movie being discussed.

    Because it’s clear when that’s going on, and that’s exactly what triggers those reactions, multiple times.

    I’ve seen plenty of passive aggressive remarks that trigger those outbursts. So, if you don’t want to experience it, don’t trigger it with passive aggressive attacks on JS disguised as TLJ talking points. Or jump on him when someone else does and you don’t like him defending himself the way he does.

  65. brack says:

    TLJ continues to do well, the fact being that the holidays are on Mondays hurt weekend numbers someway, and the initial anticipation for TFA was way, way different than TLJ’s. TFA wildly over performing makes TLJ a “failure”, but TLJ was never going to TFA numbers. It’s final domestic will be between maybe $650m-$725 or so. What a disappointment JS. And what Marvel movie ever made that domestically?

  66. PTA Fluffer says:

    This thread makes me miss the days of LexG. At least he could be perceptive and funny alongside the vitriolic, immature whackness.

  67. Stella's Boy says:

    You make reasonable points. I just think it tarnishes this place. It’s the type of behavior I go out of my way to avoid on the web. This place would be better without it.

  68. GdB says:

    Thanks Stella, I appreciate that. I miss LexG too. What happened to him? He got a job writing for one of the big film blogs?

  69. Doug R says:

    The characters in Rogue One were sacrificed for cred. Action figure sales are flat anyway, letting one offshoot picture show real stakes helps with your grosses later.–action-figures-accessories-and-role-play/
    I know I was more interested in Last Jedi and I was impressed enough to buy Rogue One when I had the chance, it’s the only Star Wars Blu ray in my collection.

  70. David Poland says:

    Things seem to have calmed down, thanks to people other than JSP and Joe. As always, if it’s personal, take it elsewhere.

  71. EtGuild2 says:

    @JS, fair enough. For me, SW had 2 and a half movies of greatness, which fully ended for me in the second half of ROTJ (Aside! from the last 30 minutes of ROGUE ONE which was the type of crackerjack thrill ride I thought I’d never see again from SW…but I hated most of the rest of the movie).

    I do have a problem with condemning Johnson in regards to Abrams. Abrams hasn’t had an original thought hit him in 10 years. He apes and mimics other directors and his idea of really thinking out of the box is to apply other directors’ visions innapropriately in context.

    Whatever you think of Johnson in terms of alienating the fanbase with a different take, Abrams will never make an original movie that’s as good as BRICK or LOOPER. Never. Write that down.

  72. EtGuild2 says:

    Re: LexG nostaliga and JS hatred, give me a break. LexG posted drunken rants about Kristen Stewart’s feet that had to be deleted….how many times? Just because a poster gets under your skin, as JS does with a lot of you, doesn’t mean you need to compare him to a guy who was legitimately banned for out of control posting that veered into deeply racist, anti-semitic and sexist behavior more times than I can count.

    There are standards of discourse and standards of basic decency and LexG failed the latter. JS is passionate about his topics but doesn’t make off-hand racist comments. Lex’s obvious existential angst is commended while his bigotry was glossed over.

    Sorry Lex if you ever read this; you know it’s true.

  73. Joe Leydon says:

    It’s a curious thing: Several times over the years, people have come on this blog to reference their “careers” in the movie business. (My all-time fave: The dude who devoted 2 or 3 months to claims that Sin City was somehow going to “revolutionize” the film biz, and he was hopping aboard that train to glory.) But unless I’m forgetting someone, none of them has ever slipped off the cloak of anonymity to announce: “Yes, I am So and So. And I made this or that movie.” Or have come back years later to say, “Hey, remember when I used to talk about all those movies I was going to make? Well, I finally made one.” Seriously: Am I overlooking someone? I’m not saying it won’t ever happen someday, but has it happened yet? David? Ray? Anyone?

    Talking about LexG — there actually were a few times when I thought he would turn out to be, at the very least, a porn director of some note. But then I figured, no, he ABSOLUTELY would have come back here to brag, and posted links to photos of himself with barefoot starlettes.

  74. David Poland says:

    JSP and LexG have really been the only people ever blocked from the blog (under various names). Each for different periods. Both for abusive behavior. But the best way to avoid the big drama – unavoidable when Lex would go nuclear on the sex stuff overnight, much of which was never seen by most people because we cleaned up the mess every morning – is not to take the bait. And I appreciate cooler heads. Thank you. Sincerely.

  75. Stella's Boy says:

    Wasn’t defending lex or his behavior. Just noting that he never attacked me personally. Obviously lex got way out of control here.

  76. David Poland says:

    For the record, EtGuild, I have never called for ANY additional Star Wars movies, going back before Phantom Menace. But I live in reality.

    And you come in here, taking strong positions on numbers every weekend, so I’m not sure what you are being holier than.

    Glad you’re here. But the ideas you put in my mouth are often not ones I espouse.

  77. EtGuild2 says:

    If you feel accosted by JSP’s comments that’s definitely legitimate. But pining for a racist/sexist/anti-semitic drunk because “at least he eloquently expressed his opinions and was honest about his life” is bad.

    I saw the overnight comments more times than I can count because I am on the East Coast, and they were oftentimes horrific. Any thoughts on that Ray?

    I have my issues with one or two people on this blog, but I love them and you all, all the same. How can you not….it’s amazing this blog is still going on. I’m sure DP is bewildered by it. JS…maybe tone it down <3

  78. EtGuild2 says:

    @DP, that was a joke. Sometimes humor doesn’t translate online, and this appears to be one of those cases. I was stating that my lack of participation in the blog during SW releases may result in you and leah calling for more SW movies to keep me off the blog :) I do not in any way shape or form think that you or leah have called for additional SW movies on my behalf in reality.

    This makes me wonder if you haven’t interpreted some of my more tongue-in-cheek comments over the years as statements of fact. Please don’t do that; I would never reference your opinion in a statement other than in cracking a joke.

    I adore you and adore your continued contributions to journalism. Happy New Year.

  79. Ray Pride says:

    You never mopped the floors.

  80. GdB says:

    I don’t think TLJ’s reception is really going to be validated one way or the other until we see how it affects IX’s opening.

    Also, while there are claims the audience review scores on RT are all bot driven. Maybe so, but if you read the first 7 pages of reviews, while there are the disgusting alt-right reviews sprinkled throughout, a lot of them are long written, point by point given examples of why they don’t like the film. A good split between casual movie goers who didn’t like the plot or the fans that were invested in the OT three. Ironically, the raves read like cut and paste job, short blurbs.

    Not advocating anything, just saying, the most recent RT audience reviews do not read like bot driven stuff. Though there is enough alt-right insouciant reviews to be irritating to infuriating. Those fucktards really cloud the larger than acknowledged group of movie goers and fans who are upset with how the OT three were closed out and pissing on Snoke’s setup. (On an aside, first of all the Emperor did have a backstory; secondly, you can’t say it doesn’t matter how an out of nowhere villain, the most seemingly powerful evil force user ever, was able to seduce the son and nephew to the 3 biggest heroes of the mythology. You can’t say that shit doesn’t matter because it didn’t with the Emperor. There wasn’t any story history with the Emperor going in like there is here. It’s totally different)

    Those two things and the space chase setup are the three big things driving off those that aren’t bigots.

    Everyone talks about how great this movie is. But there’s so many missed moments that could have killed even more if they really cared about the OT 3.

    For example, we will never get to see Leia get or use a lightsaber.

    You telling me; seeing Leia ignite some special colored lightsaber only for her, ready to battle as the First Order invade Crait, wouldn’t have given the audience the cheering feels??

    So many missed moments. And you can’t go back.

    That’s where the problem lies. They willfully ruined the happy ending of the OT three and didn’t even give us any screen time with the three of them together while they did it.

    And the audience effects of what has been done won’t show on this films gross. But if its real and not a small minority as claimed, it will show on IX’s opening?

    Especially if Han Solo movie is the letdown its reported to be.

    The question is, how low does IX have to open to acknowledge the backlash is real and the opening not being written off as a sequel performing less than the first?

  81. Js partisan says:

    Stella or Movie, or anyone else: I’ve apologized to many of you multiple times, for anything that may have gone off the rails. I’ve never felt that shit is personal, but apologize again if you felt insulted.However, I’m not, nor will I fucking ever take seriously your view of this blog. It’s me against all of you and you have all hurled ( except for Ethan) vitriolic shit at me. Look at the bullshit palm wrote. I would never write that about any one of you, but palm writes that shit as if it’s in any way indicative of reality.

    You all are the mean girls, and you shit on me for not seeing your views of the world. That’s how it is. The fact that you pine for a hateful asshole over me, someone who brings it every fucking day, is pathetic. You hate passion, but love hate. Typical.

    And fearless leader, you banned me because some white hairs couldn’t handle cursing. I’ve never threatened death, or to rip off someone’s face, but apparently I’m a big piece of shit who deserves it. The fact that you think my opinions are some sort of bait is just cherry sundae topping bullshit. I don’t care to fight, but I’m not getting steam rolled by anyone.

  82. movieman says:

    Partisan HAS usually been fairly doctrinaire p.c.
    So there’s that.

    Except, of course, when he’s making nasty ageist cracks directed at anyone over 40.
    Definitely not cool.
    And his loathing for Baby Boomers in particular borders on the sociopathic.
    Especially since Boomers gave us the New Hollywood era which remains the greatest period for American movies ever.
    (Do I have to remind him that “Star Wars” was a product of the New Hollywood era, too?)

  83. Joe Leydon says:

    “For example, we will never get to see Leia get or use a lightsaber.” Well, we’ll never really know what they had in store for Princess Leia in the next film, will we?

  84. EtGuild2 says:

    That’s unfortunate and unfair movieman, though the idea that the 1930s wasn’t the greatest period for film is a bit offensive as well.

    I agree Ageism isn’t cool if that’s a thing that’s going on. I don’t know what to say…push back. Don’t call for a banning. JS, certainly don’t call for a banning of a well-regarded film critic and don’t disparage people based on age. We’re all adults here. Leah and I have our disagreements, but she’d be the first person I’d ask NZ reccomendations.

  85. Joe Leydon says:

    Movieman: Actually, being hostile to Baby Boomers is one thing I really can’t fault JS for. And, mind you, I am a Baby Boomer. But, strictly speaking, so is — gulp!– Trump. On the other hand, Paul Ryan is a Gen-Xer.

  86. GdB says:


    Still waiting for you to concede I emphatically proved you wrong that toy sales are detrimental to film innovation. 😉

  87. Bulldog68 says:

    Reading the comments here made me glad I stayed away. Pretty shitty way to spend the holidays with such negativity. I’ve had my disagreements with JS and decided I’ll only get so many comments deep until it’s quitting time. I can’t change his, or anyone else’s minds, on things are subjective anyway. My main quibble with JS over the years has been his apparent belief that his world view is “THE” view, and no other view matters. His perceived ownership of these properties and characters makes him the complete authority on all things MCU, DCU, and Star Wars, and his defence of his beliefs have come at the expense of rational disagreement, and level headed dialogue.

    This blog has been a refreshing escapade these past few years, but these past few threads have been less so. And I and others have been sucked in from time to time, and I regret the times I’ve allowed for that to happen.

    Here’s hoping we remove the Trump level of discourse from the blog for 2018. This is an apple, this is a distraction. Lol.

  88. movieman says:

    I actually just missed the Baby Boomer cut-off date by a few years, but my formative years (the ’70s) were defined by Boomers’ cultural, artistic and political contributions/accomplishments.

  89. brack says:

    I appreciate JS apologizing. I would always have to laugh about the old man comments since I am 36 years old. Maybe I seem older because I’m the youngest of three and I have two older sisters the oldest being five years older.

    Also I am my father son who unfortunately passed away nearly 2 months ago after battling cancer, he was only 67. He was a true baby boomer, and a bleeding heart liberal who felt like ta lot baby boomers sold out in the late 70s/early 80s, and especially during the Reagan era, so if I make a lot of logic arguments that’s partly my genes.

    I really don’t try to antagonize the likes of JS, but when name calling gets thrown around, I give into my dark side and well, it’s not “nice” per se.

    Anyway, sorry if I made this blog irritating to read because of TLJ talk. I just didn’t think it was the blasphemous movie many hardcore fans have said it was.

    I’ve seen ur 4 times now, so I consider myself semi-hardcore at least :-)

  90. JS Partisan says:

    Movieman, there are countless articles and studies, about how the Boomers have screwed up this world. Like I stated above, no matter what they have given us, it pales in comparison to what they have taken. I, and people younger, have every reason on earth to be frustrated with them. Also, I was being attacked by an older white man, and I am someone who has had enough of older white men being in any sort of power, or taking their shit. Again, you come at me with violence, then I come at you with whatever is in the bag. If I offended you, then I am sorry, Movie. However, I like the people who came a little before boomers. They seem to be a lot less… greedy.

    BD, that’s your perceived view, and it has nothing to do with me. I’m just going to defend what I love, and that’s is that. If you feel that I take sole ownership of things, then that’s a narrative flair. I’m not in this to make friends. These are debates, and debates require certain stances. It seems that those stances offend you more, than the other part which are just discussing box office. It’s whatever, but I’m not changing this. I don’t need Geoff to tell me what’s Star Wars. I don’t need you to tell me what’s Marvel or DC. Doesn’t mean you don’t know shit, but I know shit. I’m not being diminished, because it makes someone uncomfortable.

    Now, BD, if I ever run my figurative mouth about something, and I am clearly posting out of my ass. Feel free to state as much. It’s only fair.

    Brack, you had a reason to bring up what you did, and you and GB have a couple of points. I’m still not buying this bullying shit, but you were trying to make valid points, and I was just not (figuratively) listening. I apologize, for being an asshole to the both of you. There is a better way to debate this shit, and I will admit to not always finding the golden path.

  91. Geoff says:

    @Ethan, you can throw out proclamations like “second most profitable release in the franchise by a wide margin” as if they’re in a vacuum but sorry, they’re just not. I mean if you want to play that game:

    The Phantom Menace – $900m in profit from WW box office
    Attack of the Clones – $520m in profit
    Revenge of the Sith – $830m in profit

    I’m sure all three were among the top 10 most profitable films in history when they were released…and this was all BEFORE premium pricing and the overseas explosion.

    But did that mean that when Kathleen Kennedy officially took the reins at Lucasfilm post-Disney acquisition that she just said, “Hey guys, we made over $2 billion in JUST box office revenues on that last trilogy…we’re looking good, let’s get George in here and see where he wants to go next!”

    Fairly confident she didn’t and I COMPLETELY agree with you on JJ being a facsimile film-maker for hire…but WHY do you think they hired him for the re-boot then?? Because ADJUSTMENTS needed to be made to build up goodwill with the fan-base and he was the safest play to do so….this isn’t ancient history, this is RECENT history and no way in hell is Disney/Lucasfilm looking at the numbers for TLJ and feeling that they can rest on their laurels. They’re looking at a 30% plus drop in WORLDWIDE box office at BEST at this point whereas most second chapters in any SUCCESSFUL new franchise or franchise re-boot either go up MAINLY based on international or stay pretty close with internat’l making up for any domestic erosion – didn’t happen this time, that shit’s not being ignored.

  92. movieman says:

    I don’t recall ever coming at you “with violence,” Partisan. (Not sure whether you were actually referring to me or someone else.)
    Whenever I’ve said anything disparaging about you in the past, it’s always been in response to a missile attack you lobbed against me, lol.
    As I said, I’m not an actual “Boomer.” But to disparage an entire generation because of a few sell-outs or hypocrites (Jann Wenner?) seems grossly unfair.
    My politics were formed in the ’60s by the anti-war movement (I became “radicalized” watching the 1968 Democratic Convention on TV, and Kent State sealed the deal for me), and my high school/college years will forever be linked to the Boomer (and Boomer-friendly) directors who defined that era cinematically: Altman, Kubrick, Scorsese, DePalma, Spielberg, Malick, Cassavetes, Bogdanovich, Ashby, et al.
    I make no apologies for either my leftist politics or my New Hollywood bias.
    They both made me who I am today.

  93. EtGuild2 says:

    @bulldog, love you buddy. I always have enjoyed reading your comments and pray that you stay to MHBGA.

    @brack, always enjoy reading you. That was a moving share. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    @js, you’ve poured your heart out. Love ya buddy.

    @Joe and movieman, You’re always the adults in the room in this blog, no matter what . <3

  94. Joe Leydon says:

    Movieman: I think the worst thing Baby Boomers have done is spawn a lot of spoiled kids who lack both the energy and the curiosity to do anything but evidence a sense of entitlement. But the second worst thing Baby Boomers have done is not make the world a better place for the vast majority of younger people who don’t fit that description, and actually are gamely struggling to survive and thrive in a world that isn’t doing them any favors. To cite just one of the many ways the deck is stacked against them: The ludicrously high cost of higher education. I wasn’t a Bernie supporter, but I can see how his “free tuition” plan would be very appealing to people who’ll likely be paying on students loans for the next 20-30 years. As an educator, I try to do my part by assigning the least expensive textbooks possible. But I know that’s not nearly enough.

    OK, I’m getting off that particular soapbox for now.

  95. EtGuild2 says:

    @Geoff, $1.4 billion worldwide makes TLJ #2. Who in their right mind disputes this? And do you think the Disney marketing machine is somehow weaker now vs Fox’s 20 years ago? Goodness sakes.

    What vacuum are you referring to? The movie is going to hit $1.4B+. This is not a scientific exercise, it is fact.

  96. Joe Leydon says:

    GdB: I’m afraid the only thing you’re succeeded in doing is confirm my worst suspicions. I sincerely hope that, if and when you do make a movie of your own, you give us fair warning so that I can avoid it.

  97. palmtree says:

    “Look at the bullshit palm wrote. I would never write that about any one of you, but palm writes that shit as if it’s in any way indicative of reality.”

    JS…Uh, what? I’ve never insulted you or anyone else on this blog. I’ve disagreed with people or gotten into flame ups but I’ve never made it personal and I’m gonna keep it that way.

    I have no idea why on your apology tour I had to be thrown under the bus, but believe me, I’m not taking that personally either. I just need to state what you’ve said is factually not true.

  98. palmtree says:

    Oh yeah, Happy New Year! Seriously, this blog is great, and I hope I keep hearing your voices for a long time.

  99. JS Partisan says:

    Oh my god. Palm, I am totally fucking sorry. Seriously. I thought you said something, and it wasn’t you. I REALLY DO SERIOUSLY APOLOGIZE! Also, I’ve apologized to Movie and SB before. Hell. SB and I, didn’t have a word between one another for four years. Nevertheless, sorry for throwing you under the bus, and happy new year!

  100. palmtree says:

    Haha…I appreciate that.

  101. movieman says:

    Interesting you should mention the absurd cost of higher education (and textbooks), Joe.
    The History of Motion Pictures class I’ve been teaching at a state university since 2004 has officially changed the course textbook.
    It’s a mere 175 pages (w/ lots of BIG text and pictures), and only covers American movies. Hardly “The History of Motion Pictures.”
    The index tells you everything you need to know: not a single mention of “Citizen Kane,” Orson Welles, Howard Hawks, “Chinatown,” “Psycho,” “Vertigo,” “The Searchers,” “Apocalypse Now,” etc. sad etc.
    Ford gets one cursory mention (“he made westerns” or something to that effect), and Hitchcock gets a sole shout-out.
    You will, however, find every 1980’s John Hughes movie (except, ironically, his best: “Sixteen Candles”), “The Karate Kid,” ’90s NBC sitcom “Friends,” “N.Y.P.D. Blue”….I’m getting angry all over again just typing this.
    Apparently the point of scraping the old text in favor of this new one (written, coincidentally, by a theater professor from my department who has no background in film whatsoever) is because it’s more politically correct. It’s also an abomination.
    Just trying to work up a syllabus has been absurdly difficult. And I have no idea how to devise exams using this book as the primary source of questions: it’s all skin-deep conjecture with zero substance.
    The fact that our current department head is an anal-retentive micro-manager means that he’ll be constantly snooping in on us to insure that none of the instructors veers from the “new path.”
    If I didn’t need the money so badly (not that the recent tuition increases have resulted in a wage increase for part-time faculty: I’m essentially making the same as I I was 14 years ago), I’d resign in protest.

  102. Geoff says:

    @Etguild, do you know something I don’t about the Fox marketing department from that time period? They had folks primed to pay to see OTHER MOVIES in late ’98 just to catch the first The Phantom Menace trailer, I think they were doing their job just fine. 😉 And $1.3 billion is looking more likely at this point….

  103. Bulldog68 says:

    Thanks EtGuild. I’ll be around.

  104. Doug R says:

    I dunno movieman, what’s the best way to leave and still get UI? Sounds like an abomination to me. Any way of getting the course decertified?

  105. Glamourboy says:

    Just caught up with these new comments. I’m still in Europe, coming back this week and I’ll finally catch up with all the movies I’ve been missing.

    JS, I accept your apology. I appreciate someone that can do some soul searching and try to make a better effort.

    Happy New Year to everyone on this blog.

  106. Joe Leydon says:

    Movieman: I wonder how long it will be before there’s pressure brought to bear on us not to include anything directed by Roman Polanski or Alfred Hitchcock, or starring Dustin Hoffman, in our syllabi?

  107. movieman says:

    I’ve been wondering the same thing, Joe. And we mustn’t forget Chaplin and Woody Allen. I’m sure they’ll be on the same chopping block as well.
    Plus, any movie produced under Harvey Weinstein’s umbrella (goodbye, Quentin Tarantino…and Jane Campion!).

    I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, Doug.
    Either I get w/ the program or I’m out.
    The biweekly direct deposits per class of $212 (and change) essentially pay my monthly bills. Unless I win the lottery or inherit a windfall from an unknown relative (ha), I’m in for the duration.

  108. David Poland says:

    Joe – That is the most interesting and disturbing thing I have seen in the conversation about harassment in a while. Will history be erased to keep anyone from being triggered? That would be a mistake from every side of the issue… because it would, after some time, make heroes of the erased and their bad behavior would nor be questioned by many in the name of freedom of speech.

    We need to learn to keep two ideas in our collective heads at once.

  109. David Poland says:

    And thank you all for finding a more civil tone. I too appreciate JSP being graceful.

  110. Joe Leydon says:

    David and Movieman: Weirdly enough, I have shown Chinatown quite frequently (and Rosemary’s Baby occasionally) in a college film studies courses for close to 15 years. And I swear, every time I’ve made a casual reference to Roman Polanski’s “legal issues,” I have been greeted with blank expressions from at least half (and often two-thirds) of the class. So then I have to, well, explain what I meant. Keep in mind: Most of the students in these classes are Communications majors, and quite a few are studying to be filmmakers. But…

    Of course, I can see this changing, given the tenor of the times.

  111. movieman says:

    “Chinatown” is a staple for me, Joe. Not only is it a perfect expression of New Hollywood verities, but a shining exemplar of film noir.

    They’re going to have to pry “Chinatown” (the DVD anyway) from my dead hands.

  112. Hcat says:

    Joe, Aren’t these students in their late teens/early twenties? I can see how something that happened two decades before their birth, to someone who was last notable for winning an Oscar when they were around 5 years old might fly beneath their radar. His case is occasionally mentioned in the trades, but I can’t imagine them just randomly clicking on a name they are not familiar with.

  113. palmtree says:

    What I’ve learned from teaching is that you can’t assume students know anything. Even my 90s references get blank stares.

  114. movieman says:

    It’s been my general impression that most of my (college age) students are completely unfamiliar w/ anything (U.S./world history; popular culture; etc.) that occurred before they were born.

    Everything prior to that date is ancient history and of zero interest.
    I’m always pleasantly surprised if someone has actually heard of Watergate before I show them “All the President’s Men.”

  115. Pete B says:

    My 20-something co-worker couldn’t fathom why I would pay to see an anniversary edition of Casablanca at the theater.
    “It’s in black & white! If it’s such a great movie, why haven’t they done a remake yet and improved it?”
    I had to just walk away.

  116. Hcat says:

    “You could have been watching Casablanca instead” was my constant response whenever the twenty something I worked with would give me an unsolicited breakdown of the previous nights The Bachelorette. Her standard response to that was ‘ugh, is that old?’.

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Quote Unquotesee all »

The Atlantic: You saw that the Academy Awards recently held up your 2001 acceptance speech as the Platonic ideal of an Oscar speech. Did you have a reaction?

Soderbergh: Shock and dismay. When that popped up and people started texting me about it, I said, “Oh, it’s too bad I’m not there to tell the story of how that took place.” Well. I was not sober at the time. And I had nothing prepared because I knew I wasn’t going to win [Best Director for Traffic]. I figured Ridley, Ang or Daldry would win. So I was hitting the bar pretty hard, having a great night, feeling super-relaxed because I don’t have to get up there. So the combination of a 0.4 blood alcohol level and lack of preparation resulted in me, in my state of drunkenness crossed with adrenaline surge. I was coherent enough to know that [if I tried to thank everyone], that way lies destruction. So I went the other way. There were some people who appreciated that, and there were some people who really wanted to hear their names said, and I had to apologize to them.
~ Steven Soderbergh


“I have made few films in a way. I never made action films. I never made science fiction films. I never made, really, very complicated settings, because I had modest ambitions. I knew they would never trust me to have the budget to do something different, so my mind is more focused on things I know. So they were always mental adventures I wanted to approach and share. Working for cinema with no – not only no money, but also no ambition for money. I was happy and proud [to receive the honorary Oscar] because of that, that [the Academy] could understand what kind of work I have done over 60 years. I stayed faithful to the ideal of sharing emotion, impressions, and mostly because I have so much empathy for other people that I approach people who are not really spoken about. I have 65 years of work in my bag, and when I put the bag down, what comes out? It’s really the desire of finding links and relationships with different kinds of people. I never made a film about the bourgeoisie, about rich people. about nobility. My choices have been to show people that are, in a way, more common and see that each of them has something special and interesting, rare and beautiful. It’s my natural way of looking at people. I didn’t fight my instincts. And maybe that has been appreciated in the famous circle of Hollywood.“

Agnes Varda