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Sylvester Stallone Pays Tribute to ‘Rocky’ Director John G. Avildsen: ‘You Will Soon Be Directing Hits in Heaven’

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/06/sylvester-stallone-john-g-avildsen-rocky-tribute-1201843241/

Following John G. Avildsen’s death yesterday, one of the director’s best-known collaborators has paid tribute to the departed filmmaker. Sylvester Stallone honored the “Rocky” director the way everyone does these days, with an Instagram post: “The great director John G. Avildsen Who won the Oscar for directing Rocky!” he wrote alongside a photo of the two. “R. I. P. I’m sure you will soon be directing Hits in Heaven- Thank you , Sly”

READ MORE: Ben Affleck Pays Tribute to Adam West: ‘Thank You for Showing Us All How It’s Done’

“Rocky” also won Best Picture and Best Editing at the Academy Awards, with Stallone earning nods for both his screenplay and his performance in the title role. Avildsen, who went on to direct “The Karate Kid” and its first two sequels as well as “Rocky V” and “Save the Tiger,” died of pancreatic cancer yesterday at age 81. His last film was 1999’s “Inferno,” which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme alongside Pat Morita, who received an Academy Award nomination for playing Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid.”

READ MORE: Indian ‘Rambo’ Remake Director Q&A: He’s ‘Happy to Have Sylvester Stallone’s Blessing’ — Cannes 2017

Gary Barber, chairman and CEO of MGM, released a statement of his own yesterday: “We mourn the loss of John G. Avildsen, one of America’s treasured filmmakers,” he said. “Everyone remembers the first time when they saw Rocky. For over 40 years, the enduring classic underdog story about an every man overcoming all odds defined generations of moviegoers. He will always be remembered by his MGM family.”

 

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‘The Last Jedi’ Will Be the Biggest Movie of 2017, Even as It Leaves Some Records Untouched

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/the-last-jedi-break-records-box-office-2017-1201907307/

The first shows for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” begin tonight, and there’s every expectation that is will be the biggest-opening, top-grossing domestic release of 2017. At a minimum, we’re looking at a $200 million opening, with $225 million very likely.

With strong holiday playtime following the first 10 days of release, a multiple of at least three times its opening is possible, which could propel to the domestic take to around $700 million.

Yes, it’s going to be huge — but there’s a few records it might not beat. Here (with adjusting numbers to 2017 values) are some comparable numbers that “Jedi” will easily best, and a few that seem unlikely.

Top domestic grosses of 2017: YES

“The Last Jedi” should find the opening numbers easy to beat, and it’s hard to imagine it won’t be the best-performing movie of the year.

Film Studio Opening Gross Domestic Total
Beauty and the Beast Disney $174.8 million $504 million
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Disney $146.5 million $412.6 million
It Warner Bros. $123.4 million $389.8 million

 

Best opening weekends in the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE

The bigger opening numbers in recent years can be tied to more seats available, pre-buys, and overall moviegoing habits.

Title Year Opening Box Office
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 $254.5 million
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 2016 $157.6 million
Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith 2005  $151.1 million

 

Best domestic gross for the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE

This includes reissues. “Star Wars” is the #2 film of all time, while “The Force Awakens” is the biggest success in the last 20 years. To be as high as fifth on the all time “Star Wars” list, “The Last Jedi”  would need to do 78 percent of the total for “The Force Awakens,” and significantly better than “Rogue One.”

Title Year Total Box Office
Star Wars 1977 $1.591 billion
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 $965.5 million
The Empire Strikes Back 1980 $876.8 million
The Return of the Jedi 1983 $840.0 million
The Phantom Menace 1999  $757.4 million

 

“The Fate of the Furious”

Top international grosses for 2017: NO

The two most recent “Star Wars” films weren’t top among overseas release in their years. In 2015, “The Force Awakens” was second to “Furious 7,” though it did gross over $1 billion overseas. “Rogue One” was eighth best among 2016 releases, grossing $524 million. Expect “The Last Jedi” to gross somewhere in between, unlikely to be better than third best for the year.

Title Studio Total
The Fate of the Furious Universal $1.010 billion
Wolf Warrior 2 Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co. $864.9 million
Despicable Me 3 Universal $767.8 million
Beauty and the Beast Disney $759.5 million
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Disney  $622.3 million

 

Top worldwide grosses for 2017: YES

This looks entirely doable. “The Force Awakens” made over $2 billion, “Rogue One” a little over $1 billion; expect this to do more, both at home and overseas.

Title Studio Total
Beauty and the Beast Disney $1.264 billion
The Fate of the Furious Universal $1.236 billion
Despicable Me 3 20th Century Fox $1.033 billion
Spider-Man: Homecoming Sony $880.2 million
Wolf Warrior 2 Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co.  $870.3 million

 


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