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NEWS: Ward Receives MacArthur Genius Award

https://africandiasporaphd.com/2017/10/11/news-ward-receives-macarthur-genius-award/

Jesmyn Ward joins the 2017 cohort of Macarthur geniuses:

“Jesmyn Ward is a fiction writer exploring the bonds of community and familial love among poor African Americans in the rural South. She is the author of three novels and a memoir, all set in the Gulf Coast region of her native Mississippi and centered on marginalized black communities. In prose that is simultaneously luminous and achingly honest, Ward captures moments of beauty, tenderness, and resilience against a bleak landscape of crushing poverty, racism, addiction, and incarceration.

“The novel Salvage the Bones (2011) follows the four siblings of the Batiste family as they protect and nurture each other in the days leading up to and just after Hurricane Katrina. Ward transcends the brutal reality of their experiences—pit bull fights, a missed opportunity to attend college, a pregnancy at fifteen—through the narration of Esch, who imagines herself as a triumphant Medea, a strong, beautiful, and legendary leader. Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017), Ward’s most recent novel, is wider in its scope, moving back and forth in time and including the voices of ghosts and the people they haunt. Ward does not shy away from uncomfortable truths or how her characters’ own flawed choices contribute to their situations. Leonie and Michael’s drug addiction and selfish love for one another force their young son, JoJo, to assume the role of parent to his toddler sister. When the family journeys upstate to pick up Michael from Parchman Prison, JoJo encounters the ghost of Richie, a young boy who died at the prison in the 1940s, revealing the long legacy of Parchman both in JoJo’s family and as a tool for oppressing black communities in Mississippi.

“In her novels and nonfiction accounts of her own experiences with loss and injustice, Ward is offering a raw and powerful portrayal of the circumscribed possibilities and lost potential faced by many African Americans after generations of racial and economic inequality.”

Read more: https://www.macfound.org/fellows/1002/

Filed under: Jesmyn Ward Tagged: #adphd, blogroll, book, literature, news

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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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