December 18, 2017
As expected, “Star Wars” fever has taken the box office by storm as Lucasfilm’s latest installment, “The Last Jedi,” has posted an opening weekend of $220 million from 4,232 screens. That’s the second highest domestic opening of all-time behind the film’s 2015 predecessor, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and a 41 percent jump over the $155 million opening posted by last year’s “Star Wars” movie, “Rogue One.” The film opened with $104.8 million on Friday (including $45 million from Thursday previews), making it only the second film to earn $100 million on opening day. This was followed by $63.7 million on Saturday and a projected $52 million on Sunday. This total also pushes Disney past the $2 billion mark domestically for the third consecutive year and into the top spot among all studios for domestic revenue. In total, “The Last Jedi” has posted a global opening of $450 million excluding China, good for the fifth-highest global opening in box office history with $40.6 million coming from IMAX, good for the second-highest opening excluding China. The film opens in China on January 5. Hardcore “Star Wars” fans have been debating the film’s merits since screenings started on Thursday evening, but as a whole, critics and audiences have given the film a big thumbs up with an A on CinemaScore and a 93 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. “Star Wars”‘ big weekend comes after Lucasfilm’s parent company, Disney, turned Hollywood on its head by buying the original owner of “Star Wars”, 20th Century Fox, for $52.4 billion. As fate would have it, Fox has also released a movie this weekend, the Blue Sky animated film “Ferdinand.” Helmed by “Ice Age” director Carlos Saldanha, the film has grossed $13.3 million at 3,621 locations against projections of a $15 million opening. The film received an A on CinemaScore and a 74 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Bruno Mars dominated the 2017 Soul Train Awards on Sunday. The pop star won five prizes, including best male R&B/soul artist, song of the year ("That's What I Like"), as well as best video, album/mixtape and dance performance for "24k Magic." Toni Braxton accepted the Don Cornelius Legend Award and performed a medley of her hits during the show, hosted by Erykah Badu at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
You can take the girl out of country, but you can't take country out of the girl. Taylor Swift pivoted toward pop with her synth-laden 2014 album 1989 and audacious latest effort Reputation, out Friday. Yet the Nashville transplant hasn't entirely abandoned her country roots. In fact, Swift earned her 12th Country Music Association Award Wednesday, taking home song of the year for writing Little Big Town's Better Man. The four-piece group's Karen Fairchild accepted the award on behalf of Swift, the sole writer on the breakup ballad who was not in attendance at the ceremony. "Taylor, wherever you are, thank you for this beautiful song and for loving songs and loving Nashville," Fairchild said. Swift, who is performing on Saturday Night Live this weekend, posted her stunned reaction to the honor on social media, writing, "In NYC for SNL rehearsals. I LOVE YOU @littlebigtown and CMAs." Better Man marks the first song of the year CMA for Swift, who previously picked up the show's top trophies for entertainer of the year and album of the year (Fearless).
Adele has been offered $26 million for a year-long residency in Las Vegas. Bosses at The Wynn hotel are reportedly so keen to sign the star up that they have offered her $500,000 per show. A source told The Sun on Sunday: "The days of entertainers coming to retire at Vegas are a thing of the past. "In the last few years, we have seen massive stars performing on the strip and every major hotel wants to say they have the biggest star as their resident. Caesars Palace had Mariah Carey, Planet Hollywood has Britney Spears, and we want Adele. "Even at half a million dollars a show we are confident we would make a healthy return." Although Adele was forced to cancel one of her Wembley dates during the summer after damaging her vocal cords, Wynn bosses are not concerned about Adele potentially having to cancel any of her Vegas shows. The insider explained: "Adele is a professional, and knows her own ability. And we are happy to be flexible in negotiations if it's needed in order to bring her on board." Meanwhile, Adele revealed during her 'Adele Live' tour in March that she was planning to take an extended break from touring in order to focus on having another baby. She said at the time: "I'll see ya later, I'll see ya on the other side. In a couple of years when I'll be back, you won't be able to get rid of me. I'm going to go and have a baby." The 29-year-old singer already has four-year-old son Angelo with her husband Simon Konecki.