The Möbius strip: Most films continue to disappoint, Star Wars on track for record-shattering opening

As expected, part two of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay took its second crown with $76 million over the five day weekend. The film is still tracking well behind its predecessors. The Good Dinosaur opened in second place to a similar paradox — its three day and five day totals, $39.2 million and $55.5 million, are both the fourth highest all time for Thanksgiving weekend, but its three day total represents Pixar’s lowest opening since the studio’s first film, Toy Story, in 1995. In third place, Creed had the highest opening ever for a Rocky film with a $29.6 million three day total and a $42.1 million five day total. The last new release, Victor Frankenstein, had one of the worst wide releases of all time, collecting just $3.6 million over the five day weekend, good for 12th place behind Oscar hopefuls Spotlight and Brooklyn, which are each playing in fewer than 1,000 theaters. Victor Frankenstein was expected to take in around $12 million and earn fourth or fifth place- Box Office Mojo

Initial tracking came in Tuesday for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Disney is trying to manage expectations on an opening that could go as high as $300 million domestic- /film

In the foreign market, Star Wars finally got its China release set for Jan. 9, almost a full month after the rest of the world, yesterday. The world’s second largest film market was a conspicuous holdout for what will almost certainly be the year’s largest film- The Hollywood Reporter

Lionsgate caught a lot of flack last week when the Gods of Egypt trailer dropped and revealed a pasty white cast ruling over Memphis. Furthering its embarassment, the studio has apologized, saying, “We can do better,” though they obviously can’t since they’ve already completed production on the $140 million movie. Exodus: Gods and Kings pulled the same nonsense last year, with director Ridley Scott defending his casting choices. Lionsgate’s concession sets an unusual precedent for diversity in Hollywood- Variety

After insisting for months that their Fantastic Four reboot would have a sequel despite a nightmarish production and some of the worst critical reception of all time, Fox has quietly pulled the sequel from its 2017 schedule- Screencrush

Forbes has released its list of the worst performing films of the year by return-on-investment percentages. Despite a myriad of movies that disappointed at the box office, only 11 are in the red. This list does not include Thanksgiving weekend’s Victor Frankenstein, which will almost certainly end up as a 12th- Forbes

From the television world, Bones stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz are suing 20th Century Fox for more than $100 million in unpaid fees, claiming the studio used fraudulent accounting to cheat them out of what they are owed. The show’s executive producer, Barry Josephson, filed a similar suit last week- The Wrap

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation director Christopher McQuarrie has signed on to direct the franchise’s sixth installment. This is curious news — the series has always served as Tom Cruise’s excuse to play with directors he likes, but McQuarrie becomes the first director ever to helm more than one installment- Film School Rejects

Alec Baldwin and Laurence Fishburne will headline Arthur Miller’s 100th birthday celebration in January- Deadline

George Lucas talks about letting go of his decades-spanning multi-billion dollar franchise and beginning again as just a fan- Washington Post

Vulture’s massive cover story on The Big Short goes behind the scenes with Adam McKay, directing his first awards contender, with substories from each of the four stars and Michael Lewis, the man who wrote the book on which the movie is based- Vulture

Warner Bros. CEO of two and a half years Kevin Tsujihara talks about maintaining the company as a film and television titan despite several flops this year while navigating the increasingly chaotic and competitive world of digital media- Variety

Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the massive Sony hack that saw 47,000 social security numbers, 170,000 emails and five major motion pictures leak to the public. Deadline looks back at what we know and what we still don’t about the perpetrators- Deadline

In easily the coolest news of the week, a 40 year old memo from Peter S. Meyers, then Fox’s vice president of distribution, has been unearthed. It’s the first time anyone outside of the production indicated the original Star Wars might be a hit- i09

Forbes biology contributor JV Chamary applies evolution theory to The Good Dinosaur and gets into what’s wrong with the movie scientifically- Forbes

Eddie Redmayne talks about taking risks and trans backlash in The Danish Girl- Indiewire

With digital effects at the level they’re at, do actors need to go through any kind of physical transformation for movies anymore? Film School Rejects

And finally, the cast and crew of The Hateful Eight go into the movie’s 70 millimeter format and what makes this movie so special from a technical perspective-

 

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