Even though Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph came out on top over the weekend grossing almost $50 million, the big story from the Mouse House is its acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise from the retiring George Lucas.
At the same time, it was announced that there would be a new Star Wars trilogy (based upon Lucas’ story treatments) starting with Episode 7 in 2015.
With the deal, Disney gets the rights to the three new movies plus a continuation of the theme park deals they already have (plus merchandising). However, 20th Century Fox retains distribution rights to the first six movies, including the 3D re-releases of Episodes 2 and 3 over the next few years.
With the deal, Disney also acquires the industry’s leading special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (I.L.M.) as well as sound studio Skywalker Sound and LucasArts, which produces video and computer games.
And although Disney has developed theme park attractions around Lucas’ other big franchise, Indiana Jones, Paramount Pictures still has a contract in place for future Jones films and it appears there are currently no active plans for a fifth movie in that series.
Speaking of successful movie franchises, the most successful of all time is celebrating its 50th anniversary and sees its latest debut today in North America.
Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in Skyfall which exclusively premieres tonight at the Landmark Cinemas 8 in its Xtreme auditorium (www.landmarkcinemas.com) and expands into the Grand 10 Cinemas (where you can enter to win Bond-themed prizes) and Paramount Theatre as of tomorrow.
Even though Bond’s last outing in Quantum of Solace was a box office hit, it is widely considered as one of the weakest of the series. Alternatively, Skyfall is being hailed as one of the best in which Bond’s loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
The impressive cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem and Albert Finney.
Based upon Salmon Rushdie’s novel, Midnight’s Children is from Oscar-nominated Canadian director Deepa Mehta. At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem is the illegitimate son of a poor woman and Shiva is the offspring of a wealthy couple. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India’s whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters.
And if you are a Twilight fan, the only place you can see all Twilight Saga Marathon featuring all five films is at the Landmark Cinemas 8 in West Kelowna. It all starts next Thursday at 12:30 p.m. and tickets are on sale now. (www.landmarkcinemas.com)
There are also two additional advance showings of Breaking Dawn Part 2 next Thursday at 10 p.m. and in the Xtreme auditorium at 12:30 a.m. Friday morning.