The-Numbers.com has released their Blu-Ray sales estimates for Solo: A Star Wars Story. And the movie is the best selling Blu-Ray, or at least it was when the movie was released on home media several weeks ago. It always takes time for these estimates to be released.
And according to the estimates by The Numbers Solo sold 789,549 Blu-Rays in the US. That was more than enough to cling the top position in the sales charts. To put things in perspective: Solo sold about 42% of the Blu-Rays The Last Jedi sold in its first week. However, Solo only made about 34% of The Last Jedi’s box office in North America. So relatively speaking Solo does a little better on the home media market than its box office results would indicate, especially considering that physical disc sales are shrinking. Maybe the mostly positive word of mouth did convince a few more people to give the movie a chance at home. But overall, even considering a shrinking Blu-Ray market, sales are down and general interest in the movie can’t keep up with The Last Jedi or any of the previous movies.
Although reported right before the summertime, Ollie’s discount stores are now receiving Toys R Us’ liquidated products. If you have a store near you, it might be worth checking out their stock. Apparently, they’ve acquired $200 million of Toys R Us’ stock, which is pretty astounding. Special thanks to JTA reader Monteleone for the image.
Now, keep your salt shakers ready! But according to a rumor which was first reported by the Weekly Planet Podcast on YouTube (and subsequently picked up by several websites) an inside source told them that Matt Smith will play none other than a young Sheev Palpatine in Episode IX. Now what could that be? Flashback? A Clone? Or maybe just yet another baseless rumor? At least the source is not Mike Zeroh 😉
What do you think? Would you like to see Palpatine in Episode IX? Should he teach Kylo Ren a thing or two about being the Evil Lord of the galaxy?
If you saw the arresting and spectacular final “Rick Grimes” episode of The Walking Dead last night, you were officially introduced to actress Cailey Fleming (although she did appear in a couple of “flashback” episodes earlier in the series). Interestingly, Cailey played “young Rey” in The Force Awakens flashback scene and is now promoted to series regular in The Walking Dead as Judith Grimes as the series time jumps six years ahead. The Walking Dead has resurrected itself to its glory years, and last night’s episode proved that. Too bad stupid Chris won’t care.
Comicbook.com recently released an article in which Clone Wars Boba Fett voice actor Daniel Logan is quoted as saying that Disney canceled The Clone Wars back in 2013 because the show would have become too graphic for them.
Logan said this at London Comic Con: “Disney, they cancelled it, I think it was getting a little too graphic — actually, it was getting really graphic. Boba was doing some really, really cool stuff. He started actually becoming a bounty hunter.”
According to Logan he recorded dialogue for several episodes which would have pitted Boba Fett against Cad Bane and would have seen him become the bounty hunter we know.
But instead of finishing The Clone Wars Disney created Rebels, a more family friendly show. We can only hope that we will get all the missing episodes one day, graphic or not, I think Disney should not insist that all of Star Wars must be family friendly, Resistance is good family entertainment, The Clone Wars can be more mature. Let’s all hope the show will be a huge success on the streaming service and convince Disney to finish all the episodes that have recorded dialogue!
Variety has a new exclusive story: apparently JJ Abrams is seeking to strike a huge deal with an entertainment company, in an effort to consolidate his business. As of now, Abrams has a contract with Paramount (for movies) and Warner Bros. (for TV related work). Abrams wants to change all that and is seeking a deal that would encompass not just movies and TV shows, but also digital content, music, games, consumer products and even theme park opportunities. Click through for some more details!
Walmart had dropped hints months earlier that they would try to fill the retail toy footprint abandoned by Toys R Us’ demise. But now Walmart appears to be a little too cocky for their own good. Billing themselves as “America’s Best Toy Shop,” it looks like they have bigger plans they can handle in mind. Or maybe it’s all a facade. Only time will tell. Click the image below to see their latest ad. Special thanks to JTA reader RB for sending it our way.
Among Star Wars collectors a very common misconception seems to be widespread: that of the vendor or manufacturer that dumps some pegwarmers on unsuspecting retailers who then have to see how on earth they can get rid of all that junk they just bought. The vendor or manufacturer meanwhile leans back in their seat, counts the dollar bills, lights a Cuban cigar with a $100 bill and cackles maniacally while lightning and thunder fill the sky in the background. Ok, I may exaggerate a tiny little bit here, since the vendor is of course on a tropical island without any thunder and lightning. But one idea that is often found in comments is that of Hasbro simply dumping product on the doorstep of retailers who then scratch their heads and wonder how to sell the stuff and who then have to resort to deep discounts to clear shelf space to finally get rid of unwanted junk. Losing money in the process. The actual truth is very, very different. So click through to find out more about the complicated world of the retailer – vendor relationship.
YouTube Channel HelloGreedo released a short but informative video earlier today. He talks about that Star Wars magic we felt as kids and if it’s all gone now. In my opinion he makes some great points here. I believe it’s time to step back a bit and to take in the whole picture. We can get lost in debates about the handling of Luke in The Last Jedi, the distribution of toys, whether or not Kathleen Kennedy is the worst studio president ever, when in fact none of that matters that much or not at all even to the new generation. Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t debate these things, we definitely should, but we shouldn’t think that this is something of utmost importance to everyone. So check out that short 4 minute video and maybe it will make you feel better about Star Wars again. Thanks to JTA regular Matthew C. for the tip! As always, leave your own thoughts in the comments!
Jon Favreau updated his Instagram account with some new photos a few hours ago and look who came to visit for his birthday! It’s good to see that George is still around, at least visiting. Who knows, maybe he even gave Jon the one or the other piece of advice about Star Wars. No matter what he did, it’s nice to see the two of them together. Another photo shows the two with Dave Filoni who will, as you all know, direct the first episode of The Mandalorian. The show can’t come soon enough!
Star Wars user ratings have been debated for quite a while now, especially following the release of The Last Jedi in December 2017. Now that Solo came and went I think it’s a good time to look at how Star Wars fares on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, the three most popular sites for movie user ratings. I will also look at the user demographics – how does each age group rate the movies? Some interesting observations can be made. So click through for some lovely bar charts, I know you love them!
Star Wars Episode IX will hit theaters in 14 months from now. Filming is underway, some set photos have been leaked, but other than more or less unsubstantiated rumors we know next to nothing about the actual plot of the movie. And in true JJ Abrams fashion this will probably not change until the release date.
The question is, what are your expectations about Episode IX? Do you believe it may heal the rift in the fandom that opened up after The Last Jedi? Do you believe it may be a satisfying conclusion to the sequel trilogy? Or do you simply don’t care anymore and want the sequels to be over, so we can finally move on? Click through for a discussion about Episode IX and the inherent issues the movie has to overcome.
JTA reported on so-called “Deep Fake” videos before. Basically you train a special piece of software with lots and lots and really lots of photos and then this special software can automatically replace someone in a photo or video. Sounds like magic, but it’s actually a deep learning AI algorithm that makes all of that possible. Maybe you remember the enhanced Leia in Rogue One clip, where the “deep fake” Leia looked even somewhat better than what ILM did. Well, now you can check out how Solo could have been if ILM had decided to put CGI Harrison Ford into the movie. It’s not always perfect, but some scenes look eerily real. And remember, this is something one person did at home with his PC with no budget at all. ILM could certainly do an even better job, given the time, money and inclination. So, what do you think? Should this guy do all of Solo now and find some voice actor to redub all the lines?
Chuck Wendig, known among Star Wars fans as the author of the Aftermath trilogy, has been fired by Marvel comics today. Wendig announced that on his official Twitter feed. Wendig was supposed to write the 5 part Star Wars miniseries “Shadow of Vader” for Marvel, which is supposed to be launched in January 2019. Actually, the series had only been announced a few day ago at NYCC. Wendig, who already wrote issues 1-3 will no longer write issues 4 and 5 and another unnamed Star Wars comic book. Wendig has his own theory about why he was fired (because of toxic Star Wars haters), official word is he was fired by Marvel because of his very frequent Twitter rage rants and outbursts. The last one happened only a very short while ago and featured some rather crass language. It remains to be seen if Wendig will keep writing Star Wars novels for Lucasfilm now that he has been fired by Marvel. It’s also unknown at this moment if Shadow of Vader will go ahead with a new author or not. The comic has not been solicited yet.
JTA reader Kieran C. had the opportunity to talk to Steve Evans at NYCC. He wanted to know if Disney’s royalty fees might prevent Hasbro from doing more TVC figures. It has been speculated that production costs for TVC and the Black Series might basically be the same but that TVC has smaller margins, which results in fewer new figures for the line. Steve Evans’ answer however paints a somewhat different picture. Click through for what he said!
It looks like Toys “R” Us’ Geoffrey is taking the spotlight in the rebranding of the famous toy store. It was previously reported that Toys “R” Us’ current lenders decided not to auction off certain parts of the IP and brand, like the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us names as well as Geoffrey himself, opting instead to relaunch the toy chain in a new way. Now we know what that looks like, as Toys “R” Us mascot Geoffrey turned up at the Dallas Toy Preview donning a cape that had a new logo and store name on it. Comicbook.com has the full story.
A 1980 documentary about the making of The Empire Strikes back surfaced on YouTube on Monday. It’s by Michel Parbot and was considered lost and hadn’t been seen in its entirety in decades, but apparently someone got hold of a film reel of the documentary, digitized it and then uploaded it. So I advise you to watch the video before YouTube might take it down again! The documentary has a run time of one hour, but it’s well worth your time!
The Hollywood Reporter recently posted an article about a study that examined tweets directed at Rian Johnson, following the release of The Last Jedi. And the study finds that more than half of all the negative tweets are not by real fans but are either politically motivated by the alt-right or come from Russia in order to sow dissent. I did read the actual paper and if you click through I will provide some additional info.
Longtime fans of Ralph McQuarrie and his concept art that inspired a universe will surely enjoy this brilliant fan-made trailer. Click through for an insanely cool concept trailer based on the works of McQuarrie and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Hot Topic is running a 30% off FLASH SALE right now and they have some cool Star Wars gear and merchandise. Special thansk to JTA reader and friend Colin for the alert!
The Last Jedi is currently the top selling Blu-Ray in the USA. Perfect time to take a closer look at Star Wars home video sales. And a closer examination shows some puzzling numbers that may warrant further discussion. Click through for more!
The Hollywood Reporter has published an article which includes details about Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall (and others) receiving honorary Oscars. See the full article HERE.
There is an “interesting” calendar on Amazon which features vintage Kenner action figures. Similar to the Five Below poster we reported about recently, most of the figures are incomplete. What’s more, some have been placed in scenes that are screen-inaccurate. The makers of these products should probably check out our vintage Kenner archives for accuracy and inspiration. Anyway, check it out. Special thanks to JTA reader Jason S. for alerting us to this item.
The iconic toy store brand, known for its interactive displays like a giant piano, is opening up a new store in Rockefeller Plaza, according to the Wall Street Journal. The store is opening in November, and will be ready for the holiday rush. TIME has the full story.
The news about “Toy City” stores getting set up in former Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations broke around June, but now these pop-up stores are finally getting things started. JTA reader Bryan L. sends us an image of progress being made in California. For those that aren’t aware, this is a Party City company and more information about them can be found HERE.
Wow. CNN has just posted an article claiming that Walmart wants to replace Toys R Us. Walmart is taking aggressive steps to fill the void left by Toys ‘R’ Us. Sensing an opportunity to appeal to shoppers and grab market share, the world’s largest retailer is expanding its toy selection in stores and online as it gears up for the first holiday season without Toys ‘R’ Us in decades. Walmart (WMT) announced on Thursday that it plans to increase its toy selection in some stores by 30% and expand its website assortment by 40%. It is bringing hundreds of exclusive brands to aisles and holding in-store toy demos. Walmart is also partnering with Ryan, a first-grade YouTube star, on “Ryan’s World” — a line of toys he recommends. Check out the full article HERE.
Mark Hamill received a question by a concerned Star Wars fan on Twitter who wanted to learn more about Luke’s motivations in The Last Jedi. And Mark Hamill, the kind man that he is, replied to the fan and gave him an answer. Click through for all the details!
Here is a story we missed. Sears announced a couple of days ago that it is closing another 46 stores which include many Kmart stores. The retail apocalypse continues. CNN has the full story.
Canada’s Toys R Us President has been interviewed at MSN.com and explains why she expects Toys R Us to last a long time in Canada. Click through for the full story. Special thanks to JTA reader Stuart R. for the alert
It’s only been a couple of months since Toys R Us bit the dust. But the ripples of it are still painful. Yes, the retail apocalypse is happening in real-time, but it doesn’t take away any of the sadness that losing our last toy store brings. I have been reading many opinions on Toys R Us’ collapse. And while many factors worked against them succeeding, a financial expert by the name of Dave Ramsey (whom I respect greatly) has a slightly different take on what happened and how, perhaps, it might have been prevented. He believes that a possible scenario existed that was overlooked during their (what he calls) “disruption” in the marketplace. He goes on to say that the “disruption” can be the biggest blessing to your business, but if you’re not prepared for the “disruption,” it can be the biggest threat to your business. He claims this is where Toys R Us failed. Be sure to listen to his final example of how being prepared for “disruption” helped another major chain immensely. After you watch and listen, let us know if you think his logic and example are relevant to Toys R Us.
Availability of action figures at brick and mortar retail stores has been a topic of debate lately. But what is the state of the US toy industry and US toy retailers in 2018, after the demise of Toys R Us? Click through for more details!
Digital photo site Shutterfly asked more than 1,000 people for a representative survey what defining movie of the 2010s they would put in a time capsule to conserve for posterity. And the winner with the most votes: The Force Awakens. But when you look at the details of the results an interesting trend can be seen that should be cause for alarm for Disney. Click through for details.
It was reported by Bloomberg that Disney’s grand plans for its streaming service may not work as smoothly as intended. Disney sold the broadcast rights for the Original Trilogy and Prequel Trilogy movies to Turner Broadcasting back in 2016. And this deal also included streaming rights. It wasn’t cheap either. Turner paid 275 million for the movies in 2016, a hefty sum. Disney would like nothing better than to get the rights back from Turner, but Turner Broadcasting so far refuses to sell the rights back to Disney or is asking for too much money. The rights expire only in 2024. That could mean that for five long years the all new Disney streaming channel, which is all about Star Wars and Marvel, can’t show the first six Star Wars movies, only the Disney era movies and some fans of the George Lucas era may think twice about paying for a service that won’t be able to stream the movies they love the most. However, Disney still has some time to convince Turner to sell back the rights. Would it matter to you if the first six movies were missing from the Disney streaming service?
I’ve come across some very random Star Wars merchandise ever since Disney revitalized the franchise. Kylo Ren kid’s punch or Star Wars crackers, for example. And earlier tonight I saw this at my local supermarket, a Rey alarm clock. They also had a Kylo Ren alarm clock from The Last Jedi. It’s for kids and is 5.99 euros or about $7. And I wonder… who makes these things? And most importantly… why? Does anyone buy this merchandise? What odd Star Wars merchandise have you seen at retail? Post pictures, if you have some. I wonder what else is out there.
Do you have some spare cash? A movie prop auction will be held in London on September 20th. It’s your once in a lifetime chance at acquiring some unique and iconic movie/tv props! Click through for more details!
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