Sunday, 31 July 2011

George Lucas didn’t bring any bit of “Red Tails”–a movie he shot in 2009 but has never released– to Comic Con. No way. Right now Lucas is scheduled to show some footage from the long-anticipated film at the 2011 Air Venture convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 29th. The screening is set for 8:30pm, sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Hamilton Watches. Lucas is supposedly presenting the trailer.
No one’s seen anything from “Red Tails”–directed by Anthony Hemingway–since it shot in the spring of 2009. There have been many “reports” on various websites that “Red Tails” was either in reshoots or ready for release. Nothing has ever been nailed down. There’s a story that “Red Tails” is supposed to be released in January 2012, but that makes no sense. Either release it before the year’s end, for Oscar eligibility, or wait. But January? Of course, right now there’s no distributor. Lucas is set to do it himself unless he brings in a studio like Paramount or Fox. If he doesn’t release it soon, the actors are going to forget what they did and how to discuss their experiences for the publicity.
Will this film about World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen bomb? Lucas is smart, but long-simmering films (see “Tree of Life”) tend to be extremely flawed attempts at masterpiece.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

An advert aimed at retailers from Kenner selling their up and coming new range of Star Wars toys. It also mentions George Lucas plans twelve movies in the Star Wars universe.  (who remembers that rumour?)

Fox's new sci-fi series Terra Nova, a whole world of dino-fuelled, Spielberg-produced fun, is rampaging towards The O2 right about now. It'll get its UK curtain-raiser on the big screen at Empire Presents... BIG SCREEN. Did we mention the dinosaurs? We did? Good, 'cos there are dinosaurs.

Perfect for Lost fans, Terra Nova revolves around a top secret time-travel experiment that sends the Shannon family (Shelley Conn and Jason O'Mara) back 85 million years from a dystopian 2149 to prehistoric times. The plan is to save the world from an environmental apocalypse, but we're thinking that Stephen Lang and a whole bunch of triceratops aren't going to make things easy for them.

See for yourself at BIG SCREEN. Here's all the premiere info:

Terra Nova UK Premiere -
Friday, 6.15pm in Superscreen
We are thrilled to announce the first screening of pilot episode of the Steven Spielberg produced TV series. Starring Stephen Lang and Jason O’Mara, humans return to prehistoric times from a dystopian future, the aim being to start again. Although, the local dinosaur population might have other ideas.

See more over at http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=31633
 The film now has a release date: Jan. 20, 2012 -- the Friday following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday -- courtesy of 20th Century Fox, the studio that's released all of Lucas' films. Check out the trailer below



George Lucas has spent £9million on buying and restoring an Italian convent.
Although the Star Wars director bought the property in 2009, the purchase has only just become public.
The inhabitants of Passignano sul Trasimeno, in Umbria in central Italy, kept Lucas's presence a secret until last week.
Tucked away: George Lucas's villa in Passignano sul Trasimeno, Italy
Tucked away: George Lucas's villa is all but hidden from view in Passignano sul Trasimeno, Italy
George Lucas: The Star Wars director kept his Italian holiday home secret for two years
George Lucas: The Star Wars director kept his Italian holiday home secret for two years
The Hollywood legend's new home was built in the 16th century as a Capuchin convent, and occupied by monks until 1966.
By the time Lucas bought the property, it was worth £5.2million.
He has spent several millions more on renovating the buildings, with only the 13th century church remaining unchanged.
Renovations included a billiards room, swimming pool and even a spa.
He is believed to have invited some of his Hollywood friends round for a tour a few weeks ago: Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Francis Ford Coppola all stayed together at the convent.
While they were there, Lucas showed them his latest film - a documentary about the property's restoration, screened in the building's new cinema.
Locals are reluctant to talk about Lucas, who rarely ventures outside his grounds, barring an occasional walk on the shore of Lake Trasimeno, which is overlooked by the town.
Passignano: Lucas' new home overlooks Lake Trasimeno, where he can sometimes be seen walking with bodyguards
Passignano: Lucas's new home overlooks Lake Trasimeno, where he can sometimes be seen walking with bodyguards

However, they did reveal that the director and his wife sometimes order enormous quantities of ice cream from the village, to cater for parties.
'For us it means work,' said one Passignano resident to an Italian newspaper.
'The presence of these gentlemen is useful to the community.'
The mayor of the village, Claudio Bellaveglia, was more forthcoming, according to the Sunday Times.
'We respected his wish,' he said.
'If we'd betrayed him, we'd have behaved like provincials.'
The mayor added that he had been invited to the convent for the first time since his childhood, and was particularly impressed by Lucas' cinema.
The next Lucas production to hit the big screen will be Red Tails, scheduled for a release next year.
It tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of African-American pilots to fly in combat squadron during World War Two.
Among those believed to have been invited to the property are Francis Ford Coppola (left) and Steven Spielberg (second right)
Among those believed to have been invited to the property are Francis Ford Coppola (left) and Steven Spielberg (second right). Also pictured is Martin Scorsese, seen at the 2007 Oscars with his director's award for The Departed

Friday, 29 July 2011

His master Darth Vader may have turned to the Dark Side, but one Stormtrooper has become a Force for Good, walking across Australia for charity.
Paul Jacob French, from Melbourne, Victoria, is pictured on day five of his 2,500 mile (4,000km) journey from Perth to Sydney walking down Old Mandurah Road near Perth on Friday.
French aims to walk up to 25 miles a day, five days a week, in full Stormtrooper armour until he reaches Sydney.
He is walking to raise money for the Starlight Foundation - an organisation that aims to brighten the lives of ill and hospitalised children in Australia. His target is A$50,000.
Star trekking: Stormtrooper Paul French on Old Mandurah Road near Perth on July 15
Star trekking: Stormtrooper Paul French on Old Mandurah Road near Perth on July 15

Hard shoulder: Paul French pushes all a Stormtrooper's worldly belongings with him as marches uphill away from Perth, Western Australia
Hard shoulder: Paul French pushes all a Stormtrooper's worldly belongings with him as marches uphill away from Perth, Western Australia

Friendly natives: Kangaroos are just one of the hazards Paul will have to contend with. He also has to cross the 700-mile wide Nullarbor Plain
Friendly natives: Kangaroos are just one of the hazards Paul will have to contend with. He also has to cross the 700-mile wide Nullarbor Plain

French will probably get to Sydney around Christmas. No one except Paul knows why he chose the Stormtrooper outfit but it's definitely an attention grabber - and it avoids the need for sunscreen.
On the way he will cross the Nullarbor Plain, an 850-mile wide sheet of limestone which is lucky to ever see rain. it nearly killed the first Europeans to attempt it, but the crossing is now a rite of passage for young Australians - they can even collect an 'I crossed the Nullarbor' sticker on the way.
Over the course of the trek he will cross four states pushing his lightweight buggy with supplies.
Paul is a member of the worldwide 501st Legion, a volunteer organisation that wears Star Wars outfits for related events and as a means to contribute to their local communities through charity work.
He says his involvement with the 501st has been a 'fantastic' experience.
Rest break: Paul French takes a rest break at the end of his first week of walking. The trainers appear to be Earth issue
Rest break: Paul French takes a rest break at the end of his first week of walking. The trainers appear to be Earth issue
Unmasked: Rest break: Paul French takes a rest break at the end of his first week of walking

Using the Force: French is walking to raise money for the Starlight Foundation - an organisation that aims to brighten the lives of sick children in Australia
Using the Force: French is walking to raise money for the Starlight Foundation - an organisation that aims to brighten the lives of sick children in Australia
He said: 'In October 2010 I participated in the RunMelb half marathon in my Stormtrooper suit.
'The suit was restrictive and got quite hot while I was running, but the seed was planted for the Troopertrek idea.
'Since the marathon I have started to train regularly for this event and have acquired a much lighter and flexible set of armour that will be trimmed for better movement.
'I am hoping that by choosing to wear Stormtrooper armour I will be able to gather more attention for the cause I am running for and have a bit of a laugh along the way.'
He added: 'If there are any social events along the route that you think might benefit from having a Stormtrooper attend, let me know!'
Rest break: Paul French takes a rest break at the end of his first week of walking. The trainers appear to be Earth issue
Rest break: Paul French takes a rest break at the end of his first week of walking. The trainers appear to be Earth issue
On his way: Paul pushes the wagon on and, right, shakes the collection tin for the Starlight Foundation

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2015292/Stormtrooper-Australia-Star-Wars-fan-starts-mammoth-trek.html#ixzz1SU8QmcmZ

Thursday, 28 July 2011

 Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios have released a video diary showing the opening scene realization from storyboards to animation of this summer's successful Cars movie sequel.





Wednesday, 27 July 2011

EA is the "#1 publisher in Western markets," according to its latest quarterly financials. The company command a 16% segment share for the quarter ending June 30th, thanks to the success of games like Portal 2, Dead Space 2, and Dragon Age 2. All three titles have sold over two million copies each. Crysis 2 is an even bigger success, having sold over three million units. (Who needs Steam?)
NCAA 12 is also a strong performer for EA Sports, with sales up 17% from last year. Given the recent resolution of the NFL lockout, next month's Madden should also be a hit for the company.
EA reveled in a number of other statistics: FIFA 11 has sold nearly 15 million units so far, while the last Battlefield game, Bad Company 2, has sold over nine million units so far.
The Battlefield franchise appears to be gaining momentum, and EA is pointing at pre-orders of Battlefield 3 as evidence of that. According to the company, pre-orders are up "more than 10x" Bad Company 2's, undoubtedly helped by a more aggressive marketing campaign, a new graphics engine, and a pre-order campaign that offers DLC for free.
In addition, BioWare's upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic has broken EA's record for pre-orders, an impressive feat given the limited distribution of the digital version of the game. The company said it was planning on "limiting supply at launch" -- a feat it seemingly cannot accomplish.
Looking even further ahead to 2012, EA plans on announcing what appears to be up to four new sports titles in the same quarter as SSX and Mass Effect 3. The titles are unannounced, but we hope to get more info at an investor's conference call, happening now

FROM http://www.shacknews.com/article/69440/star-wars-old-republic-breaks-pre-order-record-ea-sales
Andrew Ainsworth, the man who designed the Imperial Stormtrooper uniforms, has won the right to sell replicas.
George Lucas has been suing Ainsworth since at least 2008 and the case finally ended up in London's Supreme Court.
Ainsworth made the original helmets in 1977 – the legal action treated the helmets as the paradigm for the whole case.
Lucas described the uniforms as: "fascist white-armoured suits". The director then worked with Nick Pemberton, Ralph McQuarrie and Ainsworth to finalise the design. Ainsworth was responsible for the vacumn-molding of the helmets. He made 50 for the original filming.
Ainsworth later sold replicas and made between $8,000 and $30,000 in total. A company controlled by billionaire Lucas won damages in a California court of $20m.
The release said: "Mr Lucas was joined in the litigation by a supporting cast of some of the best known film makers in the world, including Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, James Cameron and Jon Landau, who wrote letters of intervention to the Supreme Court in an attempt to tip the balance against Mr Ainsworth."
Andrew Ainsworth said: "I am delighted to have won the right to continue to make these replicas from the original tools and moulds. It has been a huge struggle, and an enormous distraction, for me to defend for so long against a determined billionaire with an army of lawyers and the support of leading film makers. I can now focus on producing authentic replicas for serious collectors of these items in the UK."
He thanked his legal team and said it showed that David could still beat Goliath.
Ainsworth can continue to make the costumes without Lucas's permission but may not export to the US

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/27/star_wars_stormtrooper/
he final Harry Potter film has held off a challenge from Pixar sequel Cars 2 to hold steady at the top of the UK and Ireland box office chart.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 made £8.5m between Friday and Sunday - less than half of its takings during its record-breaking opening.
Yet its second weekend takings still exceeded the £3.5m that Cars 2 pulled in during its three days on release.
Workplace comedy Horrible Bosses was another new entry in this week's chart.
The film - in which Jennifer Aniston plays a dentist who sexually harasses one of her employees - made just over £2m after opening on 409 screens.
Harry Potter's fortunes this side of the Atlantic contrast with the film's second weekend in the US, where it lost its top spot to superhero film Captain America.

TOP 5 FILMS IN UK AND IRELAND

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - £8.52m
2) Cars 2 - £3.54m
3) Horrible Bosses - £2.07m
4) Bridesmaids - £1.02m
5) Transformers: Dark of the Moon - £0.93m
Source: Screen Daily
According to Screen Daily, Potter's second weekend takings in the UK exceed those of each of the previous seven films in the fantasy series.
Other new entries in the UK chart include the Ewan McGregor romantic comedy Beginners in eighth place, with takings of £146,096.
Raucous farce Bridesmaids - in fourth place in this week's countdown - was the only other film to make more than £1m during the weekend.
The performance of Cars 2 - a follow-up to Pixar's 2006 success Cars - contrasts with that of the last Pixar sequel, Toy Story 3.
That film made £21.2m in its opening weekend, going on to become the top-grossing film of 2010 in the UK and Ireland.

Endgame to focus on Warzone PVP and Operation raids, says BioWare.

BioWare MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic will have "traditional" endgame content, according to the game’s writer Daniel Erickson.
In an interview with GamesReactor, Erickson described what the story-driven MMO will offer players once they reach max level.
"You’ve got Operations, you've got Warzones, you've got actually some full different content that we’ve not talked about yet. You are still going to be earning rewards, opening things up, finding some new places to go and having a lot of new places to go, and team up with your friends," he said.
"And, you know, all the traditional things you'd expect to from an endgame content. The guys who want to stick there at the endgame tend to be a bit more traditionally MMO-focused and they’re a huge core part of our audience."
Erickson has previously lamented the difficulty of marketing to the traditional MMO audience, stating: "When we've tried to explain what we wanted to do there was a lot of 'You can't do that because it hasn't been done'.
"When we've shown people they've said 'OK sure, but it's probably not going to succeed and it's not going to come out'. And it's because of the environment, a lot of people - not just press but fans as well, have been burned enough times on the whole MMO run that they're holding caution."
Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to release later this year.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

BioWare is shooting to have 500 explorable worlds in Star Wars: The Old Republic by 2025.
Zoom
This weekend during Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego, BioWare senior creative director James Ohlen said that the developer is looking to play host to 500 worlds in Star Wars: The Old Republic by the year 2025. That's right: BioWare expects the upcoming MMOG to still exist online 14 years from now – the same amount of time it took to develop Duke Nukem Forever.
"I can say that we have 19 major worlds," he said during a Q&A session. "Then we have an indeterminate number of minor worlds. And our goal, obviously this being an online game, that we're hoping is going to last for decades, we're going to be, obviously, adding more to the galaxy map as the game progresses. We want to add dozens of worlds. Hundreds of worlds eventually. In 2025, we'll hopefully have 500 worlds."
"Guaranteed!" added director of production Dallas Dickenson.
Will 500 worlds be overkill? Electronic Arts' Frank Gibeau claims that The Old Republic will provide 200 hours of gameplay for each of the six available classes -- that doesn't even include crafting, raiding and other multiplayer aspects. He even pointed out that Ultima is on its first decade and still has tens of thousands of subscribers and is widely profitable for the company.
"It's just the nature of the beast that you have to build this amount of content," he said in an interview in June. "Do I wish it wasn't this expensive? Absolutely, but I think everybody does. At the same time it doesn't really do us much good to comment on how much it costs. Ultimately what matters is whether it's a good service and do people really like the game."
So far BioWare is slated to start beta testing on weekends come September. Dallas Dickenson said during the Comic-Con 2011 Q&A that fans should sign up immediately if they have not already done so.
"We're going to be allowing huge numbers of people in," he said. "If you haven't gotten in yet, this is going to be your best chance to do so. So sign up right now to be one of our testers, and there's a very very good chance you'll be playing the game in September. We're going to be inviting thousands and thousands of people to jump into the game, try it out, and give us their feedback."
Does that mean The Old Republic will launch sometime soon after that? "We are going to be beta testing weekends in September and right now our release window target, we are targeting holiday 2011 as our release window," added BioWare community manager Stephen Reid

FROM http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Star-Wars-The-Old-republic-500-worlds-MMOG-PC-Gaming,13124.html
Developed at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) by MS graduate candidate Arthur Nishimoto, "Fleet Commander" explores how a real-time interactive strategy game that would typically rely on complex keyboard commands and mouse interactions be transferred into a multi-user, multi-touch environment.

Originally designed for use with TacTile, a 52-inch multi-touch LCD tabletop display, "Fleet Commander" game play has been ported to
EVL's 20-foot wide multi-touch LCD wall, Cyber-Commons.

"Fleet Commander" uses Processing, an open source programming language.

For more information see http://sites.google.com/site/arthurnishimoto/fleet-commander



Monday, 25 July 2011

Antipodean gaming websites are aghast at the news New Zealand and Australia are being shut out of the pre-order party for EA and LucasArts’ love-child, the Star Wars: The Old Republic online role-playing game.

Word quickly spread that something was amiss following the release of an Old Republic community mailer offering pre-order bonuses for Star Wars fans signing up early to play the new game. New Zealand and Australian fans were unable to sign up for the offer, denying them early access to the game and a special weapon colour peak.

After much internet speculation the developers of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Bioware, offered the following statement:

"We decided to constrain our launch capacity to ensure we deliver a great experience to every player. Part of the reason this decision was made was because of the overwhelming demand for The Old Republic, and we're humbled by that level of excitement and anticipation.
We fully intend to deliver to you an amazing game when we expand our service post-launch, but right now we cannot commit to any timeframe for when that may happen. As soon as we have more information about additional launches in more territories, we’ll let you know.
Bioware and LucasArts are completely focused on building an exceptional game and an exceptional game service to go with it.”

Whilst there is no specific mention of New Zealand in the statement, it seems that The Old Republic’s launch day goodness is reserved for denizens of North America and Europe. What’s worrying is the lack of commitment for releasing the game outside of those initial territories.

In the days before simultaneous game launches, one would often have to purchase games from overseas. Players would happily to connect to any server that would have them, taking lag and disconnections on the chin. Maybe this is the path that the hardcore fans will have to take to get on board with The Old Republic.
 
This is a double-whammy for New Zealand Star Wars: Galaxies fans, who are not only having their game switched in December, but will also be denied access to the new Star Wars MMORPG.


Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts today announced Mission on Iceberg Three, the summer series of Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, which connects the storyline between seasons three and four of the hit Cartoon Network television series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. SOE worked closely with Dave Filoni, supervising director of the series, to create the exclusive storyline in the Mission on Iceberg Three summer campaign. Mission on Iceberg Three kicks off at the end of season three following the battle at Felucia, where the players are given a dangerous assignment from Plo Koon - save the Calamari system from an impending Separatist attack. With the Calamari system producing vital metal ore resources used to strengthen armor plating, it's up to players to protect the Mon Calamari leader and prevent Separatists from taking control. Only this one planet stands between the Republic base and the Separatist invasion fleet, so players must act fast.
"Our partnership with LucasArts continues to be strong with the team behind The Clone Wars TV series providing us unprecedented access to the season four storyline. To-date, most of our gameplay experience has mirrored the show, and we're excited to provide original storylines and exclusive content to our players and fans of the TV show," said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. "With the plot carrying on from the television series to the browser, SOE and LucasArts continue to build their reputation as leaders within the entertainment space."
"Season Four is going to drop audiences into the deep end of an important battle, and this is a chance for fans to take part in one of our biggest storylines yet," said Filoni. "These events will ripple throughout the Star Wars galaxy, so they are integral to the trajectory of the series. This is a great way to contribute to the Republic's war effort, and SOE's done a great job of tying our stories together."
Through four new engaging narrative-filled levels, Mission on Iceberg Three allows fans to enhance their Clone Wars experience. Players will duel an iconic adversary using customized Lightsabers, battle through the galaxy in the ultimate Starfighter and defend the citizens of the Mon Calamari system with help from a new Ally in Republic Defender.
Mission on Iceberg Three will be the go-to virtual summer hangout and is the only place where players can stay current on news and events from Star Wars:Clone Wars Adventures and the latest developments in the evolving storyline of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, until the premiere of season four this fall. Explore the online world and save the Republic.
Visit www.CloneWarsAdventures.com for more information.

http://gameplaytoday.com/home/news-archive/6068-soe-and-lucasarts-announce-clone-wars-mission-on-iceberg-three

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The start of a new television season is akin to a meteor shower.

Shows come flying out of nowhere, lighting up the sky and screaming for attention. Most crash to Earth or simply disintegrate, causing mass confusion among viewers, many of whom flee for more stable ground.

Traditionally, dinosaurs haven't fared well with meteors. But Fox is betting that "Terra Nova," its highly anticipated new program about a family that travels from the year 2149 to prehistoric times as part of a group trying to save the planet, can survive the craziness that is the fall television season.

The show, which counts Steven Spielberg as executive producer, is scheduled for a two-hour premiere Sept. 26, right in the thick of the opening of the new season.

The following week it's slated to settle into its hourlong time slot beginning at 8 p.m. and will serve as a lead-in to the medical drama "House."

Given that it has been delayed twice and is shaping up to be expensive -- it shoots in Australia, is loaded with special effects and the first episode alone cost more than $15 million -- it is an understatement to say Fox has a lot riding on "Terra Nova."

"This is definitely one of our highest priorities for the fall," acknowledged Joe Earley, the network's president of marketing.

While hoping to attract the sci-fi crowd and young males, Fox is gambling that "Terra Nova" can be that rarest of television shows: a broad-based hit that families will watch together.

Internally, the show has been dubbed "Little House on the Prairie With Dinosaurs."

Fox doesn't even like it referred to as a science-fiction show, preferring instead to call it an "epic family drama." Family shows are increasingly rare on television as audiences have become progressively more fragmented in the digital age.

"If we can get people to buy into this family, then we have a shot," said Preston Beckman, Fox's head of scheduling. "If it's dinosaur of the week, we'll never have a shot."

Because the casualty rate for new shows is so high, networks often try to protect ambitious projects until after the smoke has cleared and the early fatalities of the season have been carted off.

Fox, however, is eschewing a safe approach, marching right into the thick of battle -- a bold move that warns other networks to get out of the way.

"We don't close our eyes and roll the dice," said Beckman when asked whether it might be better to delay the launch of "Terra Nova." "We think we're doing it the right way."

Beckman wouldn't say what kind of audience "Terra Nova" needs for Fox to consider it a success, but he predicted that "a good 40 percent will watch on some sort of delayed basis."

Fox will use a doubleheader of NFL football on Sept. 25 (assuming the lockout has been resolved) and the premiere of its Sunday-night animated lineup to hype "Terra Nova's" first episode.

Fox is trying to build excitement about the show without giving too much away. It has screened the first hour for a handful of critics but won't release pictures from the show that include the dinosaurs yet.

"Terra Nova" will be screened at Comic-Con, the fanboy convention that is often used by networks and movie producers to generate buzz for new shows and films.

Besides the road trip to Comic-Con and constant commercials for "Terra Nova" on the network, Fox is also targeting families and kids by promoting the show in museums, zoos and theme parks across the country.

Trailers for the show have appeared at screenings of "X-Men: First Class" and "Super 8" and will also be screened before the next "Harry Potter" movie, which opens Thursday at midnight.

"We can sell dinosaurs to one audience, time travel to another and a family drama to another," Earley said.

FROM http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110713/ENTERTAINMENT04/307139979/-1/ENTERTAINMENT07

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Star Wars fans will soon be able to see snippets of the series long hidden away in the vaults of series creator George Lucas.
The movie mogul is releasing a large amount of previously unavailable footage in a bid to tempt fans to buy the films all over again in high definition Blu-ray format.
They make up perhaps the most exciting bonus material in the upcoming nine-disc Star Wars: The Complete Saga package.

Scroll down to see the teaser trailer....

Luke at that: Fans were treated to a teaser trailer showing deleted scenes from the original hit Star Wars trilogy in a promotional trailer today
Luke at that: Fans were treated to a teaser trailer showing deleted scenes from the original hit Star Wars trilogy in a promotional trailer today
The new material will only be available to fans who can afford to fork out the $140 asking price for the box-set, which is released in September.
It will be the third time in just over a decade the series has been given an overhaul and re-released.
As well as the original cuts, a special edition with added footage was released in 1997, while in 2004 a special box set hit stores containing digitally enhanced new cuts of the original to bring them into line with the recently made prequels.

But news of another re-release hasn't thrilled all Star Wars fans.
Lighten your wallet: The new Star Wars: The Complete Saga box-set is being advertised as costing $140
Lighten your wallet: The new Star Wars: The Complete Saga box-set is being advertised as costing $140

That's handy: Fans get to see more footage of Luke Skywalker playing with his robot hand in the new footage
That's handy: Fans get to see more footage of Luke Skywalker playing with his robot hand in the new footage
On fansite Comicbookmovie.com most fans were outraged at the latest re-release from the Star Wars francise, which has already generated approximately $4.41 billion at the box office alone, making it the third-highest-grossing film series behind only the Harry Potter and James Bond films.

One fan called The Symbiote said: ‘Talk about milking the cow to the driest limit possible.

‘I respect Lucas for creating the universe of Star Wars, but I don't really like him.’
Deserters: Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca go hunting for Han Solo after he was captured in the Empire Strikes Back
Deserters: Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca go hunting for Han Solo after he was captured in the Empire Strikes Back
Another called Kashchei said: ‘I love star wars and all but you know what, frick you George Lucas.

‘I know there's more stuff he has stashed away that he's not gonna release until whatever format succeeds Blu-Ray 10yrs from now.’

However some fans were pleased with the prospect of seeing some extra action involving Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.

A fan called Marvel 72 said: ‘Nice find. I'm a massive star wars fan so I'm really looking forward to seeing these on Blu-ray.'

Luke of Arabia: Skywalker gets ready to depart into the treacherous Tatooine desert
Luke of Arabia: Skywalker gets ready to depart into the treacherous Tatooine desert

Offski: Luke makes his way into the sandy landscape as he tries to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt
Offski: Luke makes his way into the sandy landscape as he tries to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt
The new scenes shown in the teaser trailer all come from the original trilogy,and include Luke Skywalker on his homeworld of Tatooine, Han Solo blasting Imperial troops on Endor, and R2-D2 wheeling away from a firefight.
Since the final episode of the original Stars Wars trilogy was released in 1983, George Lucas has pumped out huge amounts of content, including games, books and cartoons.
However the series' hardcore fan base have often been left disappointed in the results.
Run away: The heroes of the hit films escape as they are pursued by servants of the dark side of the Force
Run away: The heroes of the hit films escape as they are pursued by servants of the dark side of the Force
Something fishy is going on: One of the goldfish-like creatures that form the backbone of the Rebel Alliance
Something fishy is going on: One of the goldfish-like creatures that form the backbone of the Rebel Alliance
And the prequel trilogy, which starred Ewan McGregor, was widely regarded as disappointing.

The much hyped first movie, 1999's The Phantom Menace, was especially disdained among fans for being overly aimed at children.

However it has been promised that the Complete Saga will be packed with remastered footage and lots of worthy extras.

At the moment it is unclear whether the new scenes will make it into the upcoming 3D theater release, or if they will just include the original theatrical cuts.
I see cash in the distance: Mark Hamill, who played Luke, will be hoping the re-release is a big success
I see cash in the distance: Mark Hamill, who played Luke, will be hoping the re-release is a big success

during The Adventures of Tintin panel at the San Diego Comic-Con Spielberg was asked about the fourth movie, and he said he hopes to get it made in the near future.
From Coming Soon:
“We have a story, I can happily announce right now,” Spielberg said, “We have a writer… Hopefully, we’ll be making ‘Jurassic Park 4′ in the near future. In the next two or three years.”
No word yet on whether Spielberg himself will direct, but if not he’ll still be heavily involved with the film. While the second and third films weren’t as good as the first, i’d be more than happy to see dinosaurs back on the big screen (I know many aren’t fond of 3D but a 3D dinosaur movie would be worth seeing).

http://filmonic.com/steven-spielberg-hopes-to-make-jurassic-park-4-in-the-near-future

SAN FRANCISCO -- The unlikely but thrilling success of Rango, one weird little animated western that garnered upbeat critical reviews and generated decent box office earlier this year, has changed George Lucas' special effects shop forever.
These are the people who originally created everything from the light sabers to the spaceships for Lucas' Star Wars movies. These are the people who make up the braintrust and working artists at Industrial Light & Magic, a unit of Lucasfilm that has spent 35 years creating effects for an incredible diversity of films and franchises. These are the people whose credits range from Star Wars to Indiana Jones, Ghost Busters, Star Trek, Back to the Future, The Mummy, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar and one-offs as different as The Last Temptation of Christ, The Abyss, Galaxy Quest, The Perfect Storm and idiocy such as The Love Guru.
Yet Rango, brought to ILM by Gore Verbinski after he worked with the shop on the first three Pirates episodes, has sent wonderfully creative shock waves through the studio in San Francisco's storied Presidio neighbourhood. Rango is the first animated feature ILM has ever made from beginning to end. It will not be the last. And audiences will benefit.
"Well, it already has," ILM's Hal Hickel says when Sun Media asks whether Rango will change the way ILM approaches filmmaking. The timing for the interview is appropriate: Rango debuts Friday as a stand-alone DVD and as a Blu-ray combo pack loaded with making-of extras. With $242.6 million in boxoffice receipts worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, Rango is already in a profit position. It cost an estimated $135 million. But it needs strong home entertainment rentals and sales to push it into mega-hit territory. Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment is expecting that to happen. Meanwhile, ILM is enjoying the ride.
Working on Rango has expanded what ILM does, says Hickel, animation director on the project. "I mean, there are a lot of things about doing animated films that are very different from live action. For one thing, with visual effects, we are almost always working within the context of filmed footage that we are adding stuff to. Occasionally, we have sequences that are all CG, but those are rare. Mostly, it's a framed shot. We have a dinosaur that's over here and he has to get over there for the explosion. Animated films are a lot more of a blank slate."
Verbinski married his own core team on Rango with the ILM team of computer animators. "Gore really felt very strongly (about this). We had a great relationship with him from the Pirates film but I think it was very much the visual effects vendor relationship. Gore really wanted to make sure that, on this film, we felt that we were all filmmakers. We were all making this film together. We were in it from the beginning to the end. And that was kind of a nice cultural change for everyone. Everyone felt a lot more invested. They felt they had more authorship over the work. I think that was huge. And, technically, there were a lot of challenges to overcome with the size of the project."
So, is ILM eager to do it again? "Yes," says Hickel, "absolutely!"
Paramount is now ramping up its own animation department and could employ ILM again as a rival production house to giants such as Disney/Pixar and DreamWorks. Rango is so not what ILM is used to doing and that is a good thing. "It's definitely not the kind of film that George would have made," Hickel says. "It's a very specific weird little thing."
And people love it ... even George Lucas.
Canadian animator can relate to Rango
An introverted Canadian animator contributed to the creative lunacy of Rango, a colourful chameleon who overcomes his fear and cleans up crime in a dusty desert town in the animated film.
"I think I got into animation because I'm a shy Canadian," says Ottawa-born and Sheridan College-trained Kevin Martel. "And it's way easier to do a performance hidden behind a couple of (computer) monitors and a keyboard than it is to actually stand up on a stage."
That is way Martel is in awe of what the voice cast members of Rango -- led by Johnny Depp as the title character but also including Isla Fisher as the heroine and Ned Beatty as the arch villain inspired by John Huston in Chinatown -- did in their recordings. They were all amazing, Martel says, explaining at his computer at Industrial Light and Magic how animators combined what the actors offered with the drawings of production designer Mark (Crash) McCreery. There was also the creative input of director Gore Verbinski and other sources.
"We put a lot of ourselves in there, too," Martel says. For Depp's Rango, a lonely critter thrust into an existential crisis, it was personal. "I know, for me, it's always good when you get a character you can relate to and I can relate to a lot of his awkwardness. I spent a lot of time growing up drawing -- isolated -- and here at work it's very isolated. So that's definitely another piece of the puzzle for each animator to find something that they can identify with and connect with and they can bring something of themselves into the character."
The Rango character, Martel says, should not be so popular, yet he is. "He is one ugly fella but, somehow, endearing."

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/07/10/rango-a-game-changer-for-ilm

Friday, 22 July 2011

This first ever custom Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle includes an R2-D2 blue-and-white themed console, a custom Xbox 360 Wireless Controller inspired by C-3PO and the first ever white Kinect sensor.  The bundle is set to debut alongside Kinect Star Wars, but is available now for pre-order through participating retailers.

The Xbox 360 Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars Bundle will include:
  • Kinect Star Wars game
  • Custom R2-D2-themed Xbox 360 Console with custom sounds
  • White Kinect Sensor
  • Custom C-3PO-themed Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
  • 320 GB Hard Drive
  • Xbox 360 Wired Headset
  • Kinect Adventures game
  • Exclusive downloadable content
Thebeardedtrio.com hot tip:  This is going to be a huge sort after collectable in years to come.  So buy one and make sure you keep the box!


During the Real Steel presentation at Comic-Con this morning, actor Hugh Jackman revealed that director Steven Spielberg is interested in adapting the Broadway play A Steady Rain into a feature. The play starred Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, which ran for 12 weeks. It makes sense that Spielberg would probably want the two actors to reprise their roles in the movie.

A Steady Rain focuses on two Chicago policemen who inadvertently return a Vietnamese boy to a cannibalistic serial killer who claims to be the child's uncle. When he later becomes the man's latest victim, the lifelong friendship of the two men is threatened when it becomes clear someone must bear responsibility for their egregious failure to assess the situation accurately.

FROM http://www.movieweb.com/comic-con/2011/news/sdcc-2011-steven-spielberg-wants-a-steady-rain-adaptation

Thursday, 21 July 2011

David Beckham has rented out Steven Spielberg's sprawling Californian beachside home in Malibu for œ93,000 a month, so that wife Victoria can relax and recover after the birth of their baby girl, Harper Seven, while he and the boys get in some swimming and surfing.


Although they own an 11million pound mansion 30 miles away in Beverly Hills, and 'Beckingham Palace' back in England, he and wife Victoria could not resist when they heard that the 25million pound Spielberg residence was available, reports the Daily Mail.

The seven-bedroom, ten-bathroom mansion was custom-built for Spielberg and looks out on to what has been called 'the most exclusive piece of sand in the world'.

"It's very peaceful and relaxing for the Beckhams. I've seen Victoria on the beach watching the dolphins with the family. She must feel like she's in heaven," the daily quoted a neighbour as saying.

A source close to the Beckhams, said: "As soon as Victoria saw pictures of the house she told David it was the perfect place to relax and recover after the birth of the baby.

"David didn't think twice and signed a lease straight away.

'The Beckhams moved in shortly before Harper Seven's arrival by caesarean section on July 10," the source added.

Since then, the footballer and his sons have been frequently seen on the beach, often with their bulldog Coco.

From http://www.dailyindia.com/show/452025.php
casting call for Lincoln has been announced for Friday in Richmond, VA. The production is specifically interested in men over 20 with long hair and beards.
“If you’re interested and presently have long hair and/or a beard, or you are able to stop shaving and cutting your hair until the casting director comes to the area next week, please come to an open call,” the Virginia Film Office’s notice says.
This is an all day casting call, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
The production company asks that you bring a recent photo with you. Another casting call for women and children will be held soon.

From http://www.onlocationvacations.com/2011/07/20/casting-call-for-spielbergs-lincoln-film-announced-in-virginia/
A three-metre shark became trapped onboard a research vessel after throwing itself at the transom in an eerie echo of classic shark movie Jaws
Marine researchers in South Africa got "the surprise of a lifetime" when a great white shark leapt onto the back of the boat like the tense final scenes of the classic Spielberg movie Jaws.

Yesterday morning field specialist Dorien Schroder and six crew were chumming with sardines off the coast of Sea Island and recording a fair amount of activity around their boat.

The team were conducting research for Oceans Research as part of ‘Project Great White Shark' focusing on identifying great white sharks and measuring their population in South Africa.

After five minutes of unusually low levels of activity around the boat, the shark suddenly leapt out of the water and landed on their boat.

"Next thing I know I heard a splash, and see a white shark breach out of the water from the side of the boat hovering, literally, over the crew member who was chumming on the boat's portside," recalled Ms Schröder.

Schröder pulled the crewmember to safety but the 500kg shark, which landed on top of the fuel and bait storage containers and cut the fuel line, became stuck as it struggled to escape. Two shark scientists ashore responded to Schröder's emergency radio call, assembled a team, and were rushed out to Cheetah by another boat.

Once aboard they made sure that no one was injured before securing the shark while water was poured over its gills to help keep it alive. Cheetah, together with its surprise visitor, was then towed back to harbour where a crane was used to lift the shark free and return it, unharmed, to the sea

To read a full account of the incident, check out Oceans Research's official blog.

From http://www.motorboatsmonthly.co.uk/news/529245/great-white-shark-recreates-classic-jaws-scene

EA confirms Star Wars: The Old Republic pre-order contents.

Users can finally pre-order BioWare's MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, according to the official EA website which has also confirmed the pre-order contents available with the game.
According to the website, supplies are limited "and the order in which you pre-order and redeem your code at The Old Republic's Code Redemption Centre is the order in which players are let in during Early Game Access".
As listed, the Standard Edition of the game includes 30 days of game time, while the Digital Deluxe Edition will include a flare gun, training droid, holodancer, holocam, and STAP vehicle.
Additionally the physical Collector's Edition includes a 111-page journal of Master Gnost-Dural, a Darth Malgus statue, The Old Republic galaxy map, security authentication key fob, an Star Wars: The Old Republic soundtrack, an exclusive mouse droid, and virtual access to an in-game store.
This news comes after a week of accidental pre-order leaks via online retailers.
Pre-order information was initially leaked by Polish retailer Empik.com, followed by a brief display of a pre-order information page by GameStop, as reported by Massively, which was quickly taken down.
BioWare has promised more news to follow at tomorrow's Comic-Con event.



From http://www.videogamer.com/pc/star_wars_the_old_republic/news/star_wars_the_old_republic_pre-order_now_available.html

This Utah house was built as a full...
Photo by AP
This Utah house was built as a full scale rendition of the home featured in the Pixar’s Academy Award- winning animated feature ‘Up.’ On weekends the house will be decorated with balloons, but will remain on the ground.


HERRIMAN, Utah — The stenciled mailbox in front of the vibrant green-and-pink house reads "Carl & Ellie." Over the fireplace mantle is a picture of Paradise Falls, the dream vacation never realized. In an upstairs bedroom, a mural for the children the couple will never have is freshly painted.
In a suburban development south of Salt Lake City, a highly detailed recreation of the house from the Academy Award winning movie "Up" has become a curious visitor attraction. And for an asking price of $399,000, it could become the dream house for a family hoping to live a real-life Disney fantasy.
Throughout Friday afternoon, a steady stream of people — mostly families with children — stopped in front of the house to gawk, snap pictures and ask workers questions about the house. They also ask about the balloons that Carl uses to launch his house into the sky, which are not currently on the house but will be attached to the chimney when the house opens for tours July 29.
Many of the people stopping Friday afternoon echo Crystalynn Mellor’s sentiment that the house is a "fun and creative" break from the monochrome single-family houses that dominate the area.
For Tami Acord-Nelson, however, the house underscores the bittersweet nature of life that is a dominant theme of the movie. The movie’s release three years ago coincided with open heart surgery on her then 7-month-old youngest son, Thatcher, who is now a precocious 3-year-old more interested in kung-fu fighting, Panda-style, with his brother
"We had balloons all over his room, so the movie seemed appropriate," Acord-Nelson said about the surgery in 2008. "It was a cute movie, and this house is darling. I’m a big Disney fan."
The house is modeled on its appearance early in the movie, when Carl and Ellie Frederickson are flush with the optimism of newlyweds. That was before infertility undid their hopes for a family and Ellie’s death left Carl a curmudgeonly recluse who refuses to succumb to developers and sell his house.
Homebuilder Adam Bangerter said he and his brothers — who collectively own Bangerter Homes — wanted to replicate the house because it’s iconic and plays an important role in the movie.
"It illustrates what homeownership really is, and it’s not an investment. It’s part of the American dream to have a house to care for, to improve and to make part of your family," Bangerter said during a tour of the house.
After getting permission from Disney to use the movie to promote the house, the brothers began crafting plans for the house. Details like the mailbox and house color were obvious, but others needed tweaking, such as a shingles on the roof that have a unique scalloped pattern or a front door that is not a standard size.
"The design was done entirely by watching the movie and noticing every detail, then matching it," Bangerter said.
Their precision bordered on fanatical, as everyone involved scoured the movie for the smallest detail. They hired a woodcarver who could craft a wooden bird that matches one Carl repeatedly saves in the movie, and the furniture, fireplace, stairs, moulding and appliances were all custom-designed because they simply don’t exist in the real world.
While it’s a house based on a cartoon, Bangerter said they also had to make it livable because "this isn’t Disneyland, and people need a house that actually works to live in." To accomplish that, they took liberties with areas of the house not seen in the movie, such as the kitchen and master bedroom, by building them to modern standards with retro flourishes.
The 2,800-square-foot, 4-bedroom home also has modern amenities, such as cable outlets in every room and a tankless water heater.
There is a basement that he movie house didn’t have, with a family room and two bedrooms. The bedrooms were designed through a partnership with the Make-A-Wish foundation to recognize a sick child who has realized their dream. One is a tribute to Disney princesses and the other is a recreation of Andy’s room from the "Toy Story" movies.
© Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Tintin photo call
Tintin photo call
Trago/Getty Images
Sir Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Gad Elmaleh were in Paris this morning for a photo call announcing their latest film, The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn, today.
   Spielberg has directed the first Tintin film, with Sir Peter producing. Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish have scripted the adventure, based on three of Hergé’s original stories, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure.
   It is Spielberg’s first animated feature, with visual effects by Weta.
   The cast features Jamie Bell as Tintin, and Serkis as Capt Haddock. Simon Pegg, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost and Daniel Mays also star.
   The film hits US cinemas on December 23.
Tintin photo call


Tintin photo call  From http://lucire.com/insider/20110719/sir-peter-jackson-steven-spielberg-at-tintin-photo-call-in-paris/
Joe Johnston was busy promoting his upcoming “Captain America” over the weekend in Los Angeles, though talk eventually drifted around to Johnston’s previous franchise, “Jurassic Park.”
For those who don’t recall, Johnston directed the third installment of the series after Steven Spielberg walked, and he was asked to comment on rumors that a fourth “Park” might be in the works.
“We are in discussions about ‘Jurassic Park 4,’” the director told press in L.A. (via ScreenRant). “The most important thing I can tell you is that it starts a new trilogy that will go off in a different direction — a completely different direction that is very exciting, and different from anything we’ve seen.
“It starts with the history of the first trilogy, but it spins it off in a completely different direction. That’s all I can tell you,” he concluded.
So there’s an idea floating out there … even though novelist Michael Crichton hasn’t penned any additional “Park” stories. As for the direction “Park” will head, one can only speculate. Still, this sounds like it’s very early in the planning stages, as no director or writers officially have been hired. But “Jurassic Park” isn’t dead (or extinct), and it may happen in the future.
From http://www.hollywoodnews.com/2011/07/18/jurassic-park-talk-from-captain-america-director/
ws, News items, Family, Clone Wars Adventures
Clone Wars Adventures is a unique MMO that links together a children's game with the TV show on Cartoon Network. Todd Carson, the Senior Producer of CWA, sat down with Massively to talk about some of the new content that's coming for fans, as well as a new storyline in game that will complete the transition between season three and four of the TV series.

Read on for highlights from the interview, including a closer look at the Battle for Iceberg 3, new housing items, and even some new mounts!We first asked Carson to talk about the new content for CWA. He said that Dave Filoni, the supervising director of the TV show, approached the team and wanted to do something that ties in season three and four using the game. He sent over the lead designer and he came up with a story about how the separatists are getting ready to invade Mon Calamari. Mon Calamari asks for help, so Plo Kloon and Commander Wolffe, part of the Wolfpack, go in and try to rescue the inhabitants of Iceberg 3, in the Mon Calamari system next to the planet. It all leads up to what starts beginning of season four. When players watch the first three episodes of season four they'll recognize that it fits with what happens in the game.

Players will start by playing a Starfighter mission, trying to break through the Separatist blockade. Then comes a Republic Defender mission, which tasks players with stopping the Separatists from invading this town while the inhabitants are trying to evacuate. There's also a Dark Side dueling game, because player will run into one of the darker powers in the storyline. In the end, you don't necessarily succeed in driving back the Separatists, but you did your part to allow for Anakin and Senator Amidala to come in and take on a role in the TV series that completes the storyline. For players who are familiar with the Geonosis Saga, the Battle for Iceberg 3is similar. Rewards for completing the storyline challenges will include a unique in-game title, "Hero of the 104th," and a special ability called the Wolfpack. For any Republic Defender mission after completing Iceberg 3, players can activate Commander Wolffe and his commando army, who will charge into the enemy and do a lot of damage.

Next, Carson talked about the new focus on multiplayer games in game. He said the recent addition of new multiplayer games was based on player's requests. The games were also designed to be challenging not only to kids but to adults who are fans of Star Wars or who play the game with their families. Along with that, there was the addition of Squads in game, which let players create in-game teams and give themselves a name. This allows players to find each other and talk to each other even if they're not in the same place. They also have lots more planned for Squads. One is a new gameplay element that will come at the beginning of Season Four. After that, there are plans to add Squad housing and even Squad vs. Squad dueling towards the end of the year.

Housing came up next, and Carson said there are plans to add jump pads and track timers into houses, which lets players create even more amazing obstacle courses. They also want to make use of speeders with player-made tracks. There are lots of physics issues, to prevent people from crashing or getting stuck falling through the world, but they're working on ways to allow players to make their own games.

Springboarding from there, Carson said that starting with Season Four, the team has plans to add mounts to the game, which will be available in the cash shop. And he elaborated on the new McDonald's promotion, saying that players who purchase a Happy Meal will get a code that can be redeemed for a C-3P0 droid pet. There are additional plans for another promotion with Hasbro, including a flash game. But when asked about the trading card game, he said it will depend on what the player demand, but right now there aren't plans to add new packs or expand upon it. Also, when asked about classic outfits that were once available on the Marketplace, he said they prefer to keep items connected with the Clone Wars TV show, so they don't have plans to add new classic outfits or bring back retired ones.

Lastly, Carson talked about the fact that Clone Wars Adventures is one of the few games that does not use player-to-player trading. Instead, they use a wish list that allows players to select items they want, and other players can gift those items to the player. The intention is to prevent scamming, and so far it's worked well. He added that they might add specific items that can be traded, but that overall, they're happy with the wish list system and plan to stick with that.

Battle for Iceberg 3 goes live on July 15th. All players will have access to the first stage, and members will be able to play through the entire storyline. 
 
FROM  http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/07/09/fan-faire-11-the-future-of-clone-wars-adventures-with-senior-p/

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Monday, 18 July 2011

Entertainment News

The final instalment of the Harry Potter franchise had a magical weekend at the box office, breaking the US and worldwide records for its opening weekend gross.
 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 grossed $168.55m (€120m) at the US box office, besting The Dark Knight’s 158.4m (€112m) record that had stood for the past three years. The film also broke the US opening day record by $20m, grossing $92m on Friday, boosted by a record-shattering $43.5m midnight launch).
The worldwide opening weekend for Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was another new record, as the film grossed €338m ($475m), topping the previous holder, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by €58m.
The next step for the franchise is the soon-to-be accomplished record as the top-grossing franchise in movie history. The films have grossed $2.177bn in the US in comparison to Star Wars' $2.218bn, though it should be added that the boy wizard had an additional two movies to outgross George Lucas’ efforts.
"Everybody expected this movie to be big because the tracking was so huge," said Dan Fellman, distribution chief for Warner Bros., "But nobody could project just how big big was until we got there. Once those midnight numbers came in, all bets were off."

From http://www.joe.ie/entertainment/entertainment-news/harry-potter-conjures-box-office-magic-after-breaking-opening-weekend-record-0014138-1

Development team to hold Star Wars: The Old Republic Q&A, show new gameplay footage.

BioWare will be making announcements regarding the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.
The Star Wars: The Old Republic panel will be held at 3:30PM on July 21, where the team will "be answering questions from the audience, giving away some items, showing new gameplay footage and making some announcements".
This follows the recent news that The Old Republic flashpoint instances will be available to play at Comic-Con 2011.
Comic-Con will run from July 21 to July 24 at the San Diego Convention Centre. A release date for Star Wars: The Old Republic has yet to be announced by EA.

From http://www.videogamer.com/pc/star_wars_the_old_republic/news/bioware_to_make_swtor_announcements_at_comic-con.html
Star Wars Shop has closed and will no longer sell merchandise on StarWars.com effective Monday, July 18.

 The notice on the shop's page reads...

“We know discovering the best of the best of the Star Wars universe is important to you, and we are focused on delivering that at StarWars.com,”

“We are hard at work finding new ways to showcase Star Wars merchandise and we’ll have more to share with you on that front in the coming months.”

There will be some celebrities visiting this year's Experimental Aircraft Association's convention in Oshkosh. Actor Harrison Ford, an avid pilot and former EAA Young Eagles chairman, will introduce his 1993 movie, "Clear and Present Danger," on July 27.
Baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. and Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas will be at EAA Young Eagles Celebrity Golf Classic on July 27 at the Oshkosh Country Club.
"Star Wars" creator George Lucas will introduce a preview of his upcoming film, "Red Tails" on July 29.
" The movie is set for release next year and tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II.
"The convention runs July 25 through July 31.
LucasArts, a division of Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. and Activision today flew their flags of announcement for the Monkey Island™ Special Edition Collection, for the first time ever combining the hit titles The Secret of Monkey Island™: Special Edition and Monkey Island™ 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge™ into one retail adventure package. As an added bonus, the title will also include never-before-seen bonus content from the LucasArts vault.

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition faithfully re-imagines the critically-acclaimed classic game (originally released in 1990) for original and new audiences alike with all-new HD graphics, a re-mastered musical score, full voiceover, and an in-depth hint system to help players through the game’s side-splitting puzzles. Purists will also delight in the ability to seamlessly switch between the Special Edition and the Classic versions of the game at any time.

Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge expands on the highly successful first title, returning with all of the signature Special Edition features from the first game, plus new enhanced features including direct-control, allowing players to take direct control of Guybrush Threepwood if they choose, and a revamped hint system that highlights objects of interest while playing. The title also includes in-game audio commentary from the game’s original creators Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman, as they share their thoughts and memories about select scenes from the game, both Special and Classic.

Monkey Island Special Edition Collection will also include never-before seen content including environment and character concept art from both the Special Edition versions of both games. Music fans can also tap their toes along to the remastered and re-recorded soundtracks for both games. And most exciting, players will also receive storyboards and concept art from an Industrial Light & Magic exploration of a Monkey Island™ animated movie that was never released.

READ MORE http://spong.com/press_release/24848/Yo-Ho-Ho-Monkey-Island-Special-Edition-Collection-Sets-Sail-This-September-For-European-Shores

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