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The Ultimate Guide to (Not) Watching the MCU Before Avengers: Infinity War

Over the past several weeks, so many friends have come to me and said, “So, which of the Marvel movies do I need to have seen before watching Avengers: Infinity War?” (which comes out April 24) My answer, invariably, has been “Uhm. . . all of them?”

I then realize most of my friends are nowhere near as obsessive as I am and haven’t been planning this for months. That’s completely fair. And, as was said quite well on Twitter by film writer Jason Bailey:

Well, the root word of “fan” is “fanatic,” right? So, forgive some of us our ridiculous indulgences. I’m the guy who, in preparation for The Last Jedi watched not only all of the Star Wars movies in chronological order, but also almost all of The Clone Wars and Rebels cartoon shows. I started before Thanksgiving.

But this is for everyone else, written with what you should watch, in what order, and what you need to know in Cliff’s Notes form to get ready.  Speaking of, here’s what you need to know, even if you don’t watch any of the movies: The Avengers, “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” are in shambles after a devastating difference of opinion split it into two factions led by Iron Man and Captain America. Meanwhile, an alien of phenomenal power named Thanos has been trying to collect six “Infinity Stones” to place into a gauntlet which would give him, basically, unlimited power. Each stone grants power over an element or concept: space, time, reality, power, mind, and soul. So far over the last decade and eighteen movies, five of the six have shown up.

So, first, figure out exactly how many movies you want to watch, and I’ll give you the right order to watch them in. I’ll start with the fewest movies, and end with two different ways to watch all of them.

NOTE: These are NOT judgments on the quality of the individual films. Indeed, the BEST film of the MCU (Captain America: The Winter Soldier — fight me) is only on the list of watching all or almost all of the films, while some of the lesser quality films (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: The Dark World) are featured frequently only because they explain the background of the Infinity Stones.

If you only watch ONE movie

  1. Captain America: Civil War

Wha? But that movie has, like nothing to do with Thanos and the Infinity Stones? Right?

Yes, but the MCU’s saving grace is that it has always been more about characters and less about the other trappings. And in a movie like Infinity War that aims to balance the stories of two dozen protagonists, it’s best that we know where the majority of them ended up. And it’s worth knowing the personal stakes for everyone. It doesn’t hurt that this is one of the best films of the series (I rated it my #1 film of 2015)

So that’s all fine and good, but what else do I need to know?

Remember that Thanos is trying to collect all six of these stones, so we can assume that is central to the plot. At the end of the 18 films, here are the last known confirmed locations of the Infinity Stones (and their colors):
The Space Stone – Blue – “The Tesseract” was in Odin’s Treasure Room, but presumably Loki nicked it before Asgard was destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok
The Reality Stone – Red – “The Aether” was last seen being delivered to Taneleer Tevan aka The Collector at the end of Thor: The Dark World
The Power Stone – Purple – “The Orb” was put in the Nova Corps’ vault on Xandar at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy
The Mind Stone – Yellow – Previously housed in Loki’s Scepter, the Mind Stone is now firmly set in the middle of Vision’s forehead, as last seen in Captain America: Civil War
The Time Stone – Green – Housed in “The Eye of Agamato,” this is presumably either in Stephen Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenich Village, New York City or around his neck, as seen in the end of Doctor Strange 
The Soul Stone 
– Orange – ???

Other characters? There are lots of people who weren’t involved in the Avengers Civil War. Where are they?
The Hulk, Thor, and Loki – Asgard got blowed up in Thor: Ragnarok. Last we saw the surviving Asgardian refugees, they were escaping in a spaceship, and in an after credits scene were confronted by Thanos’s ship. Eep.
The Guardians of the Galaxy – Gamora and Nebula were raised by Thanos. It was an abusive relationship, and they now oppose him. Starlord aka Peter Quill was raised on Earth but his father was an ancient celestial being that tried to murder all of them. This, however, gave him power to (briefly) wield the Power Stone. Drax the Destroyer’s main goal is now to kill Thanos, who ordered the death of his wife and daughter.

 

If you only watch THREE movies

It’s not unreasonable to watch a trilogy of movies. For people with limited time and attention, here are three to watch and why:

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy – This film gives the best explanation of the Infinity Stones, shows us Thanos actively trying to collect them, and introduced the Guardians.
  2. Avengers: Age of Ultron – We see the power of the Mind Stone, and Thor explains more about them
  3. Captain America: Civil Warsee above

So what else do I need to know?
Three other Infinity Stones have shown up in various places: The Space Stone (in The Avengers and elsewhere), The Time Stone (in Doctor Strange), and The Reality Stone (in Thor: The Dark World). Also, Thor, Loki, and the Hulk were last seen in a spaceship that had just encountered Thanos’s ship. Eep. Also, in Guardians 2, Nebula and Gamora make up after bonding over the fact that Thanos would make them fight in mortal combat for his amusement and to make them better weapons.

 

If you only watch SIX movies

This is, in my opinion, the sweet spot. It gives you the locations of all of the Infinity Stones and sets up most of what’s going to happen next. Six movies may seem like a lot, but is it really any different than binge watching a favorite show? You may notice #6 is Black Panther rather than Thor: Ragnarok 

  1. The Avengers – The Space Stone, The Mind Stone, The Avengers first assemble, and a post credit teaser of Thanos
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy – The Power Stone, The Guardians. See above for more info
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – not the best movie, but the most about the Infinity Stones
  4. Captain America: Civil War – the best movie, but no Infinity Stones.
  5. Doctor Strange The Time Stone makes an appearance
  6. Black Panther – YES, go see Black Panther, again if you haven’t seen it yet. With a large portion of the action likely happening in Wakanda, you’d do yourself a big favor to check it out. Why see this instead of Thor: Ragnarok? For the same reason Cap: Civil War is on this list. Character over plot, and because Okoye, Shuri, and Wakanda’s fighting prowess isn’t in any other movie. We have several other movies with Thor and Hulk.

What are you missing? “The Aether” aka The Reality Stone was in Thor: The Dark World, and at the end of that movie, Odin decided it wasn’t smart to keep two Infinity Stones in the same place, so he gave it to Taneleer Tevan, The Collector, who you meet in Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s still holding on the Reality Stone as far as we know. Also, Hulk, Thor and Loki (and presumably the Space Stone) and what’s left of Asgard encounter Thanos at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. 

If you only watch ELEVEN movies

This is the most essentially complete you can get without watching all of the movies. This gives us the final locations of all of the Infinity Stones, all of our major characters, all appearances of Thanos, plus adds back in the best movie of the MCU, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (fight me).

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger
  2. The Avengers
  3. Thor: The Dark World
  4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy
  6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  7. Captain America: Civil War
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  9. Doctor Strange
  10. Thor: Ragnarok
  11. Black Panther

What am I missing? Iron Man, Spider-Man, Ant Man, Ed Norton as The Hulk. I recognize for a lot of people these are their favorite parts. If so, sprinkle in your favorite bits where they fit, as a commitment to watch 11 movies, welp, you may as well make it a baker’s dozen, amirite? But watching all of these you will know everything you (likely) need before watching Avengers: Infinity War.

If you watch ALL of the MCU

There’s two ways to do this: chronological order by release date, or chronological order by where the majority of the events of the film happen (majority, as in, not counting opening flashbacks like in Ant Man or Guardians of the Galaxy). I prefer release date, just because I think the way things play out is a little more even. Chronologically, you get both of your Guardians of the Galaxy movies and the first two Iron Man movies back to back. A little separation is not a bad thing.

Release date order:

  1. Iron Man (2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  4. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – First appearance of “The Tesseract” aka The Space Stone
  5. Thor (2011)
  6. The Avengers (2012) – Second appearance of The Tesseract, First appearance of The Mind Stone in Loki’s scepter, First appearance of Thanos
  7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  8. Thor: The Dark World (2013) – First appearance of The Aether aka The Reality Stone, first appearance of Taneleer Tevan aka The Collector, who takes The Aether in an aftercredits scene and remarks “One down.”
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – First appearance of “The Orb” aka The Power Stone, explanation of the origin of The Infinity Stones by Taneleer Tevan, second appearance of Thanos
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – Second appearance of The Mind Stone in Loki’s scepter, which provided the powers for Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, spawns Ultron and then ends up in Vision’s head, and Thor takes a bath and sees a vision about the Infinity Stones and the destruction of Asgard. Third appearance of Thanos, who, in an after credits scene, announces, “Fine, I’ll do it myself.”
  12. Ant Man (2015)
  13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  14. Doctor Strange (2016) – First appearance of The Eye of Agamato, which contains The Time Stone.
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 (2017)
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – Third appearance of The Tesseract, which it is implied Loki steals before Asgard is destroyed. Fourth appearance of Thanos, or at least his ship, as it encounters the refugee Asgardian ship in the after credits scene.
  18. Black Panther (2018)

Chronological order:

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger  – First appearance of “The Tesseract” aka The Space Stone
  2. Iron Man
  3. Iron Man 2 
  4. The Incredible Hulk
  5. Thor 
  6. The Avengers – Second appearance of The Tesseract, First appearance of The Mind Stone in Loki’s scepter, First appearance of Thanos
  7. Iron Man 3 
  8. Thor: The Dark World  – First appearance of The Aether aka The Reality Stone, first appearance of Taneleer Tevan aka The Collector, who takes The Aether in an aftercredits scene and remarks “One down.”
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier 
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy – First appearance of “The Orb” aka The Power Stone, explanation of the origin of The Infinity Stones by Taneleer Tevan, second appearance of Thanos
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 
  12. Avengers: Age of Ultron – Second appearance of The Mind Stone in Loki’s scepter, which provided the powers for Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, spawns Ultron and then ends up in Vision’s head, and Thor takes a bath and sees a vision about the Infinity Stones and the destruction of Asgard. Third appearance of Thanos, who, in an after credits scene, announces, “Fine, I’ll do it myself.”
  13. Ant Man 
  14. Captain America: Civil War
  15. Doctor Strange – First appearance of The Eye of Agamato, which contains The Time Stone.
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  17. Thor: Ragnarok – Third appearance of The Tesseract, which it is implied Loki steals before Asgard is destroyed. Fourth appearance of Thanos, or at least his ship, as it encounters the refugee Asgardian ship in the after credits scene.
  18. Black Panther

11 Things to Check Out Before Black Panther

The hype is strong out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s newest addition — and not without reason. While I am prohibited from revealing major plot points or spoilers from Black Pantherwhat I would like to provide is a sort of guide to what you’re getting into. Think of it like a wine and cheese pairing list to prepare your appetite before you go into see this next film.

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron / Captain America: Civil War.

The second one may seem obvious — it was the first time we saw Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa on screen, and it tells us at least a little bit about his home country of Wakanda. But we’re also introduced for the first time to Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, who shows up a lot in Black Panther. 

But many of us will have forgotten (or tried to forget?) that Andy Serkis showed up for about 10 minutes in Age of Ultron as Ullyses Klaue, a South African arms dealer who stole vibranium from Wakanda, which Ultron then took from Klaue, along with a sizeable portion of his arm. This becomes important, so it’s worth revisiting at least that scene from Age of Ultron, and then watching Civil War, because Civil War is just so. dang. good.

It’s also worth noting T’Challa’s character arc in the film, especially as it relates to him being on Team Iron Man. In Black Panther, we’re treated to seeing just how much he respects international law and being subject to the Sokovia Accords. . . which is not at all, as we first see him in the film running an operation outside of Wakanda’s borders to rescue a colleague.

Also, note the final scenes he’s in with Zemo, and with Cap and Bucky in Wakanda. Boseman’s character work and scripting is excellent here, and this carries over into our film here.

Oh, and anyone who felt teased by this scene where a Dora Milaje is about to throw down with Black Widow?

“As entertaining as that would be. . .” Well, we get that entertainment in Black Panther. And the wait is worth it.

2. An Encomium To The Black Experience: Why I Am Excited To See Black Panther

This article by our own Troy Powell is a must-read. This is an incredibly thoughtful take on why Black Panther’s vision of afro-futurism is refreshing and exciting. Just go read it. I’ll wait.

3. Fruitvale Station and Creed

Director Ryan Coogler‘s career so far has been pretty well entangled with that of actor Michael B. Jordan and it’s great to see Jordan stretch his wings as the villain of Black Panther, Eric Killmonger. The MCU has often been faulted for relatively weak on-screen villains, but Killmonger is a rare exception.

To see their first collaboration, go back to Coogler’s first film, Fruitvale Station, which he both wrote and directed. It tells the true story of Oscar Grant who was shot by a San Francisco Transit Officer on New Year’s Day in 2009. It’s a heartbreaking story of hope and tragedy, and a film which I first reviewed as being “the best and most important film of 2013 that everyone who truly needs to see it never will.”

Coogler followed this up with the most unlikely of films– the Rocky franchise reboot/sequel Creed, also starring Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed who seeks out the aging champ Balboa to train him. The single shot of the young Creed’s first fight is such a masterwork of filmmaking it’s worth the price of admission alone.

You add onto that really brilliant character work and an intense understanding of the franchise, and you can understand why Coogler was a great choice to take on the MCU. Coogler grows as a visual director, and it’s great to see his growth from a low budget film to a medium budget studio film to using Disney/Marvel money.

4. That Kendrick Lamar soundtrack

black panther soundtrackAnother common complaint about the MCU is lack of memorable music. And especially where the films have tried to pair up with popular music, results have been. . .  mixed. Yes, I love hearing Foo Fighters play Walk in the bar in Thor (and over the credits), but it doesn’t quite mesh with the film overall. And then you have Soundgarden playing some nonsense over the credits to The Avengers — in my mind, the only problem with that film at all. They should’ve just licensed a good Soundgarden song and called it good. (How much better — and more fitting — would “Rusty Cage” have been there?)

But from the moment we heard a hip hop sample of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” in the first trailer for Black Panther, we knew we were getting something different.

You can listen to the album streaming on Spotify here and now.

5. A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates

a nation under our feet 1

While this current run on Black Panther may not have a lot to do with the movie from a narrative or character standpoint, it shares something incredibly important which is a social commentary. Coates’ opening run on Black Panther may have been set in Wakanda and been about the politics of Wakanda, but it wasn’t hard to see parallels to our current political situation in the US.

This is completely true of the film as well. It’s also clear that Coogler and Coates are of similar minds about presenting a critique of colonialism (and our current neo-colonialist attitudes towards Africa). Our film also hits hard on the oppression faced by black Americans, a struggle Coates has written on extensively and which finds itself woven into the philosophical discussions of A Nation Under Our Feet.

Beyond that, the basic premise of this run is whether T’Challa and Wakanda have some duty to the larger world or only to their country and their throne. That resonates thematically with T’Challa’s growth in the film. It’s also paced similarly– with lots of dialogue and character and less action.

Please also check out our video review of this on Facebook.

On a side note, a quick shout out to one of my favorite podcasts, Funnybooks and Firewater, which covers comics and offers drinking games and custom cocktails to go with your reading. They covered this a few weeks ago, and if you ever wanted to hear four white guys from Utah and California struggle with their privilege and talk about why they love this book so much, this is worth a listen. Also, they’re currently halfway through Watchmen and inching up on their 100th episode, so check them out.

6. Black Panther by Christopher Priest

h/t to my colleague Jon Carroll, who recommended this to me. Starting in his 1998 run on Black Panther, Christopher Priest introduced the Dora Milaje and the character of Everett Ross, whom we see a lot of in this film.

7. Static Shock

Speaking of Christopher Priest, it’s worth mentioning and recommending Static Shock, which he co-created with Dwayne McDuffie (Rest in Power– we miss you still), Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, and Michael Davis.

For kids of a certain age who will remember this fondly from the Kids WB lineup of cartoons, this was simply the height of early 00’s superhero awesomeness. It was also important to remember how groundbreaking this was at the time to have a superhero show led by a young black hero. Sure, Storm had been on the X-Men cartoon, but only as a part of a team that also included a fuzzy purple demon.

But this was the impetus for creating the character in the first place– greater representation and diversity in the world of comics and tv. Here’s hoping we also see more of him with the upcoming Young Justice continuation on Netflix as his inclusion was a highlight of Season 2.

8. Blade II 

Yes, for all the hype about this being the first time we’ve had a black comic book superhero in a big budget Hollywood movie, we’ve forgotten that Blade was a Marvel comics character before Wesley Snipes took on the role. However, in my opinion, the first film was good, not great. But Blade II is the far superior film.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, contender for Best Director this year for The Shape of Water, we get Blade teaming up with a vampire clan to take out the Reapers, new creatures that feed on vampires. This also reunites Del Toro with Ron Perlman from their previous work on Cronos, but perhaps more importantly, set up Del Toro and Perlman to make Hellboy. 

The major difference between the Blade movies and Black Panther? It’s missing a broader social conscience. This is something the Blade franchise always seemed to approach but never quite executed on, using vampires as stand-ins for parasitic and oppressive capitalism and the resulting income inequality. You can read that into the first two Blade movies (we dare not speak about the third one), but it isn’t quite there in the same way Black Panther wears its social commentary on its sleeve.

Some have suggested along with Blade, I should also recommend Spawn, which also starred a black superhero. But then I would be recommending Spawn. And I just can’t bring myself to do that. The Summer of 1997 was very cruel to comic books at the movies. I’m still not sure what is the bigger ignominy– nipples on the batsuit or the entirety of Spawn. 

9. Ultimates II

A Marvel animated film based off the second arc of The Ultimates, or the comics themselves, in which the Ultimate Universe versions of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (which became a sort of meta-blueprint for a lot of the MCU) enter Wakanda and meet Black Panther.

10. Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

Because one good cartoon deserves another, this cartoon series for some reason met an early death after only two seasons despite some amazing work. Klaue shows up fairly early, and T’Challa shows himself the equal or superior of all of our Avengers.

11. Luke Cage and Black Lightning

Last but certainly not least, these are great tv shows, and certainly Luke Cage is set in the same universe. But I didn’t want to just fall into a trap of just listing every superhero adaptation with a black protagonist. What sets these apart is a clear connection with a strong social commentary on what it is to be black in America right now. It should go without saying that if you aren’t watching Black Lightning every week on the CW, you should be. And if you somehow skipped Luke Cage on Netflix, it’s a good time to catch up, especially before the next season of Jessica Jones comes out in a few weeks.

 

Well, there we go. While certainly not an exhaustive list, this should help you as you wait patiently to see this film later this week.

Did I miss anything? Have a favorite Black Panther tie-in? Leave it in the comments section. Wakanda Forever.

Entertainment Earth Spotlight: Avengers: Age of Ultron Rampaging Hulk ArtFX Statue

Entertainment Earth Exclusive! Incredible “Rampaging” Hulk! Jumping off the screen of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and into your collection, the incredible “Rampaging” Hulk is striding forward, ready to smash anyone and anything in his path! This Avengers: Age of Ultron Rampaging Hulk ArtFX Statue – Entertainment Earth Exclusive presents “the other guy’s” look when he was under the spell of the Scarlet Witch, including a lighter green skin tone and lighter purple pants with a darker accent of red streaks. Rampaging Hulk also boasts a darker shade of red in and around his eyes. This one-of-a-kind piece features the high-quality sculpt and dynamic paintwork of Kotobukiya’s ArtFX line. In 1:10 scale it measures roughly 9 1/2-inches tall on a special interlocking diorama base and is made of high-grade PVC.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron Rampaging Hulk ArtFX Statue is an Entertainment Earth exclusive that’s 60% off and just $32.30!

avengers-age-of-ultron-rampaging-hulk-artfx-statue

 

 

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Entertainment Earth Spotlight: Captain America Rides into Action!

The Captain America Rides on Motorcycle Premium Motion Statue stands 15-inches tall and features Cap’s shield as a display base! Cap is captured charging into battle on a black motorcycle, as seen in the Avengers: Age of Ultron film. You don’t want to miss your chance to bring home this limited edition statue, so order now! Captain America Rides into Action!

captain-america-rides-into-action

 

 

 

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Captain America: Civil War Off to Great Start with $14.9 Million

Captain America Civil WarWhile the film doesn’t start to role out in the United States until May 5, Captain America: Civil War opened Wednesday in 15 territories with $14.9 million so far. That’s just behind Avengers: Age of Ultron last year.

The film earned $2.4 million in France, $1.1 million in Hong Kong, $1.5 million in the Philippines, $4.3 million in South Korea, $1.4 million in Taiwan, and $1.1 million in Thailand. The film earned the top opening day in 2016 so far in France.

When the weekend is up the film will have opened in 63% of the foreign marketplace and is expected to earn about $200 million overseas. Avengers: Age of Ultron earned $201.2 million in 44 markets when it opened.

Avengers: Age of Ultron went on to earn $1.4 billion, while Captain America: The First Avenger earned $370.6 million and Captain America: The Winter Soldier earned $714.4 million. On average the Marvel Cinematic films have earned $757 million worldwide during their theatrical runs.

Sideshow Reveals Hulk Maquette

Sideshow Collectibles has revealed the brand new Hulk Maquette – Avengers: Age of Ultron.

From Marvel’s smash hit Avengers: Age of Ultron, the maquette captures an amazing detailed likeness of Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk. Sporting screen-accurate high tech purple shorts and defined rippling muscles.

It stands an enormous 24” tall over a city of rubble themed base. An exclusive version includes a Hulk nameplate.

The Hulk retails for $749.99 or with a payment plan for as little as $84.37/month.

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Rey: The Most Important Character of 2015?

rey 02Fair warning: There will be very minor spoilers for The Force Awakens within this post,  centered largely on the awesomeness of Rey – I will try my utmost to ensure that no plot points are revealed, but there may be some comments on dialogue and her ability and prowess in the movie. I’ll try to be as vague as I possibly can, however, as the movie has only been out for a relatively short time and there’s a chance that some people may not have had a chance to see the movie yet; although you really should, if you haven’t this post shouldn’t completely ruin the movie for you.

That being said, I genuinely feel that the most important thing about the movie isn’t that it’s the sequel that we should have received back when the Phantom Menace came out, and the sequel that millions of people have been hoping and waiting for since Return Of The Jedi (although those are certainly pretty note worthy), but rather the main character; Rey.

Final warning: minor spoilers will follow from here on out, but again, I’ll try and keep it vague.

Historically most action movies are lead primarily by male characters, or place women in a role that’s little better than a damsel in distress archetype; not all, granted, but more often than not that is the case.

Rey is a breath of fresh air. Played by the talented Daisy Ridley she is an extremely capable character that more than holds her own amidst some of the biggest names in the Star Wars universe throughout the movie.

rey 01It’s tough to talk about Rey too much wile keeping the spoilers to a minimum because a lot of what’s so great about her is highlighted so well; she is exactly the kind of character that needed to be seen on the silver screen. In an age when female led action movies don’t seem to garner the attention that others do – whether because of a lack of quality, star power, or interest – she shows little girls that they don’t have to rely on men to save them from peril; very early in the movie, Rey proves that she’s not going to be the stereotypical damsel in distress. Which is something that’s not unfamiliar to Star Wars fans; Leia wasn’t exactly useless in the original trilogy (I’ve only seen the Prequels once and I don’t remember much about them, or Amidala‘s role within them, and I couldn’t bring myself to rewatch them for this article).

Rey is already resonating with fans of all ages, as the image from Daisy Ridley‘s Instagram of a young fan in full Rey costume a week or so after the release of the movie below shows, and her popularity will only sky rocket from here. That’s an incredibly good thing.

little-rey.jpg

That Disney, director J.J. Abrams, or whomever else had the final decision, did decide to have Rey be the ass kicking capable character that she is, is commendable. With all of the superhero, comic book or generally geek orientated movies released over the past few years, it’s about time young fans had a strong female lead to look up too, and what better place to have Daisy Ridley shine than in the biggest movie of the year?

But (and there is always one) there have been rumblings on line  wondering where is all the Rey merchandise? According to some reports and comment threads there is a distinct lack of Rey toys. While that was certainly the case (initially) for Black Widow and Scarlett Witch from Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron, it’s certainly not the case with Rey. Her toys are hard to find because they’re selling faster than the Millenium Falcon made the Kessel Run. Whether somebody was  either trying to stir the pot, or they just didn’t know that the toys were sold out, I’m not sure,  but the demand for her toys far, far out stripped the supply – and that just reinforces the importance of the character.

Indeed, this Tumblr post has a list of the numerous toys featuring the character that have been released (and may even be slightly outdated by now), and so while it is certainly true – for a time – that there were limited toys available for Black Widow and Scarlet Witch, the same cannot accurately be said for Rey. Somebody clearly learned from the outcry over the Age Of Ultron; indeed the same outcry is still happening now, and while it is depressingly easy to make the same assumptions based on recent history, this time there is at least a case to be made that there is an effort to get the Rey toys into the hands of those that want them.

Except the Force Awakens version of Monopoly (you can read more about that, and Hasbro’s response here).

Rey is a character that has the potential to change the way women are looked at in cinema, especially in science fiction action movies. The fact that Daisy Ridley‘s acting chops, and her ability to keep the audience’s attention on her when sharing the screen with some pretty big names, both play a massive part in bringing her character the attention of fans across the globe.

I think that this letter to Hasbro from an eight year old girl says it all (via Radio Times), don’t you?

Rey tweet.jpg

Star Wars Crosses $700 Million

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterStar Wars: The Force Awakens was the top of the box office for the third week in a row adding an estimated $88.3 million to its total. The film ends the year crossing the $700 million mark with $740.27 million to be the top grossing film domestically.

The film’s success made it the second largest January weekend of all time falling about $4.5 million short of the record back in 2009 when Avatar was in theaters. The Force Awakens will likely pass that film’s all time domestic record of $760.5 million this coming week. The film is also the fastest film to cross $700 million domestically, doing in 16 days what it took Avatar 72 to do. The Force Awakens currently is the sixth highest grossing film of all time, and it will likely move in to fourth in a day or two and in to third be the end of the week the latest.

For the rest of the weekend box office, Daddy’s Home was in second place earning $29 million, with The Hateful Eight coming in third as it increased its theater count. That film earned an estimated $16.2 million. Sisters came in fourth adding $12.58 million to its total after three weeks. Rounding out the top five, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip earned an estimated $11.8 million.

Here’s the totals to end the year.

Domestic

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $740.27 million
  2. Jurassic World – $652.27 million
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $459.01 million
  4. Inside Out – $356.46 million
  5. Furious 7 – $353.01 million

Worldwide

  1. Jurassic World – $1.6690 billion
  2. Furious 7 – $1.5150 billion
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $1.5108 billion
  4. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4050 billion
  5. Minions – $1.1573 billion

Comic Adaptations Domestic

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $459.01 million
  2. Ant-Man – $180.20 million
  3. Kingsman: The Secret Service – $128.26 million
  4. The Peanuts Movie – $128.78 million
  5. Fantastic Four – $56.12 million
  6. Diary of a Teenage Girl – $1.48 million

Comic Adaptations Worldwide

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4050 billion
  2. Ant-Man – $519.25 million
  3. Kingsman: The Secret Service – $414.35 million
  4. The Peanuts Movie – $205.86 million
  5. Fantastic Four – $167.98 million
  6. Diary of a Teenage Girl – $1.48 million

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Crosses $1 Billion, Stays in First

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterThe records keep falling to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film broke even more records this past weekend. The film cross the $1 billion mark worldwide in record time. The film earned an estimated $153.5 million this past weekend, the highest second weekend of all time. It beat the previous record holder, Jurassic World, by $46.9 million. The film has earned $544 million domestically and $546 million internationally for a total of $1.09 billion.

In just two weekends, the film is now the second highest grossing domestic release in 2015 and the fifth worldwide. Avatar holds the domestic record of $760.5 million, and it’s not a question “if” Star Wars will top that, but more likely “when” will it top that. The film is currently fifteenth in the all-time non-adjusted grosses. It would have to over double its earnings, and has yet to open in some key markets like China.

A whole bunch of other films opened up this weekend as well.

Daddy’s Home opened in second place earning an estimated $38.8 million, better than expectations. Joy opened in third with $17.5 million. Concussion, which takes on the NFL and football, opened in sixth with $11 million. The Point Break remake came in eighth earning an estimated $10.2 million. The Hateful Eight opened in limited released coming in eleventh and earning $4.5 million. Also opening in limited release, The Revenant earned an estimated $471,000 and came in 21st; Mr. Six earned $286,847 for 24th place; and 45 Years earned $69,300 for 29th place.

Here’s this year’s top earners so far:

Domestic

  1. Jurassic World – $652.27 million
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $544.57 million
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $459.01 million
  4. Inside Out – $356.46 million
  5. Furious 7 – $353.01 million

Worldwide

  1. Jurassic World – $1.6690 billion
  2. Furious 7 – $1.5150 billion
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4050 billion
  4. Minions – $1.1573 billion
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $1.0906 billion

Comic Adaptations Domestic

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $459.01 million
  2. Ant-Man – $180.20 million
  3. Kingsman: The Secret Service – $128.26 million
  4. The Peanuts Movie – $127.60 million
  5. Fantastic Four – $56.12 million
  6. Diary of a Teenage Girl – $1.48 million

Comic Adaptations Worldwide

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4050 billion
  2. Ant-Man – $518.63 million
  3. Kingsman: The Secret Service – $414.35 million
  4. The Peanuts Movie – $172.74 million
  5. Fantastic Four – $167.98 million
  6. Diary of a Teenage Girl – $1.48 million

Star Wars Dominates the Box Office, Chipmunks Squeak With Dud

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterIf you watched the new you might not know there were multiple movies opening this weekend. Star Wars: The Force Awakens dominated the box office shattering records, as was expected. The film earned an estimated $238 million domestically and $279 million internationally to give it a total of $517 million after less than a week.

I won’t rehash all of the records crushed by the film, you can read those here. The big questions now, 1) How quickly will the film reach $1 billion; 2) Will it top Avatar as the top grossing domestic film; 3) Will it top Avatar as the top grossing film of all time not adjusted for inflation?

There were other films that opened this weekend!

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip came in second place and earned an estimated $14.4 million. That’s far less than the previous film’s debut of $23.2 million and continues a decline for the film series.

Sisters opened in third and brought in $13.4 million, about the same as This is 40 which also opened against a big film and both had similar reviews.

Two Bollywood films opened too. Diwale came in ninth earning $1.875 million and Bajirao Mastani came in tenth earning $1.66 million.

For films already playing, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 was fourth with an estimated $5.7 million, and Creed was fifth adding $5.1 million to its total.

Here’s this year’s top earners so far:

Domestic

  1. Jurassic World – $652.27 million
  2. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $459.01 million
  3. Inside Out – $356.46 million
  4. Furious 7 – $353.01 million
  5. Minions – $336.05 million

Worldwide

  1. Jurassic World – $1.6690 billion
  2. Furious 7 – $1.5150 billion
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4050 billion
  4. Minions – $1.1573 billion
  5. Inside Out – $851.6 million

Comic Adaptations Domestic

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $459.01 million
  2. Ant-Man – $180.20 million
  3. Kingsman: The Secret Service – $128.26 million
  4. The Peanuts Movie – $126.32 million
  5. Fantastic Four – $56.12 million
  6. Diary of a Teenage Girl – $1.48 million

Comic Adaptations Worldwide

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4050 billion
  2. Ant-Man – $518.63 million
  3. Kingsman: The Secret Service – $414.35 million
  4. Fantastic Four – $167.98 million
  5. The Peanuts Movie – $145.27 million
  6. Diary of a Teenage Girl – $1.48 million
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