Carrie Fisher Movies Spotlight

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Can ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Beat ‘Avatar’?.

She may have been framed by the tail of slobbering Jabba the Hutt, but the moment appeared with that gold bikini and headset hair-do, she became one of Hollywood’s most hailed beauties of all time. With less than two weeks until its release, “The Force Awakens” is tracking to debut with an opening weekend gross between $170 and $220 million domestically. Today, as Carrie returns to the role almost 40 years on – now as the mature General Leia – she reveals she feels far from a fantasy figure, and always did. If it opens at the low number (it won’t), it’ll still land in the top five highest grossing opening weekends, and more than double “The Hobbit: An Expected Journey’s” December opening weekend record of $84.6 million.

Scathingly frank about her appearance in the hotly anticipated blockbuster Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, she says: “I look melted and I look my age. Alamo Drafthouse has just announced a viewing endurance contest in Austin that will screen the Star Wars theatrical saga for seven hard-core fan contestants. The actors set to appear on Conan are Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie. (Mark Hamill’s name was not on the guest list.) With just a minimal break between each title, contestants will be challenged to keeping watching a marathon of the space opera spectacle and stay awake, presumably for days.

One by one contestants are expected to drop out until only one winner remains. “At Alamo Drafthouse we’re big fans of Star Wars and testing the boundaries of human endurance,” said Alamo CEO and founder Tim League. “What better way to anoint the ultimate super fan than inviting them to watch these remarkable films on the big screen until they drop? In December, that’s tough to beat because winter films need to compete with holiday shoppers and travel plans, while summer blockbusters have the advantage of schools being out for a months-long break. Great for you.” She laughs: “Mine were good-looking and they had sex, and then it ended.” And despite being one of the biggest female icons of our time, she’s still insecure about her looks. “My physical self and I are not friends. But, this is a movie that has already broken box-office records by amassing over $50 million in pre-ticket sales (the previous record holder was “The Dark Knight Rises” with $25 million) and compelled fans to get preemptive (and somewhat bizarre) Daisy Ridley tattoos.

We’re not speaking and I’m ignoring especially my arms lately,” she says. “I’ve never liked my appearance.” The star says she’s yo-yo dieted since her teens and quips she’s a “failed bulimic”, envious of her actress mum Debbie Reynolds’ figure. It’s also important to note that opening weekends don’t always correlate to big box-office numbers in the long run. “Avatar” is the highest grossing movie of all-time with $2.7 billion, but only opened domestically with a modest $77 million. Studios have caught on to this, realizing that blockbusters can sometimes earn more when they are released outside of summer, allowing extra time to accumulate a greater gross with a leggy-release. Just look at “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Even though the film screams summer blockbuster, it will debut on March 23, facing little competition until May. On that alone, it’s likely that “Batman v Superman” will beat out Marvel’s similar offering, “Captain America: Civil War,” because it has time to own the spring box office in the same way that “Furious 7” did earlier this year.

So just to compare, six years ago, “Avatar” bowed to a Dec. 18 release, and the blue behemoth went on to crush the international box office for seven consecutive weeks, eventually dethroning the previous king of the world, “Titanic.” “Force Awakens” will be released on the same date, Dec. 18, and has already earned more than $50 million. It has also meant reuniting with co-stars Harrison Ford, as Han Solo, and Mark Hamill, as Luke Skywalker. “It was like being on campus again,” Carrie says. “When I first got there I was in my trailer and I heard Harrison’s footstep.

In the context of an endurance marathon, one expects not being able to talk or use your smartphones for hours at a stretch over days will make winning all the more difficult. The eccentric actress – who’s lately taken to giving interviews with her pet dog Gary – gushes about her fans. “They’re so loyal that there should be another word for it, so it’s very sweet,” she says.

A somewhat similar endurance was held by Fox last year when two California residents broke the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous television viewing marathon by watching 86 hours and 37 minutes straight of The Simpsons (Fox nervously put an end to the experiment after the the record fell, so it could have gone even longer). Alamo’s contest was loosely inspired by another Texas endurance contest, the infamous Hands on a Hard Body competition, where contestants at a Longview car dealership were challenged to keep one hand on a pickup truck until the final person standing won the vehicle. Arguably, “Star Wars” has a bigger draw than “Jurassic Park,” with a saga of films spanning nearly 40 years and a loyal fan base across all generations. And going up against the Empire was nothing compared with her real-life battles, including divorced Hollywood parents, drug addiction – shared, literally, with her father – two failed marriages, with her second husband leaving her for a man, mental health issues and electric shock therapy. With lightsabers and the Force embedded into everyday pop culture, the “Star Wars” saga is part of the zeitgeist in a way that very few series have been able to match.

Case in point: “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” Released in 1999, this special movie holds two “Star Wars” records — It’s the most poorly received film, but it’s also the highest earning, with over $1 billion. Carrie says: “I asked Elizabeth years later why she’d loved my father, and she said, ‘We kept Mike alive’. “I think initially Elizabeth thought my mother was more of a goody two-shoes. These posts may include photos of tattoos, toy collections, cosplay, or even “Hoth haiku” — whatever he or she feels shows their ultimate dedication. Don’t wander around feeling different than everyone else – or do, but make it interesting.” Her one regret is that daughter Billie Lourd, 23 – an actress in E4’s Scream Queens – has watched her go through it.

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