“Fifty Shades Freed” Makes $38M+ in Its Opening Weekend

'Fifty Shades Freed' (CW Theaters)

‘Fifty Shades Freed’ (CW Theaters)

“Fifty Shades Freed,” the third and last entry in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, hit theaters this past weekend. The movie took in $38.8M+ in the US for its opening weekend. It played in 3,678 theaters, averaging $10,549.21 per theater.

This opening weekend actually decreased from previous entries in the trilogy. The opening weekend of “Fifty Shades of Grey” performed 54% better, and “Fifty Shades Darker” performed 16% better than the current movie.

The gender split for this movie was a little different than the previous two films: Women comprised 75% of the audience, making it the highest ratio of male-to-female audience members for the trilogy.

Overseas, the movie made $98.1M. The movie made the highest opening day of the year in the UK, Spain and Mexico. It’s interesting to note that both of the previous films made 70% of their revenue off overseas audiences, so we’ll see if the same pattern repeats. “Fifty Shades Freed” opened in 57 overseas markets, and was #1 in 54 of those markets.

Worldwide, the entire franchise has grossed over $1.085B.

Jordan Peele Is the First African-American to Receive The Trifecta Oscar Nominations

Jordan Peele (The Hollywood Reporter)

Jordan Peele (The Hollywood Reporter)

Jordan Peele just had the best day ever.

Oscar nominations hit yesterday, and the nominations for Peele’s movie “Get Out” put him in rarefied territory. “Get Out” received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for Peele.

These honors make Peele the third filmmaker to get the trifecta of honors as a first-time director. (Yes, hard to believe, but “Get Out” was his first feature!) Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks preceded Peele in this trifecta with their respective features “Heaven Can Wait” and “Terms of Endearment.” Not only that, but Peele is the first African-American to achieve this!

Congrats Jordan! I can’t wait to see what comes next for you! Crossing my fingers that you’ll win all Oscars!!

By The Numbers: Women Making Bank

Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cleopatra,' 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Cleopatra,’ 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Earlier this week, Ellen Pompeo became the highest-paid TV actress currently on TV, making $20M a year. How’d she do it? She asked for it. Also, she knew her worth.

Who else has made bank while breaking the glass ceiling? Let’s take a look!

First Female Millionaire:

Madam C.J. Walker built a beauty empire and had a net worth of $600K at the time of her death. Adjusted for inflation, that’s that’s $8,757,479.29 in November 2017 money.

First Female Billionaire:

Lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart became a billionaire in 2000, the year after her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public.

First Black Female Billionaire:

Be honest: you thought this would be Oprah, didn’t you? So did I…until I actually googled it. No, this honor goes to Sheila Johnson. Johnson co-founded BET with her ex-husband Bob Johnson and went on to work in hospitality and real estate, and own minority stakes in three sports teams. Johnson first made the “Forbes” Billionaire List in 2000.

First Film Actress to be Paid $1M for a Role:

This would be the incomparable Elizabeth Taylor, who played the titular role in “Cleopatra” in 1963.

Highest-Paid Actress of 2017:

Emma Stone made the “Forbes” 2017 list of highest paid actors and actresses at $26M. However, she’s the highest-ranking actress at #15.

 

 

Google Trends: “Black Panther”

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o in 'Black Panther' (Geeks of Doom)

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o in ‘Black Panther’ (Geeks of Doom)

As you may have heard, “Black Panther” comes out in less than a month (!!!). Tickets went on sale a little over a week ago, and Fandango has already reported that the movie’s pre-sales have set a new record for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), beating previous record-holder “Captain America: Civil War.”

I was curious to see how Google was affected by this record. Let’s take a look!

First, here’s a general search for “black panther” over the last 12 months:

Google Trends: 'black panther' search term over the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther’ search term over the past 12 months (Google Trends)

See that spike in June? The movie’s teaser trailer dropped on Jan. 9, and received 89M views within its first 24 hours. And you can see the spike at the end within the last few weeks.

How many people searched for “black panther tickets?”

Google Trends: 'black panther tickets' from the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther tickets’ from the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Check out that spike!! Everyone wanted in (no surprise, because this movie looks AMAZING!).

Since Fandango reported the new record, let’s see what the trend for searching “black panther fandango” looks like:

Google Trends: 'black panther fandango' search term for the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther fandango’ search term for the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Once again, we see a drastic spike with the last week. One interesting thing is that while the search term “black panther tickets” projected a drop in the search term for the current week (see second graph), the search phrase that includes Fandango does not.

One thing is clear: The excitement surrounding this movie is definitely affecting search, so make sure that SEO is on point!

“Lady Bird” Is the Best-Reviewed Film Ever on Rotten Tomatoes

Saoirse Ronan in "Lady Bird" (Fandango)

Saoirse Ronan in “Lady Bird” (Fandango)

There’s a new queen in town.

“Lady Bird,” a film directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan in the titular role, is now the best-reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes. In case you’ve never been on the Internet, Rotten Tomatoes aggregates critics’ reviews and certifies movies as “rotten” or “fresh.” And “Lady Bird” is definitely the latter.

As of Dec. 4, 2017, the movie had garnered 187 consecutive “fresh” reviews. The film became the best-reviewed film on Nov. 28, 2017, when it hit 170 “fresh” reviews.

“Lady Bird” displaces “Toy Story 2” (1999) as the site’s best-reviewed movie. “Toy Story 2” received 163 consecutive positive reviews. Though other movies have more positive reviews (in terms of quantity), “Lady Bird” simply has the most positive reviews of any movie with a perfect, 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.”

The film is currently in theaters in limited release, and there is the possibility that moving to a wider distribution would marr its perfect review record.

At this time, “Lady Bird” has made $16M+ in 11K+ theaters, making $14K+ per theater. The film has also been out just longer than one month, so it’s made roughly $561K+ per day thus far.

#ThrowbackThursday: “Best Kiss” at the MTV Movie Awards, 2000

Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar win "Best Kiss" at the MTV Movie Awards, 2000 (IBTimes)

Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar win “Best Kiss” at the MTV Movie Awards, 2000 (IBTimes)

Let’s take it all the way back to the year 2000. Remember when? I was in middle school, about to go to high school, and the MTV Movie Awards were a big deal. You had to watch them, and see who got awards like “Best Movie,” “Best Hero,” and “Best Villian.”

But the above categories (and all the rest of them) paled in comparison to “Best Kiss.” Each year, we voted to see which of our fave onscreen couples would win, get up onstage and give the audience what we so obviously wanted. And each year would be the same: they’d tease us, before finally going in for the kill. And the crowd went wild!

In 2000, actresses Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair won for “Best Kiss.” This was based off their now-iconic scene in “Cruel Intentions” (also, watch the whole movie if you haven’t seen it). Their acceptance kiss was light and quick, and both women giggled. But it became a seminal moment in pop culture history.

 

Black Actor Oscar Nominations: By The Numbers

7 Best Supporting Actress Nominees Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Naomie Harris (The Wrap)

7 Best Supporting Actress Nominees Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Naomie Harris (The Wrap)

Remember how the last couple of Oscar ceremonies were plagued by a lack of diverse nominees, especially in the major categories? The Academy has appeared to learn from that. The change has become especially clear in the acting categories. This year, each acting category has at least one Black nominee.

Here are the stats:

Best Actor: Denzel Washington (“Fences”)

  • Washington is now the most nominated Black actor in Oscar history. He’s had six previous nominations, two for Best Supporting Actor and four for Best Actor. He won Best Supporting Actor in “Glory” in Best Actor for “Training Day” in 2001.

Best Actress: Ruth Negga (“Loving”)

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”)

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (“Fences”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”), Octavia Spender (“Hidden Figures”)

  • This year is the first time an acting category has had three Black nominees. The last time an acting category had two Black nominees was in 1985, when Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey were both nominated for “The Color Purple.”
  • This is the second time the Best Supporting Actress category has had three non-white nominees. The first time was in 2007, with Jennifer Hudson for “Dreamgirls,” and Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi for “Babel” nominated.
  • Davis made history this year by becoming the first Black actress to score three Oscar nominations. Previously, Whoopi Goldberg was the only Black actress to have two Oscar nominations. She won the Oscar for her second nomination for her performance in “Ghost” in 1991.

Trends: Custom Emoji

Kim Kardashian West's Kimoji (Fushion)

Kim Kardashian West’s Kimoji (Fushion)

Everyone loves emoji. That’s just a fact. Recently, emoji have grown and expanded. Where there used to be just one brand of emoji, now there are several types.

Distribution company Focus Features came up with custom emoji to promote their recent film “Loving.” The film details the history of the 1967 landmark Supreme Court case which struck down miscegenation statues across the United States. The emoji were created to show the range of love between people, and so users could relate to the film in a modern way.

Releasing custom emoji has hit disparate industries and public figures. Professional golfer Bubba Watson released his “Bubbamoji” in April 2016. Stand-up comic and actor Kevin Hart has his line of “Kevmoji,” all modeled after the comedian’s very expressive face. The “Kevmoji” hit #1 on iTunes downloads immediately after its release in September 2016.

But nobody’s dominated the custom emoji space better than America’s most polarizing reality TV family: the Kardashian/Jenners. Members of the family have taken to designing custom emoji for their fans to communicate with like-minded souls. Kim Kardashian West (who’s turned out to be quite the technology and new media mogul) debuted her “Kimoji” in December 2015, and was an immediate hit.

Not to be outdone, Rob Kardashian’s fiancee (and mother of his daughter Dream) Blac Chyna has also released her own line of emoji. But, like anything dealing with the Kardashian/Jenner clan, this has not been without drama: One of the “Chymoji” depicts Chyna slapping a brunette woman presumed to be Kardashian West’s stepsister Kylie Jenner. (If you don’t know why this is a foul, brush up on the history of the feud between the two.)

Another person in the Kardashian Extended Universe (KEU, for short) is feminist activist Amber Rose. (Rose is one of Kanye West’s former paramours. West is now, of course, married to Kim Kardashian West.) Rose dropped her “MuvaMoji” in March 2016, where it earned around $4M. That number includes $2M on release day alone.

It’s clear that launching a set of custom emoji is becoming a necessary step in engaging with fans. So who’ll be next to launch a set?

Trends: Historic Interracial Couples on Film

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in 'Loving' (Evening Standard)

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in ‘Loving’ (Evening Standard)

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, the conversation around movies in Hollywood centered around the fact that there was no diversity. #OscarsSoWhite gained prominence during the national conversation. It seems the entertainment industry listened, because movies with diverse casts and themes will be released. Even better, a couple of movies will tell stories from history that need to be more widely known than they are.

The story of Virginia couple Mildred and Richard Loving are featured in Jeff Nichols’ Loving. Mildred, a Black woman (played by Ruth Negga), and Richard (Joel Edgerton), a white man, were arrested in 1958 for the crime of being married when interracial marriage was a crime. The Lovings’ ordeal to have their union be legally recognized led to the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case in 1967. The ruling struck down every anti-miscegenation law still on the books in 16 Southern states. (At least in theory; several states still tried to unofficially enforce the law.)

Too few people know this story, and I’m glad it’s gaining more recognition. The case is seen as a landmark in the struggle for civil rights, and can be regarded as the spiritual predecessor to the recent marriage equality fight and decision.

Loving isn’t the only historic interracial love story debuting this winter. Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom focuses on the story of Sir Seretse Khama (played by David Oyelowo), a member of the Bechuanaland Protectorate’s royal family, and Ruth Williams (played by Rosamund Pike), an English woman and Khama’s eventual wife. The Khamas’ romance and eventual marriage set off an international scandal which took years to rectify.

Director Asante’s previous feature was Belle, the true story of a mixed-race English woman in the 18th century. I enjoyed it, particularly because it was something I hadn’t seen before: a woman of color in a period costume drama. Asante won my attention and my dollars with that film, so I’m curious to see her new one as well.

Loving will be released on Nov. 4th, and A United Kingdom will be released Jan. 17, 2017.

 

#ThrowbackThursday: “The Loving Story,” 2011

Richard and Mildred Loving, 'The Loving Story' (Documentary Daze)

Richard and Mildred Loving, ‘The Loving Story’ (Documentary Daze)

Documentary “The Loving Story” was released in 2011, and examined the lives of Richard and Mildred Loving. An interracial couple from Virginia, they were arrested for violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law shortly after their wedding in 1958. The film examines their struggle to remain married and able to live in Virginia, which led to the historic Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision of 1967.

The film was directed by Nancy Buirski, premiered in 2012, and won a Peabody Award.