‘It’ scares up big 2nd weekend as Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘mother!’ sinks

A week after breaking records, “It” is still scaring audiences.

Meanwhile, Darren Aronofsky’s psychological horror film “mother!” brought in a box office that’s, well, a bit scary.

“It,” the Warner Bros. adaptation of the popular Stephen King horror novel, brought in an estimated $60 million in its second weekend of release in North America.

That’s only a drop of 51 percent from last weekend’s surprisingly big numbers.

The film starring Bill Skarsgård as the clown Pennywise has so far brought in $218.7 million. After two weeks, “It” has become the largest grossing film in September box office history.

The film, which was in 4,100 theaters this weekend, has gained positive buzz and strong reviews from critics and audiences.

It holds a 85 percent score on review site Rotten Tomatoes as well as “B+” CinemaScore.

The other notable film in theaters this weekend: Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” starring Jennifer Lawrence.

The movie brought in an estimated $7.5 million domestically this weekend. That is the lowest wide release opening ever for Jennifer Lawrence, according to comScore.

The film, which opened in 2,300 theaters, came in third place behind “It” and “American Assassin.” The latter movie brought in $14.8 million this weekend.

“Mother!” saw mixed reviews from critics — it scored 68 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences, however, trashed the film. It earned a rare “F” on CinemaScore.

(Warner Bros., like CNN, is owned by Time Warner.)

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Character actor Harry Dean Stanton dead at 91

Character actor Harry Dean Stanton, who became a cult favorite through his parts in “Paris, Texas” and “Repo Man,” died Friday at 91, The Associated Press reported.

His agent, John S. Kelly, told the AP that Stanton died of natural causes in Los Angeles. He have no details on the cause.

He was not a leading man, but his interpretations could life an ordinary script. According to the AP, Roger Ebert once said that no movie with Stanton in a supporting role “can be altogether bad.”

Stanton appeared in more than 200 movies and TV shows dating back to the mid-1950s. His most famous appearances included the Oscar-winning epic “The Godfather Part II.” He was also in “Alien” and the teen flick “Pretty in Pink,” AP says. He also guest-starred on “Laverne & Shirley” and Gunsmoke.”

Stanton never married, although he had a long relationship with actress Rebecca De Mornay, 35 years his junior. “She left me for Tom Cruise,” Stanton said often, according to the AP.

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Colin Trevorrow exits as director of ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

Colin Trevorrow is no longer directing the next chapter of the Skywalker saga.

The “Jurassic World” director has left the helm of “Star Wars: Episode IX,” Disney and Lucasfilm said on Tuesday in a statement published to the Star Wars website.

“Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on ‘Star Wars: Episode IX,'” the statement read. “Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ.”

Lucasfilm then wished Trevorrow the best and said that they would be “sharing more information about the film soon.”

“Star Wars: Episode IX” is currently set for release on May 24, 2019 and will be the follow up to the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which opens in December.

The news is the latest behind the scenes shakeup in the “Star Wars” galaxy.

In June, Lucasfilm announced that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were leaving next year’s “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff film. The two were replaced by veteran director Ron Howard.

This followed production issues and reshoots during 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” as well as director Josh Trank exiting from a “Star Wars” spinoff film before production took place in 2015.

Despite Trevorrow’s major success with 2015’s “Jurassic World,” which currently stands as the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time, some fans and critics were concerned with Trevorrow directing the next ‘Star Wars’ film following the director’s latest film, June’s “The Book of Henry,” which was panned by audiences and critics.

“After the disastrous reviews that greeted ‘The Book of Henry,’ there was a collective questioning, among ‘Star Wars’ cultists, of whether Trevorrow was really the right person to steer their sacred franchise,” wrote Owen Gleiberman, Variety’s chief film critic. “I’m not a ‘Star Wars’ cultist (far from it), but to a degree I get their trepidation.”

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Here’s what Star Wars toys are for sale on Force Friday

It’s Christmas morning for “Star Wars” fans.

Companies like Lego and Hasbro are showing off a first look at their new toys and collectibles ahead of the latest installment of the film series, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, which premieres December 15.

Dubbed “Force Friday,” the shopping event began in 2015, when new merchandise was released in anticipation of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Fans will be able to buy products linked to the new movie starting September 1 through September 3.

A new character from, “The Last Jedi”, BB-9E — BB-8’s evil twin — is the most prominent of the new products.

According to Jim Silver, the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of review site TTPM (which stands for toys, tots, pets and more), Star Wars fans look for movie clues hidden within the toy design.

“It’s the largest franchise in the history of the toy business,” Silver told CNN Tech. “The people who buy the toys study [them] and look for hints or spoilers that will give them some information about the movie.”

For example, fans have already noticed scenes on Lego boxes and heard lines from the new movie in Hasbro products.

Sales of “Star Wars” toys in the U.S. totaled $618 million from August 2016 to July 2017, according to market research firm NPD Group. The theme was also number one for the last twelve months in the total toy industry.

“I think it’s going to do very well this year because of technology … the quality of the toys and the level of sophistication,” Silver added. “The toys this year are better than any previous years.”

From robots to building kits, here’s a look at the coolest Star Wars toys announced this Force Friday.

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Lego Set ($799.99)

Lego is calling its new Millennium Falcon Lego set one of its largest and most detailed models ever. It includes laser cannons, landing legs, a boarding ramp and a 4-minifigure cockpit with a canopy that dethatches.

Hasbro’s Force Link Starter Set + Figures and Vehicles ($24.99+)

Hasbro’s new Force Link tech combines wearable tech with characters and vehicles from the Star Wars saga. The accompanying wristband will play sounds or say phrases from the movie when you pick up various characters.

R2-D2 and BB9E App-Enabled Droids by Sphero ($179.99, $149.99)

These droids can be controlled with a smart device and use augmented reality to show holographic simulations from the Star Wars galaxy.

littleBits Droid Inventor Kit ($99.95)

Users can teach their R2-D2 unit new skills and take it on over 17 missions. The kit comes with tools to build and customize R2-D2.

Propel Star Wars Elite Laser Battle Drones ($179)

Propel’s new miniature quadcopters are designed to look like X-Wing and TIE Fighters, as well as the Speederbikes made famous in Return of the Jedi. When paired with a smartphone, players can meld the physical and virtual worlds, flying through the air while also hearing sound effects and dialogue from the movie.

Star Wars Jedi Challenges (pre-order for $199.99)

Disney and Lenovo’s new augmented reality Star Wars product has a smartphone-powered Lenovo Mirage AR headset, Tracking Beacon and Lightsaber controller. It works with iOS and Android and will be available this holiday season.

Praetorian Guard action figure ($19.99)

JAKKS Pacific’s line of action figures includes new character Praetorian Guard.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi film may be coming to the ‘Star Wars’ galaxy

It appears that Obi-Wan Kenobi may be getting his own movie in the “Star Wars” galaxy.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stephen Daldry is in the “earliest of stages” of negotiations to direct the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the news on Thursday.

The film, which would be centered around the wise Jedi Knight who famously mentored Luke Skywalker and his father Darth Vader, doesn’t have a script or any actors attached yet, according to THR.

Daldry was nominated for the Best Director Oscar for “The Hours” and “Billy Elliot.”

Disney had no comment regarding the reports.

For fans of the iconic character, which was played by Alec Guinness in the original trilogy and Ewan McGregor in the more recent “Star Wars” prequel trilogy, these reports of early talks do give a new hope for a possible standalone Kenobi film.

However, before anyone dusts off that Obi-Wan lightsaber, it should be noted that rumors about films centered around beloved “Star Wars” characters have gone nowhere before. (Case in point, fans are still waiting for a standalone film for “Star Wars” bounty hunter, Boba Fett.)

If an Obi-Wan Kenobi film does come to fruition, it would likely be a part of Lucasfilm and Disney’s plans to expand the “Star Wars” universe beyond that of the Skywalker saga.

It first did this with 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which went on to make more than $1 billion worldwide.

The next “Star Wars” spinoff will be the Han Solo prequel film that is set to land in theaters next May.

Ron Howard stepped in to direct the Solo film following the departure of previous directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who left the film over creative differences with Disney’s Lucasfilm.

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Chuck Norris endorses Justice Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race

Actor and martial artist Chuck Norris has endorsed former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in next week’s primary election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat.

“Judge Roy Moore is the real deal,” Norris said in a statement announcing his support Monday. “He’s tough, tested, and has a spine of steel.”

Norris, an Air Force veteran and active Republican, added, “Alabama needs Judge Moore there doing what he’s always done: fighting to protect our constitutional rights to life, religious liberty, and the freedom to protect ourselves and our families. And he will always put principle over politics.”

Moore reciprocated the praise, stating that he was honored to have the support. “Chuck Norris is exactly the kind of guy you want on your side,” Moore said in a news release announcing the endorsement.

Norris’ endorsement comes just over a week before Alabama Republicans will select their nominee to run for the seat. The special election primary is August 15, but if no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote — as GOP operatives say is likely — then a runoff between the top two candidates will be held September 26, with the victor facing the Democratic nominee in the general election December 12.

Three Republican candidates have arisen as frontrunners in a field of eight contenders. Moore is running against the incumbent, Sen. Luther Strange, and Rep. Mo Brooks in what has proven a close — and contentious — race. Super PAC ads have flooded the airwaves in Alabama as top GOP operatives and donors support their preferred candidates.

Strange was appointed to fill Sessions’ vacant seat by then-Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned in scandal in April. Strange had been serving as the state’s attorney general until the appointment. Brooks, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, has served in the House since 2011.

Moore was suspended as chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court by the state Court of the Judiciary in May 2016 for refusing to comply with the US Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. Moore said the Supreme Court decision was worse than its 19th-Century decision upholding racial segregation.

Moore was previously removed as chief justice in 2003 for defying a federal court order to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building, where the state Supreme Court is located. But he was elected again as chief justice of the state’s high court in 2012.

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