The Odessa American from Odessa, Texas on May 25, 1983 · 67
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The Odessa American from Odessa, Texas · 67

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Odessa, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 25, 1983
Page:
67
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Wednesday, May X iviw inr vucsaA MvtKivMN U Third act must make well over $200 million No one has said it's disappointing By PHILIP WUNTCH Dallas Morning News Look at it this way: "Return of the Jedi" could rack up grosses equivalent to "Tootsie's" and still be considered a disappointment . "Tootsie," as most people know, was the box-office bonanza of last Christmas. The mere mention of its name makes everyone connected with the business side of motion pictures smile. So why will the same people frown, ever so slightly, if "Return of the Jedi" does "Tootsie"-sized business? The reason is simple. "Return of the Jedi," which opens nationwide tonight, must be more than a bonanza. It must be a box-office "phenomenon' The extraordinary success of the first two Luke Skywalker adventures has worked "Return of the Jedi" into a corner. Variety reports that "Star Wars" has earned $193.5 million for its studio, 20th Century-Fox. The rule of thumb is that for every dollar taken in at the box office, 50 percent goes to the studio and 50 percent to the theater. That means that "Star Wars" actually has earned at least $387 million at the nation's box offices since its May 1977 release. The 1980 sequel, "The Empire Strikes Back," almost equaled "Star Wars," although Luke, Han Solo, Leia, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, C3P0 and R2D2 had lost some of their freshness. The film did introduce Yoda, who reportedly reappears in "Return of the Jedi" (after his Halloween-night cameo in "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"). Critical reaction, to "TThe Empire Strikes Back" was respectful, and audiences lined up. The film earned $140 million for its-studio, grossing in the $280-million range. "Return of the Jedi" is the third act in producer George Lucas' Luke Skywalker trilogy and the first two are incredibly hard acts to follow. If "Return of the Jedi" should gross less than $200 million, it will be a disappointment. That means it must gross more than "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Superman I," "Superman II," "Rocky," "Rocky II," "Rocky III," "Tootsie," "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "On Golden Pond." In short, it must gross more than any film released within the last two years, except for "E.T." and "Raiders of the Lost Ark". That may not be at all difficult. The most negative report from people within the movie industry who have seen the film is, "It's not as good as the first two but it's still very good." Other reports include: "Better than the first two." And "as good as 'Star Wars' but not as good as 'Empire'." And "as good as 'Empire' but not as good as 'Star Wars'." . The bottom line is, no one has said it's a disappointment. Tonight's opening suggests a certain amount of confidence. Movies customarily open on Friday, but Fox, knowing its film has massive first-week power, has decided to begin the runs on Wednesday, ordinarily a slow box-office day. The idea apparently is that Wednesday and Thursday will accommodate those who just can't wait to see it, while Friday will get the normal weekend avalanche. Anyone with a "Return of the Jedi" poster should hang onto it. All "Star Wars" memorabilia will be worth money several decades from now. Even more valuable will be a poster for "Revenge of the Jedi," the original title of the third "Star Wars" movie. "Revenge" was changed to "Return" in February, reportedly for two reasons: "Return" sounds less ominous than "Revenge," and the Jedi warriors are too noble for anything as crude as revenge. The title change must have been of particular interest to Paramount Pictures, which released "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" last summer. The "Star Trek" sequel originally was called "The Vengeance of Khan." -Lucas, in the midst of preparing "The Revenge of the Jedi," took note of the similarity of the titles and wrote Paramount an extreme- All-time film rental champs In millions of dollars as of Dec. 31, 1982 1. "Star Wars" 1977 $193.5 2. "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" 1982 mmmmmbmmmmmmmmmm 1 87.0 3. "The Empire Strikes Back" 1980 mmmmmmmmmmmm 140 o 4. "Jaws" 1975 MMMMMMMMMMMMMM 133.4 5. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" 1981 MMMMMMMMMMMM 112.0 6. "Grease" 1978 MMM 96.3 7. "The Exorcist" 1973 mmmmmmmmm 88.6 8. "The Godfather" 1972 mmmmmmmmm 86.3 9. "Superman" 1978 mmmmmmmmm 82.7 10. "The Sound of Music" 1965 mmmmmmmmm 797 11. "The Sting" 1973 mmmmmmmmm 79.4 12. "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" 1977 MMMMMMMMM 77.6 13. "Gone With The Wind" 1939 76.7 "Rentals received by distributors from U.S.-Canada market Chicago Tribune Graphic; Source Variety mm i m a m ii ill P"i ' ii i MS ly polite letter, filled with "please" and "thank you," requesting a title change. Paramount obliged, deciding on "Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan, " so that the impact of "Revenge of the Jedi" would remain undiluted. The studio has made no official comment on the recent "Jedi" title change. The power of "Star Wars" never could have been predicted six years ago. Film buyers and bookers, when analyzing the 1977 summer releases, were mindful that "Star Wars" looked intriguing on paper and that Lucas was already the director of one big success, "American Graffiti." However, there was always the chance that "American Graffiti" simply was a fluke. And who had ever heard of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher? Given the opportunity of playing either "Star Wars" or "Exorcist II: The Heretic," many film buyers opted for the "Exorcist" sequel and would up cursing like the devil about their decision. The "Star Wars" triumvirate has hail interesting careers. In January 1977!, after the filming of "Star Wars" but almost five months before its release, Hamill (Luke Skywalker) was involve! in an automobile accident that scarreji his face. For any actor, a change in facial appearance creates enormous problems. In "Empire," Hamill just didn't look like the unlined male ingenue we had seen in "Star Wars." He has appeared onstage in both "Amadeus" and "The Elephant Man1' with reasonable success; it's difficult to predict his screen future after the "Star Wars" trilogy has run its course. Similarly, it's hard to imagine Miss Fisher (Princess Leia) being sought for movie roles after "Jedi." Her toughness suits the imperial Leia, but could be, grating in other roles. Like Hamill, she has turned to the stage, receiving good notices for "Agnes of God" on Broadway. ; Only Ford (Han Solo) has attained genuine stardom, thanks to his success as Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark." In fact, Ford's Indiana Jones image, established after the release 6f "The Empire Strikes Back," initially could work against "Jedi." Audiences might expect him to command center stage instead of functioning as part of an ensemble. After "Star Wars," Lucas retired from directing. The official word was that his shyness made it difficult for him to communicate with actors and technicians. When David Prowse (Darth Vader) toured, he stated how snobbish and stand-offish he had found Lucas on the set. The director of "Return of the Jedi" is Richard Marquand, selected by Lucas after viewing his crisp, linear handling of the World War II drama, "Eye of the Needle." Whatever Marquand accomplishes, "Return of the Jedi" will be known as "A George Lucas Film." One imagines that Marquand was able to resign himself to that fact without too much difficulty. Writer loses round Television in 'E.T.' civil suit LOS ANGELES (AP) A woman who alleges "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" was plagiarized from a play she wrote in 1978 has lost the first round in her $750 million lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Cynthia Hall on Monday rejected a bid for a summary judgment. The judge admitted she'd never read Lisa Litchfield's play, "Lokey from Maldemar," but said she was convinced an immediate decision in Miss Litchfield's favor "would not survive," according to Miss Litchfield's attorney, Ralph Server. The judge made no immediate decision on a defense motion asking that Miss Litchfield's claim be thrown out, saying she would read the one-act play first. The defendants, including Universal Studios, producer Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison, contend there is no substantial, legally recognizable similarity between "Lokey from Maldemar" and the top-grossing film of all time. "It's very clear the judge didn't think their motion was proper," said Universal attorney Sheldon Mittleman. "Obviously we're pleased about that but not surprised." Server said he believed the judge may have decided to reject his "motion because of the huge amount of money involved in the case. "There's a billion dollars at stake, so the judges tend to be thinking of the economic repercussions of the motion," Server said. Wednesday Even- O - Program cont. O - ing 0 Program cont. 0 May 25 11:30 Q- 6:00 & Program cont. 0 News O Program cont. O O News 0 Late Nile with David O 0 - News Letterman 0 - 6:30 '2:00 0 - Entertainment O CNN2 Tonight O Program cont. 0 O AAASH 0 Program cont. O 0 - Family Feud 12:30 7:00 Program cont. 0 Fall Guy O Program cont. 0 0 AAOVIE: Callie and 0 NBC News O" Son Overnight 0 0 Real People Thursday Morning 8:00 May 26 - O O 0 0 o 0 o o 0 o o Q a Movie: Sizzle Program cont. Facts of Life 8:30 Program cont. Program cont. Taxi 9:00 Progarm cont. Program cont. Quincy 10:00 News News News 10:30 Nightline Hart to Hart Tonight Show 11:00 Entertainment Tonight 7:00 Good Morning America CBS Morning News Today Show 8:00 Q Program cont. O Program cont. Program cont. 9:00 Donahue O 125,000 Pyramid Facts of Life 9:30 0 Donahue cont. O Child's Play Sale of the Century 10:00 0 Love Boat O Price is Right 0 Wheel of Fortune o o o o o Family Feud Young and Restless Just Men 11:30 Ryan's Hope Program cont. Search For Tomorrow 12:00 All My Children High Noon Country Peoples Court 12:30 Program cont. As The World Turns Days of Our Lives 1:00 One Life to Live Program cont. Program cont. 1:30 Program cont. Capitol Another World 2:00 Q General Hospital O Guiding Light Program cont. 2:30 O Program cont. O Program cont. Fantasy 3:00 0 Brady Bunch O Tartletales Program cont. 3:30 Happy Days Again O Tom & Jerry Eight is Enough 4:00 0 Laverne and Shirley O Alice Program cont. 4:30 B.J.Lobo t Merv.Griffin One Day at Simg' OPEN TONIGHT AT 7:30 ONE SHOWING ONLY AT 8:00 11:00 Wanted: marine life NEWPORT, Ore. ( AP ) Seen a Popeye catalufa lately? Oregon State University marine scientists want to know. They are asking coastal residents and commercial fishermen to help them document unusual fish or other sea creatures torn from their usual haunts by a weather phenomenon known as El Nino. Researchers want people to note the circumstances of their discoveries and save the creatures for identification in El Nino Fish Watch '83. El Nino is a phenomenon caused by changes in hemispheric weather. Super Rental Savings Family titles 2 per tape per day Adult titles '10 per tape per day THE MAN kirk gr FROM DOUGLAS SNOWY r3J MhCfNTUMv-W tlLU) AUTHOR AUTHOR Deposit required 'Wi ' 1 !UU !UW B:MU I Expires May 31 st LrRiUAn mall t np r w,uu 7:00 O'OO J 821 N.Gront 337-2951 fTT W' ... Ttf I FILM RATING GUIDE 1 III 'SXXVSS IBLffli?11! For Parents and fll Mi.AA.w.V:Vii.M K 3 fat Their Children I lCSi g I M I H WIWWOOOMAli 368Q44I S3BtM3ggT I ess fc-zzri i cheechh. i. TiNNtf czrnnt OPEN 8:15 STARTS 9:20 FEATURE TIMES "RIVER" 9:20 "AUTHOR" 11:05 RATED PG NOW SHOWING! 4 JL V V. NOW SHOWING! FUTURE TIMES: RATED R "LORBS" 0:30 "SENDER" 11:10 "THE SENDER" I the unfopoivm TwisralgcKEn NOW SHOWING! RATED R FEATURE TIMES! UNFOROIVEN" 0:30 "KICKER" 11:05 ,HUM IBM TDO l MM 0HMI CHAW MM mm Wlfl CHUMJ OEAOIKR THAN A DIMI MM) 1733332 z jXTiL - f ,' 1 J?? 1 I m MARK HAMILL HARRISON FORD CARRIE FISHER BILLY DEE WILLIAMS ANTHONY DANIELS.. CMtvimDAVtO PROWSE KENNY BAKER PETER MAYHEW FRANK OZ .RICHARD MARQUAND -.HOWARD KAZANJIAN ..GEORGE LUCAS ..LAWRENCE KASDAN GEORGE LUCAS GEORGE LUCAS ..JOHN WILLIAMS 1 u mm i mi mt m m wwi m n akut'UMalMI MMUZATtt fWM tALLMTMI BOOKS I - nrauMMiM tua STARTS TONIGHT tm H GRANDVIIW DIAL H I SKOWTIMES at 8:00 and 10:20 ADULTS S0.50-CHILDS S2.5Q

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