Is it too soon to call Solo: A Self Destructing Story a bomb or is it merely a flop?  We won’t know for sure until later this afternoon when the weekend box office estimates come in, but right now it looks pretty grim when the Friday box office estimates are taken into account.

If I’m math-ing it right, that’s a 77% drop from Friday the 25th (which I believe also takes the Thursday opening into account).  If you count Thursday, May 31st, it’s a 65% drop from week-to-week.  For comparison’s sake, Rogue One had over a 70% drop from it’s first Friday to its second one, but this was during the Christmas season and Rogue One also brought in $155 million in its opening weekend versus Solo’s $84 million.

All told, Rogue One‘s box office dropped by 58% from its first to second weekend while The Force Awakens only dropped 40% and Last Jedi went down by 67%.  Based on that, I’d call Solo a “bomb” if it drops 70% or more this weekend.  It’s definitely already a flop.

Update: The verdict is in: Solo is a bad flop with a 65% drop in its second weekend.

Who’s to blame for this?  Why, white males, of course.  We’re responsible for everything, don’chano.  World Class Bullshitters offered a fantastic rebuttal to this stupid assertion.

Unlike Lucasfilm, I’d like to leave politics out of everything right now.  We have some good active TDS and ODS discussions on other threads so I’m thinking of focusing on some other interesting stories this week.  Don’t let that stop you from discussing politics in the thread though.

As if every aspect of the JonBenet murder case isn’t strange enough, the forensic psychologist who worked on it and other famous cases was murdered.

Witnesses told police they heard an argument between two people outside the office following by gunfire, according to Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV. Police said it is unknown whether the shooting is connected to Pitt’s work.

Police described the suspected shooter as a bald Caucasian man wearing a dark hat with a short brim.

Google is back to trying not to be evil.

Citing bad publicity and internal dissent, Google announces it won’t renew contract to supply AI for US military drones

I have mixed emotions on this one.  Sure, Google’s engineers are following a moral code about how their work should be used and that’s fine.  However, it’s disappointing that they’re far less enthusiastic about fighting the US’s foreign enemies than they are censoring American conservatives, manipulating information to affect political attitudes, and helping Deep State spy on us.

Google is only selectively evil, I suppose.  But they still manage to do more good with their tremendous wealth and influence than Joel Osteen.

According to the article, here’s a rough breakdown of how Lakewood Church uses that 90 million dollar budget:

    • Weekly services and programs: $31.7 million
    • Night of Hope events: $6.7 million
    • TV ministry: $25.1 million
    • General and administrative: $11.5 million
    • Fundraising: $11.9 million
    • Mission and outreach: $1.2 million

There are two related things that I find sad, albeit not surprising, about how Osteen and company spend their many millions. Most of that big pile of money is spent on furthering Osteen’s brand while a tiny fraction of it is spent on evangelizing the lost. And by a tiny fraction, I mean just a bit over 1 percent.

It’s not like there isn’t any poverty to fight with all that money.  Much of it growing in the same suburban communities whose residents are more likely to attend megachurches.

Why is poverty rising faster in suburbs than in cities? There are many reasons. Population growth in suburbs plays a part – the U.S. has become a suburban nation. However, that’s not the most important factor. My research finds that suburban poverty is growing three times faster than population size in suburban communities across the country.

No matter how much your neighborhood sucks, at least you probably don’t have the Crack of Doom in your backyard.

Kilauea has shocked the world with streams of lava swallowing houses and giant fissures opening up across Hawaii.

The latest aerial drone footage of the volcano has revealed dramatic changes within the volcano spotted at one of Kilauea’s main craters

There are new alarming cracks and fault seen in a collapsed crater, some of which are spewing with intense steam.

Scientists are concerned that an “expanding collapsed crater” and the debris blocking the vent could trigger a massive explosion.

Speaking of long dormant forces suddenly re-emerging, Illinois has voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

This prompts some interesting constitutional questions.  The time limit for passing the ERA has long, long expired.  Back to the time all the great movies that today’s creatively bankrupt Hollywood keeps remaking were first coming out.  But does that matter?  If the required number of states ratify the amendment, doesn’t that mean that the will of the people has been demonstrated and the amendment should be added?

Well, not so fast.  Several states later rescinded their ratifications of the ERA.  So they don’t count.  I think.

From my viewpoint, the ERA is unnecessary since discrimination on the basis of sex (but not gender, as the amendment is written) is already enshrined in federal and most state laws.  It would be hilarious to see it get ratified so that the lawsuits from men alleging sexual discrimination against them in family court and other realms where women get preferential treatment can commence.  I also would like to see the reaction from the young women who get told that they now have to sign up for Selective Service in case we need to draft women to fight off 600 million screaming red Chinamen.

Of course, the griping from the transgender community over the amendment’s clear wording about “sex” instead of gender would be great.

Keep an eye on this one.  Should just one more state vote to ratify, proponents are sure to declare victory.  It’ll be back.  If it does become law, then I recommend that the jungle be outlawed for unfairly oppressing women through snakes, spiders, and dirty water.

I noticed that the “Donate to Women” phone number is a Kansas City area code.  I don’t know who runs it, but wouldn’t recommend calling it.  People are ornery around here.

Today, my favorite local restaurant is closing.  It’s sad, but all of the non-corporate, family-owned establishments have been going under in the last few years.  There aren’t any left in my town that have the sort of breakfast and lunch cuisine that I enjoy anymore.  I’ll eat Banquet tv dinners before I eat at an Applebee’s, Glob damn it.

That’s all for now.  What else is there?

28 comments

  1. Who’s to blame for this? Why, white males, of course. We’re responsible for everything, don’chano. World Class Bullshitters offered a fantastic rebuttal to this stupid assertion.

    I don’t get the white man whinging shit, Thrill. I don’t have it as good as white men and I don’t think that my life is “that bad”. Women have been blamed for everything since Eve ate a (probably) pomegranate and ruined everything. Boo fucking hoo. Family court and prison sentences are about the only disadvantage white males have right now and I agree that they should be addressed. I don’t give a shit that some sad sack looked weak in a TV show because Hollywood.

    Every time a woman or minority does something good in pop culture the whining about social engineering begins. EVERY FUCKING TIME. Women can’t do anything cool that some dickhead doesn’t politicize. Black people have been marrying white people without lynching involved for half a century, but my brother still calls it “social engineering” in a movie or TV show like it is so fucking edgy.

    Spoiler alert for anyone not too jaded to watch the Solo movie:

    Solo was OK as movies go. My few complaints don’t amount to a squirt of piss. Han was questionably cast, no doubt about it. He didn’t do a bad job, but I just can’t see him turning into Han Solo. Lando was actually more charismatic in this movie. Chewie was fine and Emilia Clarke did a good job this time, unlike Terminator. Woody Harrelson did a good enough “Heymitch in Space” performance. The movie seems to park itself a few years before Rogue One and without enough time for Han to age into Episode IV. Given that we are unlikely to see much of him in the future, it really isn’t that big of a deal.

    Lando does NOT fuck a droid in the movie. There is a scene where a delusional droid thinks that Lando is in love with her and discusses this in some girl talk with Khaleesi. Personally, I would have cut this scene, but it really looks like a failed attempt at humor. It comprises just a few minutes of a two hour movie. Later, it is obvious that Lando has some affection for her but Star Wars characters bond with their droids. Do we really have to go the social engineering route or can we say that Lando’s feelings for her and her final fate explain a lot of why the Falcon was so special?

    End spoilers

    I have no opinion on the ERA, as I haven’t thought about it in decades. I am too old to give a shit about “women’s issues” and currently young women need to take up the cause. I made up my mind quite a long time ago that I am not going to try and affect the future from the grave. It is someone else’s problem now and I am planning my retirement, where I can cease giving a shit altogether.

    Sorry for the screed. I am grouchy because I drank too much last night and this shit gets on my nerves sometimes.

  2. It’s a flop.

    Does this include overseas? I agree that the numbers are low here. Perhaps they should rethink the side stories.

  3. I don’t get the white man whinging shit, Thrill. I don’t have it as good as white men and I don’t think that my life is “that bad”. Women have been blamed for everything since Eve ate a (probably) pomegranate and ruined everything. Boo fucking hoo. Family court and prison sentences are about the only disadvantage white males have right now and I agree that they should be addressed.

    Milo has a few words for you, I know, he talks too dang fast;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwOAmqWhf28

    I have seen what he is talking about first hand, raising a son over the years.

    Applebee’s, Glob damn it.

    They have really gone down hill.

    Today I’m gonna take the wife to lunch, going to Chili’s because I want one of these;

    https://www.chilis.com/menu/big-mouth-burgers/the-boss-burger

    Yeah, I can handle it.

    The California elections this Tuesday. We got 3 different tax increases on the ballot, they love their tax increases. New gas, water and bridge taxes, all will pass. When my mom dies (89 years old) I am so outta here.

  4. I don’t get the white man whinging shit, Thrill.

    I’m not whining about anything. Did it come across that way? The article at the link is one of those who is saying that the only reason this Disney movie did badly is because it had a white male lead while all of the other Disney Star Wars movies have female leads.

    Every time a woman or minority does something good in pop culture the whining about social engineering begins. EVERY FUCKING TIME.

    I don’t think that’s true. It’s only when those characters are made strong and given no flaws or weaknesses because the writers are afraid that it would diminish all women or minorities if they did.

    The complaints about Rey aren’t that she’s a woman. It’s that she’s a Mary Sue (I’m really running with the tropes this week). They wrote her as a “strong woman” and made her utterly uninteresting and unsympathetic in the process.

    I mean, I like TFA and TLJ and even I don’t like Rey’s character and consider her poorly written. I’m to the point that I think Episode IX would be better if it focused on Kylo Ren instead of her. Not because she’s a woman, but because his character is far more interesting, has flaws, encounters real setbacks, and has room to grow as a character. Her’s doesnt’.

    Lando does NOT fuck a droid in the movie.

    I know, but the problem is that the co-writer said Lando is pansexual because of his relationship to that specific character. It is therefore Word of God.

    See for yourself:

    This isn’t something we’re just making up. When a writer says explicitly that this is what’s going on, it’s part of canon. It’s utterly pointless for him to be doing this, but that’s honestly what these shitty writers think they’re supposed to be doing. They don’t care if it’s a shitty story that bombs at the box office as long as divershitty is championed.

  5. Does this include overseas?

    No.

    There’s no question that the movie is a failure. I’m not even sure that it will hit $400 million at the box office for WORLDWIDE total.

    What remains to be seen is what conclusions Disney will draw from it.

  6. It’s utterly pointless for him to be doing this, but that’s honestly what these shitty writers think they’re supposed to be doing. They don’t care if it’s a shitty story that bombs at the box office as long as divershitty is championed.

    Forgot to note that I included another trope in there.

    Rule of 3 – http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfThree

  7. I’m to the point that I think Episode IX would be better if it focused on Kylo Ren instead of her.

    We can agree here. They should develop his character better. They made that mistake with Luke and Rey. Tell us who these people are so we give a shit. Emo Ren is rivaling Luke as the top whiny bitch of the franchise. Why? What did he not get from Han and Leia? With Luke, you at least knew that his uncle was holding him back. Ren doesn’t have that excuse being born into the rebellion. I don’t know what they could do now, back story wise. Vader had an entire trilogy of back story and no one was happy about it, but we DO know why Vader turned dark side.

    For just a second, they almost made Ren interesting when he defeated Snoke, but they blew it with the old “let’s rule the galaxy together” trope.

    Rey has flaws but they are admittedly more subtle. It was distracting that in order to have her “reject the call” she had to keep demanding that she needed to go back to that shithole to wait indefinitely for non-existent family. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would do that. She is still looking for these people, where Luke was allowed to just move on. (I liked her better in TFA than TLJ.) After two movies, this should be resolved. They do need to address her force powers and where the hell they came from. I mean, she’s not even a Jedi but has Yoda powers. If she is that strong in the force, that is fine, but it would be nice to see that fleshed out a bit. I mean, maybe the force is different with so few active users? She seems a bit too tempted by the dark side. Again, here is an opportunity to make her interesting but I doubt they exploit it.

    I know, but the problem is that the co-writer said Lando is pansexual because of his relationship to that specific character.

    I don’t meta watch movies if I can help it. I am there to be entertained, or at least distracted, for about two hours. I don’t care what some writer thinks about “pansexuality”, something completely resolved in Star Trek and Aliens (what exactly is Arcturian poontang anyway?) decades ago. No one cared back then. Hell, no one even cared that Ripley was a girl. Someone, somewhere will fuck anything given enough time. Everyone knows this but it is somehow “shocking” that it shows up even if only hinted at in the ACTUAL movie just because some writer waxes idiotic about his philosophy on Twitter. Like I said, I would have cut that scene. It didn’t really add anything to the film, but neither did Arcturian poontang add much of anything to Aliens.

    I’m not whining about anything. Did it come across that way?

    Maybe a little, but I admit that this has been a growing thing, over time. You and I are mirror images in that I am a liberal trapped in a conservative world. I hear this shit in person all the time. I can’t even watch a movie without my brother going on about it so I admit to a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to seeing this stuff. I don’t discuss politics with family any more so this pops up and I have to roll my eyes. So, in my world, I think this happens all the time because it actually does. I am glad you clarified your criteria, at least that makes a modicum of sense to me. It just isn’t my experience.

  8. So, i took my boys to see Solo, last night, meh, it was ok, nothing overly exciting, nothing too horrible.
    The Feminist robot wasn’t too annoying Lando wasn’t quite as smooth as i hoped, but he was the shining star there.

  9. Ren doesn’t have that excuse being born into the rebellion. I don’t know what they could do now, back story wise. Vader had an entire trilogy of back story and no one was happy about it, but we DO know why Vader turned dark side.

    I would argue that the prequels had the same underlying problem that Solo has. It was a story that didn’t really need to be told. Ben Kenobi explained it in ANH: “Vader was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force”. Got it. Good.

    Kylo Ren doesn’t need a back story. There’s huge potential for his future story. He has already achieved his life goal: He is more powerful than Darth Vader, who was always second banana to the Emperor. Now it can be either a story of redemption or one of tragedy. Done right, it can be awesome.

    Rey has the opposite problem. Any backstory is just going to result in her being another “Space Jesus” like Anakin was. We’ll be told she was chosen by the Force or something.

    Where is there for her character to go? She’s already the greatest and most perfect person in the galaxy. She has mastered the Force, literally one week after she learned about it. She was already established as morally perfect in the first movie and doesn’t really have anything to learn in terms of character development. She doesn’t have Anakin’s fear, Luke’s recklessness, or Han’s selfishness and never did have anything like that.

    There was one YouTuber who pointed out that Jyn Erso was actually a better representation of how Rey’s character should have been, growing up without parents in a rough environment and it was a good argument. But they didn’t go that way because “Strong Woman!”

    I honestly have no idea what she is supposed to do in Episode IX. Confront and defeat Ren? Fall in love with him and redeem him? The first is totally predictable and dull. The second just won’t work because it isn’t believable.

    It was distracting that in order to have her “reject the call”

    Trope approvingly noted.

    I don’t meta watch movies if I can help it. I am there to be entertained, or at least distracted, for about two hours.

    I’m the same way, but that’s the problem with SJW writers and directors. They can’t just make art and let the audience interpret it as they will. They have to bluntly punch you right in the forehead with the message at every opportunity. The goal isn’t to distract or entertain; it’s to get you good and woke.

  10. Why do you you focus so hard to try and make the Lando-droid joke into a dealbreaker? It’s such an innocuous part of the movie it absolutely screams “I want to be pissed off about perceived politics” where none exist. Disney may be a lot of things, but what they aren’t is overtly insulting to anyone’s beliefs. They spent the last century delicately tiptoeing around white trash flyover sensibilities in almost everything they did. In this century they even gave the politically misguided, dumb white trash family a comedic forum, and even added them as trump supporters for authenticity.

    Now all the skin trump-eters are crying about their oppression? Holy fuck! The snowflake mentality has also crept into every corner of the rotten core of this political movement that fed on conservatism like parasitic flies. You even have your own victimhood to coalesce with every other directly parallel looney toon left wing ideology trump makes you parrot.

    It’s like every trump voter is a cuck hiding in the closet with a copy of “white man’s burden” in one hand, and “the fourth turning” in the other.

    Boo hoo! We’re white beta males that didn’t make varsity football!

  11. Why do you you focus so hard to try and make the Lando-droid joke into a dealbreaker?

    I’m not. pfluffy brought it up here, not me. Instead, I’ve made it very clear that it wasn’t the “dealbreaker” with me. I decided not to see it weeks ago and even wrote a post about it that had nothing to do with anything Jon Kadan had to say.

    http://www.ridiculousvikingstuff.com/2018/05/16/not-going-solo/

    It’s such an innocuous part of the movie it absolutely screams “I want to be pissed off about perceived politics” where none exist.

    It’s an innocuous part of the movie itself. However, you have to contend with this:

    Okay? The co-writer of the movie is gleefully admitting that he’s injecting his politics into the movie. I’m not imagining this. He’s bragging about it, with Disney’s blessing. It isn’t the first time they’ve done this either.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/rogue-one-is-a-political-allegory-tease-writers-946638

    Did I make a big deal about it at the time? No. I disliked Rogue One because I thought it sucked.

    However, Disney–far from not wanting to offend anyone–is continually endorsing its writers getting blatantly wrapped up in these political causes. If you’re upset about anyone politicizing Star Wars, take it up with Lucasfilm who refuses to rein in their writers and producers.

    In this century they even gave the politically misguided, dumb white trash family a comedic forum, and even added them as trump supporters for authenticity.

    Oh, wow. Thank you so much, Disney. They gave us one fucking show that was rehashed from the 90’s. One…show. How generous our mighty masters of media are. One show to counteract the constant liberal preaching on every other show. Of course, it was obviously one too many.

    Now you’re gaslighting us and telling us that the obvious politicization of Star Wars isn’t obvious. Really? Why are you shilling for this nonsense?

  12. I haven’t seen Solo yet – and I went to see every other Star Wars movie right away, but this one I just can’t be bothered. It’s nothing to do with white male leads or pansexuality though. I just can’t shift the feeling that this is a DVD movie. I’m not curious about what happens, because we know.

    TL/DR – Prequels suck.

    As for Rey – I’m fine with her being a cypher – I see it as her role. The interesting parts are the cast of characters around her – just as Luke wasn’t why we watched episode 4. I don’t think her character has to ‘go’ anywhere – everyone else does. Rey just exists as a catalyst for everyone else stories.

    As for the Pansexual thing – I’m actually with Will on this one. If he had an awesome story he wanted to tell about an LGBTQ character in the Star Wars universe, then great. I’d be interested to see that if it was written by someone with a better filmography than 4 episodes of Dawsons Creek and as writer on 2007’s ‘in the land of women’ (me neither…)

    As it is, the movie isn’t about that – and in fact seems that the single line he’s talking about isn’t a big deal. So his tweets and interviews are the worst type of virtue signalling there is. That character trait isn’t there to advance the story, explain the character or add context – it’s there to troll the conservatives and isn’t helpful at all.

  13. Rey just exists as a catalyst for everyone else stories.

    That is a truly interesting perspective I’ve never encountered before. I need to think about that one for a while.

    If he had an awesome story he wanted to tell about an LGBTQ character in the Star Wars universe, then great.

    Exactly right. The fandom of the OT would accept this, as would I. Keep in mind that Billy Dee Williams ‘ Lando was originally a diversity hire in ESB as a response to people who complained about how everybody in ANH was white. He’s a great character and him being a black man did not matter in the grand scheme of things.

    If Disney wants a gay, pansexual, or bisexual character then add one. Just make xim or xer a sympathetic and engaging character. Either the relationships that the character has will serve the plot (a Finn and Poe romance might have done this) or it will simply be incidental to who the character is.

    ilovecress is right. Kasdan doing this served no purpose for the character or story and that’s why it’s a problem.

  14. Why is poverty rising faster in suburbs than in cities?

    Left completely out of this article’s diagnosis is the simple fact that poorer people have been pushed into the suburbs in droves over the past twenty years, as urban centers have been “revitalized” and rich people started repopulating them. In many cities, entire neighborhoods have been bulldozed and rebuilt with luxury condos and “live-work lofts”, raising rents into the stratosphere. So where do you think all the displaced people end up? They get pushed out, and now they’re in the inner-ring suburbs, which in many cases haven’t been prepared for the influx of poor people and the problems they bring. So like here in DC, the center city is flush with cash from taxes tied with growing land values, but suburbs like Alexandria, Arlington, and Silver Spring are struggling to deal with crime and a massive social services burden.

  15. Good point, zoom. Gentrification has to be a factor. I definitely see evidence of it in my metropolitan area anyway.

    OT: I sent you a note on our chat wrt some blog issues.

  16. The Inspector General’s report was just released, it states Comey was “insubordinate”, along with other damning stuff. That’s not the point of my comment.

    My point is that MSNBC is currently talking about Trump pardoning a 63 year old woman after meeting with Kim Kardashian and how he loves to use the power, and is using it more than other presidents (he isn’t), and CNN is covering a live second string WH briefing related to foreign relations. Narry a mention that the Inspector General report even exists, let alone what is in it.

    Nothing to see here, folks. You can sure as shit bet that if the report stated nothing untoward happened with Comey, both channels would be covering it while rabidly commenting about Trump doing “fill in the blank here”.

  17. Careful. It leaked, wasn’t released. I’m not one to defend the MSM, but I can see their reluctance to run with this as it’s unsourced.

  18. I’m not one to defend the MSM, but I can see their reluctance to run with this as it’s unsourced.

    Is there a liberal news organization in existence who hasn’t used leaked information to slam Trump that they haven’t later had to retract/correct? They didn’t suddenly change their MO, Will. My point stands – they would have spent the last 12 hours covering it if what was leaked exonerated Comey, or condemned Trump in any way.

  19. Can’t argue with that. Of course, I fully expect that they’ll claim the IG report “just tells us stuff we already knew” when it is fully released. They can’t attack it, so they’ll minimize it.

  20. The “official” IG report is set to be released a week from today, June 14th, then we can officially call Comey a putz.

  21. So we just elected Doug Ford, brother of Rob, as our Premier, https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2018/06/07/doug-ford-on-track-to-be-ontarios-next-premier.html. You could probably consider him a Donald Trump acolyte. The cucks are starting to rule the world! I didn’t vote for him (or at least his party), I went Libertarian this election. I couldn’t tell the difference between his rhetoric and what the socialist and Liberal parties were peddling. Of the main candidates, I suppose he’s the least evil of the 3. The good news is the standing Liberals were relegated to 7 seats from 56. It was time for a purge.

  22. I saw that this morning, very sad. I knew he was battling cancer. Big Nats fan, that’s probably his dying wish, to go to one more game.

  23. Solo was fun. Here’s another reason….

    Except for Jon Kasdan, I honestly feel sorry for everybody who worked on that movie. It was doomed to fail. Maybe it’ll get a more appropriate level of appreciation when the fandom civil war ends.

    Not from me though. I still have zero interest in seeing it.

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