Disney Buys Lucasfilm, "Star Wars Episode 7" Set for 2015! 

Darth Vader is now friends with the Disney Princesses.

The Walt Disney Company has acquired Lucasfilm and announced that "Star Wars Episode 7" will be coming to theaters in 2015! According to Disney, there will be a new "Star Wars" trilogy with the first movie to come out in 2015, and then a new film being released every other year.

So what about "Indiana Jones?" Disney seemed to want to concentrate on "Star Wars" for now. Here's the full press release from comingsoon.net:

Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

"Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas," said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. "This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value."

"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I'm confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney's reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products."

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and "evergreen" Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney's global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm's legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world's top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney's strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney's very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company's unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney's portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company's ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world's highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

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Win Exclusive Prizes for “Frankenweenie,” “Argo,” “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Fun Size" 

This week on Manny’s Movie Weekend Giveaway, we’re giving away everything but the kitchen sink for the following movies (see video of the contest below):


All you have to do is like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MannyTheMovieGuy) and you can win them all courtesy of our friends at Walt Disney Pictures (“Frankenweenie”), Warner Bros. (“Argo”), Summit Entertainment (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower), and Paramount Pictures (“Fun Size”).

Here’s what the winner will get:

“FRANKENWEENIE” (see picture above)

• “Frankenweenie” Beanie Hat
• “Frankenweenie” Dog Tag


• “Argo” Mini-poster
• “Argo” ball cap
• “Argo” T-shirt


• Signed mini-poster by Logan Lerman


• “Fun Size” t-shirt
• “Fun Size” toiler paper
• “Fun Size” candy
• “Fun Size” Orange Crush
• “Fun Size” tumbler
• “Fun Size” bag

Again, here’s how to enter:

1) Go to my Facebook page on www.facebook.com/MannyTheMovieGuy
2) Like my page
3) Like the contest post

And that’s it! Just like me forever and ever!

One lucky winner will be randomly drawn on:


It’s as easy as that! So what are you waiting for? Go to my Facebook page right now, and good luck!

Sorry international friends, this is only for U.S. residents

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"Argo" Tops Box-Office, "Cloud Atlas" Flops 

And finally, Ben Affleck's "Argo" topped the box-office weekend after three weeks. The surefire Oscar contender took in $12.3 million for the No. 1 spot, beating new releases such as "Cloud Atlas" and "Fun Size."


"Argo" movie review
Ben Affleck interview for "Argo"
Bryan Cranston interview for "Argo"

"Cloud Atlas" from the Wachowskis ("The Matrix" films) and Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run") took in $9.5 million for the No. 3 spot. The Tom Hanks/Halle Berry-starrer was budgeted for $100 million, so this film, as creative-forward as it was, flopped. ("Cloud Atlas" movie review)

Meanwhile, newcomer "Fun Size" also failed to bring in the fun at the box-office. The Paramount/Nickelodeon flick starring Victoria Justice debuted at No. 10 with $4 million. This film, directed by Josh Schwartz from a 2010 Black List script by Max Werner, was only budgeted for $14 million, so it would be easier for "Fun Size" to recoup its money comapred to "Cloud Atlas."


"Fun Size" movie review
"Fun Size" interview with the cast
"Fun Size" interview with Josh Schwartz

Previous weekend's box-office champ, "Paranormal Activity 4," fell to the No. 4 spot with $8.6 million. ("Paranormal Activity 4" interview with Kathryn Newton and Matt Shively)

Here's the estimated Top 10 Box-Office films for the weekend of Oct. 26th:

1. "Argo," $12.3 million
2. "Hotel Transylvania," $9.5 million
3. "Cloud Atlas," $9.4 million
4. "Paranormal Activity 4," $8.6 million
5. "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D," $8 million
6. "Taken 2," $8 million
7. "Here Comes the Boom," $5.5 million
8. "Sinister," $5 million
9. "Alex Cross," $5 million
10. "Fun Size," $4 million

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“Paranormal Activity 4” Interview with Kathryn Newton (Alex) and Matt Shively (Ben)  

“Paranormal Activity 4” is the No. 1 movie in America and the world. Moviegoers love the franchise as much as I do (okay, the fourth one may not be the best but it’s still worth your money). 5 years after the events of “Paranormal Activity 2,” we meet a suburban family who begins to experience strange occurrences after they take in a super-creepy kid. ("Paranormal Activity 4" movie review)

Soon, Alex (Kathryn Newton) and her pal, Ben (Matt Shively) decide to investigate using smartphones and video messaging. Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, “Paranormal Activity 4” is still a fun haunted house of a ride. I sat down with Kathryn and Matt to talk about:

*** Being a part of the ultra-popular “Paranormal Activity” franchise
*** How they kept the plot and the movie a secret from family and friends – the script was so closely guarded that it was first called “Double Decker”
*** How long did it take to shoot the film?
*** Why is the franchise so popular?
*** What will they be for Halloween?

Have fun!

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Watch My "Cloud Atlas" and "Fun Size" Movie Reviews 

This week, two big films duking it out at the box-office are the teen comedy romp “Fun Size” and the mind-bending drama “Cloud Atlas.” “Fun Size” set around Halloween stars Victoria Justice as Wren who finds out that Hollow’s Eve means strengthening the bond between her and her family. (My interview with director Josh Schwartz; and click here for my interviews with the cast of "Fun Size")

In “Cloud Atlas,” adapted from the “previously thought of” unadaptable book by David Mitchell, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry star in the creative work by the writers/directors The Wachowskis (Lana and Andy who gave us “The Matrix” movies) and Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”).

So which one is my pick of the week? Let’s take a look:

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