‘Dunkirk’ Holds Off ‘Emoji’ and ‘Atomic Blonde’ for Second Weekend at #1

After the dust settled, it wasn’t much of a fight. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk finished atop the weekend box office for the second week in a row with Sony’s new animated feature, The Emoji Movie, settling for second place. The weekend’s other new wide release was Focus Features’ Atomic Blonde, which fell a little short of expectations. Universal’s R-rated comedy Girls Trip, however, had a stellar second weekend, finishing in third place with over $ 20 million, delivering on the promise of i…
Box Office Mojo – Top Stories

‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ Holds at #1 While ‘King Arthur’ Falls on His Sword

UPDATE: Fox has finally sent over debut international results for Alien: Covenant, which released in 34 international markets this weekend with an estimated $ 42 million. The film was #1 in 19 of its opening markets including South Korea ($ 7.2m), UK ($ 6.4m), France ($ 4.5m), Australia ($ 3.1m), Spain ($ 1.9m) and Hong Kong ($ 1.8m). Next weekend, along with its domestic debut in 3,600+ theaters, the film will open in 52 markets including Germany, Russia and Sweden. Here’s a look at the top p…
Box Office Mojo – Top Stories

Writing and the Creative Life: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”– Joseph Campbell (1904 –1987) Mythologist, Writer, Lecturer

As most of you know, I’m an acolyte of Joseph Campbell, having studied him first when I was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, then later at Yale, and eventually when I came to Hollywood and discovered he was all the rage in story development circles due to the influence of Christopher Vogler.

Campbell has influenced my writing and my thoughts about writing enormously. Beyond his scholarly research and contribution of The Hero’s Journey to the discussion about story, Campbell also holds a special place in my intellectual, spiritual, and creative life because of this: His work introduced me to Carl Jung.

As it turns out, Jung had a massive impact on Campbell. Indeed it is difficult to imagine Campbell’s ideas evolving anywhere near what they became without the underlying observations, principles, and philosophy of Carl Jung.

The quote above is a perfect example: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” That is classic Jung. The process of individuation, a fundamental psychological and life-process by which a person integrates disparate parts of their self into a whole, acknowledges the fact that the individual must engage all aspects of who they are, even those which they fear.

Here are some Jung quotes that echo this sensibility:

“A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”

“Man’s task is to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious.”

“Our heart glows, and secret unrest gnaws at the root of our being. Dealing with the unconscious has become a question of life for us.”

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”

“To confront a person with their own shadow is to show them their own light.”

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

Why this post? Two reasons:

  • Almost without exception, the stories we write involve a character or characters who, along with whatever else happens to them along the way, experience a psychological journey. It is that interweaving of what transpires in the Plotline and how that impacts the attitudes of a character in their Internal World, reflected in their metamorphosis (Themeline), that gives our stories richness, depth, and meaning. It makes dramas, comedies, thrillers, action movies and all the rest better stories.
  • We ourselves as writers go on our own psychological journey in the telling of our tales. And oftentimes in order to dig up diamonds in our imagination, we must plumb the depths of our own souls and enter our deepest, darkest caves, for it is there where we will find our treasure.

So much of what we are told about screenwriting has a tendency to reduce creativity to filling in blanks on this template or that paradigm. As helpful as that may be in wrangling a plot, where is the life in that? Where is the heart, soul, and humanity? It is only through giving ourselves completely over to our stories and creative self — and yes, sometimes going into Dark Places — and engaging the process as an organic one where we discover magic, mystery, and treasure.

For more on Joseph Campbell, go here.

For more on Carl Jung, go here.

For more of the Writing and the Creative Life series, go here.

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Writing and the Creative Life: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek” was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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A new database holds the faces of the guards who oversaw the atrocities at Auschwitz



Joseph Hefner, former student merchant. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Image: Institute of National Remembrance

Following the invasion of Poland by Germany in September 1939, construction began on a complex of camps to house thousands of Polish political prisoners — Auschwitz.

The first prisoners began to arrive in the spring of 1940. The camp rapidly expanded and was repurposed into one of the central points for the concentration and murder of Jews

Before the liberation of the camp by Soviet troops on Jan. 27, 1945, 1.1 million people, 90 percent of them Jewish, died there. They were systematically exterminated in gas chambers or killed by beatings, starvation, exhaustion or disease. Read more…

More about Auschwitz, Nazis, Holocaust, History, and Retronaut

Split Holds Top Spot Domestically, Journey to the West Opens Big in China

Split Holds Top Spot Domestically, Journey to the West Opens Big in China

Split holds top spot domestically, Journey to the West opens big in China

M. Night Shyamalan’s Split (Universal Pictures) easily held on to the top spot at the domestic box office this week, dropping just 34% in ticket sales and adding $ 26.3 million. In two weeks, the thriller has earned $ 78 million. Internationally, Split grossed $ 14.8 million from 31 territories this weekend for an overseas total of $ 23.7 million. Combined with North America, the film has earned $ 101.7 million. As with 2015’s breakout hit The Visit — the most successful horror film of that year — writer/director/producer Shyamalan again teamed with Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions, following the same low-budget model to provide Shyamalan creative filmmaking freedom. Made for just $ 9 million, Split stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula, and Haley Lu Richardson.

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back debuted with an impressive $ 52.5 million in China on Saturday, marking the biggest day ever for a local Chinese title and the second-biggest opening of all time there. The film, directed by Tsui Hark and produced by Stephen Chow, broke the record set by The Mermaid and came in behind all-time leader Furious 7. The 390 IMAX screens that played the film generated $ 4.5 million of the opening day total and broke several IMAX records as well: Best day ever for a local language title; best opening day ever for a local-language title; best Chinese New Year opening day; and third-best day ever of any title after Warcraft and Furious 7.

Universal Pictures also claimed second place domestically with A Dog’s Purpose, which grossed $ 18.4 million from 3,059 theaters, an average of $ 6,010 per location. Universal launched the film in seven overseas territories, where it earned $ 3.4 million, while the international total including Mister Smith territories is $ 5 million. The worldwide total is $ 23.4 million. Produced by Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media, the Lasse Hallstrom-directed film received an A CinemaScore from audiences. Featuring Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, Dennis Quaid and Josh Gad, A Dog’s Purpose cost $ 22 million to make.

20th Century Fox’s Hidden Figures remained in third place in North America with $ 14 million, a dip of just 11% from last weekend. Made for $ 25 million, the film has now earned $ 104 million in North America. Directed by Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Glen Powell and Kevin Costner.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter opened in fourth place with an estimated $ 13.9 million from 3,104 theaters, an average of $ 4,462. The video game adaptation performed better overseas, where it grossed $ 28.3 million from 44 markets for an international total of $ 64.5 million. Receiving a B CinemaScore, The Final Chapter has earned $ 78.3 million worldwide so far on a $ 40 million budget. Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the movie stars Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, Eoin Macken, Lee Joon-Gi, William Levy, and Iain Glen.

Following a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, Damien Chazelle’s Golden Globe winner La La Land (Lionsgate) again rounded out the top five with $ 12 million. The film’s theater count was increased from 1,800 to 3,136 this weekend. The musical has earned $ 106.5 million so far. Overseas, La La Land earned $ 23.4 million from 73 markets for a foreign total of $ 117.1 million and impressive global sum of $ 223.5 million. La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, was made for just $ 30 million.

Also, The Weinstein Company’s Gold bombed in tenth place with just $ 3.5 million from 2,166 theaters, an average of $ 1,602 per theater. Directed by Stephen Gaghan, the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll, Toby Kebbell, Bruce Greenwood and Stacy Keach.

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