“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” became the top grossing film of 2017, hitting $533 million and eclipsing former top performer “Beauty and The Beast.”
Bitcoin began the year with a sell-off, which has not happened in a number of years. According to Bloomberg:
For the first time since 2015, the cryptocurrency began a new year by declining, extending its slide from a record $19,511 reached on Dec. 18.
The virtual coin fell to $13,624.56 as of 5 p.m. in New York on Monday, down 4.8 percent from Friday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s also a drop from the $14,156 it hit Sunday, according to coinmarketcap.com, which tracks daily prices. The cryptocurrency fluctuated in Asian trading on Tuesday, trading 1.9 percent lower as of 3:22 p.m. in Hong Kong.
Winners of near record lotteries will need to pay 2018 taxes. According to CNBC:
There were not winning tickets for the latest drawing in two major U.S. lotteries, sending the jackpots ballooning for early 2018.
The Powerball jackpot is now $440 million, and the Mega Millions stands at $343 million. Both games had their most recent jackpot wins in late October.
Because no winning tickets were sold for 2017, the next jackpots will be subject to the new tax rules. The next Powerball drawing is slated for Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. ET, and the next Mega Millions drawing is at 11 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
2017 was the safest year to fly in aviation history. According to CNNMoney:
By nearly all measures, flying in 2017 was safer than ever. Last year, there were 10 fatal commercial passenger and cargo air crashes that killed 44 passengers and crew members. That compares favorably to the five-year average of 17 crashes with 495 deaths, according to the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), which tracks aviation incidents and accidents.
Remarkably, no jet-powered commercial passenger jets crashed in 2017. The deaths recorded last year were all from cargo planes or smaller propeller-driven passenger aircraft. Monday marked 399 days since the last fatal passenger jet airliner accident, according to the network. That crash in November 2016 killed 71 of the 77 people aboard, including most of the Brazilian Chapecoense football team. The jet ran out of fuel when it was attempting to land in Colombia.
South Korea’s biggest car company said it expects poor sales growth this year. According to Reuters:
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors on Tuesday flagged only modest sales growth in 2018, suggesting a slow recovery from a slump linked to their lack of SUVs in the United States and diplomatic tensions with China.
Hyundai and smaller affiliate Kia, which together make the world’s fifth-largest automaker, said demand was expected to soften in the U.S. and Chinese markets as they unveiled a combined sales target of 7.55 million vehicles this year.
Analysts said that would be a slight increase on 2017, when the automakers are estimated to have sold about 7.3 million vehicles, their lowest in five years.
A former Reagan adviser praised tax cuts. According to The New York Post:
Republicans got at least one key point of the tax cuts right this time, and that will jump-start the economy, a Reaganite economist said.
The latest round of cuts, which includes a big corporate rate reduction as well as other business breaks, will juice the economy because it will go into effect immediately, said Arthur Laffer, a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan and now an adviser to some GOP leaders.