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Entertainment News Archives for 2017-02

Actor Bill Paxton Dead at 61

 


Paxton’s films include The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Predator 2, True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister and Titanic

 

Bill Paxton

 

American actor and director Bill Paxton has passed away due to surgery complications, according to a statement from his family.

 

Paxton was 61-years-old.

 

He leaves behind two children and his wife of 30 years, Louise Newbury.

 

Paxton is most remembered for his involvement with hits “Twister,” “Titanic” and “Aliens.”

He won an Emmy for “Hatfields and McCoys.”

 

At the time of his death he was on a CBS series, “Training Day.”

 

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'Lego Batman' stays No. 1, conquers 'The Great Wall'

 

NEW YORK (AP) — "The Great Wall" was a hit in China. In North America, it was a dud.

 

The most expensive film ever made in China and with a budget of $150 million, "The Great Wall" was intended to prove that the world's no. 2 movie marketplace could produce Hollywood-sized blockbusters of its own. Though it ran up $171 million in ticket sales in China, "The Great Wall" pulled in $18.1 million in its North American debut over Presidents Day weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

 

That was good enough for third place, falling behind last weekend's top two films, "The Lego Batman" and "Fifty Shades Darker." The Warner Bros. animated release easily led the box office again with $34.2 million in its second week, sliding only 35 percent. Universal's "Fifty Shades Darker" sold $21 million in tickets in its second week. The erotic sequel continues to play well overseas, where it led international business with $43.7 million over the weekend.

 

Slammed by critics, "The Great Wall" didn't measure up to its initial ambitions. It was produced by Legendary Entertainment, which has since been acquired by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group. The film, directed by Zhang Yimou, originated with an idea by Legendary chief executive Thomas Tull, who exited the company last month.

 

But "The Great Wall" isn't a bomb. It has made $244.6 million overseas and performed over the weekend in North America slightly better than some pundits expected.

 

"This is absolutely a strategy that's worldwide," said Nick Carpou, distribution chief for Universal. "Worldwide, we are one of many markets."

 

Universal could still claim four of the top 10 films, the other two being "A Dog's Purpose" ($5.6 million in its fourth week) and "Split" ($7 million in its fifth week), so far the top film of 2017.

 

More East-West productions like "The Great Wall" are sure to follow. Studios already regularly partner with Chinese film companies on everything from "Transformers: Age of Extinction" to "Warcraft," a flop in the U.S. and Canada with $47.4 million, but a $220.8 million hit in China.

 

Films like "The Great Wall" and "Warcraft," however, prove that finding the right balance between American and Chinese tastes remains a difficult balancing act.

 

For Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, the more significant factor for "The Great Wall" wasn't its multi-national origins but its Rotten Tomatoes rating: a dismal 36 percent "fresh."

 

"Just like every movie irrespective of country of origin, reviews matter," said Dergarabedian. "Audiences only care about the movie. They don't necessary care where it came from."

 

Two other new releases, both from 20th Century Fox, also failed to catch on. The comedy "Fist Fight," starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day as feuding high-school teachers, opened with $12 million.

 

And Gore Verbinski's gothic horror "A Cure for Wellness" — his follow-up to the box-office bomb "The Lone Ranger" — made just $4.2 million, a result that won't help the director's standing in the industry. On Friday, Fox apologized for using fake news stories to promote the film.

 

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final four-day domestic figures will be released Tuesday.

 

1. "The Batman Lego Movie," $34.2 million ($21.5 million international).

2. "Fifty Shades Darker," $21 million ($43.7 million international).

3. "The Great Wall," $18.1 million ($19 million international).

4. "John Wick: Chapter 2," $16.5 million ($15.6 million international).

5. "Fist Fight," $12 million.

6. "Hidden Figures," $7.1 million ($7.3 million international).

7. "Split," $7 million ($8.9 million international).

8. "A Dog's Purpose," $5.6 million.

9. "La La Land," $4.5 million ($31.7 million international).

10. "A Cure for Wellness," $4.2 million ($4.5 million international).

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

 

1. "Fifty Shades Darker," $43.7 million.

2. "La La Land," $31.7 million.

3. "xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage," $27.6 million

4. "Kung Fu Yoga," $23.3 million.

5. "The Lego Batman Movie," $21.5 million.

6. "The Great Wall," $19 million.

7. "Sing," $18.9 million

8. "John Wick: Chapter 2," $15.6 million.

9. "Split," $8.9 million.

10. "Hidden Figures," $7.3 million.

 

 

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'Rogue One' Stars Among Academy Awards Presenters

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stars of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" are heading to the Academy Awards.

Oscar telecast producers announced Thursday that Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed will serve as presenters at the Feb. 26 ceremony.

 

Rogue one

 

Past Oscar winners Javier Bardem and Charlize Theron are also set to take on presentation duties at the show. Last year's Oscar winning actors — Brie Larson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Rylance and Alicia Vikander — will also appear on the telecast.

 

They will join previously announced presenters including Samuel L. Jackson, Shirley MacLaine, Gael Garcia Bernal, "Fifty Shades of Grey" stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, and Kate McKinnon of "Saturday Night Live."

 

Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the show, which will air on ABC.

 

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400 NYC Public School Teachers to See Broadway's 'Hamilton'

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of public school teachers in New York City have landed tickets to the hottest show on Broadway.

 

Hamilton

 

Some 400 teachers from schools in all five boroughs will attend Wednesday night's performance of the sold-out, Tony Award-winning musical "Hamilton."

 

The teachers were selected by the city's Department of Education and via a lottery held by Teach For America-New York, a nonprofit educational organization. Barclays is also involved in the performance for educators through a partnership with the organization and the Education Department.

 

The Broadway show's organizers hope the musical's message of diversity and inclusiveness will resonate with educators and their students.

 

The teachers going to the show are educators who teach a variety of subjects in schools across the city.

 

 

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Britney Spears' niece visits school after ATV crash

 

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The 8-year-old niece of pop star Britney Spears, who was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident, still isn't well enough to return to school but was able to take Valentine's Day treats to her class in Louisiana Tuesday.

 

ATV

 

Eight-year-old Maddie Spears-Aldridge is the daughter of Spears' sister, actress and singer Jamie Lynn Spears.

 

According to a post on Jamie Lynn Spears' Instagram account, the girl was happy to see her friends again. Jamie Lynn Spears wrote that her daughter still isn't ready to go back to school but doctors cleared her for the Valentine's Day visit.

 

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office says Maddie was submerged in a pond inside the all-terrain vehicle Feb. 5 and nearby family members couldn't free her. An ambulance service arrived and pulled her out.

 

She was released from the hospital last Friday.

 

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Fox Draws Audience of 111.3 Million for Super Bowl

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox drew an audience of 111.3 million viewers for the first Super Bowl to go to overtime, falling just shy of the audience for football's ultimate game over the last three years.

 

 

The Nielsen company said that the top Super Bowl audience — and the biggest for any American TV show — was the 114.4 million who saw the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in 2015.

 

That 2015 game also had a last-minute ending, but couldn't match this year, when the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime. The late rally may actually have handicapped Fox: The Falcons led 28-3 at one point and the game was looking like a rout.

 

Last year's Denver-Carolina game reached an audience of 111.9 million.

 

 

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