Disney and Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” has stormed into a historic territory, earning $2.19 billion worldwide in less than two weeks to become the No. 2 film of all time, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.
That exalted number, which includes the film’s estimated take of $145.8 million this three-day weekend in North America, pushes the superhero blockbuster past “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which netted $2.07 billion, and even “Titanic” ($2.18 billion).
Only “Avatar” ($2.79 billion) has done better. Yet “Avengers” hit its record total in just 11 days, taking in a stunning $575.8 million in China alone.
Hollywood analysts predict a long run for “Avengers,” which drew a rare 96 per cent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website and features a star-studded cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper and Josh Brolin.
Trailing “Avengers” by several light years, rival studios still managed to place new films in the next three box-office spots.
Sony’s psychological thriller “The Intruder” came in second, at $11 million. Michael Ealy and Meagan Good star as a young couple who buy a dream home in California’s Napa Valley unaware that its previous owner (Dennis Quaid) plans to take it back — at all costs.
In third was Lionsgate’s romantic comedy “Long Shot,” at $10 million. Seth Rogen plays Fred Flarsky, an out-of-work journalist who has a romantic interest in his former babysitter (Charlize Theron) who — now a candidate for the US presidency — might seem a bit out of his reach.
STX Films’ animated film “UglyDolls” placed fourth, at $8.5 million. The plot? A bunch of misfit dolls with pointy ears and bad teeth — residents of Uglyville — face a harsh world but finally discover their inner beauty. The voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Wanda Sykes and Janelle Monae are featured.
In fifth place, hanging strong in its ninth week out, was Disney’s “Captain Marvel,” at $4.3 million. Brie Larson stars as a former fighter pilot who gains superpowers.
Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance on the Grammys stage Sunday to deliver a message about music and women’s empowerment alongside superstars Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, host Alicia Keys and actress Jada Pinkett-Smith.
“Music shows us that all of it matters — every story within every voice, every note within every song,” said the former first lady, looking glam in a sparkling gunmetal pantsuit with a 1970s-esque wrap jacket.
“Is that right, ladies?” she said to resounding applause.
The Recording Academy behind the awards gala has faced a barrage of criticism for not embracing diversity within its ranks, after nearly muting women nominees at the show last year.
This year, five of the eight nominees for Album of the Year are women: rapper Cardi B, folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile, pop futurist Janelle Monae, R&B prodigy H.E.R. and country star Kacey Musgraves.
At the start of the segment, Lady Gaga — a triple winner so far on the night — said: “They told me I was weird… And music told me not to listen to them.”
Three-time Grammy Award-winning band Maroon 5 was named Sunday as the headline act of next month’s Super Bowl 53 half-time show, a performance that has aroused controversy and protest petitions.
The league and pop music band announced they will perform in the National Football League championship spectacle on February 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
They will be joined by Atlanta native Big Boi and Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott.
Maroon 5 had been long rumoured to be playing the feature slot on one of the most watched US television shows of any year.
But it comes after more than 75,000 people signed an online petition for the band not to play the Super Bowl to support Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who started kneeling protests during pre-game US anthem performances as a way to protest racial and social injustice and police brutality.
Kaepernick, a former star for the San Francisco 49ers, has not played in the league since 2016. He filed a grievance against the NFL and club owners last year, claiming they have conspired not to hire him.
US President Donald Trump made the kneeling protest a major issue, calling anyone who did it a “son of a bitch” and saying they should be fired.
Other artists reportedly turned down the halftime show in support of Kaepernick.
Billboard reported Sunday, citing unnamed sources, that Scott signed on to perform only after the NFL agreed to join him in donating to a social justice cause.
Past Super Bowl performers have included Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2 and Michael Jackson.
Every year comes with its fair share of good, bad and wild moments and 2018 brought nothing short of that in entertainment.
From Davido giving us Assurance to Amaka disappointing us and Wizkid and Tiwa, giving us Fever and eventually some hard goodbyes we had to say, here are some of the top moments that shaped the year.
Black Panther and the tale of Wakanda (February 16)
The movie which tells the tale of a fictitious African country, Wakanda, from the perspective of affluence, light age development and technology was one of the many that had viewers enthralled.
The film particularly appealed to people of colour because they felt it was a shift from the regular plots which always portray Africa as an underdeveloped, forsaken continent.
More exciting for some fans was the fact that Nigerians were among the cast.
Acrimony (March 30)
The psychological thriller starring Taraji P. Henson, tells the story of a loyal wife who decides to take revenge on her ex-husband after he becomes successful, following years of their struggle together.
He remarries and lavishes his new wife with everything he had promised his ex-wife – a situation which infuriates her and makes her hell-bent on revenging.
The movie left most of its viewers in utter shock and in a state of introspection such that months after its release, the debate over who was right or wrong lingered.
It was produced, written, and directed by Tyler Perry.
Davido Gave Chioma ‘Assurance’ (May 1)
2018 was the year singer, Davido, gave his girlfriend ‘Assurance’, proclaiming his undying love for her.
In the music video for the hit single, his girlfriend Chioma Avril Rowland, made a cameo appearance and the artist was seen professing his love for her, crowning it all by gifting a Porshe Car which was said to be between 45 to 50 million Naira.
The song had most people falling in love and seeking similar ‘assurance’.
Consequently, the lovebirds continued to trend for weeks on end.
While fans continued to show them love, some critics, however, called out the DMW crooner for flaunting his relationship despite having several ‘baby mamas’.
Meghan and Prince Harry’s Royal Wedding (May 19)
The Royal wedding had the whole world talking for weeks leading up the event and weeks after.
The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex exchanged vows at the altar in St. George’s Chapel in an emotional event that brought the bi-racial US TV star into the heart of the British monarchy.
Falz’ This Is Nigeria (May 25)
A cover for US Rapper, Childish Gambino’s This Is America, Falz’ This Is Nigeria, became one of the hot topics of the year as it highlighted major issues around the nation’s politics, security and economy.
The video sparked conversations and immediately gained up to 15 million views in the past seven months.
World Mourns ‘Queen Of Soul’ Aretha Franklin (August 16)
Raised on gospel, bathed in rhythm and blues and fluent in jazz and pop, Aretha Franklin came to be known as the “Queen of Soul” through seven decades of electrifying performances.
Lee rose through the ranks to become a comics writer, making millions of superhero fans dream of his fantastic universes and humans with extraordinary powers, and eventually led the Marvel empire for decades as its publisher.
He died in Los Angeles after suffering a number of illnesses in recent years.
Farewell to the ‘voice of Lagos’ Tosyn Bucknor (November 19)
Nigerians bade farewell to on-air-personality, Tosyn Bucknor, popularly known as the ‘voice of Lagos’ on November 20.
She died at the age of 37, following complications from the sickle-cell disease.
Bucknor was reportedly found dead by her husband, Aurelien Boyer, when he returned home from work.
Known and loved by many, the OAP was buried amid tears and tributes.
Ras Kimono: Rub A Dub King Bows Out Under Pressure
Part of the loved ones we lost in 2018 is the Rub A Dub King, Ras Kimono who died of a heart attack in Lagos. Sadly, before we could come to terms with the legendary musician’s demise, we heard the announcement that his wife, Efemena Okedi, had passed on also.
She died just three months after he was laid to rest.
Ras Kimono brought us the Rhumba style and for this, he and his lovely wife will always live on in our memories.
Funke Akindele Welcomes Twins (December 22)
It was a joyful year for actress, Funke Akindele, popularly known as Jenifa as she welcomed a set of twins with her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, popularly known as JJC Skills.
The news went viral on social media after the actress shared some posts expressing gratitude to God.
Nollywood actor and rapper, Jimmy Odukoya, says entertainers and celebrities are most times judged unfairly and often misunderstood by society.
Jimmy, who is also a pastor and the son of renowned Nigerian pastors Taiwo and the late Bimbo Odukoya, admitted that while there are bad eggs in the industry, there are also many others who are truly dedicated to their craft.
In a recent interview with Channels Television, he shared his thoughts about the industry from the viewpoint of a Christian.
He said “People have ideologies of what they think it is. I have heard people say that all actresses sleep around and all musicians are drug addicts but I think they are all preconceived notions. There are some people who dabble in these things but it’s unfair to categorize a whole industry of people”.
He also said that rather than condemn those who engage in such vices, they should be shown some measure of love and understanding.
Speaking further, Pastor J, as he is fondly called, praised entertainers who have real passion for their job and have made it to the spotlight through genuine means and hard work.
“I have met a lot of hardworking and dedicated people who have followed their passion and put their lives on the line just to achieve their dreams. Some people come from different states for auditions and don’t even get picked.
“There are a lot of hardworking people that are trying to follow their dreams in a country that says you have to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer to have a career,” he said.
At a time when Nigeria is witnessing some economic and security challenges, comedian, Julius Agwu, has advised Nigerians to embrace comedy.
In an interview with Channels Television’s Entertainment News on Friday, he explained that Nigerian music and comedy have come a long way, with many artistes and comedians making their mark both locally and internationally.
He, however, said that there is now more need for comedy as the nation goes through some tough times.
“The fact is that considering the circumstances Nigeria is facing now, the only thing that can help anybody who is a Nigerian and not just only Nigerians, is comedy.
“When you think of all the bad things, just go and laugh. Laugh it out,” he said.
Agwu who was away due to health reasons, says he is back, bigger and better.
The 13th edition of his annual ‘Crack Ya Ribs‘ comedy show, took place in London on Sunday.
Founder of Industry Night, Matthew Ohio, has advised artistes to release meaningful music which he says will keep them relevant in the industry.
In a recent interview with Channels Television, he explained that while a lot of musicians go with the trend, those who are more intentional about their music tend to outshine the others.
“There are artistes who released songs 10 years ago and their songs still get played.
“You need to be able to release ever-green music. A lot of musicians go with the trends,” he said.
“Going with the trend sometimes pays off but doesn’t ensure longevity, but when you come out with organic material, that kind of keeps you relevant,” he added.
A graduate of Mass-Communication from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ohio noted that though he had always been a music enthusiast, he never considered being a musician because according to him, “that space is saturated”.
Rather, he preferred to explore other opportunities within the industry, which he believes one can earn much more money from – hence the emergence of the talent exhibition platform.
Now in its 10th year, Industry Night has seen many artistes rise from their humble beginnings into stardom.
“Industry Night has always been something belonging to the industry from the beginning, it’s an artiste showcase platform, it is a free show.
“Most of the artistes who are popular currently, came through us while they were struggling, and they give back to us by coming back to the platform,” Ohio said. Furthermore, he explained that for any artiste to succeed in other states, they must first have a good fan base in Lagos.
He, however, emphasized the need for more artistes in other states to be brought to the limelight.
“The Truth about it is that it is the commercial capital of Nigeria. There are other vibrant towns too and they all have their own little industries coming up there.
“What we want to do is to have more regular industry nights there because currently they are more in need of the platform, than people in Lagos.
“Lagos alone cannot sustain the industry,” he said.
Actress and singer Vanessa Paradis has married French director Samuel Benchetrit, according to a report by magazine Le Parisien.
Wearing a cream-coloured ruffle dress with flowers in her blonde hair, Paradis married Benchetrit at the town hall in Saint-Simeon, east of Paris, the report said.
Photographs on the website of Le Parisien showed a smiling Paradis leaving the town hall arm-in-arm with Benchetrit, wearing a navy suit, as wedding guests threw confetti over the couple.
The small ceremony was attended by a few dozen guests, including Paradis’ 19-year-old daughter Lily-Rose Depp, born during her 14-year relationship with American actor Johnny Depp which ended in 2012, the report said.
Paradis and Benchetrit, both 45, made their relationship official in August 2017.
The French singer and actress began her career as a model before becoming a huge film and music star in France.
Paradis has two children with Depp, Lily-Rose and son Jack, but the couple never married.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday it has swelled its ranks by a record 928 members, as part of its drive for a more inclusive Hollywood.
The Oscar-awarding body announces a round of invitations every year and has been bolstering its ethnic and female representation following criticism over its predominantly white, male membership.
More than a third of the list — drawn from 59 countries — are people of color, while around half are women, bringing the female proportion of the Academy up from 25 per cent in 2015 to 31 per cent.
The proportion of people of color doubled in the same period but started from a low bar of just eight percent.
The recruits include 17 Oscar winners and 92 nominees, including Timothee Chalamet, Kumail Nanjiani, Daniela Vega and Yance Ford.
“Aggressively expanding the palette of perspectives within the 90-year-old organization’s ranks is the goal,” said Variety’s awards editor Kristopher Tapley.
“Nine hundred twenty-eight new members is more than a statement, it’s a declaration. Next year, the number will likely be north of 1,000 and the overall membership will tip the scales at 10,000. It was nearly half that just seven or eight years ago.”
If all the 2018 invitees accept, voting members will be 8,186 and total active membership 8,356.
The list includes Native Americans such as “Westworld” star Irene Bedard, Q’orianka Kilcher from “Hostiles” and “Wind River” actor Tantoo Cardinal, and numerous Asian and Spanish-language creatives.
Marvel’s “Black Panther” is rewarded for its groundbreaking success with invitations for Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya and rapper Kendrick Lamar, who produced the soundtrack.
Roman Polanski may recently have been expelled over his historic statutory rape conviction in the United States but his wife, the actress Emmanuelle Seigner, will be in charge of Oscar voting if she takes up her invitation.
Kobe Bryant, who was given an Oscar for animated short “Dear Basketball,” despite accusations he has always denied that he raped a 19-year-old hotel worker, was not invited.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has launched construction of an “entertainment city” near Riyadh, part of a series of multi-billion dollar projects aimed at helping the oil-dependent kingdom diversify its economy.
The project is part of a sweeping reform and investment programme dubbed “Vision 2030”, the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also attended the launch ceremony at the site on Saturday evening.
Authorities have touted the 334-square kilometer (130 square miles) project in Qiddiya, southwest of the capital, as the kingdom’s answer to Disneyland.
Its first phase, which includes high-end theme parks, motorsport facilities, and a safari area, is expected to be completed in 2022, officials say.
They hope the park will draw in foreign investment and attract 17 million visitors by 2030.
The kingdom this month hosted its first public film screening in over 35 years, having lifted a decades-long ban on cinemas last year.
In February, Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority said it would stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double last year’s figure, and pump $64 billion (53 billion euros) into the sector in the coming decade.
Saudis currently splurge billions of dollars annually to see films and visit amusement parks in neighbouring tourist hubs like Dubai and Bahrain.
The kingdom has also sought to court investors with three hi-tech “giga projects”, funded in part by its sovereign wealth fund.
Aside from Qiddiya, the kingdom has unveiled blueprints for NEOM — billed as a regional Silicon Valley to be built from scratch — and a reef-fringed resort destination on the Red Sea.
Skeptics have questioned the viability of the projects, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, in an era of cheap oil.
Sci-fi horror film “A Quiet Place” snuck its way back to the top of the North American box offices over the weekend, beating out noisier action flick “Rampage,” industry estimates showed Sunday.
“A Quiet Place,” an almost wordless Paramount production, stars actor/director John Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt as a couple silently struggling to protect their family from invading aliens that are blind but can track their prey by sound.
The film took in a $22 million for a total of $132.4 million since opening atop the box office early this month.
Fallen from the top spot to number two was “Rampage,” starring hard-working Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson as a primatologist who befriends an albino gorilla — which grows to enormous size after a rogue experiment and then teams with Johnson to stop invading monsters. Naomie Harris co-stars.
The video-game-inspired “Rampage” took in $21 million for the weekend for a total of $66.6 million in two weeks, against a budget of $120 million.
In third place was “I Feel Pretty,” an Amy Schumer film about a self-conscious woman who suffers a head injury and subsequently sees herself as beautiful, which made $16.2 million on its debut weekend.
In fourth was “Super Troopers 2” — the long-awaited sequel to the 2001 film about a ne’er-do-well group of cops — in which the protagonists are tasked with replacing a Mountie unit in a Canadian town that is found to be part of the US.
The partially crowd-funded film made $14.7 million on its first weekend.
In fifth was “Truth or Dare,” a supernatural thriller starring Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey as spring breakers caught up in an innocent game that turns deadly. The film made $7.9 million on its second weekend.
Police said Wednesday they are investigating an alleged road rage attack on Corey Feldman after the former child star reported being confronted and stabbed — although he was uninjured.
The 46-year-old actor and musician — who appeared in cult 1980s movies including “Gremlins,” “The Goonies” and “The Lost Boys” — was given a check-up at hospital but no wound was found.
“I’m in the hospital! I was attacked 2nite! A man opened my car door & stabbed me w something! Please say prayers 4 us! ????????” Feldman tweeted.
“Thank God it was only myself & my security in the car, when 3 men approached! While security was distracted w a guy a car pulled & attacked! I’m OK!”
Feldman said the attack occurred around 10:45 pm (1745 GMT) on Tuesday as he was waiting at a red light, bodyguard in the passenger seat, in the Los Angeles suburb of Tarzana, the LAPD confirmed.
“My client’s paranoid because he’s got a lot of threats online, there’s a lot of haters out there,” his attorney Perry Wander was quoted as telling celebrity news website The Blast.
He said Feldman “filed a formal police report that three young Hispanic males jumped out of their vehicle and attempted to instigate a fight with Mr. Feldman’s security guard and… one of the males approached Corey Feldman’s side of the vehicle opened his door and attacked him with a sharp object.”
Feldman drove himself to a hospital, according to LAPD spokesman Drake Madison, who said there was “no laceration to Feldman’s abdomen.”
No stranger to controversy, Feldman announced in October he was planning a $10 million documentary to expose an alleged network of pedophiles working in Hollywood.
The entertainer has long claimed his career was destroyed for campaigning against what he describes as a Hollywood pedophile ring that abused him as a child.
The LAPD announced in November his allegations were beyond the statute of limitations and could not be investigated further.