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Just how much money did Avengers: Age of Ultron make?

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

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“Avengers: Age of Ultron” scored the second biggest opening weekend in North America – ever. It grossed more than $187 million, according to Rentrak.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak, says that gives Marvel the top three spots for all-time North American openers. “Marvel’s The Avengers” still holds the record with $207.4 million, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is second and “Iron Man 3” third with $174.1 million. This is why they make movies based on comic book characters.

“This is an astonishing feat considering the level of competition this weekend from the world of sports with the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, the Kentucky Derby and the NBA playoffs,” he said. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” has chalked up $627 million globally; it opened overseas before debuting in the States.

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Here are the early weekend estimates:

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” -- $187,656,000.

“The Age of Adaline” -- $6,250,000, for $23,424,118 since release.

“Furious 7” -- $6,114,250, or $330,538,605 to date.

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” -- $5,550,000, for $51,186,396.

“Home” -- $3,300,000, or $158,132,277.

“Cinderella” -- $2,357,000, for $193,651,000.

“Ex Machina” -- $2,230,576, or $10,868,213 so far.

“Unfriended” -- $1,987,795, bumping its gross to $28,531,460.

“The Longest Ride” -- $1,700,000, or $33,240,443 to date.

“Woman in Gold” -- $1,681,000, for $24,588,473. 

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... Trail of Dead plays big for Smalls crowd

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

TrailConrad Keely and Jason ReeceOne of the more memorable shows at the late-great Club Laga was Queens of the Stone Age in 2002 -- when they still had crazy naked bassist Nick Oliveri -- with openers ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead.

Austin's TOD, which had previously played a CMU basement show and headlined a smaller gig at Laga with The Secret Machines, seemed kind of pissed off that night, playing a set that ran on angry energy. The tour coincided with third album "Source Tags & Codes," a majestic, ferocious record that's a contender for best of that decade.

That shine didn't last long, though, because the follow-up, "Worlds Apart," was a more commercialized version of what came before. As the band has progressed, taking on more proggy twists, only diehards have paid attention, and so when you mention the name now a lot of people just draw a blank.

On Thursday night, Trail of Dead made a long-awaited return to Pittsburgh for a crowd of maybe 60 people at Mr. Smalls (2,500 were at Milky Chance at Stage AE). Frontman Conrad Keely thanked the crowd for coming out in the bad weather (it was just kinda raining). You have to worry about a lackluster attitude when a crowd is that sparse, but that didn't show in TOD's impassioned performance.

Last year they were out playing "Source Tags" in its entirety, and you could tell by the reaction to those songs, starting with opener "It Was There That I Saw You," that everyone present would have been up for that.

They played about half of it, bashing through the epic, shoegaze-y songs ("Another Morning Stoner," "How Near How Far") with more fury and none of the polish you hear on the album. The band's best and only trick proved to be its interchangeable pieces, as original drummer Jason Reece stepped out to play guitar and and sing with no drop in intensity when Jamie Miller took the drums.

Interest in this band is so low right now, you're probably not even reading this, but the new album, "IX" (yes, they made it that far), is worth checking out, sounding like it could have been the follow-up to "Source Tags." They touched on it briefly doing "A Million Random Digits," "Jaded Apostles" and "The Lie Without the Liar," with urgent, rushing guitars and breakneck drumming.

Another reason to walk in the door was the band's thrashy Sonic Youth turn on "A Perfect Teenhood," played, like everything else, like it was for 600 people, not 60.

 

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Listen to PG podcast about Avengers: Age of Ultron

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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Trailer for Last Witch Hunter starring Vin Diesel and filmed in Pittsburgh and due Oct. 23

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

Teaser trailer for "The Last Witch Hunter," starring Vin Diesel and Michael Caine and many others and filmed in Pittsburgh and scheduled for an Oct. 23 release.

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Michael Keaton on Letterman, with stories about Oscar, pope, MTM variety show dancing

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

With less than a month until his final show on May 20, David Letterman is welcoming some favorite guests and Tuesday night, that included actor Michael Keaton.

The Pittsburgh native had been on the CBS late-night program during awards season (and many times before) and returned to explain how he went from being a lock to being out of luck. He recalled attending the Oscar nominees luncheon and being complimented by a show business veteran who couldn’t say enough laudatory things to Keaton about “Birdman.”

The (unidentified) man said he so admired Keaton’s performance that he uncharacteristically returned to the theater to see it on the big screen three times. “It was unbelievable,” Keaton said. “I thought to myself, I am a lock,” as the flattery piled up. “This guy has been around forever and he knew everyone in the Academy.”

But as Keaton got up to leave the man’s table, he added, “Just remember Michael, when it comes to winning an Academy Award, illness always wins.” Keaton went from a done deal to “I’m done.”

And it turned out that gentleman, 70 or 80 years old, was right when Eddie Redmayne received the best actor Oscar for “The Theory of Everything.” Keaton, however, was the star of “Birdman,” winner of best picture of 2014, and a great sport about it.

Keaton thanked Letterman “for all these years – it’s been tremendous.” He said when Letterman showed up in L.A., he was so “funny and fast.” He called him a friend and said, “you were some kid in Indiana, just livin’ life,” and look at him now. “Thanks for all the stuff you did for me. I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss this.”

The native of Forest Grove in Robinson told a story about Pope John Paul II’s tour which included a stop in South Carolina. A person with a Pittsburgh connection from the Vatican contacted him about meeting the pope. Keaton turned down the opportunity initially (because he’s a lapsed Catholic) but called back to negotiate a deal for his devoted mother, Leona Douglas, to meet the pontiff.

“So how it works is, I’ve seen the Stones maybe five times. I’ve seen Springsteen. I’ve never seen anything like this.” The stadium was packed and Michael was there with his sister Pam and their mom, who died in 2002.

“I’m not kissing the ring,” Keaton said to himself, but the pope stopped, stared into Mrs. Douglas’ eyes and said, “You pray for me.” So he kissed the ring.

Keaton capped his appearance with what he called a “Ted Williams moment.” He and Letterman both were part of Mary Tyler Moore’s variety show and on Wednesdays, a choreographer would arrive to teach them a dance. It didn’t seem to come naturally to them.

On Tuesday, Keaton brought a 35-second clip from the variety show. They and others were in mock football jerseys “dancing.” It segued to a handshake and hug between the old friends and then a throwback image of Keaton on March 29, 1982.

  

 

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