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Captain America: Winter Soldier sets April record with $96 million

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is the biggest April opener ever, with an estimated $96.2 million its first weekend. It averaged $24,429 per location, according to early numbers from Rentrak. 
 
Here are the top 10:
 
1. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” — $96,200,000.
2. “Noah” — $17,000,000, for $72,341,161 so far. 
3. “Divergent” — $13,000,000, bumping its North American gross to $114,029,140
4. “God's Not Dead” — $7,725,685, for $32,520,000 to date. 
5. “Grand Budapest Hotel” — $6,300,000, or $33,380,427 since limited release. 
6. “Muppets Most Wanted” — $6,285,000, for $42,142,000 since release.
7. “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” — $5,300,000, bringing its total to $102,201,925.
8. “Sabotage” — $1,908,000, for $8,766,585 to date. 
9. “Need for Speed” — $1,836,000, bumping its gross to $40,839,000.
10. “Non-Stop” — $1,827,440, for $88,138,230 since release. 
 
“Noah,” by the way, has benefited from a group called Campus Crusade for Christ,  which gave away thousands of movie tickets to  “Noah” to college students who wanted to take a non-religious friend to see the movie and talk about its themes.
 
Interested students, including those at the University of Pittsburgh, were invited to visit a designated website to register. They then received a redemption code for two tickets through Fandango.com.
 
No one connected to the movie knew how many Pitt students took advantage of the offer. The collegiate ministry was founded in 1951.Noah2
 
 

 

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Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o newest face of Lancome

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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From the Associated Press, further confirmation that Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o ("12 Years a Slave") is here to stay:  
 
NEW YORK (AP) — The fashion and beauty industry’s love affair with Lupita Nyong’o continues: The Oscar winner has been named the new face for Lancome.
 
The Mexican-born Kenyan will be the first black ambassador for the brand, which features Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz and Lily Collins as spokeswomen. In a statement Friday, Nyong’o said she was proud to represent Lancome, adding “beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself.”
 
It’s the first major endorsement deal for the 31-year-old, who won the best-supporting Oscar for her role in “12 Years a Slave.” Her striking beauty and fashion sense made her the It Girl for the Hollywood awards season.
 
Lancome ads featuring Nyong’o will start appearing this summer.
 
Oscar-winning Lupita Nyong’o enjoys the Governors Ball with her father, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o,  following the Oscars. Photo by Todd Wawrychuk / A.M.P.A.S.

 

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Something's Rotten about this 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

Written by Scott Mervis on .

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Buried in the middle of the second paragraph of the press release about the touring “Jesus Christ Superstar” is this little bombshell:

“English singer-songwriter and lead singer in Public Image Ltd. (PiL) and Sex Pistols, John Rotten Lydon, will play ‘King Herod’.”

This is absolutely classic (!) starting with the dainty reference to Rotten as “English singer-songwriter.”

“I’m here to sing with the King of the Jews, who could ask for anything more?” the punk rocker says in the release.

His previous experience for this would be working with Malcolm McLaren — Jewish King of the Punks in England. (As for acting, he was most notably in the 1983 film "Corrupt" with Harvey Keitel, and you have to figure this is better than him playing a hippie in "Hair.")

Herod has all of one song in “JCS,” but Rotten is likely to draw an inordinate amount of the attention for this production.

The 50-plus city tour, which hits Consol Energy Center on Aug. 12, also stars Brandon Boyd of Incubus as Judas, ‘N Sync vocalist JC Chasez, as Pontius Pilate, Destiny’s Child Michelle Williams as Mary Magdalene and young Brit Ben Forster, who won England’s ITV Superstar competition in 2012, as Jesus. There will be more 50 cast and musicians on stage.

Andrew Lloyd Webber notes in the release: “Jesus Christ Superstar began life as a rock album...probably because nobody believed back in 1969 that you could present a stage musical about the last days of the life of Jesus Christ. I shall never forget its first live performance in the Civic Arena, Pittsburgh on July 12th 1971. Of course JCS subsequently became a legit theatre stalwart, but I, personally, have always hankered after seeing it again in the arenas where it started.”

Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan sang on the original album, but that first arena tour featured Jeff Fenholt (who became a Christian evangelist and claimed to be a member of Black Sabbath briefly in 1985) as Jesus, Carl Anderson as Judas, and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene (the latter two also played in the film and Broadway versions).

Co-creator Tim Rice added: “In 1971 Andrew and I were thrilled by the first-ever Jesus Christ Superstar tour of the United States. We certainly did not imagine then that 43 years later we would be witnessing another America-wide tour of our first big hit show. We are delighted and grateful that enthusiasm for Superstar has been maintained over the years and this new production presents the work in its most powerful format — as a true rock experience.”

Boyd noted: “I grew up on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classics and never imagined I would be playing a role in one, let alone with such an incredibly diverse cast of players. Truly an honor!”

The tour kicks off on June 9 and runs through Aug. 17, so Pittsburgh is at the tail end.

We’ll have to hope that Jesus or one of his disciples doesn’t strangle the abrasive Rotten before they get here.

Me? I'm only going if this ends with an encore medley of Sex Pistols/'N Sync/Incubus songs.

Tickets details will be announced soon. American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Friday, April 4 at 10am local time. They range from $29.50 to $125 plus applicable fees and service charges. In addition, a limited number of Gold Circle tickets and Superstar Premium VIP packages are available.

 

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Blues Challengers vying for shot at Memphis

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

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Fourteen acts will have 20 minutes to make it to Memphis on Saturday.

The bands/solo artists will hit the stage April 5 for 10th annual Blues Challenge, presented by the Blues Society of Western PA at the Tonidale in Oakdale.

Each will play a 20-minute set, and one band and one solo artist or duo will be chosen to represent the society at the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. It begins at 1:30 p.m. A dinner buffet will be available during the break early in the evening, and there will be an after party/jam with last year's winner, Billy the Kid and the Regulators, at 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $12; $10 for society members; $6 students. The Tonidale is at 7011 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale. Go to bswpa.com

Here is the list of contenders:

1. Mia Z
2. Jimmy Adler and Charlie Barath
3. Chris Yakopcic
4. Bo Hog Brothers
5. Pet Cro
6. Melinda
7. Scott Albert Project
8. Blues Devils
9. Ms. Freddye Band
10. Paul the Resonator
11. Bottom Shelf Blues Band
12. Eugene Morgan
13. Gordon James Band
14. Ruby Red and the Dirty Devils

 

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Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey and Tao Okamoto join Superman-Batman movie

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

callanmulvey
Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey (shown above) and Tao Okamoto are joining the untitled Superman/Batman movie as characters newly created for the film. 
 
Warner Bros. made the announcement this afternoon about the Zack Snyder film. 
 
He said, in a press release:  “Holly has always been one of my favorite actresses; she has immense talent and is always captivating on screen.  I had an opportunity to meet her a while back and knew instantly that I had to work with her, so as we began writing the script I made sure to create a role specifically for her.”
 
The director added, “I just had the good fortune to work with Callan on ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ and was very impressed with his incredible talent. 
 
“He’s a fantastic actor and I’m looking forward to having the chance to work with him again.  And, quite simply, Tao is a striking presence whose beauty is aptly rivaled by her amazing abilities as an actress.  I’m really excited to have her joining us on this adventure.”
 
Australian-born Mulvey appeared in “Zero Dark Thirty” and is in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Ms. Okamoto was in “The Wolverine.” 
The film will star Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.
 
Jesse Eisenberg will turn up as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred and returning players will include Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. 
 
The movie is expected to open May 6, 2016.
 
The announcement was made by Greg Silverman, president, creative development and worldwide production, and Sue Kroll, president, worldwide marketing and international distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
 
 
Pictured:  Callan Mulvey at the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” premiere at the El Capitan Theatre on March 13 in Hollywood. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney.
 
 
 
 

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