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Birdman takes top Producers Guild honor, American Sniper adds $64 million to box office

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

filmingbirdman
Two big pieces of news:
 
“Birdman” was named the big winner at the Producers Guild Awards Saturday night and, at the box office, “American Sniper” added another $64 million to its gross, bringing it to $200 million.
 
“Birdman,” starring Michael Keaton, won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. Honored producers are director Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole.
 
Other winners: 
 
Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:  “The Lego Movie” by producer Dan Lin.
 
Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:  “Life Itself” from producers Zak Piper, Steve James and Garrett Basch.
 
At the box office, the story continues to be about “American Sniper.” Even Johnny Depp couldn’t save “Mordecai,” which landed in ninth place for the week. 
 
Here are the early estimates courtesy of Rentrak:  
 
1. “American Sniper” — $64,365,000, for $200,137,113 in North America since release.
2. “The Boy Next Door” — $15,000,530.
3. “Paddington” — $12,391,000 or $40,062,430 to date. 
4. “The Wedding Ringer” — $11,600,000, for $39,676,500.
5. “Taken 3” — $7,600,000, bumping its gross to  $76,051,054.
6. “The Imitation Game” — $7,136,000, for $60,642,281.
7. “Strange Magic” — $5,534,000.
8. “Selma” — $5,500,000, or $39,219,774.
9. “Mortdecai” — $4,125,000.
10. “Into the Woods” — $3,886,000, for $121,494,661 since Christmas.
 
eastwoodinarritu
 
Clint Eastwood, left, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu speak at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast hosted by The Hollywood Reporter at the Saban Theatre on Saturday in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for The Hollywood Reporter/AP Images)
 

 

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Iranian Diplomacy

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Speaker of the House John Boehner has invited Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to congress without consulting the POTUS. He is clearly thumbing his nose at Obama while also attempting to sabotage the nuclear talks with Iran. Way to start the new year, GOP! 

012515 Iranian Diplomacy

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Empty Netter Assists - 01-24-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Penguins say Sidney Crosby required an injection to treat a lingering "lower-body" injury.

-Marc-Andre Fleury (above) was selected by the all-star team captained by Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno.

-Click here for the rosters.

-Two goals by Andrew Ebbett led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 4-2 win against the Norfolk Admirals. Scott Wilson netted a goal and an assist for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while teammate Matt Murray made 27 saves in the victory.

-Franky Palazzese made 34 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-4 win against the Fort Wayne Komets.

-Happy 52nd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Norm Schmidt. A fourth-round pick in 1981, Schmidt spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins.  As a rookie in 1983-84, Schmidt appeared in 34 games and scored 18 points. After spending all of 1984-85 with Baltimore of the AHL, he returned to Pittsburgh in 1985-86 by setting career highs in games (66) and points (29). In 1986-87, he was limited to 20 games and six points. After five games and three points in 1987-88, he was forced into retirement due to a back injury. In 125 games with the Penguins, Schmidt scored 56 points.

-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins forward Tom Kostopoulos. A seventh-round pick in 1999, Kostopoulos spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2001-02, Kostopoulos appeared in 11 games and scored three points. In 2002-03, he was limited to eight games and one assist. Kostopoulos finally broke through as an NHL regular in 2003-04 by playing in 60 games and scoring 22 points. After the 2004-05 lockout, he joined the Kings as a free agent. He is currently a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In 79 games with the NHL Penguins, Kostopoulos scored 26 points.

Happy 42nd birthday to former Penguins forwards Chris and Peter Ferraro. The only set of twins to play for the Penguins, they each joined the organization when they were claimed off waivers from the Rangers prior to the 1997-98 season. Chris appeared in 46 games for the team that season and recorded seven points. Peter only played in 29 games for the Penguins that season also recording seven points before the Rangers re-claimed him off waviers in January, 1998. Chris left the Penguins when he signed with the Oilers in the 1998 offseason.

-Happy 70th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Bobby Taylor. Acquired late in the 1975-76 season along with Ed Van Impe in a deal which sent Gary Inness and future considerations to the Flyers, Taylor's Penguins amounted to two games, a 0-1-0 record and 5.38 goals against average that season. He was released in the 1976 offseason. He is currently a broadcaster with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-“It’s kind of obligation and it’s fun. I’m pretty sure if I would have right now six days off, I’ll take it right away. But I understand for fans and what I have to do and what different players do. We have to help the fans, because they want to see not only Capitals or Columbus, they want to see everyone together, all the best players together, play one game. It’s fun.” - Capitals captain/forward Alex Ovechkin on participating in the All-Star Game.

-Rangers forward and former Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash (right) expects boos in Columbus during the All-Star Game.

-Devils president, general manager and co-coach Lou Lamoriello has been sued for $2.3 million by former Devils Arena Entertainment President Rich Krezwick for lost wages stemming from his firing in August 2013.

Atlantic Division

-Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is eager to sign a long-term contract extension this summer.

-Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, the first overall pick last year's draft, was named as an injury replacement for the All-Star Game.

Central Division

-The Stars signed forward Travis Morin to a two-year contract extension. Financial terms were not revealed. He is in the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $550,000. Morin, 31, has appeared in five NHL games this season and has no points.

Pacific Division

-Sharks defenseman Brent Burns flashed a classic hockey smile at the All-Star Game media day:

-Former Flames forward Akim Aliu has joined the Bakersfield Condors, ECHL affiliate of the Oilers.

-Former Avalanche defenseman Ray Macias has joined the Utah Grizzlies, ECHL affiliate of the Ducks.

Norris Division

-Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid can lean on Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Orr for advice.

-Devin Williams made 30 saves for the Erie Otters in a 3-2 win against the Guelph Storm.

-Two goals by Brady Ferguson led Robert Morris to a 4-3 win against Holy Cross.

-Dylan Richard had two goals and an assist for Penn State in a 5-4 win against Northern Michigan.

-Brandon Wildung made 36 saves for Mercyhurst which tied Sacred Heart, 2-2.

-Ian Spencer had a goal and an assist for the Johnstown Tomahawks who lost to the Janesville Jets, 4-2.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Harry How/Getty Images and Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

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#SettingTheSEEN: Fit, Fearless and Fashionable!

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

This week on Setting the SEEN, Sara and I decide to stick to our New Year's resolutions of staying fit, conquering fears and looking fashionable in the process (with help from Dona Jo Fitwear and Kiya Tomlin Uptown Sweats).

We try our hand at indoor rock climbing at The Climbing Wall in Point Breeze. (I conquer a fear of heights, and Sara sticks to her fitness goals.) Whatever your resolutions are for 2015, we hope this inspires you to keep going!

Follow @NBSeen on Twitter and @NatalieBenci on Instagram to keep up with #wheresNataliePG

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Pittsburgh Rock ’N Roll Legends Awards: Who should get them and why they don't make sense

Written by Scott Mervis on .

Sadly, there are no Pittsburgh artists in the actual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so it wasn't a bad idea for someone to create a Pittsburgh Rock ’N Roll Hall of Fame, even if it is just a plaque at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Last year, the founding organization, created as charity event for the Cancer Caring Center (so we can't be too critical), got off on a weird note, inducting promoter/drummer Rich Engler, a great guy and great contributor to the Pittsburgh music scene, but one who did not start making an impact until around 1970 -- a decade and a half after the birth of rock 'n' roll.

In April, the event returns as the Pittsburgh Rock ’N Roll Legends Awards, having had to change its name to avoid legal action from the folks in Cleveland.

This time, the ceremony will have three inductees, one each from the following categories:

• Non-performer/music professional (individuals with 20+ years in the business)

• Legacy Legends (groups or solo artists with 40+ years in the business)

 Modern Era Legends (groups or solo artists with 20+ years in the business)

An academy of hundreds will choose the nominees and then a bigger panel and the general public will get the final vote. (The party will be April 23 at the Hard Rock Cafe.)

So, how does this shake out?

porkyNon-Performer: This category is straight-forward and so is the inductee: The music scene here all starts with Porky Chedwick, who died last March at 96. I don't think we have to review the impact of this WAMO/WHOD DJ who went against the tide and played records by black artists, flipped b-sides and revolutionized teen culture in Pittsburgh. If Porky doesn't get it, we can all have a good laugh.

Legacy Legends: Clear mission here: Start at the beginning. The first artists to break out of Pittsburgh in the rock 'n' roll era were the Del-Vikings, with "Come Go With Me," in 1956. Even better, they were the rare racially integrated group in that era. But they were Air Force guys from other places, all stationed at the airport, and they didn't last long, so perhaps they aren't the best representation of Pittsburgh. beaumontWhat then? Jump to the Skyliners, who hit the charts in 1959 with "Since I Don't Have You." Not exactly rock 'n' roll as we imagine it, but certainly in the ballpark. Golden-voiced Jimmy Beaumont, a quiet, unassuming guy, is still active with the group and would likely be happy to show up to accept the award.

Modern Era Legends: Uh-oh. What a fine mess we have here. What the Legends people are saying is, "Screw it, we don't want to go in order. And we need some young people at this party." (Even though the tickets are $150 to $200). It would mean potentially that The Clarks and Rusted Root, for example, get a plaque before that whole generation of The Jaggerz (with Donnie Iris, "The Rapper," 1970), Iron City Houserockers, Frank Czuri (Silencers), Norman Nardini, Billy Price, etc., who quality as Legacy Legends -- but, chronologically, should have to wait for Lou Christie, The Marcels, The Vogues. jaggerzWhat's the incentive of inducting the Jaggers/Houserockers as Modern Era Legends when they fit the other category? Basically, I can't wrap my brain around the logic of this Modern Era Legends award, but my guess is that it gets The Clarks in the room (nothing against The Clarks). Maybe Donnie Iris and Joe Grushecky can present them with the award.

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