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'Justice League' disappoints in US with $96 million opening

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 12:24 PM
Updated: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 12:23 PM


            This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ezra Miller, from left, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot in a scene from
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ezra Miller, from left, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot in a scene from "Justice League." (Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. via AP)

Only in the modern era of superhero films could a $96 million opening weekend be considered anything less than impressive. But that's the situation Warner Bros. and DC's "Justice League" find themselves in.

The big budget superhero mashup came in well under expectations, which had pegged it for a $110 million launch in North American theaters. If studio estimates hold, it will also have the dubious distinction of being the lowest-opening film in the DC Extended Universe.

It has been a rollercoaster for the DC Universe since "Man of Steel" kicked off the comic book franchise in 2013, with films battling high expectations, critical reviews and the impossible standard of competing against the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" may have been a critical dud in early 2016, but it still opened to $166 million and went on to net $873.3 million worldwide by the end of its run.

"Justice League" comes on the heels of the widely well-received "Wonder Woman," the first DC Extended Universe film to score with both critics and audiences. It reunites Ben Affleck's Batman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman to fight a new threat facing earth while introducing new characters like Ezra Miller's The Flash, Jason Momoa's Aquaman and Ray Fisher's Cyborg. "Justice League" didn't impress critics, but neither did "Batman v Superman" or "Suicide Squad," which still managed to earn $133.7 million out of the gates.

Warner Bros. is remaining optimistic about "Justice League's" prospects, even with the lower than expected launch against a production budget that's reported to be in the $250 million to $300 million range, which doesn't include marketing expenses.

"I did have a higher expectation for the three days," said Jeff Goldstein, who heads up domestic distribution for Warner Bros. "(But) this is a big vacation week, and we have an opportunity to get a big audience to see us in a different pattern."

Goldstein said he is also encouraged by a few factors, including the overall B+ CinemaScore, the fact that women, who accounted for 42 percent of the audience, gave it an A- overall, and that Saturday earnings were up from Friday's.

"Clearly there is interest in the movie," Goldstein said.

"Justice League" pulled most of its weight abroad, where it launched to $185.5 million from 65 markets, boosting the worldwide debut to $281.5 million.

One film that did have a heroic showing this weekend is "Wonder," an adaptation of R.J. Palacio's novel about a child with a facial deformity that stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay. The family-friendly drama opened in second place with $27.1 million against a $20 million production budget and could be on its way to becoming a sleeper hit. Lionsgate distributed the film, which was financed and produced by Participant Media.

"Any time you have a big superhero movie opening, a movie like 'Wonder' could be overshadowed. But it's one of the brightest spots of the weekend," said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for comScore. "This could be a $100 million movie as people get the word out."

Disney and Marvel's "Thor: Ragnarok" fell to third place in weekend three with $21.8 million, bringing its North American total to $247.4 million. "Daddy's Home 2" took fourth with $14.8 million and "Murder on the Orient Express" landed in fifth with $13.8 million. Both are in their second weekend in theaters.

Opening outside of the top 10, the faith-based animated film "The Star," from Sony's AFFIRM label, took sixth place with $10 million. And both "Lady Bird" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" continue to thrive in their expansions.

The Thanksgiving holiday should not be discounted either in its potential to boost a film's earnings, and the only, albeit formidable, competition will be from Disney and Pixar's latest "Coco."

"Thanksgiving is the perfect second weekend for any movie," Dergarabedian said. "Including 'Justice League.' "

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

1."Justice League," $96 million ($185.5 million international).

2."Wonder," $27.1 million ($310,000 international).

3."Thor: Ragnarok," $21.8 million ($24.1 million international).

4."Daddy's Home 2," $14.8 million.

5."Murder on the Orient Express," $13.8 million ($20.7 million international).

6."The Star," $10 million.

7."A Bad Moms Christmas," $6.9 million ($5.1 million international).

8."Lady Bird,' $2.5 million.

9."Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," $1.1 million.

10."Jigsaw," $1.1 million ($4.1 million international).

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

1. "Justice League," $185.5 million.

2. "Thor: Ragnarok," $24.1 million,

3. "Murder on the Orient Express," $20.7 million.

4. "Paddington 2," $9.2 million.

5. "The Golden Monk," $8.5 million.

6. "Happy Death Day," $8 million.

7. "A Bad Moms Christmas," $5.1 million.

8. "Suck Me Shapespeer 3," $4.3 million.

9. "Jigsaw," $4.1 million.

10. "Coco," $3.6 million.

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr

Carrie Fisher’s dog recognized her in new ‘Star Wars’ film

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 6:59 AM

Actress Carrie Fisher and her beloved dog, Gary.
Getty Images
Actress Carrie Fisher and her beloved dog, Gary.(Getty Images)

Carrie Fisher may be dead almost a year, but her dog still remembers the actress, New Musical Express reported.

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Fisher, who died last Dec. 27 at age 60, starred in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which opened in theaters Thursday.

Fisher’s dog, Gary, attended the premiere of the film on Thursday at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Gary watched the movie while sitting in the lap of Fisher’s former personal assistant, Corby McCoin, New Musical Express reported.

KABC reporter Veronica Miracle tweeted that Gary’s ears “perked up every time (Fisher) was on the screen.”

Gary even has a cameo in “The Last Jedi” and paid tribute to Fisher on the canine’s Instagram account, the New Musical Express reported.

Olympian Ryan Lochte grateful for fresh start

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 12:18 AM

Ryan Lochte is happy these days talking about his son and fiancee.
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Ryan Lochte is happy these days talking about his son and fiancee.(Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Ryan Lochte’s son and fiancee are clearly the lights of his life, and a new photo of his bouncing baby boy is proving that.

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Lochte, 33, regularly gushes about his 6-month-old son Caiden Zane and his fiancee Kayla Rae Reid on his Instagram page.

The highly decorated Olympic swimmer said he’s grateful for a fresh start after landing in hot water for his drunken behavior at the Rio Olympics.

In 2016, he was suspended for 10 months from domestic and international competitions, according to the New York Times.

In an interview with People last year, the swimmer said he was looking forward to becoming a dad, seeing it as a new beginning.

“I think everyone deserves a clean start and that’s what I love about this,” Lochte told People.

Six months into being a father, Lochte seems to be loving it.

Lochte recently shared a photo of his son Caiden smiling up at his dad from a bouncy seat.

“That smile from my son warms my heart so much!” Lochte wrote. “Makes everything better! #blessed #czl #happybaby.”

According to People, Lochte is currently house hunting in Los Angeles. He plans to pursue acting there while he trains for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

On Thursday, Reid also shared a touching photo of Lochte and Caiden Zane.

Billionaire’s son sues ex-fiancée to get $250,000 engagement ring back

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:59 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

Billionaire Bill Koch’s son Wyatt is no longer engaged, and he wants the quarter-million dollar ring back from his ex-fiancee.

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Lawyers filed a civil lawsuit on Wyatt Koch’s behalf Tuesday to attempt to force Ivie Gabrielle Slocumb to return the expensive piece of jewelry.

“The ring is wrongfully detained by (Slocumb),” the lawsuit says. “She received the ring as a conditional gift. She refuses to return it despite proper demand and the condition not being fulfilled.”

Ivie Gabrielle Slocumb and Wyatt Koch pictured in 2016 in happier times. (Meghan McCarthy / Daily News File Photo)

Slocumb was the one who broke off the engagement, according to the complaint. Koch demanded the ring back multiple times and she refused, the complaint says.

Koch, a Palm Beach resident and fashion designer, purchased the 8.24 carat diamond ring for $180,000 at Manufacturing Jewelers on Madison Avenue in New York on March 27, 2017, according to an invoice attached to the complaint. An attorney for Koch said the ring was last appraised for $250,000.

Koch declined comment through an attorney. It’s unclear if Slocumb has hired an attorney, and there was no answer at a phone number associated with her.

Wyatt Koch founded the company Wyatt Ingraham LLC — an apparel line for men that caters to an international audience, according to the company’s website. His sense of fashion is bold and he thinks clothing should be a conversation starter, the site says.

>> Related: Stranger spends days in water to find couple's lost engagement ring

Industrialist Bill Koch is the son of Fred C. Koch, who founded Koch Industries — a multinational company based in Wichita, Kansas. Bill Koch, whose net worth is about 1.7 billion, according to Forbes, is the co-founder of Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach.

Billie Lourd shares photo of mom Carrie Fisher, honoring ‘Star Wars, her last movie

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 6:08 PM

Honoree Carrie Fisher attends the US-Ireland Aliiance's Oscar Wilde Awards event on February 19, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. 
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty
Honoree Carrie Fisher attends the US-Ireland Aliiance's Oscar Wilde Awards event on February 19, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)

Billie Lourd is remembering her late mother, Carrie Fisher, in a touching Instagram post.

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The touching photo Lourd shared Friday shows the pair clinging to each other on the red carpet of a recent movie premiere.

The mother and daughter starred in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” back in 2015, and now Fisher’s last movie, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” premiered in theaters on Friday. Lourd said she will forever cherish those memories.

“I’m a big believer of things happening for a reason and I think I ended up on that movie for a reason,” Lourd said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres after losing her mother. “It was really incredible for us to get to have that experience together.”

Lourd lost both her mother and grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, within one day of each other last year.

Fisher died after going into cardiac arrest aboard a flight from London to Los Angeles. She died four days later.

ℹ️ ♏️ℹ️💲💲 ✌🏼🅾️⛎

A post shared by Billie Lourd (@praisethelourd) on

>> Related: Mark Hamill admits he and Carrie Fisher once ‘made out like teenagers’

Lourd has posted several tributes to her mother over the past year.

On Fisher’s birthday, she posted a photo of the two of them wearing matching night gowns when Lourde was a child.

In May, also shared another photo of her and her mother riding what appeared to be a train.

>> Related: Carrie Fisher once sent producer a cow tongue after friend was allegedly assaulted

A post shared by Billie Lourd (@praisethelourd) on