Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Five greatest box office openings of all times

The 5 Greatest Box Office Openings of All Time

Movie Theater

Hollywood is on its way to a record year at the box office after summer 2013 set the record for highest-grossing summer — and it wasn’t even close, according to Box Office Mojo. The overall domestic box office earnings this summer came in at $4.76 billion, up 11 percent from the previous summer and 8 percent from the previous record year, 2011′s $4.4 billion.
The numbers seem to indicate that Hollywood’s fears of declining revenue are unfounded. The year-to-date box office stands at $8.184 billion, putting this year’s overall domestic gross slightly ahead of last year’s record-setting take of $10.8 billion, with some heavy-hitters such as Warner Bros.’s (NYSE:TWXGravityand The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Lions Gate Entertainment’s (NYSE:LFGThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire still to come.
However, one record Hollywood will have to live without this year — at least, for now — is the crown for biggest weekend at the domestic box office. Industry analysts predict that Lions Gate’s Catching Fire may approach upwards of $160 million, but as you’ll see, that figure isn’t good enough to take down most of the titans on this list.
Here’s a list of the five largest weekend openings at the box office, which is dominated by two studios: Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) and Warner Bros.
The Joker

5. The Dark Knight ($158 million)

Warner Bros.’s second installment of the Dark Knight trilogy ran circles around the the previous release in the series, Batman Begins, en route to $158 million in its opening weekend. In comparison, Batman Begins brought in a respectable $48 million for the three-day weekend beginning June 17, 2005, and ultimately earned $205 million domestically. To put that in perspective, The Dark Knight was approaching the total domestic gross of Batman Begins after three days in theaters.
Warner Bros.’s The Dark Knight ultimately made $533 million at domestic box offices and $469 million overseas for a whopping worldwide total of $1 billion. Additionally, the film has remained one of Warner Bros.’s best-performing DVD titles, bringing in $262 million in DVD sales to date.
Dark Knight Rises

4. The Dark Knight Rises ($160 million)

Warner Bros.’s third installment of the Dark Knight trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, just barely edged outThe Dark Knight for No. 4 on the all-time list, with a 3-day opening weekend take of $160 million.
The Dark Knight Rises did not perform as well domestically as The Dark Knight, making $448 million versus the previous film’s $533 million take, but it went on to make up the distance via a stronger performance overseas, where The Dark Knight Rises made $631 million. Worldwide, The Dark Knight Rises ticket sales sit at $1.07 billion and the film has so far made almost $65 million in domestic DVD sales.
(Source Warner Bros.)

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II ($169 million)

The final installment of the Harry Potter series, Warner Bros.’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, takes the third spot on the list with a three-day opening of $169 million. But what’s more interesting is that none of the other Harry Potter films made it into the top 10 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I comes in closest, with $125 million good for the 13th spot.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II’s domestic take wasn’t nearly as potent as some of the other films on this list, coming in at $381 million, but the film’s international box office more than made up the difference at the end of the day, with a take of $947 million. The film would ultimately finish with worldwide box office sales of $1.32 billion and an additional $89 million in domestic DVD sales.
(Source Marvel)

2. Iron Man 3 ($174 million)

Disney’s Iron Man 3 is the only 2013 film to show up on this list, having made $174 million in its opening weekend. Released early in the summer, the movie is currently the highest-grossing film of the year and only has a remote chance of being unseated by Warner Bros.’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug or Lions Gate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Iron Man 3 is Disney’s second-best performing Marvel-based film to date, with a domestic box office take of $408 million and a strong overseas take of $803 million. Overall, Iron Man 3 has made $1.21 billion worldwide, and while home media sales have not yet been reported, the film is set to be one of the top-selling DVDs of the winter season.
The Avengers

1. Marvel’s The Avengers ($207 million)

As if this one was ever in doubt. Disney’s The Avengers opened in 2012 to a weekend box office take of $207 million, and it will likely remain one of the most astounding box office achievements for some time. On a list of films with huge openings, The Avengers holds a $30 million cushion for the No. 1 spot on this list. Impressive, to say the least.
The Avengers went on to make $623 million domestically and $891 million overseas for a worldwide box office yield of $1.5 billion. Additionally, DVD sales for the film have been strong, grossing an additional $94 million.

Looking Forward

So what could be the film to unseat The Avengers from the No. 1 spot on the list? Lions Gate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire should give some of these films a scare, but it isn’t likely to dominate the way The Avengers or Iron Man 3 did, according to early projections. And Warner Bros.’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug doesn’t have nearly the kind of domestic box office power as the films of the Lord of the Rings trilogy did.
It’s difficult to predict, but if a film is going to crack this list, it’ll be one of the blockbusters set to be released in 2015; check out this list of blockbuster franchises set to hit the screen in 2015. There are three major contenders to break the record in 2015 and, unsurprisingly, they all come from either Disney or Warner Bros.
Of the two studios, Disney has the best chance of breaking its own record, as it is set to release both the sequel to The AvengersThe Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the wildly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. Given the layoffs from past iterations of a Star Wars film, along with the new, award-winning creative team behind Episode VII, the film seems primed to smash records when it’s released. The Avengers: Age of Ultron isn’t exactly a small fry either.
Warner Bros. could also be chasing records when its Man of Steel sequel is released in 2015. The film brings together Superman and Batman on the big screen for the first time ever. It’s a little unclear as to how the film will perform given director Christopher Nolan and actor Christian Bale’s exit, but the lack of their talent and star power might be replaced with the sheer excitement in seeing Batman and Superman in the same film after seemingly numerous attempts to bring them together. While fans were disappointed with the studio’s decision to cast Ben Affleck as Batman, expect that sentiment lessen as the film’s release comes closer and buzz sets in.
Check out the the rest of the list of biggest weekends over at The Numbers.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

No more fifty shades for hunman

Twitter Explodes Over Charlie Hunnam’s ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Exit

Movie Talk
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Charlie Hunnam exits "50 Shades of Grey." (Getty)
Was "Fifty Shades of Grey" too hot for Charlie Hunnam?
The "Sons of Anarchy" star bid adieu to the sexy title role ofChristian Grey in the film adaption of the sex-tangled bestselling book by author E.L. James, and fans and critics aren't buying the studio's reason for his controversial exit.
“The filmmakers of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey,”Universal Pictures announced on October 12.
The 33-year-old actor started shooting the season 6 finale of his hit FX show on October 11, one day before Universal Pictures released their statement. Several "Sons" fans claim he is too of good an actor for the saucy part, while "50" devotees say he was never destined to play the role in the first place.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

2014 Hyundai Genesis

2014 Hyundai Genesis a mixed bag of luxury, style, performance

Hyundai knows a lot about styling and creating a quality car these days, and it continues to build market share.
But its large Genesis luxury sedan is a mixed bag.
The tested Genesis 5.0 R-Spec reflects a new Mercedes look. Obviously Hyundai designers were heavily influenced by Mercedes styling as its mid-size Sonata also borrows from the German car maker's designs.
Hyundai one-ups Mercedes with the interior. Hyundai successfully executes simple, elegant interior design with logical button and control placement and layout.
Likewise, Hyundai has figured out how to create a large amount of power matched with a smooth transmission. The test car's 5.0-liter, V8 with dual CVVT (Continuous Variable Valve Timing) creates a monstrous 429 horsepower. That was linked with an 8-speed automatic with the Shiftronic feature so that you can manually shift if you so desire. The automatic delivers seamless shifts.
Genesis leaps to freeway speeds in a well-controlled burst, up to 60 in just a few seconds.
However, the steering is so heavy that only weightlifters and bodybuilders will be comfortable for long drives. Steering effort is so weighty that it's tiring, even on just a drive from the suburbs to downtown and back.
If this were heavy and BMW precise, you might forgive the effort. But the Hyundai delivers a numb feel to the steering with a fair amount of play in the wheel that makes it feel you're aiming the big car down the highway.
Genesis rides on a 115.6-inch wheelbase, which gives it a pretty fair luxury sedan ride. This one has a sport-suspension, which tends to firm the ride up. But the car is quiet and feels substantial, which it is at 4,046 pounds.
Braking is good from four-wheel discs brakes, with traction and stability control. The sedan also features 19-inch tires on machined aluminum wheels with a fancy 10-spoke design.
In back is a generous 16-cubic-foot trunk. The interior is large enough for four adults to take a trip in comfort. Five adults will fit well for driving around town.
I like the interior better than those in many luxury makes, the test car featuring black leather with a soft-touch dash and door trim, and a stylish silver trim line separating the top dash from the lower portion. There's silver trim around the air vents and brushed metal facing on the center stack and console, and fake black wood trim on the door's arm rest and console.
Seats are perforated leather, with the driver's seat being both heated and cooled. Front passenger and rear outboard passenger seats are heated, too. The front seats feature fairly flat bottom cushions and well contoured back cushions. The driver's seat has two memory settings and there's a power tilt-telescope steering wheel that powers up and away when you exit the car.
Main gauges are white with a blue digital trip computer readout between them, and the navigation screen is large with climate controls spread below the screen. Radio controls spread out below those, but here's where I had a problem. While I could tune the fancy Lexicon stereo just fine, I could only get sound to come from its 17 speakers when it was set to satellite radio. AM and FM channels delivered no sound. I studied the owner's manual and quick-start booklets and could not find a solution.
Hyundai delivers on many other fronts, including a rear-view camera, rain-sensing wipers, Blue Link telematics system, side mirrors that fold flat against the car when the car is stopped and locked, and a lane-departure system.
Genesis features push-button start, inside trunk and fuel-door releases and radio, phone, cruise and trip computer buttons on its steering wheel hub. Again, everything was easy to figure out. Sadly there also is a large metal knob mid-console to rotate between various computer and radio functions. This is cumbersome to use while driving.
Overhead is a sunroof, sliding visors, and a HomeLink system. There's a pass-through opening in the rear seats, but the backseats do not fold down. There is a power rear sunshade that you activate with a button on the driver's door.
I got 17.6 mpg in about 60% highway driving, while the EPA estimates 16 mpg city and 25 highway.
A base Genesis 3.8L model starts at $34,200 with a $875 delivery charge. That model features a solid 333-horse V6, while the tested R-Spec with its V8 goes for $46,800. But this one had no options so ended up at $47,675 after the delivery fee.
The Genesis looks great, has plenty of power and refinement, but overall the drive is less fulfilling than many luxury sedans.
Mark Savage welcomes your questions and comments regarding new vehicles at Savageonwheels@yahoo.com.