Box Office: ‘Expendables 3′ Fumbles with $16.2 Million, ‘Ninja Turtles’ Tops Charts


The Expendables 3″ looked like a franchise that needs to be put out to pasture after the latest film in the action junkie series debuted to a scrawny $16.2 million this weekend, according to studio estimates.

“Expendables’” lack of muscle allowed “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to retain the box office crown it wore last weekend. Paramount Pictures’ reboot of the reptile martial artists series grabbed first place on the charts with $28.4 million in its sophomore weekend. That brings its domestic total to $117.6 million.

Another holdover, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” scored runner-up status. The comicbook adaptation pulled in $24.7 million, driving its total domestic box office to $222.3 million. It looks like it will end up as the summer’s top grossing domestic release, passing “Transformers: Age of Extinction’s” $243.3 million haul.

“Expendables 3’s” opening was a low-point for Sylvester Stallone’s geriatric heroes on a mission pictures. The original film launched »

 

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer to build Titanic II


Clive Palmer, one of Australia’s richest men, has commissioned a Chinese state-owned company to build a 21st Century version of the Titanic.

The mining billionaire told Australian media that construction would start at the end of next year.

It would be ready to set sail in 2016.

The plan, he added, was for the vessel to be as similar as possible to the original Titanic in design and specifications, but with modern technology.

Mr Palmer told Australian media that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with CSC Jinling Shipyard to construct the ship.

“It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st Century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” he said in a statement.

The announcement comes just weeks after the centenary of the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic.

The vessel, the largest luxury ship in its time, struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. It went down on 15 April 1912, leaving more than 1,500 people dead.

“Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it,” Mr Palmer said in response to questions from reporters on whether the Titanic replica would sink.

TitanicA number of events were held to mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking

The new vessel is scheduled to sail from London to New York in late 2016, if all goes as planned.

“It is going to be designed so it won’t sink,” he added. ”But, of course, if you are superstitious like you are, you never know what could happen.”

The cost of the construction is not known, a spokesman for Mr Palmer told Australian media.

The mining magnate from Queensland, who has strong business relations with China, has expanded into tourism. He owns a luxury resort on the Sunshine Coast and has plans to build a fleet of luxury liners.

His plan to build the Titanic replica was announced on the same day that he revealed plans, in a separate news conference, to contest the next federal election in Queensland.

He told reporters that he has expressed interest in standing for Queensland’s Liberal National Party (LNP), part of the conservative opposition at federal level, in the Brisbane seat of Lilley – currently held by Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Overwhelmed to be listed amongst most beautiful: Aishwarya Rai


Mumbai: Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who was ranked fourth in a recent poll of the world’s most beautiful women, says she is overwhelmed with the love showered on her by fans from across the world.

The survey was conducted by international website Hollywood Buzz.

The list saw more than four million people send in their votes selecting the most intelligent, desirable and successful women in 2013-14.

Overwhelmed to be listed amongst most beautiful: Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya Rai who was ranked fourth in a recent poll of the world’s most beautiful women, says she is overwhelmed.

Aishwarya took the fourth place right after actresses Monica Belluci, Kate Upton and Angelina Jolie who took the first, second and third position, respectively.

“The results of this poll by Hollywood Buzz was brought to my notice in fact by my well-wishers whatsapping me…And I must admit its overwhelming to hear that over four million people across the globe have voted and listed me amongst their top choices with such beautiful and talented women,” the 40-year-old said in a statement.

“I say a huge loving thank you to all my well-wishers (fans) for making me smile and always being there for me…More power to our love,” added Aishwarya.

Singer Shakira pregnant with first child


LOS ANGELES: Colombian singer Shakira said on Wednesday she is expecting her first child, with her Spanish soccer player boyfriend Gerard Pique.

“As some of you may know, Gerard and I are very happy awaiting the arrival of our first baby! At this time we have decided to give priority to this unique moment in our lives and postpone all the promotional activities planned over the next few days,” Shakira, 35, wrote on her website.

The singer, who did not specify a due date, is bowing out of a music festival in Las Vegas this weekend.

In the near future she will be juggling both motherhood and work. Earlier this week the singer, along with R&B star Usher, were confirmed to replace Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green for the fourth season next year of NBC’s hit singing contest “The Voice.”

Shakira burst onto the international pop scene with her 2006 single, “Hips Don’t Lie.”

Pique, 25, plays for FC Barcelona. The couple first met in 2010. This will be their first child.

Singer Shakira pregnant with first child


LOS ANGELES: Colombian singer Shakira said on Wednesday she is expecting her first child, with her Spanish soccer player boyfriend Gerard Pique.

“As some of you may know, Gerard and I are very happy awaiting the arrival of our first baby! At this time we have decided to give priority to this unique moment in our lives and postpone all the promotional activities planned over the next few days,” Shakira, 35, wrote on her website.

The singer, who did not specify a due date, is bowing out of a music festival in Las Vegas this weekend.

In the near future she will be juggling both motherhood and work. Earlier this week the singer, along with R&B star Usher, were confirmed to replace Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green for the fourth season next year of NBC’s hit singing contest “The Voice.”

Shakira burst onto the international pop scene with her 2006 single, “Hips Don’t Lie.”

Pique, 25, plays for FC Barcelona. The couple first met in 2010. This will be their first child.

Singer Jennifer Lopez files $20 million extortion suit


LOS ANGELES: Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez has filed a $20 million lawsuit against a former driver whom she claims threatened to spill her secrets if she did not pay him $2.8 million, court records showed.

Lopez, 42, maintains that Hakob Manoukian, who was in charge of her security and transportation, engaged in extortion, attempted extortion and conspiracy.

Manoukian, who started working for the star in 2005, has also been clashing with her manager, Benny Medina, over alleged contractual differences.

Lopez alleges that Manoukian wanted more money and additional control of her security team. She is seeking $20 million in damages, the documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court show.

“Manoukian plotted to retaliate against Ms. Lopez and her management and to use his apparent position of trust to exploit and extort substantial sums from Ms. Lopez,” the lawsuit reads in part.

“In the furtherance of this plot, he abruptly terminated his employment with Ms. Lopez and began to threaten her” with revealing “sensitive and personal information that he had allegedly overheard while driving Ms. Lopez.”

On July 13, Lopez announced she was quitting ratings-challenged TV talent show “American Idol,” a day after fellow judge Steven Tyler announced his departure. She is also singing on tour with co-headliner Enrique Iglesias. AGENCIES

MAN, CUTTING OFF WIFE’S LIPS AND EATEN THEM


MAN ACCUSED OF CUTTING OFF WIFE’S LIPS

A professor who believed his young wife to be having an affair has reportedly cut off her lips in a fit of jealousy and eaten them

 

MAN ACCUSED OF CUTTING OFF WIFE'S LIPS

MAN ACCUSED OF CUTTING OFF WIFE’S LIPS

“He cut off her lips and ate them,” Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet quoted an unnamed source close to the case as saying.

“He doesn’t seem to regret anything. He thinks she is the one who has offended him,” the source said.

The man, an associate professor at Sweden’s prestigious Karolinska Institute whose name was not given, was reportedly being held on suspicion of attempted murder.

“She is of course not doing well, neither psychologically nor physically,” the woman’s lawyer Ingela Ekman Hessius told Aftonbladet.

The lawyer told the paper her client had suffered “very serious injuries. The doctors have not yet said whether they can fix this or not”.

The attacker, who has now been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, reportedly had several children from a first marriage, which had ended only weeks before he married his current wife, a much younger woman.

According to Aftonbladet, he had recently begun to suspect that she was having an affair and had allegedly decided to punish her by disfiguring her.

“He didn’t want the lips to be able to be sewn back on,” the unnamed source said, explaining why he had eaten them.

Three in a row: “Hunger Games” leads box office


HOLLYWOOD: Movie sensation “The Hunger Games” survived fresh competition from the “Titanic” and the gross-out “American Pie” gang to notch its third domestic box office win over the weekend.

“Hunger Games” took in $33.5 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday and lifted its domestic sales through three weekends to $302.8 million, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.

The Easter weekend receipts for “Hunger Games” topped “American Reunion,” a sequel to one of film’s biggest comedy franchises, and a 3D remake of “Titanic” timed for the anniversary of the ship’s sinking. It was the third straight box office win for “Hunger Games.”

The Lions Gate Entertainment Corp movie about teens forced to fight to the death stormed into theaters on March 23 with a staggering domestic take of $152.5 million, the third-biggest weekend debut and the highest for a non-sequel.

Fan fever, plus a lack of big competitors at multiplexes, has kept “Hunger Games” hot, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office division of Hollywood.com.

“Great word of mouth, coupled with a release date that has given it a pretty open playing field, has allowed the film to effectively dominate the marketplace,” he said.

The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, the skilled archer and heroine of the post-apocalyptic story based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult novel.

In second place for the weekend, “American Reunion” met studio forecasts by ringing up $21.5 million in North America (the United States and Canada). International sales added $19.3 million, for a global total of $40.8 million.

Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp, and privately held Relativity Media co-financed “American Reunion” for about $50 million.

“Reunion” is the fourth movie in the “American Pie” franchise that kicked off 13 years ago with a pack of high-schoolers out to lose their virginity before graduation.

The original film, famous for a scene in which a pie is used to simulate sex, spawned two big-screen sequels and helped lead the way for future raunchy adult comedies. The first three “Pie” films grossed more than $750 million around the world.

In the new movie, the friends played by actors including Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott and Alyson Hannigan come together for a wild high-school reunion.

Exit polls showed 61 percent of “Reunion” filmgoers were older than 25, suggesting that it drew heavily from fans of the previous movies. Audiences gave the movie a “B+” grade in polling by survey firm CinemaScore.

TITANIC LAUNCHES AGAIN

“Titanic” sailed back into theaters on Wednesday with a 3D makeover and grossed an estimated $61.2 million around the world through Sunday. Of that total, $17.4 million came from domestic Friday-through-Sunday sales, placing the movie in third place on North American charts and meeting studio forecasts.

The original 1997 “Titanic,” starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as young lovers on the doomed ship, was a movie phenomenon that led domestic box office charts for 15 weeks. It earned more than $1.8 billion at theaters, the second-highest total for any film.

Partners 20th Century Fox and Paramount spent $18 million on the 3D conversion, which was released to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking on April 15, 1912.

Rounding out the top five, 3D action sequel “Wrath of the Titans” rung up $15.0 million domestically. The movie had bigger sales overseas, where it pulled in $43.0 million and helped lift the global total after two weekends to $211.4 million.

Snow White story “Mirror Mirror” took in $11.0 million, landing in fifth place. The family film has grossed $36.5 million domestically since opening last weekend.

Paramount Corp, a division of Viacom Inc, distributed “Titanic 3D” in the United States, and News Corp, a unit of 20th Century Fox, released the film in international markets.

“Wrath of the Titans” was released by Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. Privately held Relativity Media distributed “Mirror Mirror” in the United States, and Alliance Films released the movie in Canada. (Reuters)

Titanic memorial cruise delayed by wind on trip to wreck site


Titanic memorial cruise delayed by wind on trip to wreck site

The MS Balmoral sets sail for the Titanic memorial cruise
MS Balmoral is carrying 1,309 passengers – the same number as the Titanic

A memorial cruise retracing the route of the Titanic to mark 100 years since the ship sank has been delayed by strong winds.

MS Balmoral, which is carrying relatives of some who died, is travelling from Southampton to the North Atlantic site of Titanic’s wreck.

The ship is due to reach Cobh, on the south coast of Ireland, later.

The Titanic hit an iceberg on 15 April 1912 and sank, killing about 1,500.

The Balmoral was due to reach Cobh, on the south coast of County Cork, on Monday afternoon, but adverse weather and rough seas mean the ship’s arrival has been delayed until the early evening – when it will be met with a civic welcome.

The cruise left England’s south coast on Sunday to follow the Titanic’s exact route – via Cherbourg, in north-west France and Cobh – to the spot where the liner went down.

Passengers will gather for a service to be held at 02:20 GMT next Sunday – 15 April – to mark the moment of the sinking.

Three women dressed in vintage clothing
Some people dressed in period costume for the trip

From the wreck site, the Balmoral will go on to Nova Scotia, where some of the bodies of those who died are buried, and then onto New York City, the destination the Titanic never reached.

The Balmoral was chartered for the 12-night journey by Miles Morgan Travel.

The Titanic hit an iceberg at 23:40 (ship’s time) on 14 April 1912, some 460 miles (740km) from Newfoundland and took two-and-a-half hours to sink.

About 1,300 passengers and 900 crew members were on board the liner when it sank. About 713 people were rescued by RMS Carpathia.

In 1985, Dr Robert Ballard discovered the wreck 2.5 miles (4km) below the surface of the north Atlantic.