Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent becomes the highest grossing film sold on one star’s name!

It was only a few months ago that analysts had, foolishly it would seem, branded Disney’s live-action adventure ‘Maleficent’ as a flop, and that was even before it had been released in cinemas.

However, after a strong opening and consistent debut week and beyond, the stattos were left scratching their heads at the impressive $697 million it has made to date, from a $180 million budget. But what’s more impressive is that ‘Maleficent’ was, until Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’, the highest grossing non-superhero film of 2014, which was a heck of an achievement, considering it was predicted to flop upon its end of May release. Impressively, ‘Maleficent’ can now boast as being the highest-grossing film sold on a single movie star’s name. And what does that mean?

Well, it basically means films that were marketed with a single name on the poster and its advertising material. Angelina Jolie’s name solely features on the posters, which qualifies the film. It has proven to be a big hit across the globe and appears to have captured the imaginations of audiences in far greater numbers than anyone ever thought it would.

Top 5 Movies sold on a single star’s name:

1. Angelina Jolie – Maleficent – 697.2
2. Tom Cruise – Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol – 694.7
3. Tom Hanks – Forrest Gump – 677.4
4. Bruce Willis – The Sixth Sense – 672.8
5. Will Smith – Hancock – 624.4

Berlin welcomes home the Champions!

Hundreds of thousands of jubilant Germans welcomed their triumphant national soccer team home in Berlin on Tuesday, waving flags and wearing the national colours as they basked in the nation’s fourth World Cup victory.

Landing at the capital’s Tegel airport, captain Philipp Lahm led the team down the plane’s stairs holding above his head the golden trophy secured in Sunday’s final, with midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger close behind him wrapped in a German flag.

German soccer fans cheer as they wait for the arrival of their team, winners of the 2014 World Cup, at a public viewing zone called ‘fan mile’ in Berlin, July 15, 2014. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Earlier, a Boeing 747 carrying the national soccer team returning from the Brazil World Cup did a flypast over Berlin in honour of the new world champions.

The unusual gesture was announced at short notice and shortly before the plane landed at Berlin’s Tegel airport, the large plane flew over the German capital’s fan zone where tens of thousands of fans were waiting for their heroes to show up.

Nearly half a million revellers packed Berlin’s “fan mile,” a 1.3 km stretch of road running from the west of the capital up to the iconic Brandenburg Gate, for a massive party. Many more lined the streets in the city centre along the team’s route.

Ground personnel of Tegel airport wave to German soccer team leaving in a bus after arriving in Berlin Tuesday. (Fabian Bimmer/Reuters)

Fans in Germany shirts, many with their faces painted in black, red and gold and some wearing wigs and bandanas in the national colours, had started drinking beer hours before the team’s touchdown.

“It’s an amazing atmosphere, it doesn’t get any better than this,” said Lukas Klein, 19, who drove through the night from the northern city of Bremen to be in Berlin. He told his boss he was sick.

A roar went up from the crowd when the team’s plane circled overhead, and the fans counted down from 10 to its touchdown on the tarmac. “Football’s coming home!” they bellowed.

“I am really excited to welcome the world cup winners during my lifetime. I am from East Germany and this is important,” said Guenther Richter, 51, from East Berlin.

Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Argentina in Rio de Janeiro marked the first time a reunified Germany has been world champion, with West Germany having won the trophy in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

Television channels blanketed the airwaves with coverage and newspapers dedicated whole editions to the victory.

“This is what four feels like!” splashed top-selling Bild on its front cover, with a picture of the team with their hands raised. Underneath it described what it considered the four attributes of the team: self-confident, together, fierce, modern.

Germany snatched the win in extra time with a stunning goal from fresh-faced Mario Goetze, the nation’s 22-year-old boy wonder.

German soccer fans cheer as they wait for the arrival of their team, winners of the 2014 World Cup, near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Tuesday. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

The crowds chanted Goetze’s name along with that of Schweinsteiger, who got a battering during the final match and ended up with a bloody cut under his eye.

“Welcome, World Champions!” Berliner Zeitung splashed on its front page.

Even the usually sober Handelsblatt business daily ran a picture on its front page of coach Joachim Loew, affectionately known as Jogi, under the headline “Model Germany.”

The success of the national team since 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup, is widely seen as having helped Germans take greater pride in their nationality, which their history had previously made them uncomfortable about displaying.

‪Germany‬ beats ‎Argentina‬ 1-0 in Extra Time and Win the ‪World Cup‬ ‪Championship‬ in ‎Brazil‬ 2014!

Germany beat Argentina 1-0 to win soccer’s World Cup a fourth time.

Golden Ball: Winner: Leo Messi
Golden Glove: Winner: Manuel Neuer

Substitute Mario Goetze scored in the 113th minute to give the Europeans soccer’s biggest prize. The goal came in the second period of extra time, and allowed the Germans to avoid a penalty shootout. Both sides had chances in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium, with Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain shooting wide in the first half when he was one-on-one with Manuel Neuer.

In extra time, the European’s Andre Schuerrle hit the first shot of the period straight at Sergio Romero in the Argentine goal, while Rodrigo Palacio could only flick over the head of Neuer and out of play at the other end.

Germany’s fourth World Cup title makes it the first European team to capture the trophy in Latin America. It is Germany’s first first title since 1990.

Argentina, a two-time champion, was in the final for the first time in 24 years. Lionel Messi, a record four-time World Player of the Year, was trying to win his first World Cup title with the South Americans.

German midfielder Sami Khedira was injured in the warmups and was replaced by Christoph Kramer, who was replaced after 30 minutes following a blow to the head.

Through the first 20 minutes, the Europeans had 58 percent of possession, but didn’t have anything to show for the advantage. By 20 minutes into the second half, the advantage had grown to 63 percent of possession.

Chances

In the first half, Argentina had the best chance, with Higuain being played onside by a header back from Toni Kroos, but the Argentine forward bashed the shot wide.

Higuain had the ball in the German net after 30 minutes but was correctly ruled offside. Kramer’s replacement, Schuerrle, hit a shot right at Sergio Romero, but Mesut Ozil was flagged for being offside.

In the 40th minute, Messi ran up the German right, getting past Mats Hummels and in on Manuel Neuer but the ball was cleared by Jerome Boateng.

Just before halftime, Benedikt Hoewedes headed the ball off the post from a corner kick, but Romero was able to control the ball.

The first chance of the second half fell to Messi, who shot wide past a beaten Neuer in the opening minute. Miroslav Klose, who holds the record as the tournament’s career scorer, headed straight at Romero.

Going for Four

Kroos had a chance 10 minutes before the end of regulation time when Ozil feed him a pass just outside the penalty area but the midfielder’s shot trickled wide.

Germany’s team, known as Die Mannschaft, draws even with Italy on four world titles since the inaugural 1930 edition with a victory. Only Brazil, with five championships, has more. It was Germany’s eighth time in the final, more than any other country.

The six other previous editions in Latin America were won by Brazil, Argentina or Uruguay.

On June 8, Germany demolished Brazil 7-1 in the semifinal in Belo Horizonte, causing some home fans to break down in tears and leave the stadium early. The Germans scored five goals in an 18-minute stretch of the first half.

A World Cup host had never previously lost a game by more than three goals, and Brazil hadn’t allowed more than five in an entire World Cup since 1998.

It is the third final between Germany and Argentina. Diego Maradona’s Argentina beat Germany 3-2 in Mexico in 1986 and the Germans avenged the defeat with a 1-0 win in Italy in 1990.

Germany also won the tournament in Switzerland in 1954 and when it was the host nation in 1974.

Messi, Argentina’s 27-year-old captain, was voted FIFA world player of the year four times and won three European titles with Barcelona. Argentina reached the final by beating the Netherlands in a penalty shootout in the semifinals.

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