Box Office: ‘American Sniper’ Still no. 1 and Sets Super Bowl Record!

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Iraq War saga wins 3rd straight weekend with $31.8 million and routs “Project Almanac,” Kevin Costner’s “Black or White” and “The Loft”

“American Sniper” added best Super Bowl weekend ever to its list of box-office records Sunday, claiming its third consecutive weekend win with an estimated $31.8 million.

To do it, the Iraq War saga had to outscore “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour,” which rung up $31.1 million for Disney in 2008.

The Clint Eastwood-directed drama starring Bradley Cooper has rewritten the record book since it began a box-office blitz on Jan. 16, one day after it earned six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Actor.

After posting the best wide opening ever for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend and the month of January, “Ameican Sniper” will have rolled up nearly $250 million domestically in 17 days. It’s already passed“Saving Private Ryan” as the highest-grossing war movie ever, and it will be the top-grossing R-rated movie of all time if it can pass the $370.7 million domestic total that Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” rung up in 2004.

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The weekend’s three wide openers all finished behind “Paddington,” the family comedy about the British bear from “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman. It was second with $8.7 million in its third week for the Weinstein Company.

The time-travel tale “Project Almanac” followed in third with a disappointing $8.5 million from 2,893 theaters in its debut for Paramount Pictures. “Black or White,” Kevin Costner‘s race relations drama, opened in fourth with $6.4 million from 1,823 theaters for Relativity Studios. And the R-rated thriller “The Loft” wound up tenth, taking in $2.8 million from 1,841 theaters for Open Road Films.

A special run of the hit HBO TV series “Game of Thrones” on 205 Imax theaters brought in an estimated $1.5 million. The giant screen version of the medieval fantasy averaged  $7,300 per-screen, behind the $8,805 that  “American Sniper” averaged on the remaining 165 Imax screens.

The overall box office was running roughly 20 percent ahead of last year’s Super Bowl weekend, when “Ride Along” won its third straight with $12 million. Overall, the domestic box office is running more than 9 percent aead of 2014, after “American Sniper” drove one of the better months of January ever.

Paramount was hoping for more from “Project Almanac,” which is about a group of teens who build a time machine. The young crowd was the target audience for the film, and around 63 percent of the crowd was under 25. The audience, which was 55 percent male, gave it “B” CinemaScore.

The film’s modest $12 million production budget will take some of the sting out of the soft debut for the studio, its Insurge Pictures and producers Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form.

Costner produced and starred in “Black or White,” the PG-13-rated drama about a lawyer battling for custody of his biracial grand-daughter. The best news from the first weekend for the film, which co-stars Octavia Spencer, might be the “A-” CinemaScore awarded it by audiences. That should help it in coming weeks, particularly with the older crowd that it played best with.

The audience was 64 percent female and 78 percent over the age of 25. Around 53 percent of the crowd was Caucasian and 30 percent African-American.

“The Loft,” Belgian director Erik Van Looy’s English-language remake of his Dutch thriller, had a rare zero rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes coming in and bombed. Karl Urban, James Marsden and Eric Stonestreet of TV’s “Modern Family” starred.

The Jennifer Lopez thriller “The Boy Next Door” was fifth with a $6 million second week for Universal Pictures. That’s a nearly 60 percent fall from its opening weekend but still puts its domestic total at nearly $25 million, not bad given its $4 million production budget.

The Kevin Hart-Josh Gad comedy “The Wedding Ringer” followed with $5.7 million and is up to $48 million after three weeks for Sony’s Screen Gems.

Things got a little better in the second week for “Strange Magic,” the animated musical produced by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas that tanked in its debut last weekend. It’s on pace to take in $3.4 million for the three days, a 38 percent drop that gives it a $9.9 million domestic total.

The same can’t be said for Johnny Depp’s “Mortdecai.”

The ensemble comedy tumbled out of the top ten and brought in an anemic $1.4 million for the weekend, a steep 66 percent drop from its disastrous debut last weekend. That leaves its domestic total at less than $7 million for Lionsgate Entertainment, not good for a movie with a $40 million production budget.

“The Imitation Game” took in $5.2 million and finished seventh after Weinstein added 377 locations to give the Benedict Cumberbatch historical drama its highest theater total yet, at 2,402.

Its domestic total is nearly $68 million after 10 weeks. Other than “American Sniper,” that’s the best of any Best Picture Oscar contender.

Here’s what we’ve been Googling this year, Google’s Year in Search review 2014!

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Google just released its annual retrospective on what the world was searching for in 2014. The company has apparently given up on calling its year in review the Google Zeitgeist and opted for the more humble “Year in Search .” The lists include everything from top trending overall searches to top trending GIFs.

The story behind the story: Although it’s stopped using the moniker, Zeitgeist was an entirely appropriate name for Google’s yearly top trending search lists. As the most popular search engine in the world, Google has a special insight into what the world is thinking about at any given time. Google has used this ability to track flu hotspots (albeit with reportedly mixed results ) and aid in disasters. At the end of the calendar year, it’s always interesting to see what the world was most fascinated with during the previous twelve months.

What topped the lists

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The tragic death of Robin Williams, who took his own life in August, topped both the global and U.S. top trending searches for 2014. Williams was followed by the World Cup, Ebola, and the Malaysia Airlines disaster in both the U.S. and the overall global searches.

Once you leave the top four the global and U.S. search lists begin to diverge in placement, but not a whole lot on topics. Overall, Google’s global user base was fascinated with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Flappy Bird, ISIS, Frozen, and the Sochi Olympics. Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drag queen who won the Eurovision talent contest in May, was also a big search around the world.

Wurst and this year’s Winter Olympics weren’t top searches in the U.S., but Ferguson and the ongoing troubles in Ukraine were.

Things got a little more interesting when it came to tech.

The world was largely focused on smartphones in 2014. Seven of the top 10 spots were taken up by handset including the iPhone 6  (#1), Samsung Galaxy S5  (#2), Nexus 6 (#3), Moto G  (#4), Galaxy Note 4  (#5), LG G3  (#6), and Nokia X  (#7).

The U.S., on the other hand, was a little more interested in the Apple Watch (#4),Chromecast (#5), Xbox One (#6), and the Surface Pro 3 (#10). Smartphones were still a big chunk of top trending gadget searches in the U.S., however, occupying six spots.

The world was also interested in the Xbox One, which came in at number 7 on the global trending list. Sony’s PlayStation 4, however, did not crack the top 10 on either the global or U.S. trending lists. Sony’s console has led the sales contest between the two next-gen consoles, but the Xbox One recently won a small victory when it overtook the new PlayStation in terms of sales for the month of November.

It appears Sony may have had the sales for most of 2014, but the hearts of gamers and tech fans were still with Microsoft’s console.

The complete tech lists are below. Check out Google’s Year in Search site  to explore all the other lists for global results and a country-by-country breakdown.

Top Trending Searches, Global:

3. Ebola
8. ISIS
9. Frozen

Top Trending Consumer Electronics, Global:

  1. iPhone 6
  2. Samsung Galaxy S5
  3. Nexus 6
  4. Moto G
  5. Samsung Note 4
  6. LG G3
  7. Xbox One
  8. Apple Watch
  9. Nokia X
  10. iPad Air

Miss World 2014: Miss South Africa, Rolene Strauss!

Miss World 2014

Rolene Strauss – Miss South Africa

  • Age: 22
  • Height: 177
  • Occupation: Student – Medical Studies

Rolene says her family made her who she is today. A 4th year Medical student, she praises her father’s influence, interesting her in medicine, her mother taught her the power of the mind and her brother, compassion and patience.

With a holistic approach to living, she hopes to create a business along these lines focusing on women’s health, alongside her plan of studying for an MBA and becoming a doctor.

In her spare time, Rolene enjoys playing the sports golf, netball and cycling, and reading inspirational and educational books. She is also musically minded, and can play the flute, piano and guitar.

“South Africa is celebrating 20 years of democracy this year and I am a proud, born free citizen.”

What website could you not live without and why?

News 24: It is a local news website with international news on as well. I find it very important to know what is happening around me.

What is the best app you’ve used in the last year?

I love Instagram, simply because a picture is worth a thousand words. Another app that was handy this year is CamCard, an app to upload business card details on your phone!

What item of makeup could you not live without?

I would have to choose blush. You can use it everywhere when in a hurry; lips, cheeks as well as eyelids.

What is your most memorable encounter?

It would have to be the day I bungee jumped off Bloukrans Bridge; officially recognised as the world’s highest commercial Bungee jump. It made me reconsider everything in my life.

Favourite food?

It has to be my mother’s oxtail and ‘stampmielies’ cooked on our coal oven at home.

What annoys you most about the world you live in?

The fact that we as humans don’t realise how much potential we have; to do good, give and make things right. How amazing would it be if we all realised our potential?

Source

Rihanna’s Almost-Nude Cover Shoot For ‘Esquire UK’ Will Make Your Jaw Drop!

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When Rihanna arrived back on Instagram this weekend, I was actually astounded time didn’t stop or a parade wasn’t immediately held in her honor (#rude). Despite this super disrespectful lack of public fanfare, badgalriri has been uploading photos left and right, from birthday parties, to her sick Halloween costume, to a sneak peak at her upcoming December cover for Elle magazine, which the mag described as “boldly stripped down.”

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Well, it seems she’s also stripping down (way, way down) for the December cover of UKEsquire‘s ‘Food & Drink’ themed issue, and to say the spread is amazing would pretty much be the understatement of the century.

No, seriously. Look.

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She uploaded a few other pictures from the spread, which was shot by famed fashion photog Ellen von Unwerth, and full disclosure—you might need a super strong fan or some ice water to get through the rest of it. Rihanna SLAYS.

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BOOM!

Rihanna Naked Esquire

Black and white pictures + a shower hose – clothing = Rihanna’s best spread eva, IMHO. If she was looking for a way to truly ring in the return of her reign over Instagram, these pictures straight up nailed it. Bless you, Rih-Rih, BLESS YOU.

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