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 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.
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.
Before the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ Final gets underway at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, a special closing ceremony involving around 1,000 people will celebrate the greatest values of the globe’s most popular sport as the tournament nears its unmissable climax.
European heavyweights Germany meet South American contenders Argentina in the showpiece fixture of the competition in Brazil, but before the football kicks off and the champions are decided, an 18-minute show inside the stadium will pay tribute to the game and its key symbols.
Beginning with an on-pitch expression of the sport’s values through four characters – Freedom, Solidarity, Passion and Diversity – the ceremony will subsequently include representations of all 32 teams to have participated at this World Cup, with particular focus on the two finalists: Joachim Low’s Nationalmannschaft and Alejandro Sabella’s Albiceleste.
Set to a soundtrack of samba music, incorporating a cast of 400 people and featuring GRES Academicos do Grande Rio, a special reference to the sought-after Trophy also takes centre stage, while a unique tribute to football symbolically brings together the two sides battling to be crowned winners when the full-time whistle is blown in Rio.
The Brazil 2014 closing ceremony will conclude with a spectacular combination of music: Shakira and Carlinhos Brown perform “Dare”; Alexandre Pires, Carlos Santana and Wyclef Jean provide a rendition of the World Cup official anthem, “We Will Find A Way”; plus, a medley of Brazilian songs courtesy of Pires and Ivete Sangalo.
Heaven Is For Real is to The Grudge as God’s Not Dead is to The Ring. As the first major Christian-centric film to drop after the surprisingly successful God’s Not Dead, Heaven Is For Real got to capitalize on being the next portion of a newly popular dish. The Asian horror remake fad frankly began and ended with The Ring and The Grudge, with none of the would-be cash-ins outside of those two franchises, not even the painfully underratedDark Water remake) topping $28 million domestic. In terms of Asian remakes of all genres, the Sandra Bullock/Keanu Reeves romantic drama The Lake House basically doubled nearly every Asian horror remake with $52m domestic in 2006 (it’s also a painfully underrated meditation on adult loneliness). But the only Asian remake that soared is the one that followed the one that kick started the trend.
All of this explains how a Greg Kinnear-led drama earned $28.5 million over its five-day debut. If God’s Not Dead possibly made the Christian drama into a somewhat more popular sub-genre, then Heaven Is For Real is the first one to capitalize accordingly. Releasing a religious-themed film, especially a family-friendly one somewhat dealing with resurrection (it’s about young boy who claims to have seen heaven following a near-death experience), over the Easter holiday, has its advantages. Many businesses and most schools were closed on Friday, which meant bigger business offerings such as this. TheSony production opened on Wednesday with $3.7 million, earning another $3.3m on Thursday and now scored $21.5 million over the Fri-Sun weekend.
That’s a 2.73x weekend multiplier, which is actually pretty good for Easter weekend. Easter weekend is legendary for some horrible multipliers, as The Hanna Montana Movie (2009) and African Cats(2011) are the third and fourth most front loaded weekends of all-time. The film earned nearly as much on Friday as previous sub-genre’s record holder God’s Not Dead earned on its Fri-Sun opening weekend ($9.2m), even with the $7m worth of Wed-Thurs tickets already accounted for. Considering the film’s $12m budget and strong word-0f-mouth among the targeted demographic, this one is already a big hit. Chalk it up to the obvious buzz around God’s Not Dead (which ended the weekend just under $49m by the way) and the usual church-centric advertising that helps sell films like this, along with the presence of honest-to-goodness known actors like the always terrific Greg Kinnear and Thomas Hayden Church.
Heaven Is For Real played 62% female and 49% under 35 years old. Yes, it got an A+ from Cinemascore from under-35 demos for what that’s worth. As I’ve always said, there is real money to be made from demographics that aren’t explicitly targeted as a matter of habit. This one may well have legs, and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t at least come close to topping the $59m gross of 20th Century Fox’s Son of God and end up being the biggest ‘explicitly sold to Christians’ religious film ever released. I imagine the DVD will sell like hotcakes when the time comes. Four God-centric films in under two months: Son of God, God’s Not Dead, Noah, and now Heaven Is For Real. I hate trend pieces, but this looks like a trend.
What was supposed to be the big opener of the weekend qualifies as an out-and-out bomb. I generally try to avoid screaming “FLOP!” whenever possible, but there is absolutely no good news forTranscendence. Transcendence boasted terrible reviews, almost no buzz, a generic trailer, and a director who is notable among film nerds like myself (Wally Pfister was the DP on the last several Chris Nolan films). That it opened with a miserable $11.15 million weekend is mostly attributable to face-on-the-poster star Johnny Depp and audiences wanting something resembling a big film while they wait forThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 in two weeks.
Truth be told, there is a portion of moviegoers who will see whatever the “big” movie of a given weekend happens to be, but you need far more than those consistent regulars to show up. The Warner Bros. (a division of Time Warner TWX+1.02%) release cost $100 million, but as usual the money came from elsewhere. Alcon Entertainment co-financed the film with China’s DMG Entertainment (it opened yesterday in China as well). SummitInternational sold overseas rights to various independent distributors, which actually covered much of the budget.
The film played 54% male, 21% under 18, 44% under 25, and 56% over 25, earning a C+ from Cinemascore overall. Anyway, this one is a big miss, both because it’s not very good and because it’s an unfortunate case of an original star vehicle tanking. Oh well. Let’s hope Jupiter Ascending delivers this July in the realm of big-budget original sci-fi vehicles. This is simply a very bad film that couldn’t make the sell over opening weekend and now has no reason to have anything resembling legs. Sometimes, even with “big” films, the reviews matter. In defense of all parties involved, especially Depp, I’m sure Transcendence (an original science-fiction morality drama from the DP who shot Inception) seemed great in theory.
The next opener was A Haunted House 2 from Open Road Films. The $3 million sequel to last year’s A Haunted House opened with $9.1m. That’s way down from the $18m opening weekend of A Haunted House last January. I suppose that’s unfortunate, but again, the Marlon Wayans comedy cost just $3m to produce, so I don’t think anyone will be too busted up about the not terribly surprising comedown. It won’t touch the first film’s $40m domestic gross, but at that budget, it really doesn’t have to.
If the film does well in after-theatrical, we may see another one next year anyway. My wife for some reason loves White Chicks so there is a good chance I’ll have to watch this on DVD. Pray for me. But then I owe her for making her sit through the original Godzilla with me last night. Black & White, full-frame, foreign with subtitles, it’s like a checklist of things my wife hates. Yes I’m aware of the irony. Hopefully at least one of my children will pick up the slack.
Also opening this weekend was Walt Disney’s DIS+1.32%Bears, which is about zebras. The harmless if somewhat patronizing animal documentary (I’m reasonably sure those bears aren’t thinking what John C. Reilly told me they were thinking) earned a mediocre $4.7 million over the weekend. That’s the lowest debut thus far for a Disneynature documentary, as Earth opened with $8m in 2009, Oceans and African Cats opened with $6m in 2010 and 2011, and Chimpanzees opened with $12m in 2012. Business is usually pretty brief for these documentaries, so don’t expect Bears to get much past $12m total.
In all honesty, these are glorified charity works from the Mouse House, offering stunning nature footage in a kid-friendly narrative that arguably works as a gateway drug into more realistic nature documentaries and/or a general interest in the natural world. Bears will probably end its run with around $12m and we’ll get another one, Monkey Kingdom, this time next year. My kids had a good time on Friday, and my daughter learned the lesson meant to be imparted by all nature documentaries: Being a wild animal stinks.
Opening in limited release was John Turtorro’s Fading Gigolo, which is also the rare film that features Woody Allen but isn’t directed by Allen. The film, which Tuturro directed, wrote, and starred in, opened on five theaters courtesy of Millenium Entertainment. They earned $198,399, with a $39,680 per-screen average, for their troubles. In holdover news, the weekend was again dominated by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2. The Walt Disney/Marvel sequel earned another $26 million for the weekend, down just 36% thanks to the holiday. The Chris Evans/Scarlett Johansson adventure has earned $201.5m domestic, passing the $176m total for Captain America and $181m total for Thor. It’s also now Robert Redford’s highest-grossing film ever, not adjusting for inflation of course. The real story is overseas, where the sequel has earned $385m for a worldwide cume of $586.6m.
20th Century Fox’s Rio 2 held okay, earning $22.5m on its second weekend (-43%) despite the holiday cushion. The $103m animated sequel has earned $75m domestic, already behind the $80m ten-day total of Rio. Worldwide, it was at $177m going into the weekend, so it’s just a question of how high over $200m it gets by tomorrow. They also earned $5.9m for Draft Day (-39%), giving the Kevin Costner football film $19.54m by the end of the today. Lionsgate earned another $5.75m from Divergent, a solid 21% drop, bringing the franchise-starter’s cume to $133.9m. Oculus earned $5.2 million on its second weekend, an expected 57% drop for the Relativity horror film. The film has earned $21.19m thus far. Paramount’s Noah earned $5m for a $93.2m cume. Finally, Universal’s Non-Stop crossed $90m this weekend.
That’s it for today. Join us next weekend for the calm before the summer storm. 20th Century Fox debuts the Cameron Diaz/Leslie Mann/Kate Upton comedy The Other Woman, Lionsgate drops The Quiet Ones, and Relativity debuts Brick Mansions, a Paul Walker/RZA remake of District B19. – Source: Forbes