Saturday, September 22, 2012
Incredible Hulk 2 After ‘The Avengers 2′; Marvel Entertainment and Hollywood movie news
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After wrapping the filming in Australia, "The Wolverine" has officially kicked off its production in Japan. Unveiling a first look at lead actor Hugh Jackman on the Tokyo set of the Marvel film, a set of photos featuring the Australian hunk as he filmed a scene at the Zojoji Temple have made their round onto the web.
Instead of sporting unkempt long hair and scruffy look just like when he was filming in Australia, Jackman was spotted rocking Wolverine's trademark haircut and beard. Looking dapper, he donned an all-black ensemble while filming a scene with a number of Japanese men at the said Buddhist temple.
Per Comic Book Movie, the scene Jackman was filming happened to be a "grand funeral." There were no further details about whose funeral the actor's character attended. It was said that the filming at the temple was wrapped on Sunday, September 2 and Jackman was expected to continue filming in Hiroshima next.
Taking its cue from the early 1980s Chris Claremont/Frank Miller miniseries, "The Wolverine" finds Logan (Jackman), the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed. Serving behind the lens is James Mangold.
Jackman has stressed that the upcoming film will be a standalone one and won't be related to 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". He told Total Film, "We've deliberately not called it Wolverine 2 because we want it to be placed and feel like a standalone picture. With an all-new cast and setting in Japan, it's going to give us a whole new visual aesthetic."
"The approach to character means we won't be overloaded with mutants and teams and the like, so it'll be more character-based," he claimed, before adding, "I think in my ways it will feel like a completely different X-Men film."
The anticipated movie is scheduled to open wide in the U.S. on July 26, 2013.
Joss Whedon has claimed that The Avengers isn't "a great movie".
The film has met with critical acclaim and outstanding commercial success, becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time in just a few months, but Whedon, the superhero blockbuster's writer and director, is determined to keep his feet on the ground.
In an interview with Vulture, the 48-year-old claimed that the box office numbers became, ultimately, "meaningless".
He said: "They're large, and you can't really count that high."
Describing what his goals were with The Avengers, he claimed: "I felt like I had a particular mission in making what I felt was a slightly old-fashioned movie, because I grew up wanting to make summer movies and wanting to make superhero movies, and I got to do both at once.
"I felt like summer movies haven't been what I remember them to be, so I felt like I would love to evoke something that's less hip and ironic and more heartfelt and character-driven, and apparently, other people cared about that in a large way."
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator then conceded: "I don't think it's a perfect movie. I don't even think it's a great movie. I think it's a great time, and I'm proud of it, but for me, what was exciting is that people don't go to see a movie that many times unless it's pulling on something from within, unless there's a need there. That's very gratifying."
The film is set to increase its box office even further this weekend, after being re-released in the US to take advantage of the Labour Day holiday.
Whedon will oversee a Marvel-produced SHIELD television show for ABC, before starting work on the Avengers sequel, due for a summer 2015 release.
The Avengers Crosses $1.5 Billion At Worldwide Box Office...
While the re-release of The Avengers at the U.S. box office might have failed to break into the top ten Labor Day weekend movies, it did help The Avengers reach another major milestone. The Avengers has become the third movie in history to cross the $1.5 billion mark at the worldwide box office.
While retaining its number three position on the worldwide box office list, The Avengers took in another estimated $1.7 million over Labor Day weekend, which brought The Avengers U.S. box office total to $619.5 million and The Avengers worldwide box office total to $1.501 billion.
Interestingly enough, The Dark Knight Rises also reached a milestone today, surpassing $1 billion at the worldwide box office, which means that combined The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises have accounted for $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office this year. If you add in The Amazing Spider-Man, which currently sits at number four on the 2012 worldwide box office list with $734.9 million, then the total rises to $3.2 billion. It’s definitely a good time to be in the superhero movie making business.
The summer movie season started out with a bang, and then it…
Say, did we mention it started out with a bang?
It wasn't exactly all downhill after The Avengers kicked things off in record fashion, but it was close. Overall domestic ticket revenue this summer will top out at $4.3 billion, down 2.2 percent from last summer, according to the box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.
The Avengers' big return to theaters: a Titanic surprise?
Here are more findings from the season, which concludes this holiday weekend:
The Avengers Wasn't the Most Powerful Movie: Well, all right, it was, but it didn't make 16 times its production budget. That honor goes to Channing Tatum's Magic Mike, which cost $7 million and made $113 million domestically, per BoxOfficeMojo.com stats. Other bottom-line wonders: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which made 13 times its $10 million budget for a worldwide total of $131 million; and, hey—whaddya know?—The Avengers, which did its $220 million budget about seven times better with a worldwide gross of $1.5 billion.
Men in Black 3 Was the Most-Valuable Movie: Per a rundown of the studios' latest fiscal reports, Sony was about the only major player that saw a significant uptick in ticket revenue, and that was due to the not-especially beloved MiB sequel, which grossed $624 million worldwide.
The Dark Knight Rises Outgrossed The Dark Knight…Briefly: We've noted it before, but it's worth noting again. In the pre-Aurora world, The Dark Knight Rises scored $30.6 million from opening-day midnight screenings, and towered above its predecessor, which debuted to $18.5 million in 2008. In the post-Aurora world, the movie ran behind The Dark Knight in each and every successive major box-office period.
Avengers alternate opening revealed
Total Recall Outgrossed Total Recall…Once: The pricey Colin Farrell reboot opened to a soft $26 million, but averaged more per screen ($7,103) than a one-theater-only rerelease of the 1990 original ($5,788). And thus concludes the positive things to take away from the pricey Colin Farrell reboot.
Spider-Man Isn't British for Nothing: With Andrew Garfield behind the mask, nearly two-thirds of The Amazing Spider-Man's $705 million worldwide take came from overseas audiences, the largest percentage yet for a big-screen Spider-Man.
The Hunger Games Competed: This was a nifty trick, as The Hunger Games was not a summer movie, having opened back in March. But the blockbuster played and played and played, and from the start of the movie summer, on May 4, through Wednesday, it grossed another $33 million domestically, a total that on its own was roughly as big as Adam Sandler's That's My Boy, which, no, was not big at all.
Adam Sandler's That's My Boy Was Not an "Unfortunate, Large Miss": That precise distinction belongs to Battleship, which was branded as such by the chairman of Comcast, which runs Universal Pictures. (E! and Universal are both part of the NBCUniversal family, which is owned by Comcast.) The $200 million Battleship did make back its reported budget, grossing about $300 million worldwide. The same can't be said of Sandler's That's My Boy ($70 million budget; $50 million worldwide gross). Or Tom Cruise's Rock of Ages ($75 million budget, $50 million worldwide gross). Or Ben Stiller's The Watch ($68 million budget; $37 million worldwide).
Sequels for Prometheus, Snow White, Magic Mike, more?
What to Expect When You're Expecting Was No Prometheus: Prometheus, like a number of summer movies, including Snow White and the Huntsman, Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows and the aforementioned Battleship and Total Recall, failed to match or surpass their budgets from domestic ticket sales alone. The unheralded Jennifer Lopez-led ensemble comedy, however, grossed $41 million domestically, and $80 million worldwide, from a $40 million budget.
Ray Romano Is King of the World, Practically: Among the summer's animated films, the latest Ice Age sequel, Continental Drift, ran behind Brave and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted—domestically. Internationally, the Romano-voiced wooly mammoth stood alone, grossing a whopping $660 million-plus for a worldwide total of about $815 million. That made Continental Drift the third-biggest overall hit of the season after The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. This is par for the course for the Ice Age movies that probably have their own postage stamps in countries such as Germany, Finland and Brazil.
Prince Harry; casino tycoon Steve Wynn and fun and games in Las Vegas and beyond...
As the UK's Daily Mail states it's a rare man who walks away from Las Vegas with nothing to regret.
Prince Harry counts the cost of his escapades in Sin City, he may just be coming to regret the day he ever made the acquaintance of casino tycoon Steve Wynn.
Wynn, the self-proclaimed King of Las Vegas, is the billionaire owner of the five-star Encore Wynn resort, the opulent hotel-casino in whose eight-room, £5,100-a-night suite the prince was photographed playing strip billiards.
Unsubstantiated reports this week have suggested that cocaine was snorted in the suite, and that a known prostitute was among the guests. There are even rumours of a video tape capturing the night's events. So how did the third-in-line to the throne come to meet – even befriend – a septuagenarian gambling mogul?
Steve Wynn, a flamboyant showman with a surgically-enhanced, wrinkle-free face, carefully coiffed hair, a volcanic temper and a trophy wife, is famous for befriending celebrities whose patronage would be good for business.
Last November, 70-year-old Wynn was spotted having dinner with the prince in one of his Vegas steakhouses while the Prince was enjoying a weekend break from an advanced helicopter training course in Arizona.
Waiving the bills of celebrities is common practice in Vegas, and it remains unclear who paid the estimated £30,000 bill for Harry's recent stay. According to Wynn's spokesman, the tab was not picked up by either the tycoon or his hotel.
Is the prince welcome to return? I can't see why not,' the spokesman said.
Wynn is unlikely to be perturbed by Harry's naked shenanigans, but if drugs do turn out to have been involved, he may swiftly seek to distance himself from the events. He may be Las Vegas's most revered casino owner, but he still has his gambling licence and his reputation to think about. It is a reputation that Wynn is eager to protect. He has worked hard to erase the stains of the past.
Today, he is widely credited as the man who single-handedly cleaned up' Vegas and made it into a place in which Wall Street could invest and young families could holiday (if parents don't mind their children collecting the prostitutes' calling cards which litter the pavement).
Yet for all his denials, Wynn, who is worth $2.5 billion, has never shaken off accusations that he was linked for many years to the mobsters who once ruled Las Vegas.
He has weathered successive U.S. investigations over everything from drug-dealing to money-laundering, and has never been found to have committed any wrong-doing.
In Britain, the authorities have proved harder to convince. When he tried to open a casino in London to exploit the influx of rich Arabs in the early Eighties, Scotland Yard denied him a licence. But in the desert city of Las Vegas, he remains a swaggering icon. He has a reputation for being sophisticated' but that's by Vegas standards.
This is a man who bought Impressionist masterpieces only to hang them on the walls of his casinos; who reputedly blew his finger off while playing with a gun given to him by a former Mob hitman, and who boasts that his wife Andrea has the greatest butt in the world'.
Money is no object. In 2005, Wynn sank $2.7 billion into building just one hotel the curved glass and steel Wynn Las Vegas. He then did the same again a few years later with the Encore.
So enamoured is he with the idea of himself as Sin City royalty that he arranged his wedding last year to coincide with that of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Hollywood star Clint Eastwood was best man and lingerie model Caprice a bridesmaid. The reception, held in the ballroom of Wynn's Encore resort, boasted a 500-strong guest list which included Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg, Lionel Richie, Sir Philip Green and Celine Dion.
Each guest left with a five-inch high replica of the tiered wedding cake, but it's unlikely Wynn or his rake-thin new wife enjoyed much of the banquet. Both are vegans, and the youth-obsessed Wynn, who exists on a diet of vitamin pills, liquidised walnuts and the occasional indulgent dribble of olive oil, boasts that he still has a 32in waistline.
After years of hard graft and wheeler-dealing, he has earned the right to behave as he wishes. The son of an East Coast bingo parlour operator and hardened gambler, the brash and handsome Wynn Jnr expanded the family business to Las Vegas with a string of clever investments and ambitious hustling.
In the Seventies and Eighties, when Wynn was building his empire, Las Vegas was full of the mobsters who had originally built its gambling industry.
Some say it was impossible to work in the city and not come into contact with mafiosi, even unwittingly. Others have suggested that, even so, Wynn had an unusually large number of brushes with the Mob.
Wynn himself has vigorously denied any involvement with the Mob, and none of the numerous law enforcement investigations for gambling licences have ever concluded that he worked for or with organised crime.
In 1967, he was with some business associates of noted mobsters on a private yacht cruise on a lake in Nevada when a naked young woman somehow fell over the back of the boat and was chopped almost in half by the propeller blades. Her death prompted an investigation, but everyone on board denied having seen the incident.
And he had trouble with officials in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1986 after investigators discovered mobster Tony Castelbuono, a friend of Wynn, was laundering the profits of heroin trafficking at his gambling tables. Wynn almost lost his gambling licence.
Today, such tales of the Mob are just water under the bridge. Wynn has re-invented himself as the business genius who demolished seedy gambling joints along the Vegas Strip and replaced them with slick hotel-casinos such as the Mirage (the city's first 3,000-bed hotel), the Treasure Island and the Bellagio.
Part of his success has been his ability to turn on the charm with important people. But Wynn is notorious, too, for his temper. In 1991, he reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum with the former president of Wynn's Golden Nugget casino, who described Wynn as a womanising, brutal boss.
In allegations made in documents lodged at court, it was said that he would get so angry that his eyes bulged and he started screaming at the top of his lungs and banging his head on the table'. There was no admission of liability by Wynn, who denied the allegations.
His mother Zelma claims his tyrannical behaviour is the result of frustration over his failing eyesight. The tycoon suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive genetic disease which effectively gives him tunnel vision by destroying his ability to see peripheral images. In a dark room, he is completely blind.
His vision may be failing, but for years he was infamous for his roving eye, keeping keys to empty rooms at his various hotels for trysts. He was known to favour his female blackjack croupiers.
All that came to a stop when he met the beautiful Mrs Wynn. Usually described as a British socialite, 48-year-old Andrea was, in fact, born in New York but, as her proud husband likes to stress, was raised in England and France. Tres sophistique.
It all sounds rather less chic when you learn that the family moved to France because her father, a wheeler-dealer named Victor Danenza, fled there in 1976 to escape an FBI fraud investigation.
Before becoming the second Mrs Wynn, Andrea had lived in London with her first husband, Texan banker Robert Hissom, a former polo-playing friend of Prince Charles.
She met Wynn in 2008 in St Tropez, where he keeps a yacht, and the couple began a very public romance. Wynn divorced his long-suffering first wife Elaine, after 46 years of marriage, and wed Andrea last year.
Elaine made around $740 million from the settlement one of the biggest payouts in U.S. divorce history. The costly divorce appears not to have troubled Mr Wynn, who is delighted with his new wife.
It's like God made a woman for me,' he once said, before pointing out the part of his wife he most admired the greatest butt in the world'.
It all goes to show that money can buy you neither taste nor manners. Even Wynn's attempts to acquire a collection of old masterpieces have invited accusastions that he was vulgar and greedily acquisitive.
He has, since the late Nineties, spent hundreds of millions of dollars on paintings by Picasso and Degas, Caravaggio and Titian. He has several times scooped the world's great galleries at auction, only to horrify the art world by hanging his purchases in his casinos.
At 70, he shows no sign of slowing down though controversy continues to dog him. He is embroiled in a three-year court battle with Joe Francis, founder of the soft porn video empire Girls Gone Wild.
In documents lodged at court, Francis claims Wynn threatened in an email that he would kill him over a $2 million gambling debt. Wynn is alleged to have written that he would hit Francis in the back of the head with a shovel'.
Wynn denies the allegations and claims no such email exists.
In Asia, where Wynn now earns 70 per cent of his profits from the gambling mecca of Macau, a resort on the South China Sea, he is embroiled in a battle with a former business partner, Kazuo Okada.
This week, Okada sued Wynn for $140 millino for libel after each accused the other of paying bribes within the Asian gambling industry. No amount of black marble and old masters can hide the sleaziness at the heart of Las Vegas.
It is hard to believe Wynn when he claims he could just as easily have gone into family theme parks if Walt Disney hadn't done it first. Indeed, it seems about as likely as Prince Harry settling for free entry to Sleeping Beauty's Castle rather than a weekend with his colourful acquaintances in Sin City.
One ponders if the prince may be planning to visit in any casino - hotels in the near future, and little doubt that Australia's The Star or Crown Melbourne would love to have him. The smart money say's Prince Harry will no be stepping into any casino in Australia or anywhere else in the near future, perhaps more positive PR appearances will be on the cards however.
Zionist casino mogul Sheldon Adelson rocks Israeli media...
The loss-making 60-year old Israeli daily Maariv plans to stop appearing as a weekday newspaper and convert to a digital-only edition unless a major new injection of investment can be found to sustain it in printed form.
But its plight also likely to cast a fresh spotlight on the runaway success—at least in circulation terms—of its newest competitor, the right-wing free paper Israel Hayom, which is financially backed by US casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson.
While the paper is likely to continue printing a weekend edition for the foreseeable future, the planned move comes amid fears by journalists at the paper of significant possible layoffs.
Nir Hefetz, Maariv’s editor-in chief told Army Radio yesterday: "We've been looking at the digital direction for a number of months and it's all just a matter of timing. If we won't have any oxygen, we will be forced to make the move quickly."
Discount Investments, which has a 62 per cent holding in the paper and is part of the financially troubled IDB conglomerate has agreed to back a £2.3m bank loan, but one which is apparently conditional on a halt to weekday printing and other cost cutting measures.
Israel Hayom, which strongly supports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is owned and funded by Mr Adelson, the American casino billionaire who is a major Republican Party benefactor, and opponent of a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After supporting the unsuccessful GOP primary candidate Newt Gingrich, he indicated he could spend up to $100m on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
While Israel Hayom also has paid delivery to homes it is handed out for free by seemingly ubiquitous newsboys across the country. It says that "reaching every citizen and every venue in Israel is one of the key tenets of the paper’s mission.2
The paper survived an unsuccessful attempt in 2009 by Knesset members to block majority newspaper ownership by foreigners. An unnamed Yedhiot Ahronot executive was recently quoted in the business daily Globes saying: "Adelson has simply brought ruin to the Israeli newspaper market, and the Israeli politicians who benefit from its flattering coverage have allowed this unprecedented phenomenon to occur."
While the paper has a range of established columnists and is highly professionally produced, it was criticised over its deletion of an insulting reference to Mr Netanyahu in its report of the letter left by Moshe Silman, who set fire to himself during a social protest in Tel Aviv in July.
Like other media, Israel Hayom provided readers with an illustration of the letter written by Mr Silman, who later died of his injuries. And it said that Mr Netanyahu and his finance minister Yuval Steinitz were among those Mr Silman blamed for his financial plight. But unlike other media it displayed an image which failed to include the letter’s two lines describing the two politicians as “scumbags”—or literally “stinking dead bodies.”
According to the latest authoritative survey by the market research organisation TGI Israel Hayom, which boasts a weekday distribution of 275,000 copies, has a 38.1 per cent share of that market, compared to its closest rival, Yedhiot Ahronot, with 36.1 per cent and Maariv with 11.1 per cent. The left-leaning daily Haaretz has a market share of 7.2 per cent. (Belfast Telegraph)
Bwin.party losing its poker face...
LONDON (SHARECAST) - Online gaming titan bwin.party says revenues in the first half of 2012 grew at its casino and gaming offerings but poker has been hit by strong competitors and difficulties in southern Europe.
The group was formed last year by the merger between German outfit bwin Interactive Entertainment and British firm PartyGaming and still has co-Chief Executives Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan.
On a pro forma basis (comparing the results of both companies before the merger), total revenue increased by 3% to €410.0m (2011: €398.0m). This was achieved despite an 11% increase in gaming taxes so that the pro forma “clean” earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 13% to €92.3m (2011: €81.9m). This is better than the forecast of €89m made by analysts at Peel Hunt.
Bwin.party has also had to take a nasty one-off charge of €31.5m after the Spanish authorities contacted all of the major online gaming operators making clear any online operator that had ever accepted customers from Spain had an obligation to pay Spanish taxes.
The group offers four online “experiences”: sports betting produced revenues of €128.1m in the first half, versus €125.7m in 2011; casino and games delivered €139.7m, against €124.3m in the prior year; bingo was down from €33m to €31.5m; while the weakest performance was from poker, which fell from €104.9m to €96.4m.
In a joint statement, Ryan and Teufelberger said they were "determined to return [poker] to growth through execution of a detailed plan that includes pooling our poker liquidity as well as repositioning our flagship PartyPoker brand.”
The interim dividend has been increased by 10% to 1.72p per share although the company warned that net gaming revenue since June has fallen 8% as the end of the Euro 2012 Championships and a late start to the Bundesliga hit takings.
Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment: PartyCasino gets new 'Under the Sea' slot game
Check out PartyCasino via the Media Man network for more on this exciting new slot game which can be played for free or played for money. Bwin.Party is one of the most financially stable gaming companies on the planet and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. They also high security and high excitment online poker, sports betting and more.
New Trailer For Marvel Heroes...
Gazillion Entertainment is proud to show off a new trailer for Marvel Heroes. The new trailer announces 3 new playable heroes in the game – Daredevil, Punisher, and Squirrel Girl. The trailer made its debut at the Marvel Heroes panel at PAX 2012. The panel featured Gazillion President David Brevik (one of the creators of Diablo!), legendary Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man! Avengers vs. X-Men! And) and Marvel’s mighty VP of Games Production TQ Jefferson. If you look closely, you’ll also see a bunch of villains were also revealed in the trailer, including Mr. Fisk the notorious crime lord.
About Marvel Heroes...
Marvel Heroes is a FREE-TO-PLAY action-packed massively multiplayer online game created by David Brevik, the visionary behind Diablo and Diablo 2. Set in the iconic Marvel Universe, Marvel Heroes combines the core game-play style of Diablo and MMOs with the expansive library of heroes from the Marvel Universe. In the game, players can collect and play as their favorite Marvel Superheroes (including Iron Man, Thor, Wolverine, Hulk, Spider Man, Captain America and many others). Team up with friends and try to stop Doctor Doom from devastating the world with the power of the Cosmic Cube in a story crafted by comic-book super-scribe Brian Michael Bendis.
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