Los Angeles, July 21 (AP/UNB) — The global box office has a new king in "Avengers: Endgame."
The superhero extravaganza this weekend usurped "Avatar" to become the highest grossing film of all time, with an estimated $2.79 billion in worldwide grosses in just 13 weeks.
"Avatar" has held onto the record for a decade at $2.789 billion.
The title comes with a few caveats, however, including the fact that "Avatar's" grosses are not adjusted for inflation. Also, domestically, "Avengers: Endgame" is No. 2 to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" by around $80 million.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige gave a shout-out to "Avatar" director James Cameron Saturday night at San Diego Comic-Con for holding the record for so long. Feige also noted the inflation technicality and said Cameron will probably hold the title again someday.
Dhaka, July 21 (UNB) – The 23rd edition of National Art Exhibition concluded at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Sunday, with a closing ceremony held at the venue, the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy or BSA’s National Art Gallery.
The concluding ceremony was chaired by BSA Director Liaquat Ali Lucky. Dhaka University’s Fine Arts faculty professor Mostafizul Haque was the keynote speaker.
Art critics and artists Mostafa Zaman and Shaon Akand shared and explained their critical overview on the overall exhibition and the artworks selected for the event. Prior to that, all the artists whose works were exhibited were awarded with certificates at the event.
The 23rd edition of this exhibition featured a total of 322 artworks by 310 artists, selected from 850 applicants. During the 20-day exhibition, total 159 paintings, 45 sculptures, 50 print illustrations, 17 craftworks, 8 pottery-crafts, 37 architectural and video arts and 7 performance art pieces were on display and received critical acclaim.
Started on 1st July, this three week- exhibition attracted a great number of crowds this year. This biennale had been a regular event arranged by BSA since 1975.
San Diego, Jul 21 (AP/UNB) — "Avengers: Endgame" may have closed a chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the blockbuster factory is not slowing down and only expanding in scope and diversity.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige led a marathon presentation at San Diego Comic-Con Saturday night, announcing plans for the first two years of "Phase Four," which will include Natalie Portman taking up the hammer as Thor, making Angelina Jolie an immortal for "The Eternals" and rebooting "Blade" with Mahershala Ali .
The stars assembled in the San Diego Convention Center's Hall H as Feige ticked through the release calendar for 2020 and 2021 movie by movie, giving official cast lists, release dates, titles and logos for everything from "Black Widow," the "Doctor Strange" sequel, "Thor 4" to "Shang-Chi" to "The Eternals."
"I'm so excited to be here," Jolie told the crowd.
She said she's going to work "10 times harder" than she has on any of her other action roles because she knows what it means to "be part of the MCU" and "part of this family."
Jolie, who is playing the character Thena, was joined by her "The Eternals" cast mates including Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek and Brian Tyree Henry, as well as director Chloé Zhao.
"I just really, really wanted to make a Marvel movie for so long," Zhao said.
It's set for release on Nov. 6, 2020, after "Black Widow" kicks things off on May 1 with Scarlett Johansson, as well as "Stranger Things" breakout David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh. Audiences got a look at some early footage from the Cate Shortland-directed film showing Johansson and Pugh in some Bourne Identity-style hand-to-hand combat.
Marvel also revealed that newcomer Simu Liu will be playing the lead role in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and coming to theaters on Feb. 12, 2021. He'll star alongside Awkwafina and Chinese actor Tony Leung, who is playing The Mandarin.
"This is the craziest, craziest dream," said Liu, who was literally cast on Tuesday.
The third film of 2021, after "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," which director Scott Derrickson said will be Marvel's "first horror movie," is perhaps the most anticipated, however: "Thor 4."
Portman, who played Jane in the first two Thor films, will be remerging as the female Thor. She ran out on stage to thunderous applause and accepted the hammer from a kneeling Taika Waititi.
Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, who alluded to her character identifying as LGBTQ, will also be returning for the Waititi-directed "Thor: Love and Thunder," which is set for release on Nov. 2, 2021.
Feige brought out some familiar MCU stars from Tom Hiddleston and Sebastian Stan to Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner to tease some of the upcoming Disney+ "event series" including "Hawkeye," ''The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," ''WandaVision," ''Loki" and the animated series "What If...?"
Fans were excited to learn that the little girl in Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, will be joining "WandaVision" as a grown woman played by MCU newcomer Teyonah Parris.
The energy in Hall H was electric for what was easily the most high-profile and anticipated presentation. The audience only knew going in that Feige would be joined by some "special guests."
Tense security guards managing the estimated 8,000 people in the room even inadvertently snapped at "Endgame" directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who were trying to figure out where to go in the melee.
Although the studio took a year off from Comic-Con last year, it has a long history of announcing some of its biggest plans at the fan convention.
Nine years ago, Marvel wowed Hall H when the Avengers, including Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth, appeared on stage for the first time together. It's also where the studio introduced Brie Larson as Captain Marvel three years ago and brought the house down with the first look at "Black Panther."
And even though the presentation hardly took a breather, there were still a number of upcoming films, some rumored and some confirmed, that they couldn't get to including "Black Panther 2," ''Guardians of the Galaxy 3," ''Captain Marvel 2" and even, Feige teased, "Fantastic Four" and "Mutants."
"But all that stuff is rumored," he said with a smile.
He closed out the presentation dropping the "Blade" reboot news and Ali's casting, which hadn't yet even become a rumor to speculate about. Wesley Snipes played the character in the 1998 film and two sequels.
Ali came out on stage and put on a "Blade" baseball cap as the crowd went wild. No other details were revealed about the project.
Marvel's impact on Hollywood over the past 11 years is hard to understate. This year alone, three of the top five movies are Marvel properties ("Avengers: Endgame" is No. 1, "Captain Marvel" is No. 2, and "Spider-Man: Far From Home" is currently No. 5 after just three weeks in theaters).
They also account for three of the top five grossing domestic release of all time, unadjusted for inflation. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" holds the first place spot, but then comes "Avengers: Endgame" at two, "Black Panther" at four and "Avengers: Infinity War" at five.
And combined, with over $22.3 billion in worldwide earnings, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is by far the most successful franchise of all time.
With the recent partnership with Sony on Spider-Man and the Walt Disney Co.'s acquisition of Fox, all the missing pieces (including X-Men, Deadpool and The Fantastic Four) are coming together too under the Marvel Studios banner.
Feige also said Saturday that in just a few days, not accounting for inflation, "Avengers: Endgame" will also surpass "Avatar" as the highest grossing film of all time.
He even brought his top Marvel Studios people out on stage to celebrate the moment of having completed the 23-movie "Infinity Saga."
"We started here," Feige told the room of screaming fans. "I never thought it would happen, and it never would have happened if it wasn't for you."
San Diego, Jul 21 (AP/UNB) — "Game of Thrones" may be over but the cast can't seem to get away from stray coffee cups.
Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, Isaac Hempstead Wright and others took the stage at San Diego Comic-Con Friday evening for a goodbye panel and found some waiting at their places.
It was a cheeky reference to the misplaced coffee cup that viewers spotted in an episode of the final season that subsequently went viral. Although the moderator didn't make them answer for the coffee, actor John Bradley did have to defend himself against the other out-of-place item in the finale: The water bottle by his foot.
"I am right handed. I've thought about this very strongly," Bradley said, making a case that he would have put the bottle on the other side if it was his. "I'm not trying to clear my name, but ... I think I've taken enough blame for this one."
The cast was in good spirits after years of attending Comic-Con and not being able to reveal anything at the panels. Finally they were allowed to talk about things.
The big Hall H audience cheered to find out some of their favorite lines: Williams chose her own character's battle cry, "Not today," while Conleth Hill went for his co-star Peter Dinklage's, "I drink and I know things."
They also indulged in some fan theories, cleared up some burning questions and speculated about what happens after the finale.
Wright said that he can't imagine Bran's new government is a "barrel of laughs."
"Westeros is probably a surveillance state," he said.
But perhaps there is more fun happening on the new small council, according to Bradley.
"It basically turns into 'The Office,'" he said.
Cunningham posited that a spinoff could be called "Better Call Davos."
As for Arya and her quest to go "west of Westeros," Williams said, "I'm sure she's having a wonderful time, like Dora the Explorer minus the bob."
And Jacob Anderson thinks Grey Worm is off starting a new society with "a Wakanda kind of vibe."
There was some discussion of the divisiveness of the eighth and final season, although likely not as much as there would have been had showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss been in attendance as originally scheduled.
"Look at the amount of people here," Hill said, gesturing to the 8,000-some people in Hall H. "We're very grateful to your fandom over the years ... this is the reality as opposed to the media-led hate campaign."
Coster-Waldau said every season of "Game of Thrones" has been divisive in its own way, from Ned Stark's fate to the "Red Wedding."
"Obviously when it comes to an end it's going to (expletive) you off no matter what because it's the end,"Coster-Waldau said. "Just don't call people names."
Benioff and Weiss dropped off the schedule at the last minute, as did actors Iain Glen and Nathalie Emmanuel and director Miquel Sapochnik. Their absence was not addressed during the panel.
But everyone at Hall H seemed to be enjoying the victory lap. Earlier this week, "Game of Thrones" scored 32 Emmy nominations. It was a single year Primetime Emmy nomination record.
In addition to a best drama series nod, which the show has won four times, there were a handful of acting nominations for Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke in leading performances, Dinklage, Coster-Waldau, Alfie Allen, Lena Headey, Williams, Sophie Turner and Gwendoline Christie in supporting performances, and Carice van Houten as a guest star.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Allen, Christie and van Houten all self-submitted for consideration, which involves paying a $225 entry fee,
"Game of Thrones" ended this past May after 8 seasons. Its finale brought in a series record 19.3 million viewers.
Berlin, Jul 21 (AP/UNB) — U.S. President Donald Trump said he spoke with Sweden's prime minister Saturday about jailed rapper A$AP Rocky and "offered to personally vouch for his bail," a hollow offer in a criminal justice system that doesn't include bail.
Trump tweeted that during "a very good call" with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, he also "assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk." The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist has been in custody since early this month over an alleged fight.
While not an option in Sweden, bail is common in the United States. A defendant is allowed to post an amount of money set by the court to guarantee the defendant will appear for trial if he or she is freed pending those proceedings.
Urged on by the first lady and celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, the president had said in a Friday tweet that he would intervene to try to free Rocky, whose real name is Rakim May.
"Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!" Trump wrote Saturday after speaking with Lofven.
The prime minister's press secretary, Toni Eriksson, confirmed hours later that Lofven and Trump had a conversation that "was friendly and respectful and lasted about 20 minutes."
Lofven "made certain to emphasize the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts," Eriksson said in a statement. "He underlined that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings."
The two leaders may have a follow-up call, "but nothing has been booked or planned," she said.
Lofven had issued a statement earlier Saturday saying he would be glad to speak with Trump about A$AP Rocky's detention but giving the same warning about his government's unwillingness to interfere.
"I understand that President Trump has a personal interest in the case," the prime minister said before they spoke. "He has expressed the desire for a conversation with me, which is certainly positive."
Rocky has been behind bars while Swedish police investigate the fight in Stockholm he allegedly was in before appearing at a music festival. Videos published on social media appear to show a person being violently thrown onto the ground by Rocky. A defense lawyer has said it was self-defense.
Other recording artists have spoken on his behalf, including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Nicki Minaj and Post Malone.