New York, Oct 7 (AP/UNB) — The Sony comic-book movie "Venom" has shrugged off bad reviews to shatter the October box-office record with an $80 million debut, while Bradley Cooper's "A Star Is Born" soared to $42.6 million.
According to estimates Sunday, the two very different films fueled an unusually robust October weekend at the North American box office. Despite a 32 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the anti-hero "Spider-Man" spinoff "Venom" opened with $205.2 million globally.
The previous best October opening was $55.7 million for "Gravity" in 2013.
Cooper's "A Star Is Born" remake, also starring Lady Gaga, has been hailed by critics and pegged as an Oscar front-runner. It drew an audience that was 66 percent female and 68 percent older than 35.
Los Angeles, Oct 6 (AP/UNB) — Audrey Wells, who wrote the screenplay for the brand new feature film "The Hate U Give," died the day before the film was released after a five-year battle with cancer. She was 58.
A representative from United Talent Agency said Wells died Thursday.
Wells also wrote and directed the 2003 romantic comedy "Under the Tuscan Sun."
The San Francisco native had early jobs as a disc jockey at a local jazz station and in public radio before making the transition to film, armed with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.
She wrote the screenplays for films like "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac tale starring Uma Thurman, and "Shall We Dance," with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere. She made her directorial debut with the 1999 indie "Guinevere," starring Sarah Polley as a young woman who has a relationship with an older mentor.
Wells wrote the script for the critically acclaimed new film "The Hate U Give," an adaptation of Angie Thomas' young adult novel about a police shooting of a young black man. The film starring Amandla Stenberg is now playing in limited release before it expands nationwide Oct. 19.
Thomas tweeted Friday it was, "A joy to work with Audrey, and I'm forever grateful for what she gave us with The Hate U Give adaptation. She will truly be missed."
United Talent Agency co-President David Kramer said Wells was "truly special."
"The strong, independent female characters she shaped resonate today more than ever and will be a part of her legacy always," he said. "We will miss her amazing, spirit, creativity and the love she gave us."
Wells is survived by her husband, Brian Larky, and her daughter, Tatiana. Larky said Wells "fought valiantly against her illness" and died "surrounded by love."
The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Wells' favorite nonprofits, The Feminist Majority Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood.
London, Oct 5 (AP/UNB) — Filmmaker Danny Boyle is urging thousands of people to gather on British beaches and make silhouettes in the sand on Nov. 11 to mark 100 years since the end of World War I.
Sand artists will also create giant portraits of people killed in the war, which will be washed away by the incoming tide, Boyle announced Friday.
The beachside commemoration caps four years of British cultural activities marking the centenary of the 1914-18 conflict, in which 20 million people died.
Boyle said beaches "are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide."
"They seem the perfect place to gather and say a final goodbye and thank you to those whose lives were taken or forever changed by the First World War," he said.
The "Trainspotting" and "Slumdog Millionaire" director stepped down earlier this year from the helm of the next James Bond film over what producers said were creative differences. He has been replaced by Cary Fukunaga.
Boyle said giving up the 007 job had helped create more time to work on the World War I project.
"I was absolutely desperately keen to do this," said Boyle, who also directed the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. "My involvement in it would have been slightly compromised by that workload.
"But I was still very, very keen to do it because it's a real, proper privilege to do something like this where you hope to connect with everybody in the country in some way, as much as you can, rather than through your normal channels, like the box office."
New York, Oct 5 (AP/UNB) — Chris Evans has wrapped his final performance as Captain America.
Evans on Thursday tweeted that his last shooting day on "Avengers 4" was an "emotional day." The 37-year-old actor thanked his colleagues and fans for his eight years as Captain American, saying it "has been an honor."
Evans first joined the Marvel cast in 2010. He has starred in three "Captain America" films, including 2016's "Captain America: Civil War," as well as numerous team-up films.
The actor previously suggested he would soon depart the role. Earlier this year, Evans told The New York Times that wanted to "get off the train before they push you off."
Bangkok, Oct 4 (AP/UNB) — Authorities in Thailand said they have decided to indefinitely extend the closure of a beautiful bay made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie "The Beach" until it recovers from years of environment damage caused by too many tourists.
They had announced in March that tourists would be barred from Maya Bay from June 1 to Sept. 30.
An official announcement published Monday in the Royal Gazette said the bay, part of a national park, will now be closed "from Oct. 1, 2018, onwards until the marine natural resources return to their normal condition."
The announcement said an assessment by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation found that after having been closed to tourists for four months, Maya Bay still had not recovered.
Maya Bay, part of the Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, had remained open year round to cater to tourist demand since a Hollywood crew set foot there in 1999 to film the dark backpacker tale that starred DiCaprio. Many Thai marine national parks are shut annually for four months.
The beach at Maya Bay had received an average of 200 boats and 4,000 visitors each day. Recent surveys by a team led by marine biologists found a large part of the coral reefs in the area is gone and sea life has virtually disappeared.