Saturday, July 14, 2012

Entertainment, Movie, Wrestling and Celebrity News: Comic-Con, WWE angle, action heroes...

Entertainment, Hollywood, Wrestling and Celebrity News: Comic-Con, WWE angle, action heroes and more...

Profiles

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Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger trade jabs at 'Expendables 2' Comic-con gig...

Could there be any doubt over what the first two words would be out of Arnold Schwarzenegger's mouth at Comic-Con?

"I'm back," said the former California governor, who has leaped back to acting with a series of upcoming action roles including "The Expendables 2," which Schwarzenegger came to promote at the fan convention.

Schwarzenegger joined fellow stars Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews and Randy Couture on a panel to preview footage for Comic-Con.

Quoting his famous line from the "Terminator" films, Schwarzenegger said that after eight years away from action films while governor, he took some ribbing from his co-stars, who also included Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Jason Statham, Liam Hemsworth and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

"'Well, we know you've been out of the business for eight years. Let me show you how to load a gun again and, Arnold, here's how you throw a punch,"' Schwarzenegger recalled his co-stars joking.

But after the verbal sparring of state government, Schwarzenegger found he was able to pick up where he left off as an action star fairly fast, doing fun things like taking out a knife and killing a guy and cutting his head off.

"You wish you could do some of those things when you're in politics, but you know, you can't," Schwarzenegger said.

The sequel to Stallone's 2010 hit, "The Expendables 2" casts the band of tough guys into vengeance mode after they're betrayed on a mission. The movie arrives in theaters in Aug. 17.

After the preview, Comic-Con organizers presented their Inkpot Award honoring pop-culture contributions to Schwarzenegger, who also has filmed the crime thriller "The Last Stand" since leaving the governor's office.

Stallone, who also co-stars with Schwarzenegger in the upcoming prison thriller "The Tomb," recalled first meeting Schwarzenegger at the Golden Globes for 1977, when his boxing saga "Rocky" won for best picture and Schwarzenegger won as best new star for "Stay Hungry."

"Who is this guy as big as the whole table?" Stallone recalls wondering of former body-building champion Schwarzenegger. After hearing the Austrian's name called for his award, Stallone thought, "No one has a name like that. This guy is doomed, over, flash in the pan."

Schwarzenegger shot back that Stallone set the tone for his own accent-heavy acting career.

"When I came to America 44 years ago, Sly was my English teacher," Schwarzenegger said. "So blame him."

Stallone replied in classic Rocky monosyllables.

"Yo," he said. "Hey."


News Update: Sly Stallone's son dead...

Sylvester Stallone's rep, Michelle Bega, told celebrity news website TMZ, "Sylvester Stallone is devastated and grief-stricken over the sudden loss of his son Sage Stallone.  His compassion and thoughts are with Sage's mother, Sasha.  Sage was a very talented and wonderful young man.  His loss will be felt forever."


WWE angle at Comic-Con...

WWE ran an angle today yesterday with Alberto Del Rio "invading" the Mattel panel at the show. Del Rio showed up during Sheamus' Q&A and engaged in a promo back-and-forth with the World Champion. Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GMGMsASNsYw


WWE At Comic-Con...

WWE Superstars appearing with Mattel at the San Diego Comic Con include Daniel Bryan, Alicia Fox and Arn Anderson. Former WWE stars who showed included Lita.


Less Hollywood movie studios do Comic-Con...

Hollywood's movie studios are heading to Comic-Con with less fan fair this year.

Hit by average presentations in the past that resulted in costly box-office duds like "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and "Green Lantern," the major studios will not arrive in full force in San Diego for the annual event.

Although Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate are making presentations and pitching their product for fans, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures are skipping the show this year.

With the no shows of those three studios, footage from such movies as the Tom Cruise science-fiction epic "Oblivion," zombie film "World War Z" and superhero sequel "The Wolverine" that might naturally appeal to Comic-Con fans won't be seen by the estimated crowd of 130,000. Fox, Universal and Paramount appear to have concluded that it's not worthwhile to attend the show if they don't have clips, trailers or other materials ready that would sufficiently wow audiences.

"It's only worth going if you can debut stuff that will really impress," said Michael Moses, co-president of marketing at Universal. "Treating it as a deadline and forcing yourself to rush pieces can be a big mistake."

It wasn't long ago that Comic-Con was considered a "must go" among Hollywood studios. In 2010, for example, six of the seven biggest were in attendance. Last year, five came.

Studios ordinarily spend several hundred thousand dollars for a major presentation at Comic-Con, including projecting footage of their films on giant screens (sometimes in 3-D), supplying the crowd with giveaways, and flying actors and filmmakers in on private jets.

In the mix of the most elaborate and expensive set-ups of recent years were an arcade built by Disney to promote "Tron: Legacy" and a "Scott Pilgrim" experience, complete with T-shirt printing, built by Universal across the street from the convention center.

Those movies were box-office disappointments, however, leading studios to become more skeptical about heading to San Diego any time they have an upcoming picture that might appeal to audiences that dress up like their favorite superheroes.

"For the vast majority of movies, I believe Comic-Con is neutral at best and a killer at worst," said Jim Gallagher, a former president of marketing at Disney who now runs the marketing consultancy firm Apples and Shovels. "It's difficult for any film to stand out, but if the audiences think you don't have the goods, you can get crushed by bad buzz."

Indeed, some of the biggest hits of recent years never showed up at Comic-Con, including "The Dark Knight" and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

But several studios are still trying to make a splash this year.

Lionsgate is promoting its highly anticipated sequel "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2," "The Expendables 2" and "Dredd 3-D," the latter of which will have its first public screening this week at Comic-Con.

In an unusual move for a production company that doesn't handle its own marketing, Legendary Entertainment is setting up a booth and hosting events. Previously known for co-financing such films as "300" and "Inception, "Legendary is preparing to roll out its own slate of comics and movies next year, including director Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim," and is eager to establish itself as a brand with the fanboy crowd.

Warner Bros. will be showing footage from director Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," which hits theaters in December, as well as next year's Superman reboot "Man of Steel."

Disney is presenting clips of its animated films "Frankenweenie" and "Wreck-It-Ralph," the prequel "Oz: The Great and Powerful" and Marvel's "Iron Man 3."

Sony will show off its remake of "Total Recall," the Bruce Willis science-fiction film "Looper" and "Elysium." The latter movie, made by "District 9" director Neill Blomkamp and starring Jodie Foster and Matt Damon, comes out next March but so far has been intentionally kept almost a total mystery to fans.

"The best opportunity at Comic-Con is to go in with a movie people know little about and wow them with your material," said Marc Weinstock, Sony's worldwide marketing president.

Fewer movies, however, doesn't mean the crowds at Comic-Con will have any shortage of Hollywood presentations.

Sensing a growing opportunity at the event, television networks will be out in full force this year, with panels for "Game of Thrones," "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Walking Dead" scheduled in the same cavernous, 6,500-person capacity hall where the biggest movie presentations take place.

The season premiere of "Breaking Bad" will debut at Comic-Con before airing Sunday on AMC.


Is Jessica Biel Wolverine's Newest Villain? Scoop From Comic-Com...

We already know Hugh Jackman has one villain to go head-to-head with in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine sequel, but will he be battling Jessica Biel too?

Deadline reported this morning that she was set to star in the film, but don't pre-order your tickets just yet, fanboys.

"That's not totally true. It's a little too early to say," Jessica explained at today's Total Recall Comic-Con press conference.

Don't get too upset though, X-Men fans, because it sounds like the wheels are moving.

And after getting the chance to kick ass in Blade: Trinity and now again in Total Recall (catfight with Kate Beckinsale, anyone?!), we think she'd make quite the formidable foe to Jackman's Wolverine.

The villainous Viper—the role Biel is rumored to be taking on—has no superpowers of her own but is strong, fast and knows how to handle a weapon.

Oh, and she's a great blackmailer. A skill she uses, in Marvel lore, to force Wolverine to tie the knot with her.

Stay tuned for more updates on Jessica, Jackman and friends.


WWE partners with Tout, joins $13.4m investment round - July 11 2012...
   
WWE today announced an investment in and strategic partnership with Tout, a deal that provides better visuals than the rest of the $13.4 million in series B financing the social video platform announced.

New investors WWE, 819 Capital, Gordon Crawford, and Stan Shuman & Jack Schneider from Allen & Co. join previous investors including Stanford Research Institute (SRI), Horizons Ventures and Seavest Ventures.

Tout enables users to share 15-second video clips automatically and in real time, and other users can respond. Tout updates can be sent to the user’s choice of Tout.com, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, SMS and email contacts.

WWE will feature Tout across its network of WWE.com, television, live events, digital, print and more than 100 million social media followers. WWE is making a big splash regarding Tout on July 23, during the 1,000 episode of Monday Night Raw. Additionally, WWE Superstars will interact with fans via Tout question and answer sessions leading up to the event.

Or to quote WWE’s language, “Starting with the historic 1,000th episode of Raw on July 23 at 8/7 CT on USA Network, WWE takes interactivity to the next level when Monday nights go RAWactive!”

Looking forward, WWE will launch “Tout Tuesdays” giving fans the opportunity to discuss what happened the previous night on Monday Night Raw.

“WWE is in a class by itself as a media giant who has innovatively grown their business through social media,” said Michael Downing, CEO of Tout. “We could not envision a better partner to show how the Tout platform powers high-impact, real-time engagement across broadcast TV, digital and live events.”

Tout has 23 million users, a number the WWE partnership will undoubtedly swell. Wendy Williams, Ryan Seacrest, Erin Andrews, Dr. Oz, Jeff Probst, Mitt Romney, CBS, National Geographic Channel, CNBC’s Fast Money, C-SPAN and ESPN are among Tout’s existing users.

“WWE looks forward to partnering with Tout to grow this innovative social media platform,” said Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and CEO. “Tout’s real-time video technology will become a critical component of fan interactivity in our weekly television programming and will be utilized to connect WWE directly with our fans in new ways.”


INTERNET SENSATION LUCAS CRUIKSHANK AKA “FRED” FACES LIFE IN THE WORST SUMMER CAMP EVER IN THE NEW NICKELODEON ORIGINAL TV MOVIE COMEDY, FRED 3: CAMP FRED, PREMIERING SAT., JULY 28, AT 8 P.M. (ET/PT)

Tom Arnold, WWE Superstar John Cena, Desperate Housewives’ Charlie Carver, Victorious’ Daniella Monet, Supah Ninjas’ Carlos Knight and As The World Turns’ Jake Weary Also Star in Third Installment of Hit Franchise

Los Angeles, Calif., - July 12, 2012 - School’s out for the summer and the fast-talking, hyper teenager “Fred Figglehorn” is headed to camp in the brand-new TV movie starring internet sensation Lucas Cruikshank, Fred 3: Camp Fred, premiering Sat., July 28, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.

Based on one of the most popular internet characters of all time, the third installment of the hit TV movie franchise also features Tom Arnold as Floyd the camp director, WWE Superstar John Cena as Fred’s imaginary dad, Charlie Carver (Desperate Housewives) as Hugh Thompson the resident jock, Daniella Monet (Victorious) as Fred’s sassy best friend Bertha, Jake Weary (As The World Turns) and Carlos Knight (Supah Ninjas) as Fred’s rivals.

In Fred 3: Camp Fred, Fred’s mom (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) enrolls him in the world’s worst summer camp - the dilapidated Camp Iwannapeepee. Fred is miserable until he meets a motley group of campers who teach him what camp is really about – making new friends. Together, Fred and his new friends, “Magoo” (Joey Bragg), “Dig” (Adrian Kali Turner, Bad Teacher, The Walking Dead), “Spoon” (Leah Lewis), and “Chatter” (Matthew Scott Miller), are determined to muster up the strength and confidence to beat their rivals at the nearby posh Camp Superior in the annual Summer Camp Games.

Fred 3: Camp Fred is executive produced by Brian Robbins of Varsity Pictures, Michael Green, Gary Binkow and Evan Weiss of The Collective, and Lucas Cruikshank. The movie is written by Drew Hancock (Supah Ninjas, FRED: THE SHOW) and directed by Jonathan Judge (FRED: THE SHOW, Big Time Rush).

Fred 3: Camp Fred will be supported by the new site at www.nick.com/fred and will serve as a first-look location for fans to get information and fun facts about the movie and view exclusive footage for Fred and his world. New content will be added to the site regularly leading up to the movie premiere and over the next several weeks, the site will feature exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, an interactive map of Camp Iwannapeepee, letters from Fred, quizzes, teaser clips, games, photo galleries and more.

Camp Fred marks the third TV movie, following previous hits Fred: The Movie and Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred. Nickelodeon recently green-lit Marvin, Marvin, a new original half-hour comedy series starring Cruikshank, which follows the exploits of Marvin, an alien teen who is trying to fit into life on earth while living with his human family. In 2008, the Nebraska teenager created the popular ‘Fred’ character in a series of YouTube videos which have been viewed more than 900 million times. The latest digital iteration of the character features a new animated series on the FRED YouTube channel titled “IT’S FRED.” In 2010, Cruikshank was named one of “10 Comics to Watch” by Daily Variety and was listed among the 50 Top Digital Power Players by The Hollywood Reporter.

Producer Brian Robbins, founder and president of Varsity Pictures, is one of entertainment’s most prolific producers. In features, Robbins has directed and/or produced films such as Disney’s Wild Hogs, Dreamworks’ Norbit, Paramount’s Coach Carter, Disney’s The Shaggy Dog, Sony’s Radio and Paramount’s Varsity Blues. Robbins is currently in post production on his next feature The To-Do-List for CBS Films. Robbins is also responsible for numerous popular and critical television hits, including the long-running CW series Smallville and One Tree Hill, Disney Channel’s series Sonny with a Chance and Spike TV’s original scripted comedy, Blue Mountain State. Robbins was also the producing force behind series such as Nickelodeon’s All That, WB’s What I Like About You and HBO’s Arli$$.

The Collective is a leading entertainment management, production and distribution company. The Collective’s mission is to unlock the value of the direct relationship between artists and their fans by identifying, developing building and maximizing opportunities for creative talent across a multitude of media platforms. Clients include Linkin Park, Counting Crows, Enrique Iglesias, Slash, Alanis Morissette, Godsmack, Martin Lawrence, Emile Hirsch, Eliza Dushku, Eddie Izzard, Lucas Cruikshank and Dane Boedigheimer, creator of internet sensation “The Annoying Orange.” The Collective, through it's Collective Digtial Studio division, has most recently produced the hit television series "The High Frutose Adventures of Annoying Orange" airing on Cartoon Network, and the blockbuster feature length original web series "Video Game High School," from FreddieW creators Freddie Wong, Brandon Laatsch andRocketJump.com co-founder/producer Matt Arnold. Based in Beverly Hills, The Collective employs a staff of more than seventy employees.

About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 33rd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 17 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B).


Ric Flair’s 1000th RAW Status...

A number of WWE sources advise that Ric Flair is not expected for the 1,000th RAW episode later this month. Regarding Flair’s upcoming appearance for ICP’s Gathering of the Juggalos, he will not be wrestling but will be hosting the main stage which features music performances.


Dave Batista News Update: Movie and MMA Match...

The news of Batista appearing in “Man With the Iron Fist” was not the big announcement that he and his agent have been hyping for months. Batista says that announcement is still coming and that fans are going to flip out. He wrote on Twitter:
“Follow @JohnnyRyanJr he’s leaking the announcement this week. You fans are gonna f***ing flip out.”


Batista News Update...

Dave Batista, 43, is making his MMA debut. From his Twitter: "I'm making my MMA debut oct 6th live on PPV check it! BOOOOM there's the announcement. Sorry haters!" Show takes place October 6 at the Duncan Doughnuts Theater in Providence, Rhode Island. He'll be facing a guy named Rashid Evans who is 1-2 as an amateur. Batista has been training in MMA for quite awhile now and recently got his blue belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. TMZ claims the fight will air somewhere.


WWE Greatest Matches in RAW History...

WWE’s website has ranked the top 50 greatest matches in RAW history. Here are the top 10:

10. Owen Hart vs. The British Bulldog: European Title tournament finals (March 3, 1997)
9. Cactus Jack vs. Triple H: Falls Count Anywhere Match (Sept. 22, 1997)
8. Rob Van Dam vs. Edge vs. John Cena: WWE Championship Triple Threat Match (July 3, 2006)
7. The Rock vs. Mankind: WWE Championship Match (Jan. 4, 1999)
6. Rey Mysterio vs. John Cena: WWE Championship Match (July 25, 2011)
5. The Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy: Undisputed Championship Ladder Match (June 1, 2002)
4. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels: World Heavyweight Championship Match (Dec. 29, 2003)
3. Bret Hart vs. The 1-2-3 Kid: WWE Championship Match (July 11, 1994)
2. Ric Flair vs. Mr. Perfect: Loser Leaves WWE (Jan. 25, 1993)
1. John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels (April 23, 2007)


Legendary Indian Wrestler Dara Singh Passes Away, WWE Stars Comment...

India's most popular professional wrestler, Dara Singh, passed away Thursday morning at the age of 83 due to cardiac arrest.

Singh wrestled internationally from the 1940's through 1983, when he retired. He went on to have a successful movie career in India, and was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996.

William Regal commented on Singh's passing on his Twitter account, writing, "Very sad indeed to hear of the passing of the legendary Wrestler Dara Singh.I wrestled for him in India in 1992.A truly elegant gentleman."

Jim Ross also commented on his passing, writing on his Twitter, "Legit legend. Big rival of Lou Thesz. RIP."


Sheen quits Twitter; Off WWE RAW?...

According to TMZ, Charlie Sheen is officially off Twitter, which puts his status in question as "Social Media Ambassador" for the July 23 Raw recognizing 1,000 episodes. Sheen tweeted Thursday around midnight, "Reach for the stars everyone. dogspeed cadre. c out." Sheen commented to TMZ about quitting Twitter, "Thank you all for your amazing support. Trust me when I say please ‘follow’ me to my next endeavor. It’s gonna be epic.”


Charlie Sheen Screws Over WWE Two Weeks Before 1,000th Raw...

WWE is “losing.”

Two weeks before Charlie Sheen, star of the new FX sitcom, Anger Management, is scheduled to join WWE as the Celebrity Social Media Ambassador for the historic 1,000th episode of Raw SuperShow, the award-winning actor is giving the heave-ho to social media.

TMZ.com reported Thursday night that Sheen plans to shut down his Twitter account within days, or possibly hours, due to his belief that the social media platform is not worth his while.

During the three-hour milestone event July 23 at 8/7 CT on USA Network, the “winning” actor is scheduled to entertain his 7.7 million Twitter followers and the WWE Universe all night long with his unique 140-character analysis of the action.


Sonnen will rest, then decide on UFC future; Not Signing With WWE...

MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Chael Sonnen will give himself some time to rest before deciding on his next career move following a technical knockout loss to rival Anderson Silva of Brazil.

Sonnen lost to Silva for the second time in his career at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, once again failing to win the UFC middleweight championship.

Following his loss, one of Sonnen’s coaches, Neil Melanson, went on record saying he believes the fighter may hang up his gloves, but Sonnen said he has not made a decision on his future yet.

“I don’t think any athlete should begin to think like that or think about that until you let about 30 days go by,” Sonnen said, as quoted by ESPN.

“In anything in life, you don’t want to make a decision based on emotion,” he added.

Sonnen said he plans to take a month off before making a decision.

“You have highs and very big lows in this sport. You don’t want to make any drastic decisions,” he said.

Sonnen came close to defeating Silva when they first fought at UFC 117, but succumbed to a triangle choke late in the fifth round.

In the rematch, Sonnen again had success in the first round, taking Silva down easily. But Silva took control in the second round, and when Sonnen slipped after attempting a spinning backfist, the Brazilian pounced.

Sonnen said he doesn’t want to announce his retirement, only to make a comeback after a while.

“I think that it’s an insult to the fans when guys like to come out and say ‘I’m retired.’ What they really mean is, ‘I’ll see everybody in 18 months, because I’m coming back,’” Sonnen said.

“I don’t want to do that. But when I get to that point in my career, I’ll make a statement, and I’ll never look back,” he added.


'Amazing Spider-Man' Tops Box Office, Snares $140 Million Over Six Days...

After a record-setting opening day, "The Amazing Spider-Man" remained strong through the weekend, helping the Sony/Columbia production earn $140 million in less than a week in theaters. Oliver Stone's "Savages" also opened with a decent $16 million in revenue, though music documentary "Katy Perry: Part of Me" struggled to find an audience and racked up just $7 million. Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" also continued to hit with its target demographic, hauling in $32 million and pushing its 10-day total to an enormous $120 million in domestic revenue.

With a $230 million production budget and a very large built-in fan base, expectations were understandably high for "The Amazing Spider-Man." The Sony/Columbia reboot didn't take long to find its audience, racking up $35 million in revenue on Tuesday alone and putting up solid numbers throughout the rest of the week. "The Amazing Spider-Man" ended up with $65 million in weekend revenue, helping it to hit the lofty industry expectations.

Globally, "The Amazing Spider-Man" also got off to a good start by bringing in more than $200 million in revenue outside of the U.S. After already eclipsing $340 million worldwide, "The Amazing Spider-Man" will easily cruise past $500 million in worldwide revenue in the coming weeks, though it's still unclear whether it will be able to challenge the franchise-best $890 million that "Spider-Man 3" brought in. Without any major new competition until "The Dark Knight Rises" opens in a couple weeks, "Spider-Man" should remain a box office stalwart and continue to put up some big overall numbers throughout the rest of the month.

As mainstream action audiences came out in droves to see the new version of "Spider-Man," older audience members turned up for Oliver Stone's thriller "Savages." Backed by some decent critical reviews, "Savages" ended up with a decent $16 million in opening revenue - a strong total for a $45 million production. "Savages" also doesn't have to worry about too much new competition next weekend, opening the door for another decent revenue haul.

While "Spider-Man" and "Savages" mainly hit with their target demographics, "Katy Perry: Part of Me" wasn't quite as fortunate. "Katy Perry" managed just $7.15 million over the weekend and $10.25 million in its first four days following its Thursday release. Though these are unimpressive numbers for a release of more than 2,700 total venues, "Katy Perry" also comes with a slender production budget of just $12 million. "Katy Perry" won't end up as one of the most lucrative music documentaries released in recent years, but it should end up as an overall success for distributor Paramount.

Aiming at a much different demographic than "Katy Perry" this weekend was "Ted," which headed into its second weekend with plenty of buzz. After dominating the box office a week ago and posting $54 million, "Ted" dipped just 40% from its opening totals and finished the weekend with $32 million. Now with $120 million domestically in just 10 days in theaters, "Ted" is easily the top R-rated hit of the year and might even challenge $200 million in the U.S. if it can remain strong in the coming weekends.

Also continuing to hit with its intended audience was Pixar/Disney's "Brave." "Brave" earned $20 million in its third weekend in theaters, pushing it to a very solid $174 million in its first 17 days. Foreign numbers have been slow so far for "Brave," though that should also change as it gets released in its biggest overseas markets in the coming weekends. The only real problem for "Brave" is the impending release of "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which opens this weekend with an enormous built-in family audience.

Next weekend, the release schedule will slow down, as "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is the only new title slated to hit theaters in wide release. Though not as touted as some other animated franchises, "Ice Age" has been a great success for Fox, with enormous worldwide revenues despite production budgets roughly half the size of Pixar releases. The following weekend, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" brings a similar amount of hype as "The Avengers" and is a lock to dominate the box office well into August.

Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 7/6/12 - 7/8/12 (In Millions):

1. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony/Columbia): $65 [$70]

2. Ted (Universal): $32.59 [$32]

3. Brave (Disney): $20.16 [$18]

4. Savages (Universal): $16.16 [$13.5]

5. Magic Mike (Warner Brothers): $15.61 [$21]

6. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (Lionsgate): $10.20 [$11.5]

7. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $7.70 [$6.4]

8. Katy Perry: Part of Me (Paramount): $7.15 [$13]

9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $4.64 [$2.6]

10. To Rome with Love (Sony Classics): $3.50 [N/A]






Hugh Jackman Joined By Six Additions to Cast of The Wolverine...

If director James Mangold's (3:10 to Yuma) The Wolverine hadn't been beset by weather, script and scheduling problems — title star Hugh Jackman opted to star in the musical version of Les Miserables rather than wait for those issues to be sorted out — the movie would currently be in post-production, with potentially enough edited footage to offer at least a teaser at this week's San Diego Comic-Con. As it is, Mangold is spending his time in the casting room, rather than the editing room, as he tries to put together a cast to support Jackman. In the last several days, six actors have joined the cast of The Wolverine, which takes Logan (Jackman) far away from his X-Men teammates and his wilderness retreat in Canada to Japan, where he must fight against the Silver Samurai and the deadly Hand ninjas at his command.

Written by Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie), with rewrites by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), The Wolverine is based on the classic Marvel Comics limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, creator of Sin City and 300. The series stripped away Wolverine's superhero trappings and thrust him into a Japanese underworld brimming with feudal warriors and mystical ninjas. According to the list compiled by Empire from various sources, the cast will include: Hiroyuki Sanada (Speed Race) as Japanese crimelord Shingen Harada, leader of Clan Yashida; Tao Okamoto as Shingen's daughter and Wolverine's love interest, Mariko Yashida; Will Yun Lee (Total Recall remake) as Mariko's mutant half-brother, Kenuichio Harada, a.k.a. the Silver Samurai; Rila Fukushima as Yukio, an assassin who drugs Wolverine before his duel with Shingen; Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) as Yashida; and Brian Tee (Wedding Palace) as Noboru Mori, a corrupt minister of justice betrothed to Mariko.

The Wolverine is set to begin shooting next month. It will primarily be filmed in Jackman's native Australia, but will also shoot on location in Japan.

Next Showing:The Wolverine is slated to open July 26, 2013 (Reelz)


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson In Highest Paid Actors List...

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was listed at #4 on the Forbes annual list of the highest paid actors in the world over the past year. Johnson was reported as earning $36 million this past year, behind only Tom Cruise ($75 million), Leonardo DiCaprio ($37 million) and Adam Sandler ($37 million).


'Amazing Spider-Man' finishes weekend with $62M...

LOS ANGELES (AP) "The Amazing Spider-Man" had a slightly slower start at the box office than initially estimated, taking in $62 million domestically over opening weekend.

The final numbers Monday came in $3 million lower than the $65 million that distributor Sony had projected a day earlier, but it still was a healthy start for the new take on the Marvel Comics superhero.

Since opening last Tuesday, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has taken in $137 million domestically. Its worldwide total is about $340 million since it began rolling out overseas the previous week.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are:

1. "The Amazing Spider Man," Sony, $62,004,688, 4,318 locations, $14,360 average, $137,022,258, one week.

2. "Ted," Universal, $32,202,395, 3,256 locations, $9,890 average, $119,849,740, two weeks.

3. "Brave," Disney, $19,612,370, 3,891 locations, $5,040 average, $173,969,341, three weeks.

4. "Savages," Universal, $16,016,910, 2,628 locations, $6,095 average, $16,016,910, one week.

5. "Magic Mike," Warner Bros., $15,642,337, 3,120 locations, $5,014 average, $72,829,107, two weeks.

6. "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," Lionsgate, $10,177,029, 2,161 locations, $4,709 average, $45,822,984, two weeks.

7. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Paramount, $7,520,690, 2,861 locations, $2,629 average, $195,905,126, five weeks.

8. "Katy Perry: Part of Me," Paramount, $7,138,266, 2,730 locations, $2,615 average, $10,240,213, one week.

9. "Moonrise Kingdom," Focus Features, $4,519,195, 884 locations, $5,112 average, $26,780,989, seven weeks.

10. "To Rome with Love," Sony Pictures Classics, $3,104,328, 806 locations, $3,852 average, $4,863,538, three weeks.

11. "People Like Us," Disney, $2,194,535, 2,055 locations, $1,068 average, $9,190,902, two weeks.

12. "The Avengers," Disney, $2,168,124, 1,125 locations, $1,927 average, $611,127,884, 10 weeks.

13. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," Fox, $1,944,534, 1,657 locations, $1,174 average, $34,050,910, three weeks.

14. "Prometheus," Fox, $1,815,500, 1,105 locations, $1,643 average, $122,390,274, five weeks.

15. "Snow White & the Huntsman," Universal, $1,768,355, 1,152 locations, $1,535 average, $149,756,565, six weeks.

16. "Men in Black 3," Sony, $1,680,714, 879 locations, $1,912 average, $173,089,690, seven weeks.

17. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," Fox Searchlight, $741,091, 359 locations, $2,064 average, $41,991,873, 10 weeks.

18. "Rock of Ages," Warner Bros., $639,406, 701 locations, $912 average, $36,974,619, four weeks.

19. "That's My Boy," Sony, $621,656, 400 locations, $1,554 average, $36,100,833, four weeks.

20. "Bol Bachchan," FIP, $561,996, 98 locations, $5,735 average, $561,996, one week.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


Roger Moore croons 007 birthday song...

PARIS — One-time 007 Roger Moore has teamed up with a former Bond Girl to record a song marking 50 years of the spy's on-screen adventures, a James Bond fan club said on Wednesday.

The 84-year-old British actor took over Bond film duties from Sean Connery in 1973, making his debut in "Live and Let Die" before completing the sequence with "A View to a Kill" 12 years later.

He teamed up with Irka Bochenko, his co-star in the 1979 film "Moonraker", for the anniversary duet titled "Happy Birthday Mr. Bond!", the spy's French fan club told AFP.

Extracts will be posted online at www.jamesbond007.net ahead of the record's release in September.

Hundreds of items -- from tuxedos to bikinis and vodka martinis -- went on show at London's Barbican Centre last week to mark 50 years since Bond made the jump from Ian Fleming's novels to the silver screen with the 1962 "Dr No".

The next Bond movie, "Skyfall", directed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig as the glamorous spy, will hit world screens from October.


Wrestling's Living Legend Bruno Sammartino Talks WWE, Vince McMahon...

Bruno Sammartino appeared on Inside The Ropes on Thursday night. Here are some highlights...

Memories of WrestleMania 1: “When McMahon contacted me after Vince Sr died, he asked me if I would come back saying he wanted to carry on his fathers tradition and who better to do that with than me because I’d been there for so many years. I agreed because he said I’d do broadcasting once every three weeks. Everything turned out to be not true. He did not keep in his father’s tradition. He made changes that I personally didn’t care for. I saw the disgusting steroid and drug use that bother me tremendously so things started going bad for me in that relationship. As for that WrestleMania, I had no idea how big it would be. I was there as a second, with my son on the ring. I was so unhappy at the time. I just wanted to get away from there.”

The Changes in Wrestling He Didn’t Like: “Not that we had girl wrestlers, they brought them in skimpy. The wrestling, they started getting more vulgar, the profanity, the language. Everything had changed. Triple H having sex with a corpse in a casket. You can imagine what that would do to someone like me who had been in the business 25 years and see this. To see Steve Austin, the champion, he had a can of beer in his hand and they had to bleep every word, there were little kids in the audience. It appalled me.”

Thoughts on Hulk Hogan: “People get fooled by publicity. Hogan wasn’t a good champion at all. In 1985, Hogan had been champion for a year and a half. Vince asked me to put on the tights because the house was down. He would do a good house the first time, but if he came back the second, or dare the third time, he couldn’t draw. He wasn’t a great performer. It did not work. He would use him more for merchandise and pay per view events. He was not a good for a champion like previous people.”

Backstage Incident With Ric Flair In 2004: “He’s an idiot. A first class pathetic idiot. He wrote a book and said something that wasn’t very complimentary about me, I haven’t read it so I don’t know. So I’m standing in the hallway at the show talking to 2, 3 people and my back was turned to him. When I turned round and he saw me, I started walking towards him to say hello and he turned away and ran. Later he told one of the Hebner brothers that he wanted to come say hello to me but I turned my back on him and ignored him. Which is a complete bold class lie.”

Why He’s Not in the Hall of Fame: “I am in the Hall of Fame. The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. Only wrestlers get inducted there. When you talk about McMahon’s Hall of Fame, I absolutely wouldn’t have any part of it because of my feelings for him and his company. Secondly, it’s not a legitimate Hall of Fame. When you have kids and you wanna go see a building, there’s nowhere to go. It’s just a marketing campaign. Look who’s in it, game show hosts, Drew Carey. A baseball player, football player. I’d be embarrassed to be in that Hall of Fame.”

What He’d Do if He Wa Inducted Into the Hall of Fame Post-Humously: “I don’t know the law….that’s something an attorney would have to tell me. I don’t know what the law is on that. That’s a good question. I’m glad you asked me that because I’m going to ask my lawyer about that.”

Chris Jericho Band News: Fozzy new album...

Fozzy's next album, "Sin And Bones," will be released on August 14th. The lead single from the album, "Sandpaper," will premiere this Thursday on RevolverMag.com and July 17th on iTunes.


Stone Cold Steve Austin appearing in movie 'Grown Ups 2"...

WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is listed for the movie "Grown Ups 2" that stars a who's who of top comedy stars and other notable actors. In addition to Austin, the list of actors includes Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, Maya Rudolf, Taylor Lautner, Steve Buscemi, Salma Hayek, and Alexander Ludwig from "Hunger Games." Mainstream news outlets covered the movie this week due to the addition of Paulina Gretzky - the daughter of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky - to the cast list.


Vince McMahon interviewed by WWE.com on RAW...

Vince McMahon was interviewed about the Raw 1000 on the WWE website. McMahon noted that the “Raw” name was one he came up with.

McMahon was asked about WCW Monday Nitro and the competition it provided for the company in the 1990s, saying, “Generally speaking, good competition is great for a product. It keeps you on your toes, and forces you to adapt.” He also noted that at the time, he wasn’t watching WCW but had others tell him what was going on, since he was focused on improving their own product.

When asked about Raw running WCW out of business, McMahon said that they didn’t, noting, “I don’t think we drove WCW out of business. That was certainly never our intent. That was the mindset of Ted Turner and WCW, but not WWE. See, if you spend all of your energy trying to kill the other guy, your product suffers. If you don’t kill the other guy, then he’s going to come back at you, and when he comes back, you won’t have done anything to make your house better. It’s no different than being in a fight and knowing that, if the other guy keeps on hitting you, that son of a bitch is going to wear himself out pretty fast.”

The idea of bringing Raw back to the Manhattan Center, where the first show was broadcast live in Raw 1993 was suggested to McMahon. He commented, “Actually, we’ve thought about it. But, the thing about nostalgia is that people, and WWE fans, tend to be more nostalgic about Superstars, rather than places. The audience is interested in the personalities, rather than how the business has evolved.”

McMahon also commented on balancing the product for fans today and the Attitude era fans, noting, “It’s a delicate balance. Prior to Raw, back in the territorial system, my father was on to something. He believed the future of the business was in “entertainment” more than the rest of the promoters. Raw stays true to that concept, because Raw is a variety show. You name it, and Raw has it. Action, drama, athleticism…Raw really does have it all.”

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Pro Wrestling; Movie connection; Hollywood and Entertainment news; Spider-Man Inspired By Masked Luchadors

Pro Wrestling; Movie connection; Hollywood and Entertainment news; Spider-Man Inspired By Masked Luchadors...

The Media Man agency has another piledriver and bodyslamming look at the connection between Hollywood movies and professional wrestling. WWE and Marvel comic book - Spider-Man fans once again cheer on their masked heroes and some even get the guts to play the Spider-Man online games, in this web of extreme entertainment.

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Spider-Man Inspired By Masked Luchadors...

In The Amazing Spider-Man, which hit theaters Tuesday, Peter Parker is inspired to create a mask after winding up inside a wrestling ring surrounded by posters of masked luchadors. It is not the first wrestling connection in the movie franchise as in the premiere film released in 2002, Peter enters a wrestling tournament and squares off against a character portrayed by the late Randy "Macho Man" Savage.


Spider-Man movie has strong ties to pro wrestling; "Macho Man" Randy Savage connection...

The Amazing Spider-Man was released during the Independence Day week and so far the flick has performed well, netting in $35 U.S million on its opening day.

While the record-setting Tuesday opening is awesome, it is something else which has pro wrestling fans excited about the latest reboot of the superhero franchise.

In the original film, starring Tobey Maguire, we witnessed Spider-Man enter a pro wrestling match in order to win a sum of cash which would allow him to purchase a used car he thought would impress Mary Jane.

Initially, Peter Parker wanted to be called The Human Spider, but Bruce Campbell put a stop to that nonsense and sent him down to the ring as Spider-Man.

As if seeing the man most famously known as Ash Williams wasn't enough, we were treated to a second cameo within seconds.

Spidey was facing off against Bonesaw McGraw, who was played by the late, great Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

It was here where Spidey first faced off against a foe who put him through hell.

This cameo by the legendary "Macho Man" was warmly welcomed by wrestling fans who had missed Savage. The new film, featuring Andrew Garfield as the webby one has gone back to its roots and given Peter Parker another wrestling-based inspiration.

At one point in the film Peter Parker is walking away from a group of hoodlums he had just schooled when he falls through a roof, landing in the middle of a wrestling ring.

When he stood up and looked around he saw what provided him with the inspiration for his signature mask.

The small arena was filled with signs featuring Lucha Libre masks, one of which catches Parker's eye more than the others.

The mask is red with dark-colored designs surrounding the eyes, nearly an exact copy of Spidey's look sans the webbing all over the face area.

Director Marc Webb made a lot of wrestling fans happy by inserting another inspiration for Spider-Man which is based in the world of pro wrestling.

Wrestling fans and comic book fans have a large cross over audience which these film makers have smartly plugged into - further casting their own web, to help increase net profits of course.

Comics and pro wrestling have a few elements in common. They both feature people dressed in fancy outfits, have signature attacks / finishing moves, and have a good VS evil theme for the most part.

Both Marc Webb and Sam Raimi chose to use wrestling as a launching pad for Peter Parker is also another point that wrestling fans are high on.

This latest part of the Hollywood - pro wrestling connection has gone over well and may even lead to the wrestling themes been further cast out in the Hollywood movie web and the movie industry wrestles attempting to get back some of the glory and money it used to make.


Marvel Entertainment Movies: Amazing Spider-Man, Thor 2, The Avengers Et Al Boost Popularity Of Marvel Slot Games...

The Media Man agency reports that Marvel themed online slot games across the network, and featured at partner, PartyCasino.com , are boosting the popularity of the superhero themed online slot games. Bwin.Party currently offers The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, with more expected to soon hit the popular gaming and entertainment website destination.


WWE Keen To Work With UFC Fighter; Ties To C.M Punk And "Stone Cold" Steve Austin...

Various news media is reporting that WWE is interested in working with 35 year old UFC fighter "The American Gangster" Chael Sonnen. Sonnen lost to Anderson Silva at Saturday's UFC 148 pay-per-view but word is that WWE is ready to negotiate. No word yet if they want him to wrestle or play another kind of role.

Sonnen has ties to WWE as he is mates with WWE Champion CM Punk. Punk was ready to accompany Sonnen to the Octagon for a fight several months back but that was nixed.

Sonnen is also close to WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin. Austin has been bringing Sonnen out to his Broken Skull Ranch in Texas to help him with strength and conditioning training.


UFC 148: Chael Sonnen's Coach Planned Appeal, Demands Rematch from UFC Top Brass Dana White...

Although middleweight contender Chael Sonnen seemed to accept his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 148, we have learned that Sonnen's team is less forgiving of Silva's potentially illegal tactics. They think that a knee strike to a seated Sonnen, which hit the challenger in the chest, also connected solidly with Sonnen's face, making it an illegal strike.

"Chael's not the kind of guy who likes to complain after a fight," Sonnen's head trainer Scott McQuarry said. "I felt I needed to take this action to protect him. At the point of impact, Anderson had his hand locked in the cage and his feet left the ground. We believe his intentions were clear.

"We started the process of filing a complaint with the Nevada Athletic Commission. We believe the knee that Anderson Silva threw was illegal with the clear intent to strike the face. And it did in fact connect with the face. Chael bit his tongue and needed eight stitches."

McQuarry believes the potentially illegal knee changed the remainder of the fight, creating the opening for Silva to finish the bout with punches. After contacting Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer to determine how to proceed, he was informed that filing a complaint would almost certainly not result in the fight being declared a no contest.

Rather, McQuarry is taking his case to the fans and UFC president Dana White.

"What I'm going to do is change my tactic," McQuarry said. "We're going to ask for a rematch. We deserve a rematch. If the only way Anderson Silva can win is by cheating, we need to keep a closer eye on Silva before and during a fight. And we need a rematch now. Legal knee or illegal knee, there's enough doubt with all the fouls to warrant a rematch."

In addition to the knee strike, Silva was also caught rubbing Vaseline on his chest. Although referee Yves Lavigne caught this, McQuarry says that the substance sinks into the pores, making simply wiping it off ineffective. Additionally, Silva was warned twice for grabbing Sonnen's shorts during the fight.

"I think it did make a difference in the outcome," McQuarry said. "I know that Chael grabbed Silva's shorts briefly too in response, but not for 15 seconds and two punches."

While Sonnen and his team weigh their options, McQuarry hopes the people will make their voices heard.

"They need to call the UFC. We need a rematch. Chael is a great champion and deserves a fair fight."

In the meantime Sonnen is understood to be keen to further open up lines of communication with the WWE, and this will likely be facilitated by friends in the business including "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and C.M Punk.

Right not Sonnen is hot property and is doing well to keep his name in the press as excitement grows as to what next for this unique and tough as nails talent.


WWE Legend Bob Backlund May Return To WWE RAW Tonight...

Former two time WWF Champion Bob Backlund is heavily expected to be the returning “main event” legend during tonight’s WWE Raw SuperShow. The likelihood is he will be wrestling or at the very least will be involved in an angle with Heath Slater, as has been the segments in previous weeks involving Vader, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Psycho Sid and Doink The Clown and "Diamond" Dallas Page.

News media reports that Backlund was visiting his mother at her Minnesota rest home this past weekend and was telling people there that he was heading to fly right out to Denver, Colardo, which is the location for tonight’s WWE Raw SuperShow.

Backlund last appeared on WWE television back in 2007 at the RAW 15th anniversary show that December where he participated in a Battle Royal. That appearance came just a few short months after Backlund defeated Alex Shelley at TNA’s Slammiversary pay-per-view and also after wrestled at TNA Victory Road.

62-year-old Backlund holds the record for the second longest WWF title reign in history and was one of the biggest wrestling stars of the late 70′s and early 80′s. He had a second, less successful stint with the WWF in the early 90′s and even appeared in the Attitude Era at the 2000 Royal Rumble and briefly managed former Olympian Kurt Angle.

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INXS performs at Campbelltown RSL Club, Sydney - 13th July 2012

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Australian rock legends INXS performed at Campbelltown RSL Club tonight, as their Coast to Coast Tour continued.

They have been rocking for more than 30 years together and performed 5000 or so shows.

Guitarist Tim Farriss told news media that folks of the Macarthur region should brace themselves for the show of a life-time.

"The people of Campbelltown are going to get a surprise," he said. "It's one of the last shows on the tour so we are exited - big time.

"We'll be playing all the songs you really want to hear.

"People can expect to see INXS and a typical INXS show."

As well as touring Australia's regional and coastal hot spots the INXS band have been working away on a new album.

"People can expect a new record soon, we've been writing and hopeful will be recording by August," Farriss said. "Hopefully it will be released towards the end of the year."

INXS classics like 'Need You Tonight', 'Burn for You' and 'Never Tear Us Apart' were all belted our beautifually tonight and the fans went home very happy.

Zoophyte was the support group and they did a fantastic job in warming everyone up for the main event.

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'Amazing Spider-Man' Tops Box Office, Snares $140 Million Over Six Days

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'Amazing Spider-Man' Tops Box Office, Snares $140 Million Over Six Days...

After a record-setting opening day, "The Amazing Spider-Man" remained strong through the weekend, helping the Sony/Columbia production earn $140 million in less than a week in theaters. Oliver Stone's "Savages" also opened with a decent $16 million in revenue, though music documentary "Katy Perry: Part of Me" struggled to find an audience and racked up just $7 million. Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" also continued to hit with its target demographic, hauling in $32 million and pushing its 10-day total to an enormous $120 million in domestic revenue.

With a $230 million production budget and a very large built-in fan base, expectations were understandably high for "The Amazing Spider-Man." The Sony/Columbia reboot didn't take long to find its audience, racking up $35 million in revenue on Tuesday alone and putting up solid numbers throughout the rest of the week. "The Amazing Spider-Man" ended up with $65 million in weekend revenue, helping it to hit the lofty industry expectations.

Globally, "The Amazing Spider-Man" also got off to a good start by bringing in more than $200 million in revenue outside of the U.S. After already eclipsing $340 million worldwide, "The Amazing Spider-Man" will easily cruise past $500 million in worldwide revenue in the coming weeks, though it's still unclear whether it will be able to challenge the franchise-best $890 million that "Spider-Man 3" brought in. Without any major new competition until "The Dark Knight Rises" opens in a couple weeks, "Spider-Man" should remain a box office stalwart and continue to put up some big overall numbers throughout the rest of the month.

As mainstream action audiences came out in droves to see the new version of "Spider-Man," older audience members turned up for Oliver Stone's thriller "Savages." Backed by some decent critical reviews, "Savages" ended up with a decent $16 million in opening revenue - a strong total for a $45 million production. "Savages" also doesn't have to worry about too much new competition next weekend, opening the door for another decent revenue haul.

While "Spider-Man" and "Savages" mainly hit with their target demographics, "Katy Perry: Part of Me" wasn't quite as fortunate. "Katy Perry" managed just $7.15 million over the weekend and $10.25 million in its first four days following its Thursday release. Though these are unimpressive numbers for a release of more than 2,700 total venues, "Katy Perry" also comes with a slender production budget of just $12 million. "Katy Perry" won't end up as one of the most lucrative music documentaries released in recent years, but it should end up as an overall success for distributor Paramount.

Aiming at a much different demographic than "Katy Perry" this weekend was "Ted," which headed into its second weekend with plenty of buzz. After dominating the box office a week ago and posting $54 million, "Ted" dipped just 40% from its opening totals and finished the weekend with $32 million. Now with $120 million domestically in just 10 days in theaters, "Ted" is easily the top R-rated hit of the year and might even challenge $200 million in the U.S. if it can remain strong in the coming weekends.

Also continuing to hit with its intended audience was Pixar/Disney's "Brave." "Brave" earned $20 million in its third weekend in theaters, pushing it to a very solid $174 million in its first 17 days. Foreign numbers have been slow so far for "Brave," though that should also change as it gets released in its biggest overseas markets in the coming weekends. The only real problem for "Brave" is the impending release of "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which opens this weekend with an enormous built-in family audience.

Next weekend, the release schedule will slow down, as "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is the only new title slated to hit theaters in wide release. Though not as touted as some other animated franchises, "Ice Age" has been a great success for Fox, with enormous worldwide revenues despite production budgets roughly half the size of Pixar releases. The following weekend, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" brings a similar amount of hype as "The Avengers" and is a lock to dominate the box office well into August.

Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 7/6/12 - 7/8/12 (In Millions):

1. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony/Columbia): $65 [$70]

2. Ted (Universal): $32.59 [$32]

3. Brave (Disney): $20.16 [$18]

4. Savages (Universal): $16.16 [$13.5]

5. Magic Mike (Warner Brothers): $15.61 [$21]

6. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (Lionsgate): $10.20 [$11.5]

7. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $7.70 [$6.4]

8. Katy Perry: Part of Me (Paramount): $7.15 [$13]

9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $4.64 [$2.6]

10. To Rome with Love (Sony Classics): $3.50 [N/A]







Hugh Jackman Joined By Six Additions to Cast of The Wolverine...

If director James Mangold's (3:10 to Yuma) The Wolverine hadn't been beset by weather, script and scheduling problems — title star Hugh Jackman opted to star in the musical version of Les Miserables rather than wait for those issues to be sorted out — the movie would currently be in post-production, with potentially enough edited footage to offer at least a teaser at this week's San Diego Comic-Con. As it is, Mangold is spending his time in the casting room, rather than the editing room, as he tries to put together a cast to support Jackman. In the last several days, six actors have joined the cast of The Wolverine, which takes Logan (Jackman) far away from his X-Men teammates and his wilderness retreat in Canada to Japan, where he must fight against the Silver Samurai and the deadly Hand ninjas at his command.

Written by Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie), with rewrites by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), The Wolverine is based on the classic Marvel Comics limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, creator of Sin City and 300. The series stripped away Wolverine's superhero trappings and thrust him into a Japanese underworld brimming with feudal warriors and mystical ninjas. According to the list compiled by Empire from various sources, the cast will include: Hiroyuki Sanada (Speed Race) as Japanese crimelord Shingen Harada, leader of Clan Yashida; Tao Okamoto as Shingen's daughter and Wolverine's love interest, Mariko Yashida; Will Yun Lee (Total Recall remake) as Mariko's mutant half-brother, Kenuichio Harada, a.k.a. the Silver Samurai; Rila Fukushima as Yukio, an assassin who drugs Wolverine before his duel with Shingen; Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) as Yashida; and Brian Tee (Wedding Palace) as Noboru Mori, a corrupt minister of justice betrothed to Mariko.

The Wolverine is set to begin shooting next month. It will primarily be filmed in Jackman's native Australia, but will also shoot on location in Japan.

Next Showing:The Wolverine is slated to open July 26, 2013 (Reelz)


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson In Highest Paid Actors List...

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was listed at #4 on the Forbes annual list of the highest paid actors in the world over the past year. Johnson was reported as earning $36 million this past year, behind only Tom Cruise ($75 million), Leonardo DiCaprio ($37 million) and Adam Sandler ($37 million).


Bwin.party warns over 'predictable' Euro 2012 results...

Bwin.party digital entertainment, the world’s largest listed online gaming company, said a run of “predictable” results in the Euro 2012 football championships marred an otherwise “solid” second quarter performance.

The football tournament, in which all of the favourites progressed to the later stages, is believed to have hit the betting industry hard this summer.

Bwin said customer numbers and activity rose during the tournament but gross margins were “lower than expected”.

Despite this, the online gambling group said its casino and bingo products helped offset the weakness in sports betting and “continued pressures” in poker.

Bwin had been in negotiations with Shuffle Master (NasdaqGS: SHFL - news) to offload Ongame, its poker network, but talks were aborted at the end of last month after the two sides failed to reach agreement.

In a pre-close trading update on Tuesday, bwin said several parties were interested in buying Ongame.

The group claims it has reached a top three market position in Spain, where online gaming was recently opened up by authorities.

Looking ahead, the company warned gaming taxes in Germany and an investment in social games games that are played through sites such as Facebook would impact its performance in the second half. (News Corp)


Zynga is “all in” to acquire Bwin.party-owned poker business Ongame: Report...

Social gaming juggernaut Zynga is poised to take over online poker provider Ongame Network from its current owner, Internet gambling powerhouse Bwin.party.

An exclusive report from eGaming Review (eGR) – behind a paywall – says Zynga is ‘leading the race’ to acquire Ongame, although there are four other unnamed bidders at the table (poker pun intended).

Zynga has made a ‘verbal offer’, according to eGR’s sources, and have reportedly visited Ongame’s Stockholm headquarters last Friday.

Gambling table and slot machine maker Shuffle Master had already agreed and announced that it would be purchasing for up to $38.9 million in cash in February 2012, but it dropped those plans last week.

Interestingly, Shuffle Master said it would pay out 10 million euros ($12.6 million) of that total purchase price within five years of the transaction closing, provided that real-money online poker would be legal in the United States within such period – something that will happen eventually but is taking time.

Not familiar with Ongame? Here’s what they do, according to their website:

Ongame is the world’s leading B2B online poker provider, serving partnes including bwin, Betfair, Betsson and Unibet. Reaching over 20 million customers in more than 25 markets, with an international network licensed in Gibraltar, as well as regional networks in Italy and France.

Ongame is the premier choice for sportsbook operators, providing a poker environment optimized for recreational players and a proven track record of increasing partner revenues.

Ongame claims P5, the game engine powering its poker offering, is the ‘most advanced poker engine ever designed’.

The company is owned by Bwin.party as a result of an earlier merger, and has been dubbed by the latter as a ‘surplus asset’.

Zynga of course offers a wildly popular poker game called – wait for it – Zynga Poker, which can be played on Zynga.com, Facebook, iOS and Android devices.

In fact, Zynga Poker was the company’s very first game.

It certainly makes a lot of sense for them to buy Ongame Networks, even if it’s to keep it out of the hands of other players looking to move online with poker games as soon as it becomes legal in the US, and the company certainly has the cash on hand to make this kind of acquisition.


'Amazing Spider-Man' finishes weekend with $62M...

LOS ANGELES (AP) "The Amazing Spider-Man" had a slightly slower start at the box office than initially estimated, taking in $62 million domestically over opening weekend.

The final numbers Monday came in $3 million lower than the $65 million that distributor Sony had projected a day earlier, but it still was a healthy start for the new take on the Marvel Comics superhero.

Since opening last Tuesday, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has taken in $137 million domestically. Its worldwide total is about $340 million since it began rolling out overseas the previous week.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are:

1. "The Amazing Spider Man," Sony, $62,004,688, 4,318 locations, $14,360 average, $137,022,258, one week.

2. "Ted," Universal, $32,202,395, 3,256 locations, $9,890 average, $119,849,740, two weeks.

3. "Brave," Disney, $19,612,370, 3,891 locations, $5,040 average, $173,969,341, three weeks.

4. "Savages," Universal, $16,016,910, 2,628 locations, $6,095 average, $16,016,910, one week.

5. "Magic Mike," Warner Bros., $15,642,337, 3,120 locations, $5,014 average, $72,829,107, two weeks.

6. "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," Lionsgate, $10,177,029, 2,161 locations, $4,709 average, $45,822,984, two weeks.

7. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Paramount, $7,520,690, 2,861 locations, $2,629 average, $195,905,126, five weeks.

8. "Katy Perry: Part of Me," Paramount, $7,138,266, 2,730 locations, $2,615 average, $10,240,213, one week.

9. "Moonrise Kingdom," Focus Features, $4,519,195, 884 locations, $5,112 average, $26,780,989, seven weeks.

10. "To Rome with Love," Sony Pictures Classics, $3,104,328, 806 locations, $3,852 average, $4,863,538, three weeks.

11. "People Like Us," Disney, $2,194,535, 2,055 locations, $1,068 average, $9,190,902, two weeks.

12. "The Avengers," Disney, $2,168,124, 1,125 locations, $1,927 average, $611,127,884, 10 weeks.

13. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," Fox, $1,944,534, 1,657 locations, $1,174 average, $34,050,910, three weeks.

14. "Prometheus," Fox, $1,815,500, 1,105 locations, $1,643 average, $122,390,274, five weeks.

15. "Snow White & the Huntsman," Universal, $1,768,355, 1,152 locations, $1,535 average, $149,756,565, six weeks.

16. "Men in Black 3," Sony, $1,680,714, 879 locations, $1,912 average, $173,089,690, seven weeks.

17. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," Fox Searchlight, $741,091, 359 locations, $2,064 average, $41,991,873, 10 weeks.

18. "Rock of Ages," Warner Bros., $639,406, 701 locations, $912 average, $36,974,619, four weeks.

19. "That's My Boy," Sony, $621,656, 400 locations, $1,554 average, $36,100,833, four weeks.

20. "Bol Bachchan," FIP, $561,996, 98 locations, $5,735 average, $561,996, one week.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


Broker snap: Taxing times for bwin.party, says Peel Hunt...

Peel Hunt has pared its target price for online gaming group bwin.party digital entertainment from 140p to 124p and maintained its ‘hold’ rating on the stock.

‘The H1 pre-close held few surprises and no real catalyst to get the shares moving. At the current point the rating reflects concerns about Germany and a lack of visibility in many of the group’s markets,’ said analyst Nick Batram.

‘This is unlikely to change in the short term and further downgrades reflect the uncertain margin environment.’

The broker says that the uncertain regulatory backdrop continues to hit the bottom line, with federal sports taxes in Germany set to reduce EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) by EUR5-10m.

Peel Hunt has reduced its clean EBITDA forecast by EUR10m to EUR165m for the year ending December 2012. The 2013 EBITDA estimate has been cut from EUR196m to EUR175m.

‘While regulation is the main factor, the business’s underlying performance is also a growing concern, particularly the rate at which poker is going backwards,’ Batram said.

Shares were down 3.25% at 104.3p by 10:56 on Tuesday.


Roger Moore croons 007 birthday song...

PARIS — One-time 007 Roger Moore has teamed up with a former Bond Girl to record a song marking 50 years of the spy's on-screen adventures, a James Bond fan club said on Wednesday.

The 84-year-old British actor took over Bond film duties from Sean Connery in 1973, making his debut in "Live and Let Die" before completing the sequence with "A View to a Kill" 12 years later.

He teamed up with Irka Bochenko, his co-star in the 1979 film "Moonraker", for the anniversary duet titled "Happy Birthday Mr. Bond!", the spy's French fan club told AFP.

Extracts will be posted online at www.jamesbond007.net ahead of the record's release in September.

Hundreds of items -- from tuxedos to bikinis and vodka martinis -- went on show at London's Barbican Centre last week to mark 50 years since Bond made the jump from Ian Fleming's novels to the silver screen with the 1962 "Dr No".

The next Bond movie, "Skyfall", directed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig as the glamorous spy, will hit world screens from October.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Gaming, Entertainment, Hollywood and Celebrity news

Gaming, Entertainment, Hollywood and Celebrity News: Sydney casino, Spider-Man movie, movie ratings, The Wolverine, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, James Bond 007 in Skyfall, Highest paid actors includes "The Rock" and more...

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Australia's Lend Lease: development could host small-scale casino...

A planned $6 billion development on Sydney Harbour does not have space for a large casino but could cater for smaller-scale VIP gaming, developer Lend Lease said on Monday, which would suit a proposal put forward by billionaire James Packer.

Packer outlined a plan for an international hotel and casino at Barangaroo, on Sydney's waterfront, after his company Crown Ltd doubled its stake in its main rival, Echo Entertainment, which owns Sydney's sole casino.

Crown wants to raise its stake in Echo to 25 percent from 10 percent, as part of its plans to lobby for a second Sydney casino licence to attract more Asian high-rollers.

The developer of the site, Lend Lease, said on Monday it could focus more on plans for the hotel after announcing it has secured A$2 billion ($2.04 billion) funding for the first two commercial towers at its flagship project, including A$1 billion committed by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Lend Lease chief executive Steve McCann said the site did not have the capacity for a mass-market casino.

"If there was going to be anything in the tower with any gaming capacity, it would be VIP-style gaming," he told analysts on a conference call.

The New South Wales state government would need to approve any gaming licence, since Echo currently holds Sydney's exclusive casino licence until 2019. The state government previously welcomed Packer's proposal as a boost to tourism.

Lend Lease has said it is in talks with a number of hotel groups for the site, including Crown.

Shares in Crown gained 1.5 percent in morning trade and Lend Lease was up 0.3 percent, against a broader market down 0.8 percent. (Reuters)






'Amazing Spider-Man' Tops Box Office, Snares $140 Million Over Six Days...

After a record-setting opening day, "The Amazing Spider-Man" remained strong through the weekend, helping the Sony/Columbia production earn $140 million in less than a week in theaters. Oliver Stone's "Savages" also opened with a decent $16 million in revenue, though music documentary "Katy Perry: Part of Me" struggled to find an audience and racked up just $7 million. Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" also continued to hit with its target demographic, hauling in $32 million and pushing its 10-day total to an enormous $120 million in domestic revenue.

With a $230 million production budget and a very large built-in fan base, expectations were understandably high for "The Amazing Spider-Man." The Sony/Columbia reboot didn't take long to find its audience, racking up $35 million in revenue on Tuesday alone and putting up solid numbers throughout the rest of the week. "The Amazing Spider-Man" ended up with $65 million in weekend revenue, helping it to hit the lofty industry expectations.

Globally, "The Amazing Spider-Man" also got off to a good start by bringing in more than $200 million in revenue outside of the U.S. After already eclipsing $340 million worldwide, "The Amazing Spider-Man" will easily cruise past $500 million in worldwide revenue in the coming weeks, though it's still unclear whether it will be able to challenge the franchise-best $890 million that "Spider-Man 3" brought in. Without any major new competition until "The Dark Knight Rises" opens in a couple weeks, "Spider-Man" should remain a box office stalwart and continue to put up some big overall numbers throughout the rest of the month.

As mainstream action audiences came out in droves to see the new version of "Spider-Man," older audience members turned up for Oliver Stone's thriller "Savages." Backed by some decent critical reviews, "Savages" ended up with a decent $16 million in opening revenue - a strong total for a $45 million production. "Savages" also doesn't have to worry about too much new competition next weekend, opening the door for another decent revenue haul.

While "Spider-Man" and "Savages" mainly hit with their target demographics, "Katy Perry: Part of Me" wasn't quite as fortunate. "Katy Perry" managed just $7.15 million over the weekend and $10.25 million in its first four days following its Thursday release. Though these are unimpressive numbers for a release of more than 2,700 total venues, "Katy Perry" also comes with a slender production budget of just $12 million. "Katy Perry" won't end up as one of the most lucrative music documentaries released in recent years, but it should end up as an overall success for distributor Paramount.

Aiming at a much different demographic than "Katy Perry" this weekend was "Ted," which headed into its second weekend with plenty of buzz. After dominating the box office a week ago and posting $54 million, "Ted" dipped just 40% from its opening totals and finished the weekend with $32 million. Now with $120 million domestically in just 10 days in theaters, "Ted" is easily the top R-rated hit of the year and might even challenge $200 million in the U.S. if it can remain strong in the coming weekends.

Also continuing to hit with its intended audience was Pixar/Disney's "Brave." "Brave" earned $20 million in its third weekend in theaters, pushing it to a very solid $174 million in its first 17 days. Foreign numbers have been slow so far for "Brave," though that should also change as it gets released in its biggest overseas markets in the coming weekends. The only real problem for "Brave" is the impending release of "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which opens this weekend with an enormous built-in family audience.

Next weekend, the release schedule will slow down, as "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is the only new title slated to hit theaters in wide release. Though not as touted as some other animated franchises, "Ice Age" has been a great success for Fox, with enormous worldwide revenues despite production budgets roughly half the size of Pixar releases. The following weekend, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" brings a similar amount of hype as "The Avengers" and is a lock to dominate the box office well into August.

Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 7/6/12 - 7/8/12 (In Millions):

1. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony/Columbia): $65 [$70]

2. Ted (Universal): $32.59 [$32]

3. Brave (Disney): $20.16 [$18]

4. Savages (Universal): $16.16 [$13.5]

5. Magic Mike (Warner Brothers): $15.61 [$21]

6. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (Lionsgate): $10.20 [$11.5]

7. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $7.70 [$6.4]

8. Katy Perry: Part of Me (Paramount): $7.15 [$13]

9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $4.64 [$2.6]

10. To Rome with Love (Sony Classics): $3.50 [N/A]






Hugh Jackman Joined By Six Additions to Cast of The Wolverine...

If director James Mangold's (3:10 to Yuma) The Wolverine hadn't been beset by weather, script and scheduling problems — title star Hugh Jackman opted to star in the musical version of Les Miserables rather than wait for those issues to be sorted out — the movie would currently be in post-production, with potentially enough edited footage to offer at least a teaser at this week's San Diego Comic-Con. As it is, Mangold is spending his time in the casting room, rather than the editing room, as he tries to put together a cast to support Jackman. In the last several days, six actors have joined the cast of The Wolverine, which takes Logan (Jackman) far away from his X-Men teammates and his wilderness retreat in Canada to Japan, where he must fight against the Silver Samurai and the deadly Hand ninjas at his command.

Written by Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie), with rewrites by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), The Wolverine is based on the classic Marvel Comics limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, creator of Sin City and 300. The series stripped away Wolverine's superhero trappings and thrust him into a Japanese underworld brimming with feudal warriors and mystical ninjas. According to the list compiled by Empire from various sources, the cast will include: Hiroyuki Sanada (Speed Race) as Japanese crimelord Shingen Harada, leader of Clan Yashida; Tao Okamoto as Shingen's daughter and Wolverine's love interest, Mariko Yashida; Will Yun Lee (Total Recall remake) as Mariko's mutant half-brother, Kenuichio Harada, a.k.a. the Silver Samurai; Rila Fukushima as Yukio, an assassin who drugs Wolverine before his duel with Shingen; Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) as Yashida; and Brian Tee (Wedding Palace) as Noboru Mori, a corrupt minister of justice betrothed to Mariko.

The Wolverine is set to begin shooting next month. It will primarily be filmed in Jackman's native Australia, but will also shoot on location in Japan.

Next Showing:The Wolverine is slated to open July 26, 2013 (Reelz)


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson In Highest Paid Actors List...

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was listed at #4 on the Forbes annual list of the highest paid actors in the world over the past year. Johnson was reported as earning $36 million this past year, behind only Tom Cruise ($75 million), Leonardo DiCaprio ($37 million) and Adam Sandler ($37 million).


Bwin.party warns over 'predictable' Euro 2012 results...

Bwin.party digital entertainment, the world’s largest listed online gaming company, said a run of “predictable” results in the Euro 2012 football championships marred an otherwise “solid” second quarter performance.

The football tournament, in which all of the favourites progressed to the later stages, is believed to have hit the betting industry hard this summer.

Bwin said customer numbers and activity rose during the tournament but gross margins were “lower than expected”.

Despite this, the online gambling group said its casino and bingo products helped offset the weakness in sports betting and “continued pressures” in poker.

Bwin had been in negotiations with Shuffle Master (NasdaqGS: SHFL - news) to offload Ongame, its poker network, but talks were aborted at the end of last month after the two sides failed to reach agreement.

In a pre-close trading update on Tuesday, bwin said several parties were interested in buying Ongame.

The group claims it has reached a top three market position in Spain, where online gaming was recently opened up by authorities.

Looking ahead, the company warned gaming taxes in Germany and an investment in social games games that are played through sites such as Facebook would impact its performance in the second half. (News Corp)


Zynga is “all in” to acquire Bwin.party-owned poker business Ongame: Report...

Social gaming juggernaut Zynga is poised to take over online poker provider Ongame Network from its current owner, Internet gambling powerhouse Bwin.party.

An exclusive report from eGaming Review (eGR) – behind a paywall – says Zynga is ‘leading the race’ to acquire Ongame, although there are four other unnamed bidders at the table (poker pun intended).

Zynga has made a ‘verbal offer’, according to eGR’s sources, and have reportedly visited Ongame’s Stockholm headquarters last Friday.

Gambling table and slot machine maker Shuffle Master had already agreed and announced that it would be purchasing for up to $38.9 million in cash in February 2012, but it dropped those plans last week.

Interestingly, Shuffle Master said it would pay out 10 million euros ($12.6 million) of that total purchase price within five years of the transaction closing, provided that real-money online poker would be legal in the United States within such period – something that will happen eventually but is taking time.

Not familiar with Ongame? Here’s what they do, according to their website:

Ongame is the world’s leading B2B online poker provider, serving partnes including bwin, Betfair, Betsson and Unibet. Reaching over 20 million customers in more than 25 markets, with an international network licensed in Gibraltar, as well as regional networks in Italy and France.

Ongame is the premier choice for sportsbook operators, providing a poker environment optimized for recreational players and a proven track record of increasing partner revenues.

Ongame claims P5, the game engine powering its poker offering, is the ‘most advanced poker engine ever designed’.

The company is owned by Bwin.party as a result of an earlier merger, and has been dubbed by the latter as a ‘surplus asset’.

Zynga of course offers a wildly popular poker game called – wait for it – Zynga Poker, which can be played on Zynga.com, Facebook, iOS and Android devices.

In fact, Zynga Poker was the company’s very first game.

It certainly makes a lot of sense for them to buy Ongame Networks, even if it’s to keep it out of the hands of other players looking to move online with poker games as soon as it becomes legal in the US, and the company certainly has the cash on hand to make this kind of acquisition.


'Amazing Spider-Man' finishes weekend with $62M...

LOS ANGELES (AP) "The Amazing Spider-Man" had a slightly slower start at the box office than initially estimated, taking in $62 million domestically over opening weekend.

The final numbers Monday came in $3 million lower than the $65 million that distributor Sony had projected a day earlier, but it still was a healthy start for the new take on the Marvel Comics superhero.

Since opening last Tuesday, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has taken in $137 million domestically. Its worldwide total is about $340 million since it began rolling out overseas the previous week.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are:

1. "The Amazing Spider Man," Sony, $62,004,688, 4,318 locations, $14,360 average, $137,022,258, one week.

2. "Ted," Universal, $32,202,395, 3,256 locations, $9,890 average, $119,849,740, two weeks.

3. "Brave," Disney, $19,612,370, 3,891 locations, $5,040 average, $173,969,341, three weeks.

4. "Savages," Universal, $16,016,910, 2,628 locations, $6,095 average, $16,016,910, one week.

5. "Magic Mike," Warner Bros., $15,642,337, 3,120 locations, $5,014 average, $72,829,107, two weeks.

6. "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," Lionsgate, $10,177,029, 2,161 locations, $4,709 average, $45,822,984, two weeks.

7. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Paramount, $7,520,690, 2,861 locations, $2,629 average, $195,905,126, five weeks.

8. "Katy Perry: Part of Me," Paramount, $7,138,266, 2,730 locations, $2,615 average, $10,240,213, one week.

9. "Moonrise Kingdom," Focus Features, $4,519,195, 884 locations, $5,112 average, $26,780,989, seven weeks.

10. "To Rome with Love," Sony Pictures Classics, $3,104,328, 806 locations, $3,852 average, $4,863,538, three weeks.

11. "People Like Us," Disney, $2,194,535, 2,055 locations, $1,068 average, $9,190,902, two weeks.

12. "The Avengers," Disney, $2,168,124, 1,125 locations, $1,927 average, $611,127,884, 10 weeks.

13. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," Fox, $1,944,534, 1,657 locations, $1,174 average, $34,050,910, three weeks.

14. "Prometheus," Fox, $1,815,500, 1,105 locations, $1,643 average, $122,390,274, five weeks.

15. "Snow White & the Huntsman," Universal, $1,768,355, 1,152 locations, $1,535 average, $149,756,565, six weeks.

16. "Men in Black 3," Sony, $1,680,714, 879 locations, $1,912 average, $173,089,690, seven weeks.

17. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," Fox Searchlight, $741,091, 359 locations, $2,064 average, $41,991,873, 10 weeks.

18. "Rock of Ages," Warner Bros., $639,406, 701 locations, $912 average, $36,974,619, four weeks.

19. "That's My Boy," Sony, $621,656, 400 locations, $1,554 average, $36,100,833, four weeks.

20. "Bol Bachchan," FIP, $561,996, 98 locations, $5,735 average, $561,996, one week.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


Broker snap: Taxing times for bwin.party, says Peel Hunt...

Peel Hunt has pared its target price for online gaming group bwin.party digital entertainment from 140p to 124p and maintained its ‘hold’ rating on the stock.

‘The H1 pre-close held few surprises and no real catalyst to get the shares moving. At the current point the rating reflects concerns about Germany and a lack of visibility in many of the group’s markets,’ said analyst Nick Batram.

‘This is unlikely to change in the short term and further downgrades reflect the uncertain margin environment.’

The broker says that the uncertain regulatory backdrop continues to hit the bottom line, with federal sports taxes in Germany set to reduce EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) by EUR5-10m.

Peel Hunt has reduced its clean EBITDA forecast by EUR10m to EUR165m for the year ending December 2012. The 2013 EBITDA estimate has been cut from EUR196m to EUR175m.

‘While regulation is the main factor, the business’s underlying performance is also a growing concern, particularly the rate at which poker is going backwards,’ Batram said.

Shares were down 3.25% at 104.3p by 10:56 on Tuesday.


Roger Moore croons 007 birthday song...

PARIS — One-time 007 Roger Moore has teamed up with a former Bond Girl to record a song marking 50 years of the spy's on-screen adventures, a James Bond fan club said on Wednesday.

The 84-year-old British actor took over Bond film duties from Sean Connery in 1973, making his debut in "Live and Let Die" before completing the sequence with "A View to a Kill" 12 years later.

He teamed up with Irka Bochenko, his co-star in the 1979 film "Moonraker", for the anniversary duet titled "Happy Birthday Mr. Bond!", the spy's French fan club told AFP.

Extracts will be posted online at www.jamesbond007.net ahead of the record's release in September.

Hundreds of items -- from tuxedos to bikinis and vodka martinis -- went on show at London's Barbican Centre last week to mark 50 years since Bond made the jump from Ian Fleming's novels to the silver screen with the 1962 "Dr No".

The next Bond movie, "Skyfall", directed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig as the glamorous spy, will hit world screens from October.

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