I need to see BLACK PANTHER again, and I want to see GAME NIGHT, but I was celebrating my 50th Birthday last week with friends and didn’t see any movies. Maybe this week.

Black Panther continues box office reign with $108 million second weekend

Black Panther is still king.

Ryan Coogler’s superhero blockbuster is set to score the second-highest sophomore weekend ever at the domestic box office, earning an estimated $108 million from 4,020 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. The film will therefore trounce three newcomers — the R-rated comedy Game Night, the sci-fi thriller Annihilation, and the YA romance Every Day — while declining just 47% from last week’s record-breaking debut.

Black Panther marks the fourth film ever to top $100 million in its second frame, joining Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($149.2 million), Jurassic World ($106.6 million), and The Avengers ($103 million). After 10 days in theaters, Disney’s latest Marvel movie is up to an estimated $400 million domestic total. It has also taken in about $304 million overseas ($83.8 million this weekend), for a worldwide cume of $704 million.

Directed and co-written by Coogler, Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as the eponymous superhero, a.k.a. T’Challa, who guards and governs the secretive, technologically advanced nation of Wakanda. The star-studded cast also includes Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, and Letitia Wright. The film has garnered glowing reviews and an A-plus CinemaScore.

Coming in a distant second is Warner Bros. and New Line’s Game Night, with about $16.6 million from 3,488 theaters.

Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Vacation) and starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the film centers on a group of friends whose regular game night turns into a real-life murder mystery. Game Night received generally positive reviews from critics and a decent B-plus CinemaScore from audiences.

The weekend’s other newcomers, Paramount’s Annihilation and the newly relaunched Orion Pictures’ Every Day, will arrive in the No. 4 and No. 9 spots. Annihilation is on track for an estimated $11 million, while Every Day is eyeing about $3.1 million.

Based on the first installment of novelist Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina), Annihilation stars Natalie Portman as a biologist who ventures into an environmental disaster zone seeking answers about what happened to her husband (Oscar Isaac). Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson costar. Although the film scored strong reviews, moviegoers gave it a tepid C CinemaScore.

Every Day, adapted from the David Levithan novel of the same name, fared better in audience polling, earning a B-plus CinemaScore, though critics’ reviews were poor. Angourie Rice stars in the love story about a 16-year-old girl who falls for a body-hopping spirit named A. Michael Sucsy (Grey Gardens, The Vow) directed.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 12.7 percent year-to-date. Check out the Feb. 23-25 figures below.

1. Black Panther — $108 million
2. Game Night — $16.6 million
3. Peter Rabbit — $12.5 million
4. Annihilation — $11 million
5. Fifty Shades Freed — $6.9 million
6. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — $5.7 million
7. The 15:17 to Paris — $3.6 million
8. The Greatest Showman — $3.4 million
9. Every Day — $3.1 million
10. Met Opera: La Boheme — $1.9 million


Thank you for all the great calls and memories, Jerry!!

Jerry Howarth, radio voice of Blue Jays for 36 years, retires

Jerry Howarth, the radio broadcast voice of the Toronto Blue Jays for 36 years, is retiring.

Howarth, 71, is struggling with “health issues affecting his voice,” a news release said, and his retirement as radio announcer is effective immediately.

“I had every intention of continuing my career into the 2018 season, but my health and stamina and continuing voice issues dictated otherwise,” Howath is quoted as saying in the statement.

“Who knew that I would spend more than half my life in Toronto with my wife, Mary, and our two sons, Ben and Joe, doing what I love to do most, reaching out to friends and fans alike across our great country to talk baseball?”

The Blue Jays stalwart joined the club in 1981 and has broadcast an estimated 7,500 professional baseball games in his career. A native of York, Pa., who was raised in San Francisco, Howarth began his broadcast career in 1974 with the Tacoma Twins of the Pacific Coast League.

Howarth called Toronto’s back-to-back World Series victories in 1992 and 1993 with Tom Cheek, who died in 2005 from brain cancer.

Perhaps best known for his ‘There She Goes!’ home run call, Howarth has used a steady, warm, conversational style throughout his long career.

Starting at spring training each year, Howarth would keep notes in a thick spiral notebook that would be kept close at hand throughout the season. His preparation was meticulous and he would score each game using a shorthand all his own.

A man of routine, he would provide consistent refrains while on the air and would weave in stories from his decades in the sport and often used trademark lines like “He scorrrrres” or “The Blue Jays are in flight” as he called the action.

In 2016, a small tumour was discovered when Howarth underwent a magnetic resonance imaging scan after learning he had elevated prostate-specific antigen test numbers. The tumour and his prostate gland were removed and doctors declared Howarth cancer-free after the procedure.

He returned to the booth in time for the 2017 season but had to miss 21 games after a virus in late April led to laryngitis.

There was no immediate word from the Blue Jays franchise about a successor.


Very sad news. He was always amazing in everything. Rest In Peace, Reg E. Cathey.

Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards and The Wire actor, dead at 59

Reg E. Cathey, an Emmy-winning actor known for his work on Netflix’s House of Cards and HBO’s The Wire, has died at the age of 59.

The Wire creator David Simon announced his death in a tweet on Friday. He called Cathey a “fine, masterful actor” and “delightful human being.”

“On wit alone, he could double any man over and leave him thinking,” Simon wrote.

HBO confirmed the death in a statement but no other details were given.

“There is a reason we turned to him time and time again in movies, series and miniseries,” the HBO statement said. “He was uniquely talented and ever the gentleman.”

Cathey played barbecue rib shack owner Freddy Hayes on House of Cards and won an Emmy for the guest role in 2015. He also played Norman Wilson for two seasons of the crime drama The Wire, from 2006-2008.

Other credits included the film American Psycho and the acclaimed prison series Oz. Some of his most recent work involved a role in the movie adaptation of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, in which he played Zakariyya Lacks and Marvel’s Luke Cage, which was his final role.

The actor, who was born in Huntsville, Ala., was known for his baritone voice and working-class characters. Samuel L. Jackson and Luke Cage star Mike Colter were among those who posted tributes.

“Go gentle into that good night my brother,” wrote Colter. “It was an honour spending time with you on set.”


So it’s just a cliche?! That’s dissapointing!!

Why Do Olympians Bite Their Medals?

Watch the Olympics and you might notice a number of medalists gnawing on their gold or silver prize like an old-time prospector. Do they believe the International Olympic Committee is going to stiff them? Does anyone expect to bite into chocolate?

It turns out it might be because they’re following orders—specifically, the photographer’s. When Olympic winners pose for a victory image, a sea of photojournalists are snapping away and asking athletes to do something besides just stand there and smile. With no other props handy, winners have picked up the habit of nibbling on their medal to satisfy the photographic feeding frenzy.

If you’re wondering whether anyone has chipped a tooth doing this, the answer is: of course. In 2010, German luger David Moeller broke off the corner of his tooth chomping on his silver medal. (Good thing his mother is a dentist.)

Of course, biting on gold used to be a way to tell if it was genuine (the real thing will show slight bite marks). But most Olympians probably know by now that their gold medal is mostly made up of silver and copper. If they were actually solid gold, the prizes would cost the IOC about $17 million.


I was hoping to see Clint Eastwood’s 15:17 To Paris but my Brother was visiting. Maybe next week.

Fifty Shades Freed whips Peter Rabbit, 15:17 to Paris at the box office

Fifty Shades Freed is flogging its box office competition.

The final installment of Universal’s erotic trilogy based on the books of E.L. James is on track to debut with about $38.8 million from 3,768 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, outpacing fellow newcomers Peter Rabbit and 15:17 to Paris while unseating Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Freed’s bow will come in below those of its predecessors: Fifty Shades Darker opened to $46.6 million last year, and Fifty Shades of Grey opened to a whopping $85.2 million in 2015. But the series is an undeniable box office success. The trilogy reportedly cost a combined $150 million to produce, and on it Friday crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide. (Through Sunday, Freed is poised to take in about $98.1 million overseas, for a global total of $136.9 million.)

Directed by James Foley and once again starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, Fifty Shades Freed continues the story of budding book editor Anastasia Steele, kinky billionaire Christian Grey, and their tumultuous romance. The film received largely negative reviews from critics but a so-so B-plus CinemaScore from moviegoers.

Hopping to second place and coming in ahead of analysts’ projections is Sony’s hybrid live-action and animated family comedy Peter Rabbit, with an estimated $25 million from 3,725 locations.

Based on Beatrix Potter’s children’s stories about a mischievous bunny, Peter Rabbit stars James Corden in the title role, along with Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, and Daisy Ridley. Will Gluck directed the movie, which has garnered mixed reviews but a respectable A-minus CinemaScore.

The weekend’s third new release, Warner Bros’. thriller The 15:17 to Paris, will pull into the station with an estimated $12.6 million from 3,042 theaters — in line with analysts’ modest expectations and good for the No. 3 spot.

Based on the true story of three Americans — Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos — who helped thwart a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train, the film comes as the third installment of director Clint Eastwood’s unofficial trilogy about modern-day heroism, following Sully and American Sniper. The film notably stars non-actors Stone, Sadler, and Skarlatos as themselves.

Reviews for 15:17 have been poor, and moviegoers gave it a B-minus CinemaScore.

Filling out the top five are two holdovers that have demonstrated impressive staying power: Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (last week’s No. 1 movie), with about $9.8 million, and Fox’s The Greatest Showman, with about $6.4 million. Those figures bring their respective domestic totals to $365.7 million and $146.5 million.

According to ComScore, overall box office is down 1.8 percent year-to-date. Check out the Feb. 9-11 figures below.

1. Fifty Shades Freed — $38.8 million
2. Peter Rabbit — $25 million
3. The 15:17 to Paris — $12.6 million
4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — $9.8 million
5. The Greatest Showman — $6.4 million
6. Maze Runner: The Death Cure — $6 million
7. Winchester — $5.1 million
8. The Post — $3.5 million
9. The Shape of Water — $3 million
10. Den of Thieves — $2.9 million


I hope he brings back Janet, that would be a great surprise!!

Justin Timberlake Confirms Neither *NSYNC Nor Janet Jackson Will Make Appearance at Super Bowl LII Halftime Show

Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime show is quickly approaching, and fans are getting more and more eager to find out who he’ll be bringing out as special guests. But if his press conference Thursday (Jan. 1) was any indication, fans hoping for an epic surprise may not get their wish — especially those anticipating an appearance from *NSYNC or Janet Jackson.

When Timberlake was asked if there might be an *NSYNC reunion on the Super Bowl stage, the “Can’t Stop the Feeling” singer shut rumors down point-blank. “Uhh, well, no,” he said with a quick laugh, but an expression that suggested he was not playing any games.

Timberlake also briefly mentioned Jackson, who will of course forever be associated with Justin and the Super Bowl after the infamous Nipplegate incident of 2004, and who some have suggested the pop star should bring out as a special guest at Super Bowl LII. From the sounds of it, that’s not happening either.

“To be honest, I had a ton of grand ideas about special guests,” he continued. “We talked about it a lot. There’s a whole list — I think Vegas has a lot of odds on it, I heard. From *NSYNC to Jay [Z] to Chris Stapleton to Janet, but this year I’m just excited — my band, the Tennessee Kids, I feel like they’re my special guests and I’m excited this year to rock the stage. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

While it seems Timberlake will be handling the world’s biggest stage without any guest stars — which isn’t totally unheard of, as Lady Gaga went at it alone just last year — he assured fans that it will be a halftime show to remember.

“Without giving too much away, we’re doing a few things with this halftime show that they’ve never quite done before,” Timberlake told press. “I’m excited to do that, I always like to push to be able to do something like that. But also, too, I think on a more serious note, it’s a moment where you have the opportunity to bring so many people together through what I think is the greatest art form. That has been the ethos of the inspiration behind putting the set list together and managing the visuals and how it all sort of comes together.”



Weezer’s The Black Album is coming soon

Less than 24 hours after releasing their most recent album, Pacific Daydream, Weezer revealed that they were nearly finished with another new record. At the time, Rivers Cuomo said the band had always planned to follow up 2016’s The White Album with another self-titled LP they’d refer to as The Black Album. Pacific Daydream came together first, but now the alternative icons have confirmed that The Black Album is ready for an expected May 25th release.

Rivers Cuomo explained how Pacific Daydream “kind of materialized” while they were working on The Black Album: “I had two folders on my Dropbox: one was the ‘Black Album,’ and it didn’t get filled as quickly as this other folder, which I temporarily titled ‘New Folder.’ That one filled up with ten songs that were definitely different, but not quite as different as the ‘Black Album.’ So we put a name on it — Pacific Daydream — and put that out first.”

Cuomo added that the idea was to make material for the Black Album befitting its name. “It’s real challenging for me. I don’t gravitate towards super dark music. There’s always got to be something triumphant about it in the end. So, I’ve been struggling trying to figure out how I can do a ‘Black Album’ as a writer.”

Back in October, Cuomo described the music of this upcoming record as “a lot more modern and electronic and not-90s sounding.”

Weezer is heading out on tour with Pixies this summer.


Can’t wait to see this!!

‘Beside Bowie’: New Documentary Traces Life of Guitarist Mick Ronson

Roughly three years before David Bowie died, the man who sold the world sat down with a recorder to capture his memories of Spiders From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson on tape. He was urged to do so at the behest of Mick’s widow Suzi Ronson, Bowie’s former hairdresser and the creator of his legendary Ziggy Stardust orange space mullet. Mick had been dead for two decades at that point, but few people outside of hardcore Bowie aficionados were aware of his axeman’s massive contributions to popular music – and she wanted to alleviate that. “David was worried at that time that Suzi might not have been up to making a documentary,” says filmmaker Jon Brewer. “But what he did for her was create these audio bites that were almost like narration.”

Suzi Ronson eventually turned over the Bowie tapes and a lot of raw film to Brewer, a rock manager that worked with everyone from Yes to Mick Taylor – and even the Thin White Duke himself in the 1970s. In recent years, however, he’d become a highly accomplished rock documentarian (B.B. King: The Life of Riley, Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark.) More importantly, Brewer knew Bowie’s story inside and out, going all the way back to his unsuccessful attempts to break the former David Jones in America right around the time he released The Man Who Sold the World in 1970. He also knew Ronson and shared Suzi’s dream to finally tell the guitarist’s story on the big screen – which resulted in Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story, currently streaming on Hulu.

Woven together with thrilling archival footage, Bowie’s beyond-the-grave narration and the new interviews, the film tells the tale of a guitar virtuoso from the working class of Hull in Northern England that found himself thrust into the middle of the Glam Rock scene just as it was finding a global audience. He became the Keith Richards to David Bowie’s Mick Jagger in Spiders From Mars, but it all ended on July 3rd, 1973 when Bowie shocked the world by announcing the group would never play together again. (Brewer also cast a wide net when seeking out interview subjects, landing Bowie’s ex-wife Angie, producer Tony Visconti, Hunky Dory pianist Rick Wakeman, Mott the Hoople frontman Ian Hunter and Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, a Bowie/Ronson super fan that got to sing backup for them at their final onstage appearance at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness.)

The heart of the movie concerns Ronson’s working relationship with Bowie and the instrumental role he played in the creation of Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. “I think, personally, that Mick Ronson should have got more credit with respect for the writing and certainly arranging all of that material,” says Brewer. “It should have been credited to Bowie/Ronson … and I think Bowie would have said that, too. As Morrissey said, he was the balls to Bowie at that time. He was the engine.”

But once the Spiders From Mars ended, the artist’s management made the disastrous decision to try and turn Ronson into a solo star. “He never was a frontman,” says Brewer. “What he was was a great guitarist and a great arranger and probably would have been a great, great producers had he lived.”

After the Spiders From Mars, Ronson had a short stint as a guitarist in Mott the Hoople and played with Bob Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975/76, though the film reveals he never much cared for Dylan’s music. In the 1980s, Ronson arranged John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” and produced many other albums, but money was always tight – and escaping Bowie’s shadow proved to be impossible. When Ronson found out he had terminal liver cancer in the early 1990s, he began work on the solo album Heaven and Hull, which features a reunion with David Bowie. They also worked together on 1993’s Black Tie White Noise. “They were going to do all sorts of things together in the 1990s,” says Brewer. “But they just ran out of time.”


Awesome! Awesome!! Awesome!!!

The Spice Girls are officially reuniting! Everything we know so far

After photos from their London-based reunion sparked an internet frenzy, the Spice Girls have announced that 2018 will see them back together.

“We have enjoyed a wonderful afternoon catching up and reminiscing about the amazing times we have spent together,” the group — Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Mel B, and Melanie C — said in a statement to EW via Beckham’s publicist, Jo Milloy. “We are always overwhelmed at how much interest there is across the whole world for the Spice Girls. The time now feels right to explore some incredible new opportunities together.”

While they didn’t specify what opportunities they’d be entertaining, they added that their mission would be to bring their girl-power sensibility into this era. “We all agree that there are many exciting possibilities that will once again embrace the original essence of the Spice Girls,” they wrote, “while reinforcing our message of female empowerment for future generations.”

The Sun reported ahead of the photo that a “secret meeting” had been planned for the Spice Girls with longtime manager Simon Fuller to discuss “TV projects in China, a new telly talent show, endorsement deals, and a compilation album celebrating their greatest hits.” One hitch in the plan, according to The Sun, appears to be that Beckham (a.k.a. Posh Spice) does not want to provide vocals for any reunion projects.

Beckham, Bunton (Baby Spice, obvs), and Mel B (Scary Spice) each shared a photo of their meet-up on social media with captions remarking on how “exciting” the day was.


This is heartbreaking news. Growing up on military bases, sometimes the only comics we had were Beetle Bailey. I loved them all and still quote them. Rest in Peace, Mort Walker.

‘Beetle Bailey’ cartoonist Mort Walker dead at 94

LOS ANGELES — Comic strip artist Mort Walker, a Second World War veteran who satirized the Army and tickled millions of newspaper readers with the antics of the lazy private “Beetle Bailey,” died Saturday. He was 94.

Walker died at his home in Stamford, Conn., said Greg Walker, his eldest son and a collaborator. His father’s advanced age was the cause of death, he said.

Walker began publishing cartoons at age 11 and was involved with more than a half-dozen comic strips in his career, including Hi and Lois, Boner’s Ark and Sam & Silo. But he found his greatest success drawing slacker Beetle, his hot-tempered sergeant and the rest of the gang at fictional Camp Swampy for nearly 70 years.

The character that was to become Beetle Bailey made his debut as Spider in Walker’s cartoons published by the Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. Walker changed Spider’s name and launched Beetle Bailey as a college humour strip in 1950.

At first the strip failed to attract readers and King Features Syndicate considered dropping it after just six months, Walker said in a 2000 interview with The Associated Press. The syndicate suggested Beetle join the Army after the start of the Korean War, Walker said.

“I was kind of against it because after World War Two, Bill Mauldin and Sad Sack were fading away,” he said. But his misgivings were overcome and Beetle “enlisted” in 1951.

Walker attributed the success of the strip to Beetle’s indolence and reluctance to follow authority.

“Most people are sort of against authority,” he said. “Here’s Beetle always challenging authority. I think people relate to it.”

Beetle Bailey led to spin-off comic strip Hi and Lois, which he created with Dik Browne, in 1954. The premise was that Beetle went home on furlough to visit his sister Lois and brother-in-law Hi.

Fellow cartoonists remembered Walker on Saturday as a pleasant man who adored his fans. Bill Morrison, president of the National Cartoonists Society, called Walker the definition of “cartoonist” in a post on the society’s website.

“He lived and breathed the art every day of his life. He will be sorely missed by his friends in the NCS and by a world of comic strip fans,” Morrison said.

Fellow cartoonist Mark Evanier said on his website that Walker was “delightful to be around and always willing to draw Beetle or Sarge for any of his fans. He sure had a lot of them.”

Beetle Bailey, which appeared in as many as 1,800 newspapers, sometimes sparked controversy. The Tokyo editions of the military newspaper Stars & Stripes dropped it in 1954 for fear that it would encourage disrespect of its officers. But ensuing media coverage spurred more than 100 newspapers to add the strip.

Shortly after U.S. President Bill Clinton took office, Walker drew a strip suggesting that the draft be retroactive in order to send Clinton to Vietnam. Walker said he received hundreds of angry letters from Clinton supporters.

For years, Walker drew Camp Swampy’s highest-ranking officer, Gen. Amos Halftrack, ogling his well-endowed secretary, Miss Buxley. Feminist groups claimed the strip made light of sexual harassment, and Walker said the syndicate wanted him to write out the lecherous general.

That wasn’t feasible because the general was such a fixture in the strip, Greg Walker said Saturday. His father solved the problem in 1997 by sending Halftrack to sensitivity training.

“That became a whole theme that we could use,” said Greg Walker, who with his brother, Brian, intends to carry on his father’s work. Both have worked in the family business for decades.

Beetle Bailey also featured one of the first African-American characters to be added to a white cast in an established comic strip. (Peanuts had added the character of Franklin in 1968.) Lt. Jack Flap debuted in the comic strip’s panels in 1970.

In a 2002 interview, Walker said that comics are filled with stereotypes and he likes to find humour in all characters.

“I like to keep doing something new and different, so people can’t say I’m doing the same thing all the time. I like to challenge myself,” he said.

Walker also created Boner’s Ark in 1968 using his given first name, Addison, as his pen name, and Sam & Silo with Jerry Dumas in 1977. He was the writer of Mrs. Fitz’s Flats with Frank Roberge.

In 1974, he founded the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Connecticut to preserve and honour the art of comics. It moved twice before closing in 2002 in Boca Raton, Fla. Walker changed the name to the National Cartoon Museum and announced in 2005 plans to relocate to the Empire State Building in New York. But the following year, the deal to use that space fell through.

In 2000, Walker was honoured at the Pentagon with the Army’s highest civilian award — the Distinguished Civilian Service award — for his work, his military service and his contribution to a new military memorial.

He also developed a reputation for helping aspiring cartoonists with advice.

“I make friends for people,” he said.

Addison Morton Walker was born Sept. 3, 1923, in El Dorado, Kansas, and grew up in Kansas City, Mo.

In 1943 he was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving in Europe during the Second World War. He was discharged as a first lieutenant, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia and pursued a career as a cartoonist in New York.

Walker most recently oversaw the work of the staff at his Stamford studio, Comicana.

Besides sons Greg and Brian, Walker is survived by his second wife, Catherine; daughters Polly Blackstock and Margie Walker Hauer; sons Neal and Roger Walker; stepdaughters Whitney Prentice and Priscilla Prentice Campbell and several grandchildren.

Funeral services will be private.