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By JAKE COYLE

NEW YORK (AP) — “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” outdid another weekend’s worth of newcomers to top the North American box office for the third straight weekend, making the surprise hit the fifth-highest grossing film of all time for Sony Pictures.

“Jumanji,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, sold $20 million in tickets, according to studio estimates Sunday, bringing its five-week domestic total to $317 million. That makes Sony’s reboot the studio’s best non-Spider-Man movie domestically, not adjusting for inflation.

The film’s unexpectedly strong staying power has lent a boost to the January box office but kept new releases from reaching the top of the box-office chart. “Jumanji” has also reigned overseas, where it has grossed $450.8 million and topped all films internationally for three straight weeks.

The war drama “12 Strong,” starring Chris Hemsworth, debuted in second with $16.5 million in ticket sales. The Warner Bros. release, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, is a fact-based tale, adapted from Doug Stanton’s best-seller “Horse Soldiers,” about a group of Special Forces soldiers sent into northern Afghanistan just weeks after Sept. 11.

“12 Strong” appealed largely to an older crowd. Seventy-nine percent of its audience was over the age of 25, said Warner Bros.

The heist thriller “Den of Thieves” slotted in at third place with an opening weekend of $15.3 million. The STXfilms release stars Gerard Butler and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

Though “Paddington 2” disappointed last weekend in its debut, the acclaimed sequel slid just 25 percent in its second week. “Paddington 2,” which has set a new record for the most widely reviewed 100-percent fresh movie on Rotten Tomatoes, grossed $8.2 million in its second week of domestic release thanks in part to good word of mouth. Warner Bros. acquired the film’s North American distribution from The Weinstein Co. in November.

Also showing unexpected legs was “The Greatest Showman,” the Hugh Jackman-led musical about P.T. Barnum. It dipped just 12 percent in its fifth week of release. With another $11 million, “The Greatest Showman” has now grossed $113.5 million for 20th Century Fox.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” expanded nationwide, taking in $3.4 million from 896 theaters. The Focus Features release, starring Daniel Day-Lewis in what the actor has said will be his final performance, has grossed $6.2 million.

Also notable: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” crossed the $600 million mark domestically with $6.6 million in its sixth week of release. The Disney release stands at $604.3 million domestically — or no. 9 all-time, not accounting for inflation — and $1.296 billion worldwide.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final four-day domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” $20 million ($32.6 million international).

2. “12 Strong,” $16.5 million ($2.5 million international).

3. “Den of Thieves,” $15.3 million ($1.3 million international).

4. “The Post,” $12.2 million ($6.6 million international).

5. “The Greatest Showman,” $11 million ($11 million international).

6. “Paddington 2,” $8.2 million ($2.4 million international).

7. “The Commuter,” $6.7 million ($10.2 million international).

8. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” $6.6 million ($9.9 million international).

9. “Insidious: The Last Key,” $5.9 million ($18.4 million international).

10. “Forever My Girl,” $4.7 million.

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” $32.6 million.

2. “Secret Superstar,” $25.9 million.

3. “Forever Young,” $22.5 million.

4. “Insidious: The Last Key,” $18.4 million.

5. “Coco,” $18.3 million.

6. “Ferdinand,” $17.5 million.

7. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” $15.2 million.

8. “Wonder,” $12.6 million.

9. “Darkest Hour,” $12.1 million.

10. “The Greatest Showman,” $11 million.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

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NEW YORK (AP) — A wave of feverish anticipation, fawning critical acclaim and groundbreaking cultural meaning pushed “Black Panther” to a record-setting $192 million debut in U.S. and Canada theaters, firmly establishing the superhero sensation as a box-office landmark.

The Marvel film from the Walt Disney Co. blew past expectations to become the fifth-highest-grossing debut ever, not adjusting for inflation, following only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” ″Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” ″Jurassic World” and “The Avengers.”

In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.

Though the film’s international footprint doesn’t include several of the largest markets — China, Russia and Japan — it still ranks among the top 15 global debuts ever. It’s also the highest-grossing February opening weekend.

“All hail the King of Wakanda!” Disney declared, referring to the movie’s mythical and highly advanced African nation.

Ryan Coogler’s film, which cost about $200 million to make, is the most expensive movie with a largely black ensemble and among the few to be centered on a black superhero. The strong opening suggests “Black Panther” will easily set a box-office record for films directed by a black filmmaker.

The previous best is Sidney Poitier’s 1980 comedy “Stir Crazy,” which took in $322 million domestically, when inflation is calculated.

“Black Panther” set pre-sale records and saw lines around theaters over the weekend, including some who came costumed for the event.

“This is the very definition of a blockbuster: People lining up around the block to see a great movie,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. “A movie like ‘Black Panther’ is a cultural event that nothing on the small screen can really match in that way.”

Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa/Black Panther in the first stand-alone film for the superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966. The cast also features Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright.

The movie has been hugely acclaimed, with a 97 percent fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences agreed, giving it an A-plus CinemaScore. The film especially resonated among African-Americans, who made up 37 percent of moviegoers, according to comScore.

Dave Hollis, distribution chief for Disney, called the film’s success “a real source of pride” for Disney.

“Inclusion and representation matters,” Hollis said. “We know that great stories can come from anywhere, and our goal is to make films that reflect the wonderful diversity of our world and resonate with audiences everywhere — no matter who they are, no matter where they come from.”

Coming at one of the slower periods of the year, “Black Panther” benefited from little competition, and it can be expected to dominate the marketplace for weeks.

Last week’s top film, the erotic romance sequel “Fifty Shades Freed,” slid to third place, with $16.9 million in its second week for Universal. Sony’s children’s book adaptation “Peter Rabbit” held much stronger, taking the No. 2 spot with $17.3 million in its second week.

But moviegoers — and Hollywood — were focused on “Black Panther,” including how it would fare overseas. Though considered by most to be an outdated myth, some have claimed that foreign audiences have less appetite for films with largely black casts.

“Black Panther” vanquished those notions with $169 million in ticket sales. It was No. 1 in most international markets, though “Fifty Shades Freed” bested it in Germany.

Its release in China will come later. This weekend, the Chinese New Year holiday, local productions led by “Detective Chinatown 2” and “Monster Hunt 2″ dominated Chinese theaters, with more than $140 million in ticket sales each.

“Black Panther” also performed especially well on large-format screens. Imax reported $30 million in ticket sales for the three-day weekend.

“There was a groundswell of wanting this movie to work, and then when it actually did as a film, itself, it just kicked it up a notch to a level no one could have ever predicted,” said Greg Foster, Imax Entertainment’s chief executive. “That makes me feel really good about the movie business.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday also are included. Final four-day domestic figures will be released Tuesday.

1. “Black Panther,” $192 million ($169 million international).

2. “Peter Rabbit,” $17.3 million.

3. “Fifty Shades Freed,” $16.9 million ($47.7 million international).

4. “Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle,” $7.9 million ($4.8 million international).

5. “The 15:17 to Paris,” $7.7 million ($2.8 million international).

6. “The Greatest Showman,” $5.1 million ($9.6 million international).

7. “Early Man,” $3.2 million ($3.7 million international).

8. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” $2.5 million ($11 million international).

9. “Winchester,” $2.2 million.

10. “Samson,” $2 million.

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. “Black Panther,” $169 million.

2. “Detective Chinatown 2,” $155 million.

3. “Monster Hunt 2,” $141 million.

4. “Operation Red Sea,” $70.3 million.

5. “The Monkey King 3: Kingdom of Women,” $52.3 million.

6. “Fifty Shades Freed,” $47.7 million.

7. “Boonie Bears: The Big Shrink,” $32.6 million.

8. “The Shape of Water,” $12.3 million.

9. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” $11 million.

10. “The Greatest Showman,” $9.6 million.

___

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Grammys defends itself about women representation

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By MESFIN FEKADU

NEW YORK (AP) — After a few missteps, The Recording Academy is reassuring its members that it is not lagging behind the music industry when it comes to female representation.

In a letter sent to voting and non-voting members Thursday, which was obtained by The Associated Press, the academy offers statistics to show that women had a larger presence at the Grammy Awards compared to the industry standard.

The letter to academy members comes weeks after a University of Southern California- Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism study analyzed gender and race in music over the last six years, including Grammy nominees.

Between 2012 and 2017, USC said 90.7 percent of the nominees were male and 9.3 percent were female. The numbers come from five awards: album of the year, record of the year, song of the year, best new artist, and non-classical producer of the year — an award where female nominees is a rarity.

However, in looking at the same six years at all of 84 Grammy categories, the academy said that 17 percent of its nominees were women.

USC’s study reports that women account for 22.4 percent of performers, 12.3 percent of songwriters and 2 percent of producers. Women make up 21 percent of the academy’s voting membership.

The academy was heavily criticized last month when its CEO Neil Portnow said women need to “step up” when asked about the lack of female winners at the 2018 Grammys. Portnow later said his words were taken out of context, though three separate letters from music executives demanded a revamp at the academy.

The Grammys telecast was also under fire for not letting Lorde, the only woman nominated for album of the year, perform at its 60th show last month.

“The gender composition of our membership and nominations reflect that of the music community. But it’s not enough to reflect the community. We must be leaders in moving our industry toward greater inclusion and representation,” the letter reads. “Women are 50 percent of our world. We need their voice and presence at every level.”

 

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Onslow County magistrate raises HELL at Jacksonville’s “Jazz In The City”

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Welp! One Onslow County magistrate had a little too much fun tonight at “Jazz In The City” when he attempted to use his Power Ranger powers to keep independent journalists from covering the event.

Onslow County Magistrate, Jacob Evans, who is also an, alleged, dirty old drunk and not worthy to take a dog to the dog pound let alone be in a high profile position such as magistrate, attempted to stop News In Onslow’s Gerald Jackson and The Onslow Beat’s Melissa Oakley, from covering the successful event Saturday night.

Evans, who is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. insisted that both organizations mentioned above were not “recognized” as news organizations and that Jackson and Oakley were not real journalists. Interrupting Evans, Jackson and Oakley provided their media credentials which he outright denied to verify. Apparently, he expected them to have more “evidence” than themselves and their press credentials in order to prove that they are indeed real journalists.

Jacob Evans

Earlier Saturday, News in Onslow’s Gerald Jackson spoke with Wilbert Cain who was listed as a contact for the “Jazz In The City” event. During the conversation, Jackson expressed News In Onslow’s interest in covering the event and he assured that they would be welcome. Mr. Cain also agreed to allow Jackson to invite another independent news organization, The Onslow Beat, to cover the event. When Jackson and Oakley arrived at the Hilton in Jacksonville where the event was held, they were greeted with a much different story by a man whose only job was to sit and bark if he saw something. And boy did he see something tonight!

Evans, with a much too loud voice for a public venue, continued to deny the journalists access to the event. Cain then told Evans, that he had spoken to Mr. Jackson earlier and informed him that he and his colleague were to be allowed entrance into the event. 15 minutes later, Oakley and Jackson were told that the “other guys” didn’t feel safe with us being at the event and they were then asked to leave. Since both independent news organizations are professional and did not want to cause a scene, unlike Mr. Loud and Drunk Evans, they agreed to leave the event but were stopped at the door yet again. Evans continued to clamor on that they were not “recognized” but that it was ultimately up to Cain if he wanted to allow them in or not.

Evans later mentioned that he has never seen Ms. Oakley at the courthouse and that Mr. Jackson was not allowed in Onslow County’s Courthouses.

How do you know so much about where someone is allowed or not or if they have been somewhere or not when all you do is sit behind a glass all day failing people?

Later in the conversation, Jackson and Oakley were verified to be “recognized” people and were allowed in the event but chose to leave for their safety.

Gerald Jackson captured part of the incident which will be posted to go along with this article.

The question that News in Onslow, as well as The Onslow Beat and their readers, would like to know is who are these alleged “other guys” that felt unsafe because of Jackson and Oakley’s presence?

Our team here at the News in Onslow have a feeling that Mr. Jackson was denied entrance due to the fact that he does not shy away from giving his readers the truth regardless of what or whom it may be about!

 

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