March 19, 2016 |
Sometimes you're just born with a powerful punch, that straight-off-the-street sledgehammer that can send an opponent's brain bouncing around his skull like a pinball. Mike Rafferty, the youngest and skinniest of four boys growing up in a Grays Ferry rowhouse, had to work for it. He built himself up in the old Augie's Gym at Ninth and Passyunk under the tutelage of Jimmy Arthur, a man who could teach a mouse to drop a cat. Rafferty harnessed power in his hips, found the footwork to drive his fist home, and pounded on his hands just the right way, so that at age 44 his knuckles still rise like a mountain range.
March 15, 2016 |
Moviegoers didn't have much to go on with the mysterious "10 Cloverfield Lane," but the words "Cloverfield," " J.J. Abrams " and "Temple alum Dan Trachtenberg " were enough. The Trachtenberg-directed, Abrams-produced monster movie, a so-called "spiritual successor" to 2008's found-footage hit "Cloverfield," opened with a better-than-expected $25.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. That was good enough for second place to the Disney animated hit "Zootopia," which stayed on top with $50 million in its second week, a slide of only 33 percent from its opening weekend.
March 8, 2016 |
"DEADPOOL'S" three-week reign atop the box office has ended thanks to "Zootopia" and "London Has Fallen. " The top spot went to "Zootopia" (not to be confused in any way with "Zoolander") which staged a box office stampede in its first weekend in North American theaters with $73.7 million, according to comScore estimates Sunday. It's the fourth highest March opening ever and a best for a Disney Animation three-day debut. The studio's previous record-holder? A little snowflake called "Frozen" ($67.4 million)
March 2, 2016 |
I WAS ALL for concept of "The Dream Team" at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. If the Olympic Games truly were about the best athletes from around the world competing on the biggest stage, then why shouldn't professional athletes in sports such as basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer be eligible to compete? Indeed, over the next two decades and five Olympic cycles, the governing bodies of almost every sport adjusted their rules so that the line between amateur and professional status became obsolete as far as Olympic competition.
February 24, 2016
It's 'Dead' at box office Ryan Reynolds ' Deadpool , a Kierkegaardian dissertation on the sickness unto death cleverly disguised as a superhero comedy, stays atop the box office chart in its second week, making another $55 mil in America over the weekend, according to studio estimates. Its total worldwide take is just below $500 mil. It's a big deal for an R-rated pic. Jack Black 's Kung Fu Panda 3 made $12.5 mil in its fourth weekend, taking take second place, and the Jesus biopic Risen , starring Ralph Fiennes , debuted at No. 3 with $11.8 mil. My favorite movie of the weekend, the Danish import A War , made $36,047.
February 20, 2016 |
Admitting a 20-year whiff in bringing competition to the $20 billion cable-TV box industry, federal regulators voted Thursday to open cable-box standards for Google and other technology companies. The goal is for them to devise new ways for consumers to search TV channels and on-demand streaming on television. The Federal Communications Commission voted along partisan lines, with three Democrats voting for the proposal and two Republicans voting against it. The measure, if ultimately successful, could undermine a longtime profit center for Comcast and pay-TV companies that have a monopoly on the business of leasing tens of millions of cable, or set-top, boxes to consumers.
February 18, 2016 |
The pay-TV industry lobbied Tuesday against a proposal to open cable set-top box standards, blasting it as a giveaway to West Coast technology companies that could take years to implement and burden consumers with extra costs. The Federal Communications Commission is expected to take its first vote on new set-top rules in Washington on Thursday. At stake for Comcast Corp. and others in the cable- and satellite-TV industries is control over a $20 billion-a-year business and how consumers search for TV shows and movies in their living rooms.
February 9, 2016 |
G EORGE CLOONEY may be a movie star. But he ain't a panda. "Kung Fu Panda 3" showed its might again by beating Clooney's "Hail, Caesar!" and "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" at the Super Bowl weekend box office. The "Panda" sequel earned an estimated $21 million in its second weekend of release, according to studio estimates yesterday. Joel and Ethan Coen 's '50s Hollywood satire "Hail, Caesar!" opened in second place with an estimated $11.4 million. The Nicholas Sparks ' romance "The Choice" debuted with $6.1 million for Lionsgate.
February 2, 2016 |
"KUNG FU PANDA 3" chopped all competitors down to size this past weekend, dominating the North American box office with a respectable $41 million, according to Rentrak estimates. The animated sequel fared much better than the weekend's other new openers: "The Finest Hours" debuted in fourth place with $10.3 million, "Fifty Shades of Black" earned a modest $6.2 million, "Jane Got a Gun" brought in only $803,000. Someone's getting a write-off. "The Revenant" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" took second and third place with $12.4 million and $10.8 million, respectively.
January 31, 2016 |
Set-top box rentals - a major profit center for cable and satellite TV companies and sore point with consumers - may finally be going the way of "Ma Bell" compulsory phone rentals. (Remember them?) That's if Federal Communications Commissioner Thomas Wheeler's proposal to "unlock the box" wins favor from his fellow commissioners. Wheeler's proposal, set for full FCC vote Feb. 18, aims to pave the way for "software, devices, and other innovative solutions to compete with the channel-tuning boxes that a majority of consumers lease today.