June 27, 2015 |
Jurassic World is helping Comcast Corp.-owned Universal Pictures devour box-office records like a T. rex. The futuristic franchise reboot barreled to $1 billion in a record-setting 13 days this month and could surpass $1.5 billion before it fades to extinction on the big screen, movie-industry observers say. Though it's only June, the Hollywood studio says it already has set an all-time record for annual gross receipts - $3.8 billion through...
June 6, 2015 |
No American professional sport is more obviously wrapped in nonathletic businesses than auto racing. That's why NASCAR - and especially this weekend - is important for Philadelphia-based Axalta Coating Systems. Axalta makes paint in thousands of colors and formulas for cars, trucks, buses, and industrial fixtures. It sells business-to-business, working through distributors, big body-shop groups, and automakers in 130 countries, generating first-quarter revenue of close to $1 billion.
April 14, 2015
"TOO BIG to fail" describes the notion that a business is so large and important to the economy that government must do anything to prevent its failure. That term gained currency during the banking debacle that led to the Great Recession. If you were a victim, "too big to fail" carries a promise of protection that suggests that some companies are, in fact, too big to question. One bright spot in the post-recession era is that more big companies are being subject to greater scrutiny and questions.
April 9, 2015 |
MEMBERS OF Philadelphia's arts community were singing, dancing and even playing the violin at City Hall yesterday - but they weren't celebrating. Instead, they were trying to bring attention to the fact that Mayor Nutter's budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning July 1 contains a 40 percent reduction to the budget of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. The fund, a nonprofit corporation established by the city in 1991 to award city-funded grants to art organizations, is in line to receive $1.84 million for fiscal year 2016, or $1.3 million less than it received in the current-year budget of $3.14 million.
March 16, 2015 |
The U.S. Labor Department jobs reports are glowing - unemployment down to 5.5 percent last month and a robust 295,000 jobs added to the nation's payrolls. Even in the Philadelphia suburbs, the latest figures show the rate even lower, at 5 percent. But why, if everything is so good, are monthly sessions packed at My Career Transitions, a local networking group of volunteers who help people looking for work? "It's not as rosy as the numbers indicate," said Michael Hughes. "I see new faces every month.
March 9, 2015 |
It's unlikely any young married couples with babies and toddlers live in the perfect serenity that Jessica Todd Harper summons in "The Home Stage," a series of large, luminous color photographs of herself and her family that is currently on view at the Print Center. It's doubtful that Harper believes in her contrived narratives, either, but she doesn't quite give it away. That would spoil the fun. Harper's gentle, WASPy images of parents, children, and grandparents at home together, illuminated only by available daylight, suggest earlier centuries, and domestic scenes more likely to have been captured on canvas than with a camera lens.
March 6, 2015
NOW THAT Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Union have avoided a strike by agreeing in principle to a new, 5-year collective bargaining agreement, Union coach Jim Curtin can zero in on what he has tried to get in focus since the team opened training camp. "There was a little bit of a buzz in practice and a sense of release," Curtin said yesterday on a media conference call before the Union opens the season tomorrow at PPL Park. "Our focus has always been, since the preseason started, on March 7 against Colorado.
February 24, 2015
The showbiz saga "Birdman" won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and four Oscars in all. It was a big night for "Birdman" the story of a has-been Hollywood actor mounting a Broadway comeback. The movie also won awards for directing, writing and cinematography. Julianne Moore won Best Actress for "Still Alice," the story of a woman succumbing to Alzheimers Disease. She was a popular pick, and won an enthusiastic standing ovation. "They say winning an Oscar will allow you to live five years longer.
January 28, 2015 |
Marky Ramone wasn't an original member of the Ramones. But the drummer, born Marc Bell, was on board with the fast, furious, and mightily influential punk-rock band by its fourth album - the 1978 classic Road to Ruin . That began a 11/2-decade, black-leather-jacket run with the New York masters of breakneck minimalism, whom Spin magazine once voted the second greatest band of all time. Now, Marky is telling the band's story - as well as the tale of his own pre-Ramones years in the 1970s CBGB scene - in his memoir Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone (Touchstone, $28)
January 26, 2015 |
Once you find the plain green door marked "maintenance" inside Camden Catholic, you can't miss the aura of the school's wrestling program. Inside the door and down a stairwell, the steps lead to a wall that reads, "You are walking the green mile . . . pathway to the House of Pain. " If you continue on the green-painted floors and avoid the spare wrestling mats in the hallway, you'll eventually reach the gym. The pictures of seven state champions grace one wall. An opposite wall is covered with 18 pictures of past Region 7 champions.