Egypt Independent: Arts-Main news en Box Office: 'Madea Halloween' Edges Out 'Jack Reacher 2' With $27.6 Million <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>&nbsp;It was a battle of the sequels at the multiplexes this weekend, as &quot;Boo! A Madea Halloween&quot; narrowly edged out &quot;Jack Reacher: Never Go Back&quot; to claim first place at the domestic box office.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The latest film in the long-running Madea series racked up $27.6 million. Comedian Chris Rock may be entitled to a percentage of the gross. Creator Tyler Perry was inspired to take his pistol-packing grandma trick-or-treating after Rock&#39;s comedian character in 2014&#39;s &quot;Top Five&quot; joked that his latest movie, a passion project about a slave revolt, was going head-to-head at the box office with &quot;Boo! A Madea Halloween.&quot; What was once intended as satire eventually became a seasonally appropriate reality.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;This isn&#39;t the end of the series, it&#39;s just the beginning,&quot; said Jeff Bock, box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations, who noted that Perry also scored with 2013&#39;s &quot;A Madea Christmas.&quot; &quot;There are so many holidays left. There&#39;s Easter, St. Patrick&#39;s Day, and he hasn&#39;t even done a Thanksgiving one yet.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Don&#39;t look for &quot;Boo!&quot; to end up in the Oscar race or on many reviewers&#39; &quot;ten best&quot; lists, but the Halloween comedy is a hit for distributor Lionsgate and reaffirms Perry&#39;s star power. Despite being routinely derided by critics, the film series has an extremely loyal fan base. Collectively they&#39;ve earned nearly $380 million, enjoying capacious profit margins given that most of the movies cost less than a Papa John&#39;s Super Bowl spot to produce. The latest Madea cost $20 million to make, and attracted a more diverse crowd. Typically the films have an audience that&#39;s between 80% and 90% African-American, but this installment&#39;s crowd was only 60% African-American, with the rest of ticket buyers made up largely of Caucasians and Hispanic movie-goers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The film crossed over and it expanded the audience,&quot; said David Spitz, co-president of domestic distribution at Lionsgate. &quot;Madea is such a beloved character and the timing helped. There are not many comedies in the marketplace right now and Halloween is right around the corner.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Never Go Back&quot; was right behind, with the action sequel earning a solid $23 million. The film brought back Tom Cruise as Reacher, an ex-military investigator with a penchant for ass-kicking. The films are based on a popular series of books by Lee Childs, but despite their best-selling pedigree, a sequel to &quot;Jack Reacher&quot; wasn&#39;t exactly a given. The first film ended up making money for Paramount in 2012, grossing $218.3 million worldwide on a production budget of $60 million, but it wasn&#39;t exactly a blockbuster. The film did, however, have a healthy after-life on home entertainment platforms.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;It felt for awhile like every time I&#39;d go on a plane, it was the movie every person was watching,&quot; said Megan Colligan, Paramount&#39;s president of worldwide distribution and marketing. &quot;It was a movie that expanded its audience.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The studio made sure that costs didn&#39;t escalate on the sequel, keeping the budget locked at $60 million, a feat since most franchises increase their spending with each subsequent installment. They were rewarded for the cost consciousness. &quot;Never Go Back&quot; improved on &quot;Jack Reacher&#39;s&quot; $15.2 million debut from four years ago. It&#39;s worth noting, however, that the previous film debuted days after the Sandy Hook elementary school killings, which may have depressed turnout for the violent adventure film. Overseas, &quot;Never Go Back&quot; performed well, earning $31 million.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Ouija: Origin of Evil,&quot; the follow-up to 2014&#39;s low-budget horror hit &quot;Ouija,&quot; picked up $14.1 million, a respectable return given its $9 million budget. Universal distributed the Blumhouse production, which got markedly better reviews than the original, but couldn&#39;t translate the critical notices into a bigger opening than its predecessor. The first film in the series kicked off to $19.9 million before going on to make $103.6 million globally. Platinum Dunes and Hasbro produced the board game adaptation.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Origin of Evil&quot; is set in the 1960s and centers on a scam seance artist who unwittingly invites evil spirits into her home. The film&#39;s PG-13 rating meant its audience skewed younger, with 57% of ticket-buyers clocking in under the age of 25. Universal believes the film will benefit from the holiday next week.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Based on the fact that we&#39;re the only wide release horror film on Halloween, we&#39;re expecting to hold well,&quot; said Nick Carpou, Universal&#39;s domestic distribution chief.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Last weekend&#39;s champ, Warner Bros.&#39; &quot;The Accountant,&quot; came in fourth, holding well to pick up $14 million. That pushes the Ben Affleck thriller&#39;s domestic total to $47.9 million.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>DreamWorks Pictures&#39; &quot;The Girl on the Train&quot; rounded out the top five, earning $7.3 million. The adaptation of the literary hit about an alcoholic who becomes obsessed with a missing woman has earned $58.9 million after three weeks in theaters. Universal distributed the film.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The weekend&#39;s other major new release, Fox&#39;s &quot;Keeping Up with the Joneses,&quot; flopped, eking out $5.6 million. The action-comedy about a suburban couple who gets entangled in the world of international espionage stars Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, Gal Gadot, and Isla Fisher. It&#39;s a rough start given its $40 million budget.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Among other releases, &quot;The Met: Live in HD&#39;s&quot; screening of Mozart&#39;s Don Giovanni drew opera fans, grossing $1.7 million on more than 900 screens.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Faith-based distributor Pure Flix debuted &quot;I&#39;m Not Ashamed,&quot; a drama about a victim of the Columbine High School shootings, to $900,000 on 505 theaters.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Michael Moore waded into the presidential election with &quot;Michael Moore in TrumpLand,&quot; a film of a one-man stage performance that the documentary filmmaker delivered in Ohio, all but begging the Rust Belt to abandon the Donald. The film earned $50,200 on two screens for a $25,100 per-screen average.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a statement, Moore said, &quot;This film speaks to and is being enjoyed by many constituencies, namely the 50% of the country planning not to vote, or those voting third party, but also among Clinton supporters and even Trump voters who know better. I&#39;m convinced now that as millions of Americans will see this movie, it will have an impact on this election.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rapturous critical notices lifted &quot;Moonlight&quot; at the art house box office this weekend. The film was bolstered by a love letter from the New York Times&#39; A.O. Scott, who labeled it &quot;breathtaking&quot; and stopped short of declaring it 2016&#39;s best film with two months left to go in the year. The A24 release earned an impressive $414,740 on four screens, for a sizzling $103,685 per-screen average. That sets it up nicely as the indie distributor looks to expand the drama about a gay boy coming-of-age in the inner city of Miami. It could also bolster &quot;Moonlight&#39;s&quot; Oscar chances.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It&#39;s been a rough fall movie season, with ticket sales down more than 12%, but things appear to be on the upswing. Revenues were up 18% from the year-ago period, when &quot;The Last Witch Hunter&quot; and &quot;Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension&quot; both bombed. Analysts believe the box office is poised for a rebound, with several big-budget offerings hitting theaters in the coming weeks, such as &quot;Inferno&quot; with Tom Hanks and Marvel&#39;s &quot;Doctor Strange.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;This should be the start of a turnaround,&quot; said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with ComScore. &quot;After hitting rock bottom, now we begin climbing back.&quot;</div> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:37:00 +0000 Reuters 2473742 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/10/24/39/phoaydqbtd1yrx_1_l.jpg UN appoints Wonder Woman as honorary ambassador amid outcry <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The United Nations named comic-book superhero Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador to fight for gender equality on Friday, amid criticism that the scantily clad fictional character was an inappropriate choice.<br /><br />U.N. officials at a ceremony formalising the appointment said Wonder Woman is known for her commitment to justice, peace and equality.<br /><br />&quot;Wonder Woman is an icon,&quot; said U.N. Under-Secretary-General Cristina Gallach. &quot;We are very pleased that this character will help us reach new audiences with essential messages of our empowerment and equality.&quot;<br /><br />U.N. officials have said they hoped the selection of a comic-book hero and movie character would appeal to younger women in its campaign for women&#39;s empowerment, and the slogan of the campaign says: &quot;Think of all the wonders we can do.&quot;<br /><br />Wonder Woman, a DC Comics Inc. heroine, first appeared in 1942, fighting villains, rescuing victims and unearthing diabolical plots.<br /><br />On hand was actress Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in a television series in the 1970s, and actress Gal Gadot, who will play Wonder Woman in a movie to be released next year.<br /><br />&quot;I couldn&#39;t think of a more perfect role for her,&quot; said Carter, saying the character shows women can be &quot;smart and beautiful and strong and wise and kind and brave.&quot;<br /><br />But the selection has been met with opposition, and nearly 1,000 people signed an online petition asking U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider the choice.<br /><br />&quot;Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent &#39;warrior&#39; woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character&#39;s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit,&quot; the petition reads.<br /><br />Several dozen U.N. employees, one holding a sign saying &quot;Women deserve a real ambassador,&quot; staged a silent protest in the U.N.&#39;s visitor&#39;s lobby as the ceremony was held.<br /><br />&quot;Why do we need to use a sexualised cartoon character?&quot; said employee Elizabeth Leff.<br />&nbsp;</p> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:33:00 +0000 Reuters 2473740 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/10/24/39/lynda.jpg Michael Bolton happy with 'surprising' reception in Cairo airport <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="LTR">Rock legend Michael Bolton has expressed his great pleasure at the warm reception he received on arrival at Cairo International Airport last week, ahead of his performance in Cairo on Friday.</p><p dir="LTR">In an interview with Sherif Amer on the &ldquo;Yahdoth Fi Masr&rdquo; talk-show, Bolton said he had toured all over the world in the past 38 years, but the reception at Cairo was &quot;surprising&quot;.</p><p dir="LTR">The fans waiting for him sang his songs, making him shy and happy at the same time.</p><p dir="LTR">Bolton said he has been invited to visit Egypt twice in previous years, but he couldn&#39;t make it. However, this time it worked out, and he was happy to be in Egypt.<br /><br />With a few days to kill Cairo, he took part in several touristic visits, including riding a camel at the Giza Pyramids. He encouraged others to visit Egypt, describing it as &quot;the land of peace, safety and civilization.&quot;</p><p dir="LTR">During his TV interview, Bolton said that his first successful song came relatively late, at the age of 34. He said he has been through poverty and suffering, which made him view success in a different way.</p><p dir="LTR">As a youngster, he was surrounded by debt and rent checks, with lots of responsibilities, but he always maintained his love of music and singing.</p><p dir="LTR">Bolton is a has won several Grammy awards, and has sold 53 million albums and singles worldwide.</p><p dir="LTR">With a solid fan base stretching back decades, Bolton found himself reaching out to a new generation in an unexpected manner in 2011. He performed in the song &ldquo;Captain Jack Sparrow&rdquo; by muscial comedy group The Lonely Island, and a video of the song racked up over 95 million views on YouTube.</p> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:16:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2473735 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/10/24/505446/536940_0.jpg 3-minute preview: 'Inferno' <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Another adventure awaits Tom Hanks&#39; adventurous academic Robert Langdon with &quot;Inferno&quot; arriving in US, Chinese, and Japanese theaters on Oct 28.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Who&#39;s in it and what&#39;s it about?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Tom Hanks returns as Dan Brown&#39;s historian adventurer, Harvard University professor and inadvertent conspiracy theory supporter Robert Langdon.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He&#39;s disoriented and hospitalised in Florence, observed by Dr. Brooks (Felicity Jones, who can already be seen in trailer footage for &quot;Rogue One: A Star Wars Story&quot;), but the pair soon hotfoot it away from certain death and towards a world-saving conclusion, seeking to locate and prevent the release of a biochemical agent using Langdon&#39;s expert understanding of Dante Alighieri&#39;s allegorical poem, &quot;Inferno.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ben Foster (&quot;3:10 to Yuma&quot;) becomes the film&#39;s ominous villain, India&#39;s Irrfan Khan (&quot;Jurassic World&quot;) and Romania&#39;s Ana Ularu (&quot;Serena&quot;) among his accomplices; Denmark&#39;s Sidse Knudsen (&quot;Westworld&quot;) and France&#39;s Omar Sy (also &quot;Jurassic World&quot;) add to the international cast in taking prominent roles.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Who&#39;s behind it?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Dan Brown wrote the 2013 novel which was, lest we forget, the fourth in an ongoing series that started with year 2000 publication &quot;Angels &amp; Demons&quot; (whose film version released 2009) and continued with &quot;The Da Vinci Code&quot; in 2003 (the first, 2006 film) and &quot;The Lost Symbol&quot; in 2009 (unadapted).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ron Howard directs, as he did on &quot;The Da Vinci Code&quot; and &quot;Angels &amp; Demons,&quot; with screenwriter David Koepp also returning from the latter.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>When&#39;s it out?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>An Oct 28 general release in the US and Canada, China and Japan embraces three of the world&#39;s top four national box offices, after which &quot;Inferno&quot; has booked Hong Kong for Nov 3 and France for Nov 9.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Is it any good?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>With its US release trailing those in most of the rest of the world, the cat&#39;s out of the bag as far as critical consensus is concerned: &quot;Inferno&quot; earned a poor 36/100 score on Metacritic, and 22% general approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 6.5/10 from over 10,000 IMDb user reviews. However, that&#39;s not too much different from scores obtained by &quot;Angels &amp; Demons&quot; and &quot;The Da Vinci Code.&quot;<br />&nbsp;</div><div>Incidentally, &quot;The Da Vinci Code&quot; made US$758m USD on a US$125m budget, &quot;Angels &amp; Demons&quot; accumulated US$486m on US$150m. If &quot;Inferno&quot; follows the franchise&#39;s downward trend and only rakes in US$230m, that&#39;s still a hefty haul considering its lower estimated budget of US$75m.<br />&nbsp;</div> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:16:00 +0000 AFP 2473737 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/10/24/39/inferno.jpg