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‘Black Panther’ Breaks Box Office Records With $218m |The Republican News

By Agency Report

Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” is heading for a super-heroic $218 million debut over the four-day President’s Day weekend at 4,020 North American locations, estimates showed Sunday.

That number means that “Black Panther,” starring Chadwick Boseman and directed by Ryan Coogler, has doubled its original tracking in less than a month.

The film, which carries an estimated $200 million production cost, had been tracking to bring in between an impressive $100 and $120 million when first estimates emerged on Jan. 25.

Since then, “Black Panther” has become a must-see movie for many moviegoers, underlined when Thursday previews brought in $25.2 million, the largest Thursday night preview gross for a February opener and the second-largest preview gross for a Marvel film.

The film’s estimated three-day gross of $192 million is the highest debut ever for a February film and the fifth highest of all time.

Combined with an estimated international debut of $169 million from 69 percent of the international market, the estimated global debut stands at $361 million through Sunday.

“Black Panther” has demolished the record for the largest Presidents Day weekend, blowing past “Deadpool‘s” 2016 mark of $152 million.

Overall North American movie going for the four-day period should hit $300 million — far above the $278 million mark in 2016, according to comScore.

”This is proof that the big screen experience may arguably be the most powerful platform of change in our society,“ said Paul Dergarabedian,”senior media analyst with comScore.

“The emotional, communal, immersive and bigger than life theatrical experience has an impact that virtually no other medium can match.”
Comscore’s PostTrak survey of the audience showed outstanding numbers with 77 percent rating “Black Panther” as “excellent” and another 18 percent as “very good.”

Boseman portrays King T‘Challa, ruler of Wakanda, a technologically advanced society, who conflicts with Michael B. Jordan’s Eric Killmonger, who intends to take over the throne.

Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong‘o, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, and Daniel Kaluuya also star. It’s received an A+ CinemaScore, the only Marvel film to have done so besides 2012’s “The Avengers.” (NAN/Reuters)

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‘Black Panther’ Brings Hope, Hype And Pride |The Republican News

 

By SALAMISHAH TILLET
a man standing in front of the ocean: Chadwick Boseman in a scene from “Black Panther.”  © Marvel Studios, via Associated Press Chadwick Boseman in a scene from “Black Panther.”
I suppose neither of us is used to the spotlight,” a dapper T’Challa, the prince of Wakanda, says upon meeting Natasha Romanova, a.k.a. the Black Widow, in “Captain America: Civil War.” A few scenes later, a recently orphaned and vengeful T’Challa, swapping his bespoke blue suit for a full-body bulletproof one, reappears as a new Marvel movie superhero.

The prince will have to live with the attention: Even before its Feb. 16 release, “Black Panther” smashed box-office records, beating out “Captain America: Civil War” on first-day advance ticket sales and surpassing “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” to become Fandango’s top-selling superhero movie in history. Perhaps even more impressive, the film is also outpacing its cinematic counterparts in cultural reach.

“I’ve been waiting all of my life for ‘Black Panther,’” said DJ BenHaMeen, host of FanBrosShow, a weekly podcast on “urban geek” culture. “That said, I know where I was, the exact street in Houston and the exact time on Oct. 28, 2014, when Marvel officially announced that they were doing the movie.”

Not since Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” in 1992 has there been so much hype and hope for a movie among African-American audiences. From special group outings planned by excited fans to crowdfunding campaigns to ensure children can see it, “Black Panther” is shaping up to be a phenomenon. In December, a viral video of two African-American men excited to see the movie’s poster with its all-star black cast — “This is what white people get to feel like ALL THE TIME?!!!!” one man wrote on Twittered — seemed to capture the anticipation, garnering more than 2.5 million views.

What has audiences so eager this time is in part the combination of an auteur African-American director (Ryan Coogler of “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed”), a heavyweight cast (Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker) and a soundtrack co-produced by a rap superstar (Kendrick Lamar), all working on one of the most popular franchises in Hollywood. But the excitement has also been fueled by the origin story of the African superhero.

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther was the first black superhero in mainstream comics, making his debut in Marvel’s Fantastic Four No. 52 in 1966. He went on to appear in Avengers titles and took his first star in turn Jungle Action No. 5 in 1973. He had his ups and downs: his own series largely penned by Kirby, a cancellation in 1979 and a return in the 1980s. From 2005 to 2009, he was the subject of another series, this one written by the filmmaker Reginald Hudlin (“Marshall”). In 2016, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a new series of comic books, while Joe Robert Cole and Mr. Coogler worked on the script.

In many ways, Black Panther is part of a current wave of black superheroes, like Netflix’s Luke Cage and CW’s Black Lightning. But “Black Panther” has the setting of Wakanda, a fictional African country that is wealthy (thanks to vibranium, a mineral with energy-manipulating qualities) and technologically advanced. Part of the movie’s emotional and visual appeal lies in the fact that Wakanda has never been colonized.

“Wakanda is a kind of black utopia in our fight against colonialism and imperial control of black land and black people by white people,” said Deirdre Hollman, a founder of the annual Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. “To the black imagination, that means everything. In a comic book, it is a reality, and through a major motion picture, it’s even more tangibly and artistically a reality that we can explore for ourselves. There’s so much power that’s drawn from the notion that there was a community, a nation that resisted colonization and infiltration and subjugation.”

For Frederick Joseph, a marketing consultant who created the #BlackPantherChallenge, a GoFundMe campaign to buy tickets so youngsters can see “Black Panther” in theaters, the complexity of Wakanda takes on new meaning in our current moment. Compared with President Trump’s disparagement of Haiti and African nations, he said, “You have Wakanda as a place of Afro-futurism, of what African nations can be or what they could have been and still be had colonialism not taken place.” (Mr. Joseph’s campaign, which raised more than $40,000 to take children from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem to the film, has led to more than 70 similar efforts.)

The Black Panther’s regal alter ego, Prince T’Challa, is a draw as well, said Jonathan Gray, author of the forthcoming “Illustrating the Race: Representing Blackness in American Comics.” He explained: “Now there you have every black boy’s fantasy. He is richer than Bill Gates, smarter than Elon Musk, better looking than Denzel.” And with vibranium, “he is the hereditary ruler of the richest nation on Earth. The movie is about wish fulfillment. When you see Bruce Wayne, this dashing billionaire, where is the black version of that? You got T’Challa.”

                                                            © Marvel

In this sense, “Black Panther” is as much an alternative to our contemporary racial discourse as it is a throwback, not only a desire for what could have been but also a nostalgia for what we once had. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this movie appears precisely in a moment in which our politics seems inescapable,” Mr. Gray said, adding later that “Black Panther” should be understood in a political context in which both the legal gains of the civil rights movement and the interracial optimism of the Obama era have been undermined.

For Marc Bernardin, an author of the comic book “Genius” and host of the podcast “Fatman on Batman” with the director Kevin Smith, the movie taps into “the cultural longing for what Obama was, the time in which you didn’t check your phone everyday hoping the world wasn’t on fire again. A time where devaluation of young black life wasn’t as stark and awful as it feels like it is right now.”

Simply going to the movie can be interpreted as a small gesture of protest and a grand expression of cultural pride.

“Black Panther” has already become a kind of shared language. “Last week I was at the mall when another black dude passed by me,” Mr. Bernardin said. “We gave each other a nod, and he said, ‘Black Panther’s’ in a month, yo.’ That was his version of ‘what’s up,’ his way of marking of time.”

In addition to fans wearing custom-made Black Panther costumes and African-inspired haute couture to the premiere last month, African-American civic groups and others are buying out movie theaters so African-American children can experience the film with one another.

a man standing in front of the ocean: Chadwick Boseman in a scene from “Black Panther.”

In Oakland, Calif., LaDawn James Williams originally intended to fly to New York to see it with her college friends from Howard University. Instead she plans to host a “Black Panther” screening for her local chapter of Jack and Jill of America. She, her husband, and their 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son will watch it with more than 90 other African-American families in a private viewing.

“We’ll be able to take the mask off,” she said. “It’s going to be really subtle, but we’re going to get certain things about the movie and its language that only we know. So I want this to be something we do together: my family, my chapter and my community.”             (The New York Times)

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Big Brother Naija Kicks Off With 20 Housemates |The Republican News

bbnaija-2018-begins
                           BBNaija: The housemates

The third season of reality TV series, Big Brother Nigeria was launched on Sunday with 20 contestants also known as “housemates”.

This year’s edition, which is tagged “double wahala” stars Vandora, Teddy A, K Bruce, Nina, Miracle, Alex, Princess, DeeOne and Ahneeka.

Other housemates are Rico Swavey, Bito, BamBam, Leo, Khloe, Angel and Ifu-Ennada, Anto, Tobi Bakare, Cee-C and Lolu.

The show is running for a second consecutive running year as it had previously suffered a 10-year hiatus after holding its first edition in 2006.

Popular artists, Mayorkun and Kiss Daniel performed live during the launch.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, who returned to host the show for the second time, introduced the housemates in groups of four.

This year’s contestants are a cross-section of musicians, comedians and entrepreneurs.

The housemates were given their first task of finding bed spaces as those available were limited.

The number of contestants is an increase from last year’s 12 housemates, which saw Efe Ejeba emerged winner, taking home the 25 million Naira cash prize and an SUV.

A reunion show featuring some of the previous housemates had been aired for one week before Sunday’s launch.

Every Sunday on the show, viewers are expected to witness an eviction of a housemate.

The winner of the 78 – day contest will be given N25 million cash prize and a brand new SUV.    (Punch)

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Russell Simmons Sued For Allegedly Raping A Documentary Filmmaker In 2016

Victoria Kim

Def Jam founder Russell Simmons was accused in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday afternoon of raping a woman in 2016 at his Hollywood Hills home.
The allegation from Jennifer Jarosik, a 37-year-old documentary filmmaker, comes after nearly a dozen women came forward in media reports to accuse the hip-hop mogul of rape and sexual assault over three decades. At least three of the women alleged Simmons had raped them.

The New York Police Department said last month it had opened an investigation into Simmons, who has styled himself as a yoga and meditation guru in recent years. He announced he was stepping down from his businesses after the allegations emerged.

Simmons has denied the claims against him and on Wednesday called the allegations in the lawsuit “hurtful” and “absolutely untrue.”

Russell Simmons posing for the camera                    © Courtesy of Jennifer Jarosk  

“I look forward to having my day in court — where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known,” Simmons said in a statement.

“In the meantime … I will not litigate this matter in the media. I am confident that when all is said and all is done, it will be as clear to others as it is to me that I did not do what this lawsuit accuses me of doing. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.”

In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Jarosik alleged that Simmons invited her to his home to discuss her documentary film project in August 2016. When she rebuffed his advances for sex, he got aggressive and pushed her onto his bed, she alleged.

She said Simmons knocked her off his bed, causing her to hit her head, and raped her while she was “in shock and fear,” according to the lawsuit.

Jarosik’s attorney, Perry Wander, said she didn’t report the attack or confront Simmons about it because she wanted to continue working in the industry. He said Jarosik was working on a film about female empowerment, which Simmons was discussing co-producing and possibly financing, the attorney said.

Wander said Jarosik confronted Simmons over text messages after the first allegations emerged late last year. Simmons denied the accusations and stopped responding, according to the attorney.

The suit seeks $5 million in damages.   (Los Angeles Times)

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Why I Named My Pet Python Toke Makinwa – Pretty Mike |The Republican News

Pretty-Mike
                                                Pretty Mike

Ademola Olonilua

Popular Lagos club owner, Pretty Mike, is in the news again for another controversial reason. A few weeks ago, he decided to get himself a new pet and opted for a python.

After he acquired the snake, he took pictures of himself bathing with the reptile and also announced the name of the snake as Toke Makinwa.

Many people took to his Instagram page to express their displeasure over the naming of the snake after a popular on-air personality and author.

However, in a chat with Saturday Beats, the popular socialite explained why he named the python, Toke Makinwa.

He said, “I named my pet snake Toke Makinwa because every Toke Makinwa is a snake. I named my pet python Toke Makinwa because I believe that she is not just a snake, but a huge snake – a python. And this is based on some things she talks about and writes on. There is a lot of cunningness and sneakiness to her.

“She is not your normal lady and it is time to let people know. Some people attacked me that why would I name my snake after her but the truth is that the name is not patented and she does not have the right to the name. She is not the only Toke Makinwa in the world; there are so many of them. She might be the more popular one but right now, my pet python is even more popular than her.

“The truth is that we did not have any issue before I named the snake Toke Makinwa. She is my very good friend and I have seen her on some occasions. She understands that this is pure entertainment and as entertainers, we could diss ourselves in public but because we are entertainers, we know that when we are behind closed doors, we would talk to each other and settle any issue.

“We would see ourselves and say something like, ‘Mike that was a nice one.’ That is the beauty of the maturity entertainers have. We can do whatever we like in public, but behind closed doors, we know it is just for the show. I met her once after the news broke that I named my python Toke Makinwa and the reception I got from her was nice. She just said, ‘Hey Mike, you want them to hear our voice in Lagos State.’ And I told her that it is what we are in the business for. I even plan to have a ‘meet, greet and take a picture with Toke’ I would take my python out and people would have the opportunity of taking a picture with her (sic).”

He shared his reason for acquiring a python as a pet in the first place instead of a dog or a cat like some other people would have opted for.

He said, “I think that a lot of people do not understand the python. In our culture, we were taught that snakes are poisonous and dangerous but in the snake family, python is the only snake that has no venom, it is not poisonous. This is something I would like to educate people about. With the level of education in the country, we are still ignorant about certain things.

pretty_mike_kiss_pet-snake

“I take a bath with the snake because it is my pet. I am sure a person is allowed to do whatever he likes with his pet. I take showers regularly with my pet; we eat together and go out together. It is my pet and I should not treat it lesser than I would do my pet puppy or cat. I feel like if I do that, I am discriminating against it (sic),” he said.

Pretty-Mike-reveals---Toke-Makinwa

However, when Saturday Beats reached out to Toke Makinwa for her view on the issue, the OAP said she was about to begin a seminar and asked Saturday Beats to call back. After about an hour, Saturday Beats reached out to her but she did not pick her calls neither did she reply the text message sent to her.  (Punch)

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Angelina Jolie Reveals What Put Strain On Her And Brat Pitt’s Marriage |RN

Antoinette Bueno‍
Angelina Jolie is reflecting on her final movie with Brad Pitt.

The 42-year-old actress recently appeared on The Hollywood Reporter‘s podcast Awards Chatter, where she candidly discussed why she wanted to work with Pitt on their critically panned 2015 film, By the Sea. Jolie says she believed at the time that the film would improve their marriage.

In this May 28, 2014 file photo, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive at the world premiere of "Maleficent" in Los Angeles.© Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File In this May 28, 2014 file photo, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive at the world premiere of “Maleficent” in Los Angeles.

 

“We had met working together and we worked together well,” she explains, referring to meeting on the set of 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

“I wanted us to do some serious work together. I thought it would be a good way for us to communicate. In some ways it was, and in some ways we learned some things. But there was a heaviness probably during that situation that carried on and it wasn’t because of the film.”

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2007 file photo, Brad Pitt, and actress Angelina Jolie arrive for the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif.© Mark J. Terrill, File/ AP Photo FILE – In this Jan. 15, 2007 file photo, Brad Pitt, and actress Angelina Jolie arrive for the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Jolie acknowledges that outside factors definitely affected their relationship.

“Over the span of that decade, I did lose my mother,” she points out. “I did have my mastectomy, and I did then have an ovarian cancer scare and have that surgery as well, and other things of course that happened in life that you go through.”

“A piece of art can be something that’s healing or something that’s difficult,” she continues. “I don’t know. I’m glad we did that film because we did explore something together. Whatever it was maybe it didn’t solve certain things, but we did communicate something that needed to be communicated to each other.”

During the interview, Jolie also discusses her famously rocky relationship with her father, actor Jon Voight. Jolie acknowledges that she didn’t feel close to her father growing up, which she explains is part of the reason why she didn’t take his last name, but says they’ve begun a “new” relationship thanks to her kids –16-year-old Maddox, 14-year-old Pax, 12-year-old Zahara, 11-year-old Shiloh and 9-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.

“Through grandchildren now we’re finding a new relationship and it’s very, very nice,” she shares. “We’ve had some difficulties. Through art is a way we’ve been able to talk. It’s a common language. We don’t really talk politics well.”

In October, Jolie brought daughters Shiloh and Zahara with her to the Los Angeles premiere of The Breadwinner, where they adorably held hands on the red carpet. (ETOnline)

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Ford Sues John Cena For Selling High-end Car Within A Month Of Purchase |RN

ford-sues-john-cena-for-selling-500000-gt-supercar
                               John Cena and his 2017 Ford GT. Photo: Autoblog

When Ford launched its Application Programme for the Ford GT, observers noted the hoops and hurdles Ford set up to manage its relationship with the high-end clientele club.

Actor John Cena took delivery of a custom 2017 GT in September, then sold the coupe not even a month later — an audacious violation of the purchase contract he signed, which bound owners to hold onto their cars for at least two years.

For such treason, Ford sued Cena in U.S. District Court last week, seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

Cena paid $466,376.50 for the liquid blue coupe with the “Dark Energy” interior, and made a video about taking delivery of the car around September 23.

Not long after that love-fest, sometime around October 20, the GT had a new owner.

Ford called Cena a few days later when it heard about the sale, and said Cena breached the agreement.

The ex-WWE wrestler is alleged to have later texted Ford, “I completely understand and as stated, I’m willing to work with you and Ford to make it right.

“My sincerest apologies,” and explained the sale was “for cash to take care of expenses.”

Ford’s lawsuit alleges Cena never made it right, after snagging “a handsome profit.”

Ford wants restitution for that profit, for “damages and losses, including, but not limited to, loss of brand value, ambassador activity, and customer goodwill due to the improper sale,” and for attorney and court costs.

The whole situation is kind of kooky, considering Cena’s car collection numbers roughly 22 cars, one of them a 2006 Ford GT.

Cena’s YouTube series Auto Geeks makes a point of telling the story behind each one of his cars; we’re surprised this is the story he wants to tell about his 2017 Ford GT.

Ford’s lawsuit said Cena’s Application Programme appeal included the line, “[If] I were to be deemed fit for ownership I would most certainly use every vehicle of communication to let the world know about the car, the brand, and the experience.”

Now, the only words he has for Ford come from his wrestling days: “If you want some, come get some!”
(Yahoo News)

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