Now Playing
On Air
No Program
Now Playing


200 items
Results 41 - 50 of 200 < previous next >

'Black Panther' tops box office for 5th straight weekend

Not since "Avatar" has a box-office hit had the kind of staying power of "Black Panther." Ryan Coogler's comic-book sensation on Sunday became the first film since James Cameron's 2009 smash to top the weekend box office five straight weekends.

The Disney release grossed $27 million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates, pushing its domestic haul to $605.4 million. Worldwide, "Black Panther" has grossed more than $1.1 billion.

Though "Black Panther" has had little competition to contend with throughout February and March, such consistency is especially rare in today's movie-going world. Before "Avatar," the last film to do it was 1999's "The Sixth Sense."

That left second place to the MGM-Warner Bros.' rebooted "Tomb Raider," starring Alicia Vikander as the archaeologist adventurer Lara Croft. The $90 million film opened with $23.5 million, largely failing to stir much excitement among moviegoers. Critics gave it mediocre reviews (49 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and ticket-buyers responded with a "meh," giving it a B CinemaScore.

With Vikander stepping in for Angelina Jolie, Roar Uthaug's "Tomb Raider" is an attempt to rekindle a video game-adapted franchise that faded quickly the first time around. The 2001 original opened $47.7 million and grossed $274.7 million worldwide, but the big-budget 2003 sequel flopped, opening with $21.8 million domestically and grossing $156.5 million worldwide.

Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief for Warner Bros., said "Tomb Raider" came close to studio expectations in North America but that international ticket sales were a primary focus. "Tomb Raider" was no. 1 overseas, grossing $84.5 million, including a $41.1 million in China.

"International was always a key part of the strategy," Goldstein said.

Of course, the continuing success of "Black Panther" also didn't help "Tomb Raider." When release dates were being set a year ago, few could have foreseen "Black Panther" no. 1 five weeks in. "How could you?" Goldstein said.

"Black Panther" has shown considerably fewer legs in China, however. Though it has grossed $96 million in two weeks of release in China, "Black Panther" slid steeply in its second weekend.

Yet last week, "Black Panther" even bested Disney's own "A Wrinkle in Time," Ava DuVernay's adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 novel of the same name. In its second week, "A Wrinkle in Time" dropped 50 percent with $16.6 million in ticket sales.

The surprise of the weekend was the Lionsgate-Roadside Attractions Christian drama "I Can Only Imagine," which grossed $17.1 million on 1,629 screens — less than half the number that "Black Panther," ''Tomb Raider" and "A Winkle in Time" played on. The film, which co-stars Dennis Quaid and Cloris Leachman, cost only $7 million to make. It stars J. Michael Finley as the singer behind one of the most popular Christian songs, by the band MercyMe.

"I Can Only Imagine" doubled expectations by sticking to the typical tactic of "faith-based" releases with a grassroots marketing effort that focused on Southern, Southwestern and suburban moviegoers. Eighty percent of the audience was over 35.

It's the biggest opening weekend ever for Roadside Attractions, the 15-year-old indie distributor whose previous titles include "Mud" and "Manchester by the Sea."

"We did really work the film. Starting with the beginning of October, we were screening the film for faith-based influencers," said Roadside co-founder Howard Cohen. "So it had a really classic playbook for these type of movies. But a lot of movies do it and it doesn't work as well."

Playing to a virtually opposite audience was 20th Century Fox's "Love, Simon," the first film from a major Hollywood studio featuring a gay teen protagonist. Whereas "I Can Only Imagine" catered to the suburbs, "Love, Simon" thrived mainly in urban areas.

Greg Berlanti's film, adapted from the best-selling young-adult novel "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda," stars Nick Robinson as a gay 17-year-old who has yet to come out when another closeted boy from his high school begins an anonymous e-mail romance. The film garnered strong reviews (91 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences agreed, giving it an A-plus CinemaScore.

"I feel good that we released this film. I feel great that we had the kind of exit polls that we did," said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Fox. "I think audiences are going to continue to find this jewel of a film that Greg Berlanti created."

Fox Searchlight's Oscar winner "The Shape of Water" also launched in China this weekend with $10.4 million following its best-picture win. The biggest post-Oscars boost has been overseas, where "The Shape of Water" grossed $17 million over the weekend.

According to comScore, the weekend was down 50 percent from the same weekend in 2017 when Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" opened with a record-breaking $174.8 million.

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

1. "Black Panther," $27 million ($30 million international).

2. "Tomb Raider," $23.5 million ($84.5 million international).

3. "I Can Only Imagine," $17.1 million ($195,000 international).

4. "A Wrinkle in Time," $16.6 million ($3.2 million international).

5. "Love, Simon," $11.5 million.

6. "Game Night," $5.6 million ($3.7 million international).

7. "Peter Rabbit," $5.2 million ($14.5 million international).

8. "Strangers: Prey at Night," $4.8 million.

9. "Red Sparrow," $4.5 million ($8.9 million international).

10. "Death Wish," $3.4 million ($1.3 million international).


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

1. "Tomb Raider," $84.5 million.

2. "Black Panther," $30 million.

3. "The Shape of Water," $17 million.

4. "Peter Rabbit," $14.5 million.

5. "Operation Red Sea," $11.7 million.

6. "Red Sparrow," $8.9 million.

7. "Coco," $6.5 million.

8. "Amazing China," $6.1 million.

9. "Now I Will Meet You," $5.9 million.

10. "Bajrangi Bhaijaan," $4.8 million.


Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at:

Egypt censors play 'Before the Revolution,' director appeals

Egypt's state censors prohibited the performance of a play just hours before its Sunday premiere in Cairo, the latest episode in authorities' unrelenting crackdown on free speech.

Director Ahmed El Attar cancelled the Sunday and Monday showings of Before The Revolution, a two-actor piece that depicts feelings of oppression and stagnation in Egypt before its 2011 popular uprising, saying that to remove five scenes as required by the censors heavily distorted the piece.

The play, which had been set to show in a 100-seat theatre for six nights, is part of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival, the biggest arts event in Cairo's city center, supported mostly by foreign cultural institutes and embassies as well as UNESCO.

"The director and playwright El Attar saw that removing five scenes has a negative and strong impact on the dramatic construction and the work of art, draining its artistic and literary content," organizers said in a statement.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the 2013 overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president, has waged a massive crackdown on dissent and free speech, and authorities have ratcheted up pressure ahead of an upcoming election he is set to win virtually unchallenged.

After all potentially serious competitors were arrested or intimidated out of the race, on March 26-28 Egyptians will vote either for el-Sissi or a little-known politician who supports him and has not campaigned. Posters of el-Sissi look down over most major thoroughfares across the country.

Meanwhile, authorities have taken a hard line against any critical media, arresting several reporters while the country's chief prosecutor described critical journalists as "forces of evil" who "undermine the security and safety of the nation through the broadcast and publication of lies and false news."

Sunday's censoring would be the second time authorities have cracked down on a play ahead of the election — six people were also arrested this month for their involvement in a piece at a Cairo sports club seen as insulting to security forces because it referenced a controversial police figure who had killed Israeli tourists in 1985.

El Attar, who is also the art festival's general manager and artistic director, has appealed for a second censorship committee to watch the show on March 19th, hopefully allowing it to be shown without the proposed cuts.

The playwright's social satire has been appreciated in Europe, most recently with 2014's The Last Supper, a critique of Egypt's Cairo elite and a class-led patriarchy that was well received at theatre festivals.

In Before The Revolution, El Attar says that while he found it too early to address artistically the events of 2011, he hoped to examine some of the conditions that led to the revolt that overthrew Egypt's long-term autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

"I want to convey the emotions of the period," he told The Associated Press in an interview last week. "I think it was a rough period, it was a time when it was all suppression and defeat, I mean it was hard. So I want (the audience) to feel that."


Follow Brian Rohan on Twitter at :


Associated Press writer Maggie Hyde contributed to this report.

At State Department, Heather Nauert's star is ascendant

When the ax fell on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, his spokeswoman was half a world away, a distance he and his inner circle preferred and enforced.

Now, it's Tillerson who's on his way out after his unceremonious firing by President Donald Trump, and Heather Nauert whose star is ascendant.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Nauert are among the few women in the Trump administration with high-profile voices on foreign policy. Only three State Department officials — all men — now outrank Nauert, a former Fox News anchor who declined comment for this story.

Nauert's meteoric rise comes even though just a week ago she seemed not long for the job. Then Tillerson lost his.

She was denied the kind of close access to the boss that all recent successful State Department press secretaries enjoyed. So Nauert tried to defend Trump's top diplomat and explain his activities to reporters from around the world without being able to travel on any of Tillerson's international trips or attend most of his Washington meetings.

Frustrated at being sidelined, Nauert almost quit several times. She had been telling associates she was ready to move on.

The moment that Trump canned Tillerson by tweet, Nauert was in a Hamas-built tunnel on the border near the Gaza Strip, on a tour organized by the Israeli military to show U.S. officials the smuggling routes used by militants. Caught by surprise by the move back in Washington, Nauert cut the tour short and returned to Jerusalem to deal with the crisis. Soon, Trump also fired the undersecretary of state who publicly defended Tillerson.

The president named Nauert to that suddenly vacant position, near the top of the hierarchy of American diplomacy.

Nauert told associates she was taken aback and recommended a colleague for the job. But when White House officials told her they wanted her, she accepted.

The new role gives Nauert responsibilities far beyond the regular news conferences she held in the briefing room. She is overseeing the public diplomacy in Washington and all of the roughly 275 overseas U.S. embassies, consulates and other posts. She is in charge of the Global Engagement Center that fights extremist messaging from the Islamic State group and others. She can take a seat, if she wants, on the Broadcasting Board of Governors that steers government broadcast networks such as Voice of America.

Less than a year ago, Nauert wasn't even in government.

Nauert, who was born in Illinois, was a breaking news anchor on Trump's favorite television show, "Fox & Friends," when she was tapped to be the face and voice of the administration's foreign policy. With a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, she had come to Fox from ABC News, where she was a general assignment reporter. She hadn't specialized in foreign policy or international relations.

It was almost clear from the start that Nauert wasn't Tillerson's first choice.

She resisted the ex-oilman's efforts to limit press access, reduce briefings and limit journalists allowed to travel with him. Tillerson had preferred Genevieve Wood at the conservative Heritage Foundation, according to several individuals familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss Tillerson's personnel decisions.

When Nauert arrived at the State Department in April 2017, she found relations between Tillerson and the diplomatic press corps in crisis. No longer were there daily briefings that had been a State Department feature for decades. Journalists accustomed to traveling with Republican and Democratic secretaries for decades found they were blocked from Tillerson's plane. Department spokespeople had no regular access to Tillerson or his top advisers.

Shut out from the top, Nauert developed relationships with career diplomats. Barred from traveling with Tillerson, she embarked on her own overseas trips, visiting Bangladesh and Myanmar last year to see the plight of Rohingya Muslims, and then Israel after a planned stop in Syria was scrapped. Limited to two briefings a week, she began hosting a program called "The Readout" on State Department social media outlets in which she interviewed senior officials about topics of the day.

All the while, she stayed in the good graces of the White House, even as Tillerson was increasingly on the outs. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Nauert as "a team player" and "a strong asset for the administration."

And she didn't shy from taking on foreign foes.

"The idea that Russia is calling for a so-called humanitarian corridor, I want to be clear, is a joke," Nauert said at one recent briefing where she took Moscow to task for its actions in Syria, where it has used military power to support President Bashar Assad's government.

Such comments have earned her the wrath of Kremlin officials and state-run media. Faced with pointed questioning by reporters from Russian news outlets at her briefings, Nauert often has lashed out, accusing them of working for their government.

"You're from Russian TV, too. OK. So hey, enough said then. I'll move on," Nauert told a reporter last month after Russian President Vladimir Putin presented an animated film clip showing a missile headed toward the U.S.

The comment sparked an intercontinental war-of-spokeswomen.

"If the StateDept dares to shun our journalists alongside with calling them Russian journalists one more time, we will carry our promise. We will create special seats for so called 'US journalists,'" Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova tweeted.

It didn't end there.

First, the Russian Embassy in Washington congratulated Nauert "and, of course, all female employees" of the State Department on International Women's Day. Nauert responded with gratitude and a dig, saying Moscow should use the day to "live up to its international commitments & stop bombing innocent men, women & children in #Syria."


This story has been corrected to show that only Nauert, not the entire delegation, cut the trip short after Tillerson's firing.

Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt:  5 things to know

It’s hard to call Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt an overnight sensation. After all, she’s been following basketball at Loyola University-Chicago for more than a half century and said she saw the Ramblers win the NCAA title in 1963. But thanks to television, the internet and social media, the 98-year-old nun has become a media darling.

>> Read more trending news

With victories against Miami and Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament, the Ramblers are hoping for more spiritual guidance when they face the winner of the Cincinnati-Nevada game in next week’s Sweet 16.

Here are some things you might not have known about Loyola-Chicago’s inspirational leader.

Praying for victory: As the basketball team’s chaplain since 1994, Sister Jean begins every prayer the same way: “Good and gracious God.” But if you’re thinking she does not invoke the deity for a little help to win, think again. “I ask God to be especially good to Loyola so that, at the end of the game, the scoreboard indicates a big ‘W’ for us,” she told The New York Times. She ends every prayer with an emphatic “Go Ramblers.” Judging from some of the shots Loyola-Chicago has been burying during this tournament -- Clayton Custer’s game-winner against Tennessee comes to mind -- these prayers have been answered so far.

She’s a Hall of Famer: Loyola-Chicago inducted Sister Jean into the athletic department’s Hall of Fame in 2017, making her the 173rd member to be enshrined. Born in San Francisco in 1919, Sister Jean played basketball in high school.

Good scouting: Every season, Sister Jean researches the boxscores of upcoming opponents, using her sharp eye for detail to point out flaws in the Ramblers’ next foe. Coach Porter Moser found a manila folder on his desk on his first day as coach, according to Sister Jean had compiled a scouting report on the Ramblers to help the new coach.

“She lights up every room she goes into.” Moser told the Times. “She’s always smiling. She has an energy about herself. I connect with that.”

She has her own bobblehead: Loyola-Chicago held a bobblehead promotion night for Sister Jean in 2011.

Super sneakers: Sister Jean has a pair of maroon-and-gold Nike sneakers that she wears during each game. Two names are stitched on the sneaker’s heels: “Sister” on the left heel, and “Jean” on the right.

It’s been quite a ride for Loyola-Chicago, which has knocked off two highly touted program. Now, the Ramblers will have to go against Sister Jean in the Sweet 16: She picked the Ramblers to lose in that round.

WATCH: Bill Hader's Stefon returns to 'SNL,' and fans just can't get enough

He's baaack!

"Saturday Night Live" alum Bill Hader returned to the comedy show as host this week – and, much to fans' delight, revived his beloved character, New York City correspondent Stefon.

>> Click here to watch the full sketch (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)

Hader brought his character-breaking comedy to "Weekend Update," recommending some unusual St. Patrick's Day hot spots.

>> Read more trending news 

"New York's hottest club is Gooosh," Hader's Stefon said. "Inspired by true events, this former CVS, which became a Chase Bank then became a CVS again, has a troubling yet familiar feel, like when Larry King would play himself in a movie."

>> See the clip here

Another suggestion? "If you're Irish, or just white and violent, I have the St. Paddy's place for you. New York's hottest Irish club is 'Off to Church, Mother,'" he said, adding, "This place has everything: Peeps, TED Talks, Roman J. Israel, Esq., and be sure to hit the dance floor and do a jig with Ireland' s hottest Farrah-cauns — leprechauns that look like Farrah Fawcett."

>> Watch the clip here

John Mulaney, Stefon's co-creator, also joined Hader as Stefon's lawyer, Shy.

During the segment, fans flocked to Twitter to sing Stefon's praises. Scroll down to see what they were saying.

The Roots' SXSW show canceled after bomb threat; man arrested

Update, 2:14 a.m. CDT Sunday: Austin police have arrested a man in connection with a bomb threat that led to the cancellation of The Roots’ show Saturday at South by Southwest. 

The city of Austin tweeted the following statement early Sunday:

Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, was arrested on charges of making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony, the release said.

Police also tweeted Ingram’s booking photo:

ORIGINAL STORY: A South by Southwest performance by The Roots at Fair Market in Austin, Texas, was canceled Saturday night due to a “security concern,” event organizers said.

>> Visit for the latest on this developing story

A police spokesman said around 9:30 p.m. that more information would be released via Twitter, but nothing had been posted by 11:30 p.m. CDT.

However, the Austin Chronicle reported that it had two staffers at the event. One staffer heard event workers discussing the concern as a bomb threat, according to a report the weekly posted online, and "a second Chronicle staffer spoke with someone working at Fair Market tonight, who confirmed that Austin police were canvassing the property to determine whether there is any validity to the threat."

The cancellation of the show on the final night of the South By Southwest Festival comes at a time of heightened concern in the city following three deadly package bombs – two on Monday – that have exploded in East Austin this month, killing two people and seriously injuring a third.

>> Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say

Representatives for the event issued the following statement Saturday night after the cancellation

“Due to a security concern, we have made the difficult decision to cancel tonight’s Bud Light x The Roots SXSW Jam. After working proactively with SXSW, the Austin Police Department, and other authorities, Bud Light believes this is the best course of action to ensure the safety of our guests, staff, and artists, and appreciate your understanding. We are truly sorry to have to cancel the event, but we felt it was necessary to take all safety precautions.”

>> Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

In an Instagram post, Fair Market representatives said Anheuser-Busch made the call to cancel the event.

In a tweet that was later deleted Saturday night, frontman Questlove wrote, “Uh, welp can’t say much but for those in Austin waiting in line to see us tonight. Tonight’s show has been cancelled. They’ll make official announcement but I’d rather save y’all the trouble of waiting in line.”

>> On Complete coverage of SXSW

In response to fans who were upset after waiting in line for hours, Questlove also tweeted:

SXSW 2018: Bill Murray recites poem on street while wearing overalls, bucket hat

Bill Murray has arrived at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

>> The Roots SXSW show canceled following possible bomb threat, report says

He’s in town for multiple reasons – the premiere of Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” on Saturday night, a dedication at the Belo Center for New Media at the University of Texas on Saturday afternoon and an appearance at the Long Center on Sunday night.

>> On Complete coverage of SXSW

>> Read more trending news 

In true Bill Murray fashion, he also appeared on Sixth Street on Saturday evening and recited a poem while wearing overalls and a bucket hat, likely to promote his Long Center show at which he’ll be sharing stories and poetry. Anderson made an appearance, too:

>> Click here to watch

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma to speak at MIT about the role of culture

World-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma is set to give a lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The school says Ma will visit the campus Monday to deliver a talk titled "Yo-Yo Ma: Culture, Understanding and Survival " as part of a lecture series featuring figures in modern thought.

Ma is a prolific performer who has recorded more than 100 albums and has worked to promote collaboration among artists from different cultures.

He was born in Paris and became a child prodigy after learning the cello at age 4. He has won 18 Grammy awards, the National Medal of the Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The event will feature a lecture from Ma and a conversation between the cellist and MIT President L. Rafael Reif.

Vandal tags mural created by British graffiti artist Banksy

British graffiti artist Banksy is drawing crowds to his New York City mural but for an unfortunate reason.

It seems somebody has added a signature tag to his artful protest of the imprisonment of a Turkish artist and journalist.

Plenty of pedestrians were getting a look Saturday at the signings scrawled across the bottom half of his 70-foot-long mural. The mural bearing the slogan "Free Zehra Dogan" was recently installed on the Houston Bowery Wall, made famous by Keith Haring in the late 1970s.

The mural protests the jailing of Dogan, an ethnic Kurd, after she painted the Turkish flag flying over the rubble of a destroyed town. Dogan, was convicted last March.

Banksy's mural shows her jailed behind a set of black tally marks representing her days in prison.

Barbra Streisand says no #MeToo moment marred her life

Barbra Streisand said she's never suffered sexual harassment but has felt abused by the media.

During a tribute to Streisand's decades of TV music specials and other programs, producer and long-time admirer Ryan Murphy queried her about her career, the #MeToo movement and her aversion to interviews.

"Never," she replied when asked if she had been sexually mistreated. "I wasn't like those pretty girls with those nice little noses. Maybe that's why."

She acknowledged the power of protests against gender inequality sweeping through Hollywood and society.

"We're in a strange time now in terms of men and women and the pendulum swinging this way and that way, and it's going to have to come to the center," Streisand said during Friday's Paley Center for Media event held at a packed theater.

Her reluctance to talk to news outlets is based on years of what she called inaccurate reporting, including one story that claimed she has an "awards room" at home dedicated to her Oscars, Emmys and other trophies. But it was the late TV journalist Mike Wallace who came in for the sharpest criticism.

Streisand said he asked her hurtful questions during a TV interview and she called him afterward to complain. But on a subsequent show, Wallace told viewers who'd objected to his treatment of Streisand that she "loved" the interview, according to the star.

"I thought, I don't know what date rape is, it's terrible ... but it was such a violation," she said. "Why lie?"

Wallace's tough questioning brought Streisand to tears on a 1991 interview on "60 Minutes."

Streisand said she demands control in her work but only in service to her art that's included directing, acting and producing TV movies, among them 1995's "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story," about anti-gay discrimination in the military.

Murphy ("Glee," ''American Horror Story"), who admitted to being nervous as he began his one-on-one conversation with the star of "Funny Girl" and award-winning TV specials dating back to 1966's "Color Me Barbra," said he owed his career to her.

"People talk about Barbra as the greatest female star. I say, no, that's not enough," Murphy said, calling her a groundbreaker for those who don't fit the mold. "She was a touchstone, a beacon I followed my entire life.

The tribute, which kicked off the 35th annual PaleyFest LA television festival at the Dolby Theatre, was capped by the presentation to Streisand of the 2018 PaleyFest Icon award.

Streisand is a "truly magical artist," Maureen J. Reidy, Paley Center president and CEO, said of her work as a singer, actress, director and producer.

Streisand also is known for her political activism on behalf of Democratic candidates and issues including gay rights.




Lynn Elber can be reached at and on Twitter at

200 items
Results 41 - 50 of 200 < previous next >