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‘Avengers: Endgame’ Obliterates Records with $1.2B Opening

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This image released by Disney shows, from left, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Karen Gillan, the character Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd and Scarlett Johansson in a scene from "Avengers: Endgame." (Disney/Marvel Studios via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — The universe belongs to Marvel. “Avengers: Endgame” shattered the record for biggest opening weekend with an estimated $350 million in ticket sales domestically and $1.2 billion globally, reaching a new pinnacle in the blockbuster era that the comic-book studio has come to dominate.

The “Avengers” finale far exceeded even its own gargantuan expectations, according to studio estimates Sunday. The movie had been forecast to open between $260 million and $300 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, but moviegoers turned out in such droves that “Endgame” blew past the previous record of $257.7 million, set last year by “Avengers: Infinity War” when it narrowly surpassed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($248 million or about $266 million in inflation adjusted dollars.)

“Endgame” was just as enormous overseas. Worldwide, it obliterated the previous record of $640.5 million, also set by “Infinity War.” (“Infinity War” didn’t open in China, the world’s second largest movie market, until two weeks after its debut.) “Endgame” set a new weekend record in China, too, where it made $330.5 million.

In one fell swoop, “Endgame” has already made more than movies like “Skyfall,” ″Aquaman” and “The Dark Knight Rises” grossed in their entire runs, not accounting for inflation.

Alan Horn, Disney chairman, credited Marvel Studios and its president, Kevin Feige, for challenging “notions of what is possible at the movie theater.”

“This weekend’s monumental success is a testament to the world they’ve envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world,” Horn said in a statement.

To accommodate demand, the Walt Disney Co. released “Endgame” in more theaters — 4,662 in the U.S. and Canada — than any opening before. Advance ticketing services set new records. Early ticket buyers crashed AMC’s website. And starting Thursday, some theaters even stayed open 72 hours straight.

“We’ve got some really tired staff,” said John Fithian, president and chief executive of the National Association of Theater Owners. “I talked to an exhibitor in Kansas who said, ‘I’ve never sold out a 7 a.m. show on Saturday morning before,’ and they were doing it all across their circuit.”

Not working in the film’s favor was its lengthy running time: 181 minutes. But theaters kept added thousands of showings for “Endgame” to get it on more screens than any movie before to satiate the frenzy around “Endgame.” Joe and Anthony Russo’s film ties together the “Avengers” storyline as well as the previous 21 releases of the Marvel “cinematic universe,” begun with 2008′s “Iron Man.”

For an industry dogged by uncertainty over the growing role of streaming, the weekend was a mammoth display of the movie theater’s lucrative potency. Fithian called it possibly “the most significant moment in the modern history of the movie business.”

“We’re looking at more than 30 million American and more than 100 million global guests that experienced ‘Endgame’ on the big screen in one weekend,” Fithian said. “The numbers are just staggering.”

Further boosting the results for “Endgame” were good reviews; it currently ranks as 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, the best rating for any Marvel movie aside from “Black Panther.” Audiences gave the film an A-plus CinemaScore.

Single-handedly, “Endgame” led the overall weekend at the domestic box office to a record $400 million in ticket sales, according to Comscore. “Endgame” accounted for a staggering 88% of those tickets. The film’s grosses were aided by 3-D screenings (a record $540 million in global ticket sales) and IMAX screenings (a company record $91.5 million).

“Our partners in exhibition have done a great job with us on this film. As they saw the need, they opened up screens,” said Cathleen Taft, distribution chief for Disney. “While there may have been a concern — Is there going to be enough seats available? — I think that exhibition met that demand and rose to the occasion.”

But if there was any shadow to the weekend for the theatrical business, it was in just how reliant theaters have grown on one studio: Disney.

Disney now holds all but one of the top 12 box-office openings of all time. (Universal’s “Jurassic World” is the lone exception.) The studio is poised for a record-breaking year, with releases including “Aladdin,” ″Toy Story 4,” ″The Lion King,” ″Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and “Frozen 2” on the horizon.

Following its acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Disney is expected to account for at least 40% of domestic box-office revenue in 2019, a new record of market share. The company’s “Captain Marvel” — positioned as a kind of Marvel lead-in to “Endgame” — also rose to No. 2 on the weekend, eight weeks after it opened. (The 22 films of Marvel’s “cinematic universe” have collectively earned $19.9 billion at the box office.)

Yet theater owners regularly speak of a “halo effect” around a movie like “Endgame.” Such sensations draw in new moviegoers and expose millions to a barrage of movie trailers.

“This has got to be the biggest weekend in popcorn history,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “Think of the gallons of soda and the hot dogs sold. This is going to continue all week and beyond. This is going to have long-term playability for sure.”

An enormous hit was much needed for a box office that, coming into the weekend, was lagging 16% of the pace of last year’s ticket sales, according to Comscore. “Endgame” moved the needle to negative 13.3% but the boost was less significant since “Infinity War” opened on the same weekend in 2018.

No other new wide release dared to open against “Endgame.” Warner Bros.′ “The Curse of La Llorona,” last week’s top movie, slid to third with $7.5 million.

The guessing game will now shift to just how much higher “Endgame” can go. Given its start, it’s likely to rival the top three worldwide grossers: “The Force Awakens” ($2.068 billion in 2015), “Titanic ($2.187 billion in 1997) and “Avatar” ($2.788 in 2009).

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.

1. “Avengers: Endgame,” $350 million ($859 million international).

2. “Captain Marvel,” $8.1 million.

3. “The Curse of La Llorona,” $7.5 million.

4. “Breakthrough,” $6.3 million.

5. “Shazam!” $5.5 million.

6. “Little,” $3.4 million.

7. “Dumbo,” $3.2 million.

8. “Pet Sematary,” $1.3 million.

9. “Us,” $1.1 million.

10. “Penguins,” $1.1 million.

Celebrity

[PHOTOS] 2022 Cannes Film Festival: Supermodel Adriana Lima Boasts Baby Bump on ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Red Carpet

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Adriana Lima walks the "Top Gun: Maverick" Cannes Film Festival red carpet with boyfriend Andre Lemmers a baby bump. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

CANNES, France (FNN) – Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima brought a guest with her to the red carpet premiere of Top Gun: Maverick. No, we don’t mean her boyfriend Andre Lemmers, but her adorable–and well-styled–bun in the oven.

Lima, 40, graced the red carpet dressed in Chopard jewelry and a black long-sleeved Balmain gown with a baby bump cutout.

Lima announced in February that she was expecting her third child, this one being the first with Lemmers, and her first son. She has two daughters, Valentina, 12, and Sienna, 9, with ex-husband Marco Jarić.

 

Boyfriend Andrew Lemmers holds Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima's baby bump on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick." Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Boyfriend Andrew Lemmers holds Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima’s baby bump on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick.” Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

 

Boyfriend Andrew Lemmers and Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima enjoy a quick smooch on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick." Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Boyfriend Andrew Lemmers and Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima enjoy a quick smooch on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick.” Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

 

Supermodel Adriana Lima's hair almost perfectly the texture of the her baby bump-baring Balmain gown on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick." Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Supermodel Adriana Lima’s hair almost perfectly the texture of the her baby bump-baring Balmain gown on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick.” Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

 

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Florida National News editor Mellissa Thomas and FNN News international correspondent Patience Eding contributed to this report. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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Celebrity

[PHOTOS] 2022 Cannes Film Festival: Tom Cruise and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Cast Grace the Red Carpet

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The "Top Gun: Maverick" cast pose for photos on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

CANNES, France (FNN) – Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, and the cast and crew of Top Gun: Maverick landed for the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet in style. (No, literally–the aircraft actually landed.)

Executive Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his wife also joined the excitement on the red carpet for one of the most anticipated sequels in all of Hollywood.

 

"Top Gun: Maverick" star and producer Tom Cruise poses for photos on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the film's premiere. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

“Top Gun: Maverick” star and producer Tom Cruise poses for photos on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the film’s premiere. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

 

The "Top Gun: Maverick" cast pose for red carpet photos at the top of the Palais for the film's premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. Their arrival also included a flyover of red, white and blue smoke, in honor of the film, which everyone watched in amazement. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

The “Top Gun: Maverick” cast pose for red carpet photos at the top of the Palais for the film’s premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. Their arrival also included a flyover of red, white and blue smoke, in honor of the film, which everyone watched in amazement. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Tom Cruise talks with "Top Gun: Maverick" co-star Jennifer Connelly during the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet premiere of their film. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Tom Cruise talks with “Top Gun: Maverick” co-star Jennifer Connelly during the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet premiere of their film. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Top Gun: Maverick star and producer Tom Cruise poses for photos during the 2022 Cannes Film Festival photocall earlier in the day prior to the film's premiere. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

Top Gun: Maverick star and producer Tom Cruise poses for photos during the 2022 Cannes Film Festival photocall earlier in the day prior to the film’s premiere. Photo: Patience Eding/Another Concept via Florida National News.

 

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Florida National News editor Mellissa Thomas and FNN News international correspondent Patience Eding contributed to this report. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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Interfaith Group Asks Starbucks to Drop Vegan Milk Surcharge

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FILE - Actor James Cromwell arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Cromwell glued his hand to a midtown Manhattan Starbucks counter to protest the coffee chain’s extra charge for plant-based milk, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in New York. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

BOSTON (AP) — A group of Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish leaders is asking Starbucks to stop charging extra for vegan milk alternatives, saying the practice amounts to a tax on people who have embraced plant-based lifestyles.

In a statement issued Friday, an interfaith coalition led by Nevada-based Hindu activist Rajan Zed pressed the coffee chain to end the surcharges it called “unethical and unfair.”

“A coffee company should not be in the business of taxing individuals who had chosen the plant-based lifestyle,” said Zed’s statement, which was also signed by Thomas W. Blake, an Episcopal priest; Greek Orthodox clergyman Stephen R. Karcher; Buddhist priest Matthew Fisher; and Jewish rabbi ElizaBeth Webb Beyer.

The religious leaders cited numerous reasons why some Starbucks customers prefer alternatives to dairy, including dietary restrictions, ethical issues, environmental concerns, lactose intolerance, milk allergies and animal welfare.

Those who want plant-based milk should not have to pay more, they said, calling on the Seattle-based company’s CEO, Howard Schultz, and board chair Mellody Hobson to immediately drop the surcharge.

Starbucks outlets in the United States typically charge 50 cents to a dollar more for drinks made with plant-based milks.

Starbucks doesn’t charge for a splash of nondairy milk, including soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk and oat milk, though it does levy a surcharge for customized beverages made largely with those substitutes, spokesperson Megan Adams told The Associated Press.

It is not the first time Starbucks’ surcharge has riled the public. On Tuesday, activist and actor James Cromwell glued his hand to the counter of a Starbucks franchise in New York City to protest the practice.

Cromwell, 81, later used a knife to scrape it off. Police said there were no arrests.

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