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Sunday, July 29, 2012

NSW govt investigates 'floating casino'

NSW govt investigates 'floating casino'...

The NSW government is investigating whether cruise company P&O operated an illegal floating casino off the NSW coast.

Hospitality Minister George Souris on Wednesday said a government authority was investigating an allegation that passengers could play blackjack, pontoon, poker and roulette on a cruise that left Sydney on Friday night.

The cruise ship also had 40 poker machines onboard and let passengers charge $5000 on their credit cards for gambling, News Ltd reported.

"I've asked the Office of Liquor and Gaming to investigate whether a casino operation was under way in NSW territorial waters or whether gambling operations were under way in commonwealth waters," he told reporters in Sydney.

"It may be that NSW jurisdiction was breached, it may be that the commonwealth jurisdiction was breached. It may be even that both were breached."

He said NSW had no jurisdiction beyond 12 nautical miles from shore.

"Those are international waters," he said.

"In international shipping after the 12-nautical-mile limit it opens boats to gambling but also to duty-free liquor sales."


James Packer to speak at tourism conference in Canberra...

Billionare James Packer will be the drawcard for hoteliers, resort operators and owners attending a tourism conference in Canberra in late October. Mr Packer will open the Tourism & Transport Forum's annual "Leadership 2012" conference.

The gaming tycoon is a major tourism player given his Crown resorts in Perth and Melbourne attract 25 million visitors a year...


Jackman to Begin Filming ‘Wolverine’ in Australia...

Hollywood star Hugh Jackman will begin filming the next installment of his “X-Men” spin-off movies in Sydney next week, even though the female lead is yet to be confirmed.

Jackman, who admitted struggling to get into shape after packing on the pounds to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” said his role as Wolverine, which he first played 12 years ago, was “the backbone of my career.”

“I love the character. I still love the character,” he said. “I had no choice at the time, I was going to take anything that came along, but I happened to have walked into probably the most interesting and complex of the superhero characters.”

“I’ve always loved playing it and when I stop loving it I’ll stop doing it,” he added.


Melco Crown Project Gets Red Light on Casino...

Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. MPEL +2.32% still doesn't have permission to build a casino at its latest project, according to a revised government contract published Wednesday.

The Macao Studio City project, in which Melco Crown has a 60% equity interest, is designated for a five-star hotel and film facilities, indicates the latest government contract detailing various revisions to the agreement. But the document doesn't mention any casino facilities despite the company's earlier statements they hope to open up to 400 gambling tables at the property. It's possible the government could give the green-light on a casino later, but the uncertainty could complicate the company's efforts to finance the project.

Melco Crown, backed by Lawrence Ho and James Packer—the sons of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and the late Australian casino-and-media magnate Kerry Packer—is one of six casino license holders in Macau, where it already runs two casino-resort properties in the world's largest gambling hub.

A representative for Melco Crown didn't respond to requests for comment.

In June 2011, Melco Crown signed a $360 million deal to gain control over the Macao Studio City project, resolving a bitter dispute between the project's earlier partners that had escalated to the Hong Kong courts, stalling development for years. New Cotai Holdings LLC, an arm of U.S. investment firms Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and Silver Point Capital L.P., retained its 40% stake in the project.

Earlier this month Melco Crown announced plans to enter the burgeoning Philippines market by teaming up with local property developer Belle Corp. BEL.PH -0.20% to partner on a casino resort that will cost at least $1 billion in an area the Philippines hopes will become Manila's version of the Las Vegas Strip. (The Wall Street Journal)


First Second unveils André the Giant comic...

First Second has confirmed its André the Giant biography.

Cartoonist Box Brown is working on the book charting the life of the professional wrestler and actor, reports ICv2.

André Roussimoff was a star and one-time champion of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE).

He is also known for his role in cult classic movie The Princess Bride.

Roussimoff has the condition acromegaly, which saw him grow to 7'4" in height. He died of heart failure in 1993 at the age of 46.

Box is the author of Xeric grant-funded graphic novel Love Is a Peculiar Type of Thing.

The untitled André the Giant biography is scheduled for release in 2014. (Digital Spy)


The Expendables 2 slapped with R rating for extreme violence...

Action star-laden sequel The Expendables 2 has been given an R rating for its violent and sexual content in the US.

Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and co will even be throwing some bad language into the mix as they bat off hostile attackers in this follow-up to the 2010 action-packed extravaganza.

Lionsgate was rumoured to have been considering a PG-13 rating for the film, which is due for release in the States on August 17th.

Once again, Stallone assembles his hardened team of old-school mercenaries for a special mission - taking revenge after one of their squad is murdered on the job.

Director Simon West was never in any doubt that the film would receive such a high rating, given the 'very hard' violence and language perpetrated by the all-star cast throughout the film.

'I'm sure there were some financial people who wanted it to be PG-13 because they thought it would somehow make more money or have a broader audience, but there was no way,' he told wegotthiscovered.com.

'When you get these guys on the set, they can't say a line without putting the F-bomb in it, and they can't pick up a gun without blowing several limbs off.' (Metro)

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Media Man Entertainment News: WWE, Wrestling, Movies, Hollywood, Casino and much more...

Entertainment news, WWE current and future legends, NWO, Hollywood, Australia, Sin City, Las Vegas, Olympics, gaming and more...

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Kevin Nash teases NWO - New World Order return...

Kevin Nash, who was likely joking, teased an nWo reunion on his Twitter account recently, writing, "A lot of you wanted an NWO reunion,there will be one.As you know we only come in take over mode.Stay tuned!!!" The message was then re-tweeted by TNA Executive Eric Bischoff.
Nash later wrote, "Rock will never walk out of the Rumble with the belt we got Phils back... Sorry @CMPunk we got your back!!!!"

Nash also stated that Punk would be the leader and that the nWo army would be there "to protect the gold."


Wrestling legend Rey wants Pacquiao-Floyd in WWE ring...

During Rey Mysterio's tour stop in Manila, Philippines, Mysterio teased a mixed tag match with top boxing stars Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who "competed" at WrestleMania 24 four years ago. “I love Manny. In fact, Manny, if you’re watching right now, I’m inviting you to join forces with Rey Mysterio in the WWE to take on “Money” (Floyd) Mayweather," Rey said on Manila TV, playing off Mayweather and Pacquiao unable to come together on a dream boxing fight. "I know you don’t need me to take him on but this is just a teaser: me and you versus him and Alberto Del Rio."


'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and 'Iron' Mike Tyson at WWE Summerslam weekend function...

WWE Hall of Famers "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Mike Tyson are scheduled to attend a Summerslam Weekend function in Los Angeles, according to WWE announcer Jim Ross. Ross wrote in his latest blog on jrsbarbq.com: "If you see me wandering around L.A. Summerslam weekend, I'm there for a major, THQ function at the Grammy Museum the night before the PPV. Among those scheduled to attend the private affair are @steveaustinBSR and @miketyson, among many others."


WWE Announcer Legend Jim Ross Blog Update...

WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross is back with his latest blog about Monday's 1,000th episode of RAW, here are just a few highlights:

RAW 1000: "Memorable week especially kicking it off with RAW1000 in St Louis. No guarantees that any of us will be around for RAW2000 so I particularly enjoyed my experiences Monday night.

"The reality of the matter is this...it is highly unlikely, thanks Gorilla, that exact collection of performers will EVER be under the same roof again. I look back upon my attendance at RAW1000 as a privilege and am grateful to have had the opportunity to see so many old friends that have meant a great deal to me over my long career."

Inducting Mick Foley in the WWE Hall of Fame: "@RealMickFoley when asked who would induct him if/when Mick goes into the WWE HOF mentioned Terry Funk and yours truly. While I would love to honor Mick on that special occasion, there is no way that I would ever put myself in the same category with Terry Funk. Terry mentored Mick and treated Mick like a son. While I'd love to induct Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy into the WWE HOF, I think that Terry Funk is the best choice. However, I stand ready if called upon."

If CM Punk would reform the nWo: "A follower on @JRsBBQ on Twitter asked if I thought @CMPunk would reform the nWo. I have no idea if this topic is any thing more than speculation based on my friend Kevin Nash having some fun with the subject on Twitter. Bottom line is that I don't know but I would be surprised if Punk headed up a faction at this time because he seems to be such a solitary man. The only way that I see that ever happening at this stage of Punk's career is if he had complete control on who comprised the group."


Pro Wrestling giant Great Khali has tumor removed...

WWE wrestler Great Khali (Dalip Singh) had a tumor removed on Wednesday, which will put him out of action for 2-3 months. The tumor was on Khali's pituitary gland, which caused him to increase in height to over seven-feet-tall. However, if left untreated, the tumor could have been fatal, according to WWE's chief medical director, Dr. Joseph Maroon. It's the same issue that affected Andre the Giant. Surgery was performed at UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, Pa.


TNA Video: Funny or Die Olympic training featuring Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam...

TNA stars Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam are featured in Funny or Die video. The theme is Angle returning to the Olympics with RVD as his trainer. You can check out the video at http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/636c3d08e1/olympic-trials-with-kurt-angle?playlist=featured_videos


‘Squirrelly’ move puts U.S. wrestler on map...

LONDON — It began as a goof — two brothers horsing around, dreaming up exotic wrestling moves straight out of the Vince McMahon WWE handbook and trying them out on each other.

The move has since gone viral as a YouTube sensation, become a nickname and, before the 2012 London Games are over, it might become part of U.S. Olympic lore — a highlight burned into our minds forever.

Ellis Coleman and his older brother, Lillashawn, used to wrestle with each other at their high school outside of Chicago when they would dial up crazy moves to use on each other.

The best of them was called the “Flying Squirrel.’’ Ellis never forgot it, and now has turned it into a cottage industry for himself.

Coleman, at age 21 the youngest member of the six-man U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team, has used the move about a dozen times in competition.

Perhaps the highest profile time he used it was in last year’s Junior World Championships to come back and beat his opponent in the semifinals. ESPN ranked the move third on its “Best of the Best Highlights’’ for 2011.

“It’s been crazy,’’ Coleman said yesterday. “Every time someone sees it, kids are reaching out to me on Facebook and Twitter asking me to show them the move.’’

In the words of Coleman, one of a host of athletes at these Olympic Games representing the New York Athletic Club, here’s how the move is executed: “You snap the opponent’s head down, leap over him and, as you land on your feet, you grab his waist, pull him over, pick him up and throw him down.’’

In Greco-Roman wrestling, the competitors get points for their various moves. Five points is the most you can get for one move. Coleman said he has used the move about a dozen times and usually gets at least three points for it.

He first unveiled it out of desperation in a match he was losing, stunned his opponent with it and went on to win it.

Coleman said he likes to use the move as an element of surprise and isn’t sure if he will use it in the Olympics.

“If I’m losing, though, you’ll definitely see it,’’ he said. “It’s a risky move. It’s a spur-of-the-moment thing. It’s so sudden you can’t stop it. I always pictured myself, even in the Olympic setting and losing in the finals match, third period with 15 seconds left, hitting the ‘Flying Squirrel’ and everyone going crazy. I still picture it.”

Though Coleman’s teammates chide him for the move, they also embrace his guts for using it.

“They should probably put him on medication for even trying that,” teammate Justin Lester said jokingly. “He’s crazy for doing it, but that’s what’s going to make him good in the long run. You’ve got guys like him who are innovative and aren’t afraid to wrestle.’’

“It’s definitely a move of desperation,’’ said Dremiel Byers, the elder statesman and heavyweight of the Greco-Roman team at age 37.

“It’s his wild card. It lets the opponent know he’ll do anything to win.’’

U.S. Wrestling Greco-Roman coach Steve Fraser said Coleman’s flash has “brought a lot of attention to wrestling and Greco. He’s talented, hungry and young … and a pleasure to work with. He’s a very coachable kid. We love him.”

The “Flying Squirrel’’ craze reached such a pitch that Coleman recently bought himself a live flying squirrel pet and named him Rocky, who is about 45 days old and eats lot of apples and seeds.

“They bond with their owners,’’ Coleman said. “He sleeps during the day and is very nocturnal, so I’ll take him out of his cage and he’ll crawl on me and fly to the curtains. Eventually, when he bonds with me, I’ll be able to take him out in my pocket and he’ll stay there without flying away.’’

Coleman dreams of flying away from these Olympics with some hardware. Something gold, perhaps. (The New York Post)


NSW govt investigates 'floating casino'...

The NSW government is investigating whether cruise company P&O operated an illegal floating casino off the NSW coast.

Hospitality Minister George Souris on Wednesday said a government authority was investigating an allegation that passengers could play blackjack, pontoon, poker and roulette on a cruise that left Sydney on Friday night.

The cruise ship also had 40 poker machines onboard and let passengers charge $5000 on their credit cards for gambling, News Ltd reported.

"I've asked the Office of Liquor and Gaming to investigate whether a casino operation was under way in NSW territorial waters or whether gambling operations were under way in commonwealth waters," he told reporters in Sydney.

"It may be that NSW jurisdiction was breached, it may be that the commonwealth jurisdiction was breached. It may be even that both were breached."

He said NSW had no jurisdiction beyond 12 nautical miles from shore.

"Those are international waters," he said.

"In international shipping after the 12-nautical-mile limit it opens boats to gambling but also to duty-free liquor sales."


James Packer to speak at tourism conference in Canberra...

Billionare James Packer will be the drawcard for hoteliers, resort operators and owners attending a tourism conference in Canberra in late October. Mr Packer will open the Tourism & Transport Forum's annual "Leadership 2012" conference.

The gaming tycoon is a major tourism player given his Crown resorts in Perth and Melbourne attract 25 million visitors a year...


Jackman to Begin Filming ‘Wolverine’ in Australia...

Hollywood star Hugh Jackman will begin filming the next installment of his “X-Men” spin-off movies in Sydney next week, even though the female lead is yet to be confirmed.

Jackman, who admitted struggling to get into shape after packing on the pounds to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” said his role as Wolverine, which he first played 12 years ago, was “the backbone of my career.”

“I love the character. I still love the character,” he said. “I had no choice at the time, I was going to take anything that came along, but I happened to have walked into probably the most interesting and complex of the superhero characters.”

“I’ve always loved playing it and when I stop loving it I’ll stop doing it,” he added.


Melco Crown Project Gets Red Light on Casino...

Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. MPEL +2.32% still doesn't have permission to build a casino at its latest project, according to a revised government contract published Wednesday.

The Macao Studio City project, in which Melco Crown has a 60% equity interest, is designated for a five-star hotel and film facilities, indicates the latest government contract detailing various revisions to the agreement. But the document doesn't mention any casino facilities despite the company's earlier statements they hope to open up to 400 gambling tables at the property. It's possible the government could give the green-light on a casino later, but the uncertainty could complicate the company's efforts to finance the project.

Melco Crown, backed by Lawrence Ho and James Packer—the sons of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and the late Australian casino-and-media magnate Kerry Packer—is one of six casino license holders in Macau, where it already runs two casino-resort properties in the world's largest gambling hub.

A representative for Melco Crown didn't respond to requests for comment.

In June 2011, Melco Crown signed a $360 million deal to gain control over the Macao Studio City project, resolving a bitter dispute between the project's earlier partners that had escalated to the Hong Kong courts, stalling development for years. New Cotai Holdings LLC, an arm of U.S. investment firms Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and Silver Point Capital L.P., retained its 40% stake in the project.

Earlier this month Melco Crown announced plans to enter the burgeoning Philippines market by teaming up with local property developer Belle Corp. BEL.PH -0.20% to partner on a casino resort that will cost at least $1 billion in an area the Philippines hopes will become Manila's version of the Las Vegas Strip. (The Wall Street Journal)


First Second unveils André the Giant comic...

First Second has confirmed its André the Giant biography.

Cartoonist Box Brown is working on the book charting the life of the professional wrestler and actor, reports ICv2.

André Roussimoff was a star and one-time champion of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE).

He is also known for his role in cult classic movie The Princess Bride.

Roussimoff has the condition acromegaly, which saw him grow to 7'4" in height. He died of heart failure in 1993 at the age of 46.

Box is the author of Xeric grant-funded graphic novel Love Is a Peculiar Type of Thing.

The untitled André the Giant biography is scheduled for release in 2014. (Digital Spy)


The Expendables 2 slapped with R rating for extreme violence...

Action star-laden sequel The Expendables 2 has been given an R rating for its violent and sexual content in the US.

Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and co will even be throwing some bad language into the mix as they bat off hostile attackers in this follow-up to the 2010 action-packed extravaganza.

Lionsgate was rumoured to have been considering a PG-13 rating for the film, which is due for release in the States on August 17th.

Once again, Stallone assembles his hardened team of old-school mercenaries for a special mission - taking revenge after one of their squad is murdered on the job.

Director Simon West was never in any doubt that the film would receive such a high rating, given the 'very hard' violence and language perpetrated by the all-star cast throughout the film.

'I'm sure there were some financial people who wanted it to be PG-13 because they thought it would somehow make more money or have a broader audience, but there was no way,' he told wegotthiscovered.com.

'When you get these guys on the set, they can't say a line without putting the F-bomb in it, and they can't pick up a gun without blowing several limbs off.' (Metro)

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Marvel Entertainment News: The Wolverine, Marvel Games; Hollywood

The Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Games...

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New X Men, Wolverine 2 Film Revealed Possible New Viper Actress...

New X Men, Wolverine 2 film revealed possible new Viper actress. According to a new report from Collider, talks with Jessica Biel to play character Viper in the new Wolverine 2 flick, did not workout,so now, this new Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova is currently in talks to play Viper instead. It’s also reported that Svetlana is expected to close a deal with the studio pretty quickly.

The character of Viper is said to be of Eastern European decent, and has a complex relationship with Wolverine that includes, at one point, a sham marriage. Svetlana is mostly known for her work in Russia, but she appeared last year in the espionage flick “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”

On location work on The Wolverine will be done in Japan, while stage work will be shot in Australia in August. The movie stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Brian Tee, and is scheduled to hit theaters on July 26th,2013. Stay tuned.


Wolverine sequel: Jessica Biel out...

Just days after Jessica Biel was announced to play Viper in the forthcoming Wolverine sequel, The Wolverine, it has emerged that the actress has now walked away from the project after contract talks broke down.

James Mangold has taken the reins for this installment with Hugh Jackman returning to play the titular title role. It will hopefully stay faithful to the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller series which sees Wolverine transported to Japan in one of his darkest storylines.

Biel had been cast as Viper, a character who has a tempestuous relationship with Wolverine/Logan, including blackmail, a forced marriage and the odd wound – both physical and mental. Viper is also known as Lady Hydra, a high ranking officer in the Hydra network, but this may not be referenced in The Wolverine as the rights to Hydra are with Disney/Marvel Studios and Hydra was used in Captain America: The First Avenger.

The Wolverine has had a bumpy ride so far getting to the big screen, with Darren Aronofsky leaving the project very early on. This caused a delay in filming, which then grew as Hugh Jackman had commitments to film Les Miserables.

It’s another setback for the production that commences in Australia this August before filming on location in Japan. Sources say that Fox are now talking to other actors about the role as they look to move quickly to replace Biel.

The film is scheduled for release July 2013.


Marvel Entertainment movies; Thor, Spider-Man boost popularity of online slot games...

The Media Man agency reports that Marvel comics themed games such as Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk have received a boost thanks to recent and upcoming movie releases tied in with Marvel Entertainment. For the gaming world that Excelsior! (as Marvel legend Stan Lee would say). Check em out at PartyCasino, as featured across the Media Man network.


Comic Book Movies News Update...

DC Comics:

Director and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino will soon be scripting for DC Comics. The announcement, made at San Diego Comic Con, was nothing short of cryptic, and we are waiting on more details to be divulged.


Marvel Comics:

The Marvel NOW! Point-One teaser sequentially revealed the heroes that will be strongly implicated in the special issue to be released this Fall. The characters are Nick Fury, Jr., Cable, Ant Man, Loki, Wiccan, Miss America, Nova and Starlord.


Film and Television:

Dreamworks recently entered a bidding war for Classic Media film and television rights to properties like He-Man, Godzilla, Voltron, Turok, Dick Tracy, Archie, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and many more.

Marvel Studios is investigating the leak that uncovered the production of a Guardians of the Galaxy film weeks before the film's planned announcement at San Diego Comic Con.

The Dark Knight Rises has reportedly earned $162 million at the box office in its opening weekend despite tragedy. The gross puts TDKR third behind Marvel's The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II, both of which had inflated grosses due to 3D ticket sales.


Hugh Jackman echoes sorrow over massacre...

Australian actor Hugh Jackman has expressed his sadness following the mass shooting at a US screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

'All I can echo is the sorrow I feel for the families, the community, for everybody,' he says.

'It's an issue that goes way beyond, obviously beyond acting, beyond film or anything like that.

'This is just a tragedy on a level that we have experienced in Australia many years ago in Tasmania and it's devastating and I can't comment on (it) anymore than as a human being and my feelings for those people involved.'

Jackman was speaking in Sydney at a press conference on Tuesday for his new film The Wolverine, alongside its director, James Mangold, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Jackman was sporting a red right eye, but it wasn't because of training for the action movie, but rather 'a very energetic game of tag with my kids', which he thinks burst a blood vessel.

Jackman says it wasn't easy getting back into shape for the part, particularly coming from his last role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

'That was a particular challenge because Les Mis, I had to start at 83 kilos and I finished at about 97 kilos by the end of the movie,' he says.

'We did have a holiday recently, but it was more like boot camp for me. But the kids and Deb (his wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness) were happy.'

Shooting of The Wolverine is scheduled to start in Sydney on July 30, after a number of setbacks for the sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Last March, director Darren Aronofsky left the project, and Mangold stepped in to replace him. Then the shoot, which was originally meant to be in Japan, was postponed last October because of weather conditions.

Mangold says The Wolverine is based on a series of comics that detail the mutant's journeys in Japan and he refuted reports that Jessica Biel had turned down the lead role of Viper.

'The story couldn't be more of a fantasy frankly, in terms of what I was reading, so it was nothing more than a list of people we were considering and still are,' he says.

Jackman, who has played Wolverine now in five different movies over the past 12 years, says he takes the movies on one at a time.

For The Wolverine, he saw the screenplay and was sold.

'I feel like a golfer, always looking for a hole in one and I thought this was the best script we've had,' he says.


Hollywood declares box office truce after massacre...

The Hollywood studio behind the Batman movies has decided not to publish weekend box office figures after the Colorado theatre massacre.

Twelve people were killed and 58 injured when a gunman dressed in full body armour opened fire at a packed midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises in Denver.

James Holmes, 24, was taken into custody outside the cinema after the attack. He is in solitary confinement and is due in court on Monday morning.

Within hours of the attack, Warner Brothers had cancelled the movie's Paris premiere, which was to have been accompanied by a press junket with the cast and crew including director Christopher Nolan and main star Christian Bale.

The company also cancelled red carpet events for the film in France, Japan and Mexico, although screenings will go ahead as planned.

Warner Bros has now confirmed it will not publish weekend takings - a form of crowing about box office success - until Monday.

This was despite the fact that unofficial figures cited by industry daily Variety suggest that it made $US75 million on Friday alone, the third biggest opening day ever at the US box office.

The move was swiftly followed by major Hollywood rivals including Disney, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate and Universal.

After initial radio silence from most of the cast and crew, Nolan issued a statement lamenting the "senseless tragedy," and expressing "our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community".

On Saturday Bale, who plays Bruce Wayne aka Batman, also expressed his sadness.

"Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them," he said in a statement.

In a separate move Warner Bros scrambled to pull a trailer for another film, Gangster Squad, including a scene in which mobsters shoot at theatre audiences. (AFP)


Christian Bale: My Heart Aches for Victims

The film is expected to be among the most lucrative movie openings and possibly contend with the record $207.4 million brought in by "The Avengers."

"The Dark Knight Rises" star Christian Bale said Saturday that his heart goes out to the victims of the Colorado shootings, a tragedy that brought Hollywood studios together in a rare show of solidarity as they opted to give the weekend box-office a rest.

"Words cannot express the horror that I feel," Bale, who plays the caped crusader in the film, said in a statement. "I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them."

Meanwhile, Sony, Fox, Disney, Universal, Fox, Paramount and Lionsgate said Saturday that they are joining "Dark Knight Rises" distributor Warner Bros. in withholding their box-office numbers for the weekend.

Warner Bros. announced Friday that it would forgo the usual revenue reports until Monday out of respect for the victims and their families in the Aurora, Colo., shooting that killed 12 and wounded 58 at the midnight show of "The Dark Knight Rises" earlier in the day.

The other studios said they also would not report numbers until Monday. Box-office tracking service Rentrak, too, said it would not report figures this weekend.

Sunday box-office estimates are a weekly routine for Hollywood, with studios jostling for bragging rights as the No. 1 movie and always aiming to break revenue records.

Before the shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater at a midnight screening of the new Batman film, the box-office performance of "The Dark Knight Rises" had been eagerly anticipated. The film is expected to be among the most lucrative movie openings and possibly contend with the record $207.4 million brought in by "The Avengers."

But that now appears unlikely, even though "The Dark Knight Rises" earned $30.6 million from midnight screenings alone. Hollywood trade publications Variety and Hollywood Reporter reported estimates of roughly $75 million to $77 million for the film on Friday, based on box-office insiders.

That would put it on track for somewhere around $165 million for the weekend. Such a total would be the second highest weekend opening ever, after "The Avengers."

Any projections, though, are bound to be rough approximates given the atypical nature of the situation. Many of Friday's tickets were presold before the shooting. Moviegoers making their way to theaters also faced increased security and, in some places, bag checks. AMC Theaters, the country's second-largest movie chain, said it would not allow costumed fans or face-covered masks into its theaters.

Warner Bros. rushed to react to the tragedy, immediately canceling a Friday night premiere in Paris. On Saturday, it also canceled the other remaining red-carpet extravaganzas in Mexico City and Tokyo.

The studio, a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., also moved to pull trailers from its upcoming film "Gangster Squad" from theaters. The trailer of the film, which stars Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling in a ruthless war between Los Angeles police and the mob, includes a scene of mobsters firing into a crowded movie theater from behind the screen.

Christopher Nolan, the director of "The Dark Knight Rises" earlier responded to the tragedy, expressing his sorrow for the victims and their families.

Said Nolan: "The movie theater is my home and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me."

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

WWE RAW 1000th Episode Screens In Australia today; Movie, Hollywood, Celebrity and Casino News

WWE RAW 1000th Episode Screens In Australia today; Movie, Hollywood, Celebrity and Casino News; The Dark Knight Rises, The Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Games...

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Pro wrestling fans down under in Australia - are you ready? The WWE RAW 1000th episode screens today at 2.30pm EST on FOX8. Most of the modern day wrestling legends who helped make RAW as great as it is will be appearing. Today the Media Man agency report also offers up news and info on comic book movies and games associated with 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'The Wolverine' and 'Amazing Spider-Man'. Then we check out the Australian casino scene, and pick up a bit of political and celebrity news for good measure. Keep checking the news website portal daily for some of the most superior news coverage on the internet.

WWE Boss Vince McMahon on his WWE; (Q&A interview)...

As the 1,000th episode of "Raw" approaches, the wrestling king offers his thoughts on professional wrestling aka "sports entertainment" (The Hollywood Reporter).

Vince McMahon has the final say at the WWE. He is the chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, and his wife, Linda, is running for the U.S. Senate from Connecticut. McMahon, 66, is preparing for the 1,000th episode of USA flagship live show Raw, the longest-running episodic primetime program in the U.S. Raw, which reaches more than 600 million homes worldwide and contributed massively to the network's $340 million in revenue from live and televised entertainment in 2011. Today they kick of with adding a third hour and becoming the most interactive show in pro wrestling, and in just about any other medium or genre.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: You started on USA, moved to another network and then returned to USA …
Vince McMahon: We became the No. 1 show on USA. And they wouldn't be No. 1 right now in primetime if not for Raw. We switched one time to what became the Spike network and became the No. 1 show there. We have proved that we can pretty much make TV networks.

THR: WWE and your performers have started using Twitter more.

McMahon: Back in the early days, our performers elicited a response -- a boo or a cheer. Today, we use all this social media. We are going to do Tout, in which the WWE just invested. With that, you get a 15-second video shout-out that goes straight to our TV programs. Beginning with the 1,000th show, people can participate in terms of the types of matches and what actually happens on air. It will be the most interactive TV programming in the world.

THR: Over the years, you had ups and downs. You had the Monday night ratings wars with WCW, for example.

McMahon: Ted Turner was a bit of a battle [when he bought the World Championship Wrestling circuit]. Ted was part of Time Warner; that was difficult to compete with. But perseverance is extremely important in life and in business. The other guys got tired of traveling each and every week to do TV. They just didn't have the same passion we do. They were working for a paycheck. It was only a matter of time until they burned out.

THR: Why has so much of your talent, like The Rock, gone on to film careers?

McMahon: Our talent is taught not to be prima donnas, to be on time and know their lines. And quite frankly, people in Hollywood, once they see what we do, they are amazed. Our talent doesn't demand the biggest trailer or a certain amount of grape juice or whatever the hell it is. Our talent is extremely flexible and knows how to act, so it's a logical extension for them.

THR: UFC gets big pay-per-view numbers. How do you stack up against them?

McMahon: We're in show business, they are a sport. Their ratings are abysmal. They are in the pay-per-view business, and they do reasonably well there. We just set a record for WrestleMania. We had 1.3 million buys for this year's WrestleMania, and our pay-per-view numbers for our shows have been up 30 percent since then. So, we are looking pretty good.

THR: Are you going to watch the Olympics?

McMahon: I consider our business the Olympics, and it doesn't just happen every few years, but every night. My favorite part will be the closing ceremonies. That means the Olympics are over, and everyone will settle down and Raw, Smackdown! [on Syfy] and WWE will have more prominence.

STORY: ION Enters Pro-Wrestling Ring with 'WWE Main Event'

WRESTLING ROOTS

Dwayne Johnson/The Rock: The third-generation wrestler began his film career with The Mummy Returns. Next: G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Fast and the Furious 6.

Stacy Keibler: Keibler wrestled and managed WWE stars, then placed third on Dancing With the Stars. And, oh yeah, she's been dating George Clooney since 2011.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin: McMahon's beer-swilling adversary appeared in The Expendables.
Hulk Hogan: He's acted in Rocky III, starred on his own reality show and done voice acting for Robot Chicken.

Freddie Prinze Jr.: The She's All That star and WWE fan was hired to help create Raw storylines in 2008. He has guest-hosted on the show as well.


WWE Triple H Talks Talent...

Promoting this coming Monday's historic 1000th episode of Raw, Paul Levesque, also known as Triple H, addressed a number of topics including Randy Orton's ongoing sixty-day suspension for his second violation of WWE's Talent Wellness Program.

Orton, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri, the site of Monday's show, will be unable to appear due to the suspension. Though Levesque won't divulge what Orton did wrong, he notes "The Legend Killer" will be back once the suspension concludes.

"It is important to remember that all of our wrestlers are human but they also have to be accountable," Levesque says of Orton's suspension.

As WWE's Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events, Levesque's corporate role is to discover tomorrow's Superstars. He admits it's a struggle.

"We're trying to teach them to be the Stone Colds and the Undertakers of tomorrow, but the one thing we can't teach is charisma," said Levesque. "You can teach people to do moves and create story lines and the psychology of what we do, but you can't teach someone to be the Rock. It's an innate ability to walk into a room and have everyone pay attention. Put aside the athleticism and what happens in the ring, what our business is really about is connecting with people emotionally. If you are emotionally connected to your character, then people will want to see you. It's true in Hollywood and movies. You don't have to be the best actor, just be a presence."

Triple H, The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin created on-screen personas "fans loved, hated or loved to hate" on Raw in the late '90s. Levesque feels they were the first stars of reality television.

"Every guy we have, whether it's me, whether it's the Undertaker, whether it's John Cena playing the character John Cena, is a performer," said Levesque. "What we did is very much the beginning of reality television. 'Jersey Shore,' whether people want to believe it or not, is a scripted kind-of show. They don't give them every single word, but they give them premises and they set things up. It's not a documentary where you follow them around brushing their teeth. And that's what we are — we blur that line and that's what people find intriguing."

Levesque also offers insight on The Rock and Kane's on-stage personalities, WWE's decision to make their shows "PG" television, critics denouncing wrestling as "fake," and more.


WWE Raw Supershow - What To Expect On The Broadcast
Live in St. Louis, Mo, USA


The three-hour WWE Raw era will start with a new signature WWE open capturing WWE through the years.

Rapid-fire clips of memorable moments throughout Raw's history - Vince's "Bret screwed Bret" speech, Shawn Michaels losing his smile, Edge retiring, Ric Flair retiring, and Triple H tributing Eddie Guerrero.

A video package focusing on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and and Bret Hart becoming friends again.

Vince McMahon to welcome and thank the fans.

DX reunion with most members.

The Rock to address the WWE Title.

Brock Lesnar accept Triple H's Summerslam Challenge?

Daniel Bryan and A.J. to get married.

WWE champion C.M. Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Title

1 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS & REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA vs. CHRIS JERICHO & DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) & ALBERTO DEL RIO

2 -- JACK SWAGGER vs. BRODUS CLAY (w/Mick Foley)

3 -- IC champion CHRISTIAN vs. THE MIZ -- Intercontinental Title match

Charlie Sheen via Skype to talk wrestling and "anger management".

4 -- HEATH SLATER vs. LITA


The Undertaker returns to RAW.


5 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title match

*special thanks to our friends at WWE, Pro Wrestling Torch, Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Wrestling Inc in assisting with this report.


New X Men, Wolverine 2 Film Revealed Possible New Viper Actress...

New X Men, Wolverine 2 film revealed possible new Viper actress. According to a new report from Collider, talks with Jessica Biel to play character Viper in the new Wolverine 2 flick, did not workout,so now, this new Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova is currently in talks to play Viper instead. It’s also reported that Svetlana is expected to close a deal with the studio pretty quickly.

The character of Viper is said to be of Eastern European decent, and has a complex relationship with Wolverine that includes, at one point, a sham marriage. Svetlana is mostly known for her work in Russia, but she appeared last year in the espionage flick “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”

On location work on The Wolverine will be done in Japan, while stage work will be shot in Australia in August. The movie stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Brian Tee, and is scheduled to hit theaters on July 26th,2013. Stay tuned.


Wolverine sequel: Jessica Biel out...

Just days after Jessica Biel was announced to play Viper in the forthcoming Wolverine sequel, The Wolverine, it has emerged that the actress has now walked away from the project after contract talks broke down.

James Mangold has taken the reins for this installment with Hugh Jackman returning to play the titular title role. It will hopefully stay faithful to the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller series which sees Wolverine transported to Japan in one of his darkest storylines.

Biel had been cast as Viper, a character who has a tempestuous relationship with Wolverine/Logan, including blackmail, a forced marriage and the odd wound – both physical and mental. Viper is also known as Lady Hydra, a high ranking officer in the Hydra network, but this may not be referenced in The Wolverine as the rights to Hydra are with Disney/Marvel Studios and Hydra was used in Captain America: The First Avenger.

The Wolverine has had a bumpy ride so far getting to the big screen, with Darren Aronofsky leaving the project very early on. This caused a delay in filming, which then grew as Hugh Jackman had commitments to film Les Miserables.

It’s another setback for the production that commences in Australia this August before filming on location in Japan. Sources say that Fox are now talking to other actors about the role as they look to move quickly to replace Biel.

The film is scheduled for release July 2013.


Marvel Entertainment movies; Thor, Spider-Man boost popularity of online slot games...

The Media Man agency reports that Marvel comics themed games such as Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk have received a boost thanks to recent and upcoming movie releases tied in with Marvel Entertainment. For the gaming world that Excelsior! (as Marvel legend Stan Lee would say). Check em out at PartyCasino, as featured across the Media Man network.


Comic Book Movies News Update...

DC Comics:

Director and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino will soon be scripting for DC Comics. The announcement, made at San Diego Comic Con, was nothing short of cryptic, and we are waiting on more details to be divulged.


Marvel Comics:

The Marvel NOW! Point-One teaser sequentially revealed the heroes that will be strongly implicated in the special issue to be released this Fall. The characters are Nick Fury, Jr., Cable, Ant Man, Loki, Wiccan, Miss America, Nova and Starlord.


Film and Television:

Dreamworks recently entered a bidding war for Classic Media film and television rights to properties like He-Man, Godzilla, Voltron, Turok, Dick Tracy, Archie, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and many more.

Marvel Studios is investigating the leak that uncovered the production of a Guardians of the Galaxy film weeks before the film's planned announcement at San Diego Comic Con.

The Dark Knight Rises has reportedly earned $162 million at the box office in its opening weekend despite tragedy. The gross puts TDKR third behind Marvel's The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II, both of which had inflated grosses due to 3D ticket sales.


O'Neill formally takes over as Echo chairman - 23rd July...

Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill has officially taken over as chairman of casino operator Echo Entertainment Group's board.

Mr O'Neill takes over from John Story who stepped down on June 8 following a campaign to remove him by James Packer, head of rival casino operator Crown.

Mr O'Neill, a non-executive board director and chief executive of the Australian Rugby Union, subsequently assumed the role of Echo's acting chairman.

His appointment received Mr Packer's support.

Mr Packer, seeking a presence in the lucrative Sydney gaming market, wanted to to increase his influence on Echo, which holds the city's sole casino licence.

Crown took a 10 per cent holding in Echo.

Echo operates The Star in Sydney, the Jupiters casinos on the Gold Coast and in Townsville, and the Treasury casino in Brisbane.

Crown operates the Crown casino in Melbourne and the Burswood casino in Perth.


Steven Spielberg Wants Chris Hemsworth for Robopocalypse...

Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth was a relative unknown Stateside only a couple years ago, but he has become the go-to guy for roles requiring a handsome badass who fights inhuman threats. Hemsworth has battled Frost Giants in Thor and alien invaders in The Avengers as Thor — and Thor's wicked brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), in both movies — and trolls as the Huntsman in Snow White and the Huntsman, and it looks like he will soon be battling robots for director Steven Spielberg in Robopocalypse.

The three-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker has been trying to put together an adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson's best-selling novel of the same name since before the book was completed, and now it seems he's finally ready to start moving forward with it. According to Deadline, Spielberg recently met in secret with Hemsworth to discuss starring in the movie and has chosen him to lead the resistance against the artificial intelligence Archos, which seeks to annhiliate the human race.

Further details on the adaptation are scarce at this point. Goddard wrote the initial screenplay adaptation of his book, but Deadline reports that Kario Salem (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) has been hired to rewrite Goddard's script. Here's the synopis of the book from Random House's website:

Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike — yet massively powerful — artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour — the moment the robots attack — the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines. Brilliantly conceived and amazingly detailed, Robopocalypse is an action-packed epic with chilling implications about the real technology that surrounds us.

It's the robots' world, we just live in it...for now.

Random House also has a one-minute video short set in the world of Robopocalypse on its site. The director of the short, Stephen Lunsford, is no Spielberg, but the short is worth watching solely for the creepy, child-like voice of Archos declaring itself humanity's god.

Robopocalypse will be a joint Dreamworks-Fox production distributed by Disney. It is slated for release on April 25, 2014.


Hugh Jackman echoes sorrow over massacre...

Australian actor Hugh Jackman has expressed his sadness following the mass shooting at a US screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

'All I can echo is the sorrow I feel for the families, the community, for everybody,' he says.

'It's an issue that goes way beyond, obviously beyond acting, beyond film or anything like that.

'This is just a tragedy on a level that we have experienced in Australia many years ago in Tasmania and it's devastating and I can't comment on (it) anymore than as a human being and my feelings for those people involved.'

Jackman was speaking in Sydney at a press conference on Tuesday for his new film The Wolverine, alongside its director, James Mangold, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Jackman was sporting a red right eye, but it wasn't because of training for the action movie, but rather 'a very energetic game of tag with my kids', which he thinks burst a blood vessel.

Jackman says it wasn't easy getting back into shape for the part, particularly coming from his last role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

'That was a particular challenge because Les Mis, I had to start at 83 kilos and I finished at about 97 kilos by the end of the movie,' he says.

'We did have a holiday recently, but it was more like boot camp for me. But the kids and Deb (his wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness) were happy.'

Shooting of The Wolverine is scheduled to start in Sydney on July 30, after a number of setbacks for the sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Last March, director Darren Aronofsky left the project, and Mangold stepped in to replace him. Then the shoot, which was originally meant to be in Japan, was postponed last October because of weather conditions.

Mangold says The Wolverine is based on a series of comics that detail the mutant's journeys in Japan and he refuted reports that Jessica Biel had turned down the lead role of Viper.

'The story couldn't be more of a fantasy frankly, in terms of what I was reading, so it was nothing more than a list of people we were considering and still are,' he says.

Jackman, who has played Wolverine now in five different movies over the past 12 years, says he takes the movies on one at a time.

For The Wolverine, he saw the screenplay and was sold.

'I feel like a golfer, always looking for a hole in one and I thought this was the best script we've had,' he says.


Hollywood declares box office truce after massacre...

The Hollywood studio behind the Batman movies has decided not to publish weekend box office figures after the Colorado theatre massacre.

Twelve people were killed and 58 injured when a gunman dressed in full body armour opened fire at a packed midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises in Denver.

James Holmes, 24, was taken into custody outside the cinema after the attack. He is in solitary confinement and is due in court on Monday morning.

Within hours of the attack, Warner Brothers had cancelled the movie's Paris premiere, which was to have been accompanied by a press junket with the cast and crew including director Christopher Nolan and main star Christian Bale.

The company also cancelled red carpet events for the film in France, Japan and Mexico, although screenings will go ahead as planned.

Warner Bros has now confirmed it will not publish weekend takings - a form of crowing about box office success - until Monday.

This was despite the fact that unofficial figures cited by industry daily Variety suggest that it made $US75 million on Friday alone, the third biggest opening day ever at the US box office.

The move was swiftly followed by major Hollywood rivals including Disney, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate and Universal.

After initial radio silence from most of the cast and crew, Nolan issued a statement lamenting the "senseless tragedy," and expressing "our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community".

On Saturday Bale, who plays Bruce Wayne aka Batman, also expressed his sadness.

"Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them," he said in a statement.

In a separate move Warner Bros scrambled to pull a trailer for another film, Gangster Squad, including a scene in which mobsters shoot at theatre audiences. (AFP)


Christian Bale: My Heart Aches for Victims

The film is expected to be among the most lucrative movie openings and possibly contend with the record $207.4 million brought in by "The Avengers."

"The Dark Knight Rises" star Christian Bale said Saturday that his heart goes out to the victims of the Colorado shootings, a tragedy that brought Hollywood studios together in a rare show of solidarity as they opted to give the weekend box-office a rest.

"Words cannot express the horror that I feel," Bale, who plays the caped crusader in the film, said in a statement. "I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them."

Meanwhile, Sony, Fox, Disney, Universal, Fox, Paramount and Lionsgate said Saturday that they are joining "Dark Knight Rises" distributor Warner Bros. in withholding their box-office numbers for the weekend.

Warner Bros. announced Friday that it would forgo the usual revenue reports until Monday out of respect for the victims and their families in the Aurora, Colo., shooting that killed 12 and wounded 58 at the midnight show of "The Dark Knight Rises" earlier in the day.

The other studios said they also would not report numbers until Monday. Box-office tracking service Rentrak, too, said it would not report figures this weekend.

Sunday box-office estimates are a weekly routine for Hollywood, with studios jostling for bragging rights as the No. 1 movie and always aiming to break revenue records.

Before the shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater at a midnight screening of the new Batman film, the box-office performance of "The Dark Knight Rises" had been eagerly anticipated. The film is expected to be among the most lucrative movie openings and possibly contend with the record $207.4 million brought in by "The Avengers."

But that now appears unlikely, even though "The Dark Knight Rises" earned $30.6 million from midnight screenings alone. Hollywood trade publications Variety and Hollywood Reporter reported estimates of roughly $75 million to $77 million for the film on Friday, based on box-office insiders.

That would put it on track for somewhere around $165 million for the weekend. Such a total would be the second highest weekend opening ever, after "The Avengers."

Any projections, though, are bound to be rough approximates given the atypical nature of the situation. Many of Friday's tickets were presold before the shooting. Moviegoers making their way to theaters also faced increased security and, in some places, bag checks. AMC Theaters, the country's second-largest movie chain, said it would not allow costumed fans or face-covered masks into its theaters.

Warner Bros. rushed to react to the tragedy, immediately canceling a Friday night premiere in Paris. On Saturday, it also canceled the other remaining red-carpet extravaganzas in Mexico City and Tokyo.

The studio, a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., also moved to pull trailers from its upcoming film "Gangster Squad" from theaters. The trailer of the film, which stars Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling in a ruthless war between Los Angeles police and the mob, includes a scene of mobsters firing into a crowded movie theater from behind the screen.

Christopher Nolan, the director of "The Dark Knight Rises" earlier responded to the tragedy, expressing his sorrow for the victims and their families.

Said Nolan: "The movie theater is my home and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me."

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

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Virgin Mobile announces Splendour in the Grass Live Stream acts

VIRGIN MOBILE ROLLS OUT THE RED CARPET TO HOMES ACROSS THE NATION WITH EXCLUSIVE LIVE STREAM

- Virgin Mobile to stream headline acts from Splendour in the Grass - Kimbra, Miike Snow, Ladyhawke, Cast of Cheers, Band of Skulls, Bleeding Knees Club, Last Dinosaurs and more...


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Sydney, 20 July 2012 – Splendour in the Grass sold out quicker this year than you could say “Splendour Bender Weekend Extender”, and knowing that there are more disappointed people that missed out on tickets than ever before, Virgin Mobile today announces that it will once again be delivering a live stream of the festival. Continuing its commitment to dish out even more content for music loving Aussies, Virgin Mobile has announced a stellar line up expanding the live stream to a whopping 8 hours of exclusive content direct from field phone.

Following on from last year’s success where over 46,650 music fans tuned in to be part of the action, Virgin Mobile will be streaming performances from the likes of Kimbra and Miike Snow directly from the Mixup and Supertop stages at Splendour in the Grass 2012, on Saturday 28th from 3pm.

The exclusive Virgin Mobile Live Stream 2012 will bring non-festival goers uninterrupted live access to the festival’s gigs with a mix of live and pre-recorded performances and backstage artist interviews, bringing ‘music to the masses’ via its YouTube channel (YouTube.com/VirginMobileAus) and the official Splendour in the Grass app.

Those on the move won’t miss a beat this year. Thanks to Virgin Mobile, music lovers can experience the live stream on mobile devices via the free Splendour in the Grass app – available for Android and iPhone. Furthermore, the Virgin Mobile Facebook page and website will be regularly updated with all the latest Splendour in the Grass news.

Virgin Mobile’s Marketing Director, David Scribner, said, “We’re really excited to once again be offering this exclusive access to fans and music lovers who can’t make it to the festival. We have been pioneers in live-streaming ever since we first live-streamed the Temper Trap in 2010 and are proud to once again be offering viewers a real feel for this year’s festival with an excellent collection of music and behind-the-scenes interviews streamed directly from the festival to wherever you are.”

In its third year of sponsorship, Virgin Mobile will for the first time extend its activations beyond the festival grounds, offering festivalgoers the chance to pull over and revive in style and comfort at Virgin Mobile’s Star Treatment Stop. The Star Treatment Stop (stylish pit-stops), located at 171 Pacific Highway Broadwater, en-route from Sydney to Bryon Bay, will offer drivers and their mates free coffees, massages, comfy beanbags and chilled DJs tunes for a refresh with a difference.

Dedicated to enhancing the overall experience for those at the festival, Virgin Mobile will offer a host of customer benefits to Virgin Mobile customers attending Splendour in the Grass 2012. Customers will be asked to register before thefestival for them and a plus one via a Facebook app and when they get onsitethe can pick up their Near Field Communications (NFC) wristband. Virgin Mobile festival benefits include:

• Access to the Posh Pit fancy bathroom (clean and fresh – oh the joy!) plus 5 minute makeovers to keep punters looking and feeling like a star throughout the festival

• Fast Lane express bar queue - Virgin Mobile thinks it’s only fair that customers spend more time watching bands, and less time queuing at the bar

· Power Point Recharge Station – Running out of juice on your mobile? Can’t send that last photo of you in the mosh pit to make all your friends jealous? Virgin Mobile have you covered with the recharge station

· Bandstand daily prizes – These babies are your key to fun times at Splendour from food vouchers to phones there’s a whole lot of love to give. Customer simply tap their wristband throughout the festival to see what they have won

· The chance to win tickets to the exclusive Channel V party: 50 Virgin Mobile customers and their friends will win access to the VIP section at the Channel V Party at the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay on Saturday the 28th July where they will be treated to a recovery breakfast, drinks and great tunes from the likes of Alice Wonderland and other Splendour artists. Another 100 Virgin Mobile customers will win access to the party and two drinks tokens.

Virgin Mobile customers can now pre-register for all the benefits at:
http://apps.facebook.com/virgin_splendour

For more information on the Virgin Mobile live stream and festival benefits for Virgin Mobile customers visit: http://www.virginmobile.com.au/splendour-in-the-grass

Virgin Mobile & Music
As a Virgin company, music is a part of our heritage and our brand DNA. Since we launched 11 years ago, Virgin Mobile Australia has been a key player in the music scene undertaking initiatives to enrich the music experience for our customers.

We’ve been a major sponsor of Splendour in the Grass festival since 2010, offering customers a host of benefits to enhance their festival experience. We also brought music to the masses as the first brand to live web-stream from an Australian music festival, broadcasting Temper Trap’s set from Splendour in the Grass 2010. We then gave you Australia’s longest-ever festival live web-stream from St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in 2011.

In 2012 we are also excited to be sponsoring music legend George Michael’s national tour later this year. Stay tuned for more music news from us at www.facebook.com/VirginMobileAus or www.twitter.com/virginmobileaus

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spider-Man inspired by masked luchadors; Spider-Man movie has strong ties to pro wrestling; "Macho Man" Randy Savage connection

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Spider-Man Inspired By Masked Luchadors...

In The Amazing Spider-Man, which hit theaters Tuesday, Peter Parker is inspired to create a mask after winding up inside a wrestling ring surrounded by posters of masked luchadors. It is not the first wrestling connection in the movie franchise as in the premiere film released in 2002, Peter enters a wrestling tournament and squares off against a character portrayed by the late Randy "Macho Man" Savage.


Spider-Man movie has strong ties to pro wrestling; "Macho Man" Randy Savage connection...

The Amazing Spider-Man was released during the Independence Day week and so far the flick has performed well, netting in $35 U.S million on its opening day.

While the record-setting Tuesday opening is awesome, it is something else which has pro wrestling fans excited about the latest reboot of the superhero franchise.

In the original film, starring Tobey Maguire, we witnessed Spider-Man enter a pro wrestling match in order to win a sum of cash which would allow him to purchase a used car he thought would impress Mary Jane.

Initially, Peter Parker wanted to be called The Human Spider, but Bruce Campbell put a stop to that nonsense and sent him down to the ring as Spider-Man.

As if seeing the man most famously known as Ash Williams wasn't enough, we were treated to a second cameo within seconds.

Spidey was facing off against Bonesaw McGraw, who was played by the late, great Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

It was here where Spidey first faced off against a foe who put him through hell.

This cameo by the legendary "Macho Man" was warmly welcomed by wrestling fans who had missed Savage. The new film, featuring Andrew Garfield as the webby one has gone back to its roots and given Peter Parker another wrestling-based inspiration.

At one point in the film Peter Parker is walking away from a group of hoodlums he had just schooled when he falls through a roof, landing in the middle of a wrestling ring.

When he stood up and looked around he saw what provided him with the inspiration for his signature mask.

The small arena was filled with signs featuring Lucha Libre masks, one of which catches Parker's eye more than the others.

The mask is red with dark-colored designs surrounding the eyes, nearly an exact copy of Spidey's look sans the webbing all over the face area.

Director Marc Webb made a lot of wrestling fans happy by inserting another inspiration for Spider-Man which is based in the world of pro wrestling.

Wrestling fans and comic book fans have a large cross over audience which these film makers have smartly plugged into - further casting their own web, to help increase net profits of course.

Comics and pro wrestling have a few elements in common. They both feature people dressed in fancy outfits, have signature attacks / finishing moves, and have a good VS evil theme for the most part.

Both Marc Webb and Sam Raimi chose to use wrestling as a launching pad for Peter Parker is also another point that wrestling fans are high on.

This latest part of the Hollywood - pro wrestling connection has gone over well and may even lead to the wrestling themes been further cast out in the Hollywood movie web and the movie industry wrestles attempting to get back some of the glory and money it used to make.


Marvel Entertainment Movies: Amazing Spider-Man, Thor 2, The Avengers Et Al Boost Popularity Of Marvel Slot Games...

The Media Man agency reports that Marvel themed online slot games across the network, and featured at partner, PartyCasino.com , are boosting the popularity of the superhero themed online slot games. Bwin.Party currently offers The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, with more expected to soon hit the popular gaming and entertainment website destination.


WWE Keen To Work With UFC Fighter; Ties To C.M Punk And "Stone Cold" Steve Austin...

Various news media is reporting that WWE is interested in working with 35 year old UFC fighter "The American Gangster" Chael Sonnen. Sonnen lost to Anderson Silva at Saturday's UFC 148 pay-per-view but word is that WWE is ready to negotiate. No word yet if they want him to wrestle or play another kind of role.

Sonnen has ties to WWE as he is mates with WWE Champion CM Punk. Punk was ready to accompany Sonnen to the Octagon for a fight several months back but that was nixed.

Sonnen is also close to WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin. Austin has been bringing Sonnen out to his Broken Skull Ranch in Texas to help him with strength and conditioning training.


UFC 148: Chael Sonnen's Coach Planned Appeal, Demands Rematch from UFC Top Brass Dana White...

Although middleweight contender Chael Sonnen seemed to accept his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 148, we have learned that Sonnen's team is less forgiving of Silva's potentially illegal tactics. They think that a knee strike to a seated Sonnen, which hit the challenger in the chest, also connected solidly with Sonnen's face, making it an illegal strike.

"Chael's not the kind of guy who likes to complain after a fight," Sonnen's head trainer Scott McQuarry said. "I felt I needed to take this action to protect him. At the point of impact, Anderson had his hand locked in the cage and his feet left the ground. We believe his intentions were clear.

"We started the process of filing a complaint with the Nevada Athletic Commission. We believe the knee that Anderson Silva threw was illegal with the clear intent to strike the face. And it did in fact connect with the face. Chael bit his tongue and needed eight stitches."

McQuarry believes the potentially illegal knee changed the remainder of the fight, creating the opening for Silva to finish the bout with punches. After contacting Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer to determine how to proceed, he was informed that filing a complaint would almost certainly not result in the fight being declared a no contest.

Rather, McQuarry is taking his case to the fans and UFC president Dana White.

"What I'm going to do is change my tactic," McQuarry said. "We're going to ask for a rematch. We deserve a rematch. If the only way Anderson Silva can win is by cheating, we need to keep a closer eye on Silva before and during a fight. And we need a rematch now. Legal knee or illegal knee, there's enough doubt with all the fouls to warrant a rematch."

In addition to the knee strike, Silva was also caught rubbing Vaseline on his chest. Although referee Yves Lavigne caught this, McQuarry says that the substance sinks into the pores, making simply wiping it off ineffective. Additionally, Silva was warned twice for grabbing Sonnen's shorts during the fight.

"I think it did make a difference in the outcome," McQuarry said. "I know that Chael grabbed Silva's shorts briefly too in response, but not for 15 seconds and two punches."

While Sonnen and his team weigh their options, McQuarry hopes the people will make their voices heard.

"They need to call the UFC. We need a rematch. Chael is a great champion and deserves a fair fight."

In the meantime Sonnen is understood to be keen to further open up lines of communication with the WWE, and this will likely be facilitated by friends in the business including "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and C.M Punk.

Right not Sonnen is hot property and is doing well to keep his name in the press as excitement grows as to what next for this unique and tough as nails talent.


WWE Legend Bob Backlund May Return To WWE RAW Tonight...

Former two time WWF Champion Bob Backlund is heavily expected to be the returning “main event” legend during tonight’s WWE Raw SuperShow. The likelihood is he will be wrestling or at the very least will be involved in an angle with Heath Slater, as has been the segments in previous weeks involving Vader, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Psycho Sid and Doink The Clown and "Diamond" Dallas Page.

News media reports that Backlund was visiting his mother at her Minnesota rest home this past weekend and was telling people there that he was heading to fly right out to Denver, Colardo, which is the location for tonight’s WWE Raw SuperShow.

Backlund last appeared on WWE television back in 2007 at the RAW 15th anniversary show that December where he participated in a Battle Royal. That appearance came just a few short months after Backlund defeated Alex Shelley at TNA’s Slammiversary pay-per-view and also after wrestled at TNA Victory Road.

62-year-old Backlund holds the record for the second longest WWF title reign in history and was one of the biggest wrestling stars of the late 70′s and early 80′s. He had a second, less successful stint with the WWF in the early 90′s and even appeared in the Attitude Era at the 2000 Royal Rumble and briefly managed former Olympian Kurt Angle.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Gaming, Entertainment, Hollywood and Celebrity News

Gaming, Entertainment, Hollywood and Celebrity News: Sydney casino, Spider-Man movie, movie ratings, The Wolverine, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, James Bond 007 in Skyfall, Highest paid actors includes "The Rock" and more...

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Australia's Lend Lease: development could host small-scale casino...

A planned $6 billion development on Sydney Harbour does not have space for a large casino but could cater for smaller-scale VIP gaming, developer Lend Lease said on Monday, which would suit a proposal put forward by billionaire James Packer.

Packer outlined a plan for an international hotel and casino at Barangaroo, on Sydney's waterfront, after his company Crown Ltd doubled its stake in its main rival, Echo Entertainment, which owns Sydney's sole casino.

Crown wants to raise its stake in Echo to 25 percent from 10 percent, as part of its plans to lobby for a second Sydney casino licence to attract more Asian high-rollers.

The developer of the site, Lend Lease, said on Monday it could focus more on plans for the hotel after announcing it has secured A$2 billion ($2.04 billion) funding for the first two commercial towers at its flagship project, including A$1 billion committed by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Lend Lease chief executive Steve McCann said the site did not have the capacity for a mass-market casino.

"If there was going to be anything in the tower with any gaming capacity, it would be VIP-style gaming," he told analysts on a conference call.

The New South Wales state government would need to approve any gaming licence, since Echo currently holds Sydney's exclusive casino licence until 2019. The state government previously welcomed Packer's proposal as a boost to tourism.

Lend Lease has said it is in talks with a number of hotel groups for the site, including Crown.

Shares in Crown gained 1.5 percent in morning trade and Lend Lease was up 0.3 percent, against a broader market down 0.8 percent. (Reuters)





'Amazing Spider-Man' Tops Box Office, Snares $140 Million Over Six Days...

After a record-setting opening day, "The Amazing Spider-Man" remained strong through the weekend, helping the Sony/Columbia production earn $140 million in less than a week in theaters. Oliver Stone's "Savages" also opened with a decent $16 million in revenue, though music documentary "Katy Perry: Part of Me" struggled to find an audience and racked up just $7 million. Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" also continued to hit with its target demographic, hauling in $32 million and pushing its 10-day total to an enormous $120 million in domestic revenue.

With a $230 million production budget and a very large built-in fan base, expectations were understandably high for "The Amazing Spider-Man." The Sony/Columbia reboot didn't take long to find its audience, racking up $35 million in revenue on Tuesday alone and putting up solid numbers throughout the rest of the week. "The Amazing Spider-Man" ended up with $65 million in weekend revenue, helping it to hit the lofty industry expectations.

Globally, "The Amazing Spider-Man" also got off to a good start by bringing in more than $200 million in revenue outside of the U.S. After already eclipsing $340 million worldwide, "The Amazing Spider-Man" will easily cruise past $500 million in worldwide revenue in the coming weeks, though it's still unclear whether it will be able to challenge the franchise-best $890 million that "Spider-Man 3" brought in. Without any major new competition until "The Dark Knight Rises" opens in a couple weeks, "Spider-Man" should remain a box office stalwart and continue to put up some big overall numbers throughout the rest of the month.

As mainstream action audiences came out in droves to see the new version of "Spider-Man," older audience members turned up for Oliver Stone's thriller "Savages." Backed by some decent critical reviews, "Savages" ended up with a decent $16 million in opening revenue - a strong total for a $45 million production. "Savages" also doesn't have to worry about too much new competition next weekend, opening the door for another decent revenue haul.

While "Spider-Man" and "Savages" mainly hit with their target demographics, "Katy Perry: Part of Me" wasn't quite as fortunate. "Katy Perry" managed just $7.15 million over the weekend and $10.25 million in its first four days following its Thursday release. Though these are unimpressive numbers for a release of more than 2,700 total venues, "Katy Perry" also comes with a slender production budget of just $12 million. "Katy Perry" won't end up as one of the most lucrative music documentaries released in recent years, but it should end up as an overall success for distributor Paramount.

Aiming at a much different demographic than "Katy Perry" this weekend was "Ted," which headed into its second weekend with plenty of buzz. After dominating the box office a week ago and posting $54 million, "Ted" dipped just 40% from its opening totals and finished the weekend with $32 million. Now with $120 million domestically in just 10 days in theaters, "Ted" is easily the top R-rated hit of the year and might even challenge $200 million in the U.S. if it can remain strong in the coming weekends.

Also continuing to hit with its intended audience was Pixar/Disney's "Brave." "Brave" earned $20 million in its third weekend in theaters, pushing it to a very solid $174 million in its first 17 days. Foreign numbers have been slow so far for "Brave," though that should also change as it gets released in its biggest overseas markets in the coming weekends. The only real problem for "Brave" is the impending release of "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which opens this weekend with an enormous built-in family audience.

Next weekend, the release schedule will slow down, as "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is the only new title slated to hit theaters in wide release. Though not as touted as some other animated franchises, "Ice Age" has been a great success for Fox, with enormous worldwide revenues despite production budgets roughly half the size of Pixar releases. The following weekend, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" brings a similar amount of hype as "The Avengers" and is a lock to dominate the box office well into August.

Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 7/6/12 - 7/8/12 (In Millions):

1. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony/Columbia): $65 [$70]

2. Ted (Universal): $32.59 [$32]

3. Brave (Disney): $20.16 [$18]

4. Savages (Universal): $16.16 [$13.5]

5. Magic Mike (Warner Brothers): $15.61 [$21]

6. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (Lionsgate): $10.20 [$11.5]

7. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $7.70 [$6.4]

8. Katy Perry: Part of Me (Paramount): $7.15 [$13]

9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $4.64 [$2.6]

10. To Rome with Love (Sony Classics): $3.50 [N/A]





Hugh Jackman Joined By Six Additions to Cast of The Wolverine...

If director James Mangold's (3:10 to Yuma) The Wolverine hadn't been beset by weather, script and scheduling problems — title star Hugh Jackman opted to star in the musical version of Les Miserables rather than wait for those issues to be sorted out — the movie would currently be in post-production, with potentially enough edited footage to offer at least a teaser at this week's San Diego Comic-Con. As it is, Mangold is spending his time in the casting room, rather than the editing room, as he tries to put together a cast to support Jackman. In the last several days, six actors have joined the cast of The Wolverine, which takes Logan (Jackman) far away from his X-Men teammates and his wilderness retreat in Canada to Japan, where he must fight against the Silver Samurai and the deadly Hand ninjas at his command.

Written by Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie), with rewrites by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), The Wolverine is based on the classic Marvel Comics limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, creator of Sin City and 300. The series stripped away Wolverine's superhero trappings and thrust him into a Japanese underworld brimming with feudal warriors and mystical ninjas. According to the list compiled by Empire from various sources, the cast will include: Hiroyuki Sanada (Speed Race) as Japanese crimelord Shingen Harada, leader of Clan Yashida; Tao Okamoto as Shingen's daughter and Wolverine's love interest, Mariko Yashida; Will Yun Lee (Total Recall remake) as Mariko's mutant half-brother, Kenuichio Harada, a.k.a. the Silver Samurai; Rila Fukushima as Yukio, an assassin who drugs Wolverine before his duel with Shingen; Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) as Yashida; and Brian Tee (Wedding Palace) as Noboru Mori, a corrupt minister of justice betrothed to Mariko.

The Wolverine is set to begin shooting next month. It will primarily be filmed in Jackman's native Australia, but will also shoot on location in Japan.

Next Showing:The Wolverine is slated to open July 26, 2013 (Reelz)


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson In Highest Paid Actors List...

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was listed at #4 on the Forbes annual list of the highest paid actors in the world over the past year. Johnson was reported as earning $36 million this past year, behind only Tom Cruise ($75 million), Leonardo DiCaprio ($37 million) and Adam Sandler ($37 million).


Bwin.party warns over 'predictable' Euro 2012 results...

Bwin.party digital entertainment, the world’s largest listed online gaming company, said a run of “predictable” results in the Euro 2012 football championships marred an otherwise “solid” second quarter performance.

The football tournament, in which all of the favourites progressed to the later stages, is believed to have hit the betting industry hard this summer.

Bwin said customer numbers and activity rose during the tournament but gross margins were “lower than expected”.

Despite this, the online gambling group said its casino and bingo products helped offset the weakness in sports betting and “continued pressures” in poker.

Bwin had been in negotiations with Shuffle Master (NasdaqGS: SHFL - news) to offload Ongame, its poker network, but talks were aborted at the end of last month after the two sides failed to reach agreement.

In a pre-close trading update on Tuesday, bwin said several parties were interested in buying Ongame.

The group claims it has reached a top three market position in Spain, where online gaming was recently opened up by authorities.

Looking ahead, the company warned gaming taxes in Germany and an investment in social games games that are played through sites such as Facebook would impact its performance in the second half. (News Corp)


Zynga is “all in” to acquire Bwin.party-owned poker business Ongame: Report...

Social gaming juggernaut Zynga is poised to take over online poker provider Ongame Network from its current owner, Internet gambling powerhouse Bwin.party.

An exclusive report from eGaming Review (eGR) – behind a paywall – says Zynga is ‘leading the race’ to acquire Ongame, although there are four other unnamed bidders at the table (poker pun intended).

Zynga has made a ‘verbal offer’, according to eGR’s sources, and have reportedly visited Ongame’s Stockholm headquarters last Friday.

Gambling table and slot machine maker Shuffle Master had already agreed and announced that it would be purchasing for up to $38.9 million in cash in February 2012, but it dropped those plans last week.

Interestingly, Shuffle Master said it would pay out 10 million euros ($12.6 million) of that total purchase price within five years of the transaction closing, provided that real-money online poker would be legal in the United States within such period – something that will happen eventually but is taking time.

Not familiar with Ongame? Here’s what they do, according to their website:

Ongame is the world’s leading B2B online poker provider, serving partnes including bwin, Betfair, Betsson and Unibet. Reaching over 20 million customers in more than 25 markets, with an international network licensed in Gibraltar, as well as regional networks in Italy and France.

Ongame is the premier choice for sportsbook operators, providing a poker environment optimized for recreational players and a proven track record of increasing partner revenues.

Ongame claims P5, the game engine powering its poker offering, is the ‘most advanced poker engine ever designed’.

The company is owned by Bwin.party as a result of an earlier merger, and has been dubbed by the latter as a ‘surplus asset’.

Zynga of course offers a wildly popular poker game called – wait for it – Zynga Poker, which can be played on Zynga.com, Facebook, iOS and Android devices.

In fact, Zynga Poker was the company’s very first game.

It certainly makes a lot of sense for them to buy Ongame Networks, even if it’s to keep it out of the hands of other players looking to move online with poker games as soon as it becomes legal in the US, and the company certainly has the cash on hand to make this kind of acquisition.


'Amazing Spider-Man' finishes weekend with $62M...

LOS ANGELES (AP) "The Amazing Spider-Man" had a slightly slower start at the box office than initially estimated, taking in $62 million domestically over opening weekend.

The final numbers Monday came in $3 million lower than the $65 million that distributor Sony had projected a day earlier, but it still was a healthy start for the new take on the Marvel Comics superhero.

Since opening last Tuesday, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has taken in $137 million domestically. Its worldwide total is about $340 million since it began rolling out overseas the previous week.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are:

1. "The Amazing Spider Man," Sony, $62,004,688, 4,318 locations, $14,360 average, $137,022,258, one week.

2. "Ted," Universal, $32,202,395, 3,256 locations, $9,890 average, $119,849,740, two weeks.

3. "Brave," Disney, $19,612,370, 3,891 locations, $5,040 average, $173,969,341, three weeks.

4. "Savages," Universal, $16,016,910, 2,628 locations, $6,095 average, $16,016,910, one week.

5. "Magic Mike," Warner Bros., $15,642,337, 3,120 locations, $5,014 average, $72,829,107, two weeks.

6. "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," Lionsgate, $10,177,029, 2,161 locations, $4,709 average, $45,822,984, two weeks.

7. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Paramount, $7,520,690, 2,861 locations, $2,629 average, $195,905,126, five weeks.

8. "Katy Perry: Part of Me," Paramount, $7,138,266, 2,730 locations, $2,615 average, $10,240,213, one week.

9. "Moonrise Kingdom," Focus Features, $4,519,195, 884 locations, $5,112 average, $26,780,989, seven weeks.

10. "To Rome with Love," Sony Pictures Classics, $3,104,328, 806 locations, $3,852 average, $4,863,538, three weeks.

11. "People Like Us," Disney, $2,194,535, 2,055 locations, $1,068 average, $9,190,902, two weeks.

12. "The Avengers," Disney, $2,168,124, 1,125 locations, $1,927 average, $611,127,884, 10 weeks.

13. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," Fox, $1,944,534, 1,657 locations, $1,174 average, $34,050,910, three weeks.

14. "Prometheus," Fox, $1,815,500, 1,105 locations, $1,643 average, $122,390,274, five weeks.

15. "Snow White & the Huntsman," Universal, $1,768,355, 1,152 locations, $1,535 average, $149,756,565, six weeks.

16. "Men in Black 3," Sony, $1,680,714, 879 locations, $1,912 average, $173,089,690, seven weeks.

17. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," Fox Searchlight, $741,091, 359 locations, $2,064 average, $41,991,873, 10 weeks.

18. "Rock of Ages," Warner Bros., $639,406, 701 locations, $912 average, $36,974,619, four weeks.

19. "That's My Boy," Sony, $621,656, 400 locations, $1,554 average, $36,100,833, four weeks.

20. "Bol Bachchan," FIP, $561,996, 98 locations, $5,735 average, $561,996, one week.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


Broker snap: Taxing times for bwin.party, says Peel Hunt...

Peel Hunt has pared its target price for online gaming group bwin.party digital entertainment from 140p to 124p and maintained its ‘hold’ rating on the stock.

‘The H1 pre-close held few surprises and no real catalyst to get the shares moving. At the current point the rating reflects concerns about Germany and a lack of visibility in many of the group’s markets,’ said analyst Nick Batram.

‘This is unlikely to change in the short term and further downgrades reflect the uncertain margin environment.’

The broker says that the uncertain regulatory backdrop continues to hit the bottom line, with federal sports taxes in Germany set to reduce EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) by EUR5-10m.

Peel Hunt has reduced its clean EBITDA forecast by EUR10m to EUR165m for the year ending December 2012. The 2013 EBITDA estimate has been cut from EUR196m to EUR175m.

‘While regulation is the main factor, the business’s underlying performance is also a growing concern, particularly the rate at which poker is going backwards,’ Batram said.

Shares were down 3.25% at 104.3p by 10:56 on Tuesday.


Roger Moore croons 007 birthday song...

PARIS — One-time 007 Roger Moore has teamed up with a former Bond Girl to record a song marking 50 years of the spy's on-screen adventures, a James Bond fan club said on Wednesday.

The 84-year-old British actor took over Bond film duties from Sean Connery in 1973, making his debut in "Live and Let Die" before completing the sequence with "A View to a Kill" 12 years later.

He teamed up with Irka Bochenko, his co-star in the 1979 film "Moonraker", for the anniversary duet titled "Happy Birthday Mr. Bond!", the spy's French fan club told AFP.

Extracts will be posted online at www.jamesbond007.net ahead of the record's release in September.

Hundreds of items -- from tuxedos to bikinis and vodka martinis -- went on show at London's Barbican Centre last week to mark 50 years since Bond made the jump from Ian Fleming's novels to the silver screen with the 1962 "Dr No".

The next Bond movie, "Skyfall", directed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig as the glamorous spy, will hit world screens from October.

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