Monday, May 2, 2022

Weekend box office

It wasn't much of a weekend for films  There was no real major film released.  Here's the top ten:

1 (1) The Bad Guys Universal $16,237,070 -32% 4,042 +33 $4,017 $44,581,470 2
2 (2) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Paramount Pi… $11,539,162 -26% 3,801 -8 $3,036 $161,114,672 4
3 (3) Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Warner Bros. $8,307,585 -41% 3,962 -283 $2,097 $79,560,173 3
4 (4) The Northman Focus Features $6,367,130 -48% 3,284 +50 $1,939 $22,863,480 2
5 (6) Everything Everywhere All At Once A24 $5,542,515 +2% 2,213 +80 $2,505 $35,492,178 6
6 (5) The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Lionsgate $3,870,442 -46% 3,036 n/c $1,275 $13,449,800 2
7 (7) The Lost City Paramount Pi… $3,818,876 -12% 2,595 -233 $1,472 $90,703,788 6
8 N Memory Open Road $3,113,298   2,555   $1,219 $3,113,298 1
9 (8) Father Stu Sony Pictures $2,202,878 -34% 2,476 -229 $890 $17,546,843 3
10 (9) Morbius Sony Pictures $1,513,341 -34% 1,726 -580 $877 $71,470,688

Told you FANTASTIC BEASTS didn't have legs.  THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT?  They did a new round of ads at the end of last week and the new ones did not include Tiffany.  That's probably a good move but I don't see the film making as much as it should and they never should have promoted Tiffany.  When she spat on stand up comedy by siding with Will Smith and not Chris Rock, she blew it big time.  And only reminded the Black community of just how much we've never found her funny.  White people were more willing to go along with the lie that she could do stand up.  We were more likely to have seen her and realized: No, she can't.

The really big news boils down to two things.

Let's go with SONIC first.  As a rule, a sequel is a money maker, an easy one.  Also, as a rule, sequels tend to make less at the box office than the original.  SONIC has made more.  The first Sonic film made $149 million domestically.  The sequel has now made $161 domestically -- and it's not dropping out of the top ten.  It's really going to make more than the first film.

Second, THE LOST CITY.  In good times (pre-pandemic),  a film that made $30 million its first sweek would be damn lucky to get to $60 million.  THE LOST CITY is now at $90 million. All the people who follow box office wrote it off after the first week.  I didn't.  Because, as I've pointed it out (and credit to C.I. for explaining this to me years ago), Sandra's fans show up.  They're not all first weekend ticket buyers.  Theater owners love her for this because they get a bigger percentage of the ticket sales with each week the film stays in the theater.  For theater owners, she delivers.  And for her audience which is why it's so large.  

I wonder what would happen if they teamed Sandra Bullock and Jim Carey up for a romantic comedy?  If it was any good, it would be a huge film.

Go read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: GRACE AND FRANKIE winds down while THE OFFER never should have started" if you haven't already -- it's covering NETFLIX and how its wasted so much money on deals that are not paying off and it covers the end of GRACE AND FRANKIE (I've got three more episodes to stream) and it covers the awful PARAMOUNT+ series THE OFFER.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, May 2, 20225.  Dust storms again in Iraq (and in Joe Biden's mind as well)  and much more.

Whores got their weekend with a DC event that should have been retired long ago.  Court jester Trevor Noah made joes about8 inflat8ion and US President Joe Biden lapped it up.

Yes, they are laughing at the American people.  Yes, it's disgusting.  

Joe's got jokes because, well, he is a joke.  How wonderful that, as American struggle to deal with the out of control inflation, that he can laugh and shuck and jive.

Joe Biden is a horrible leader.  And jokes about "Cinderella's castle" don't8 improve his standing, they only make him look even more senile.

May Day fell the day after Joe Biden's buffoonery.  While he was shucking and jiving, David North (WSWS) pointed out):

This year’s May Day is being held under extraordinary circumstances. The world stands on the precipice of a nuclear world war that threatens the extinction of life on this planet. The challenge of May Day 2022 is to make this celebration of the international unity of the working class the beginning of a global movement of the broad mass of the world’s population to stop the criminal and reckless escalation of the NATO-Russia war toward nuclear conflict and force its end.

The organization, development and victory of this movement requires a clear understanding of the causes of the war and the interests that it serves.

The International Committee of the Fourth International, the World Party of Socialist Revolution, unequivocally denounces US and European imperialism for instigating the conflict with Russia. This is not a war in defense of democracy in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world. It is a war whose aim is the redivision of the world, that is, a new allocation of the material resources of the globe.

Russia has become a target of US imperialism not because of the Putin regime’s autocratic character, but because, first, its defense of the interests of the Russian capitalists collide with the drive of the United States for global hegemony, which is centered on its preparations for war with China; and, second, the vast expanse of Russian territory is the source of immensely valuable and strategically critical raw materials, metals and minerals—gold, platinum, palladium, zinc, bauxite, nickel, mercury, manganese, chromium, uranium, iron ore, cobalt and iridium, to name only a few—that the United States is determined to bring under its control.

The other major imperialist powers allied with the United States are, likewise, pursuing their own reactionary economic and geostrategic interests. The conflict in Ukraine has provided German imperialism—which waged a war of extermination against the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945—with the opportunity to undertake the most massive rearmament campaign since the collapse of the Nazi regime. As always, British imperialism is eager to participate in an American-led war, hoping that its “special relationship” with the United States will entitle it to a favorable distribution of the spoils of war. The French imperialists hope that by sanctioning, however reluctantly, the American war against Russia, the United States will not interfere with French operations in Africa. Even the lesser powers of the NATO alliance expect to be repaid for their endorsement of the US-led war. Poland, for example, has not forgotten that Lviv was once the Polish city of Lwow.

As for the United States’ invocation of the sacred right of Ukraine, as a sovereign nation, to join NATO if it so chooses, Washington does not recognize the extension of that right to any country whose national defense interests are viewed as a threat to American security. Even as the crisis unfolds in Ukraine, the United States is threatening military action to stop the Solomon Islands—6,000 miles away from the American West Coast—from entering into a defensive relationship with China.


Joe supports the Nazi government in Ukraine that he and Barack Obama installed back in 2014 as they trashed the results of the election.  The government is a menace to many but Joe wants to back it because, well, he's senile.  

Jason Melanovski (WSWS) reports:

As the NATO proxy war against Russia rages in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian government is carrying out a campaign of domestic repression against alleged “collaborators” and “traitors” in order to bolster its pro-war agenda and eliminate any opposition that may favor a negotiated peace with Moscow to end the war.

Last week the Kyiv Independent reported that “a hunt for alleged collaborators is underway in recaptured parts of the country.” The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) along with the national and local police, territorial defense units and the State Emergency Service, are leading the hunt for suspects.

According to the Kyiv Independent, the SBU had already arrested 33 suspects in Kiev by April 7, and by April 15, over 300 alleged collaborators had been arrested.

It is unclear how the SBU is able to deduce exactly who collaborated with the Russian forces other than relying on the testimony of neighbors. 

Such an approach leaves the door wide open for the settling of petty grievances between neighbors and the arrest and jailing—or perhaps worse—of innocent Ukrainians who are not enthusiastic supporters of a NATO-backed war that is destroying large parts of an already impoverished country.

The report comes on the heels of the revelation that Kiev was supplied with  advanced face-scanning technology by the American firm Clearview AI and that such technology was already being used to identify dead Russian soldiers and scan the faces of Ukrainian citizens in order to find “traitors.”

That's the government that Joe Biden and billions of US tax dollars are supporting.  It's outrageous that US tax dollars are used to prop up that oppressive regime to begin with but8 at a time when Americans are facing huge inflation, it's outrageous.  

As a ma8n we did a ZOOM w8ith weeks ago pointed out, he's Diamond Joe Biden, grabbing the check to pay for dinner with his new pals while his own children are back home starving.  

He's so out of touch, he doesn't even realize it.

Meanwhile, the British government is being pressured to demand the release of one of their citiens from Iraq.  No, not the over 80-year-old who just died in custody and was leading the tour and no one seems to know the name of.  The other one.  Th eone whose family sure does get a lot of press on.  Robert Pether hasn't had as much press since Iraq put him beind bars as this man has had in the last three days.  

The enw move is to push him as a modern day Indiana Jone1


Indiana wasn't British.  Indiana wasn't a geologist who worked for Big Oil.  Indiana had a doctorate    Archaeology.   The Brit was trying to leave Iraq with what he says were shards that someone gave him persmission for but which Iraq argues were historical artifacts.  And anyone with a basic education, knows you dont try to leave a country with shards of anything -- especially not a country that the UK has already plundered repeatedly for decades.

Once again, dust storms throughout Iraq.  


NNA reports, "Clouds of yellow dust covered most of southern Iraq, including the capital, Baghdad, and is expected to continue until Monday, according to the Meteorological Department."  Australian ASSOCIATED PRESS adds, "Iraq's state news agency INA reported that five Iraqi provinces including Baghdad and Najaf were shrouded in dust storms on Sunday, causing an unspecified number of people to suffer serious breathing-related problems."

AFP is again reporting "dozens" have been hospitalized.  They never learn and AFP hires journalists who lack basic counting skills.  See April 9th's "AFP needs to learn to count -- over 429 is not 'dozens'."  As AFP again runs with ''dozens'' despite, again, the number being much, much higher.  In Najaf alone, ALSUMARIA reports 500 people were hospitalized.  And the Health Department of Najaf is the source for the 500 figure.  And Sal al-Din province counts 152 people hospitalized.  That's just two areas and it's 652.  That's not "dozens."

BOL NEWS notes, "In April, Iraq was pummelling by a succession of severe storms, which grounded flights in Baghdad, Najaf, and Irbil and hospitalized hundreds." Yes, and it's the first day of May and already hundreds have been hospitalized.

Ruth Tweets:

"In November, the World Bank said Iraq could suffer a 20% fall in water resources by 2050" Iraq dust storm: Flights grounded in Baghdad and Najaf as skies turn orange - BBC News

Marcello G Tweets:

The dust storm could be addressed by increasing vegetation and creating forests. What are other ways that Iraq can resolve this issue and protect their citizens? How can the U.S. help stop climate change from harming other nations?

In other news, MEDYA NEWS reports:

After it’s been revealed on Wednesday that two European journalists were arrested by Iraqi troops on the 20th of April, a colleague of one of the journalists said to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that the journalist was arrested while he was covering issues affecting the Yazidis in Iraq.

Soldiers with the Iraqi 20th Infantry Division arrested Matej Kavčič, a Slovenian freelance reporter, on the 20th of April at an army checkpoint in the city of Sinjar (Shengal), the hometown of the Yazidis.

While Kavčič identified himself as a journalist, Iraqi troops brought him to a nearby military facility, where they confiscated his phone and questioned him, according to a report by CPJ.

Marlene Förster, a German national, who was traveling with Kavčič, was also detained in the process.

Iraqi authorities allege that the pair ‘pretended to work as journalists’, and accused them of collaborating with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), designated a ‘terrorist group’ in neighbouring Turkey and in the European Union.

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