Monday, October 24, 2022

Weekend box office

Here's the weekend box office via THE NUMBERS.COM:


N Black Adam Warner Bros. $67,004,323   4,402   $15,221 $67,004,323 1
2 N Ticket to Paradise Universal $16,509,095   3,543   $4,660 $16,509,095 1
3 (2) Smile Paramount Pi… $8,472,322 -33% 3,296 -316 $2,570 $84,432,083 4
4 (1) Halloween Ends Universal $8,000,510 -80% 3,901 n/c $2,051 $54,177,950 2
5 (3) Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile Sony Pictures $4,251,217 -42% 3,536 -814 $1,202 $28,764,068 3
6 (4) The Woman King Sony Pictures $1,877,372 -49% 1,858 -707 $1,010 $62,833,460 6
7 (8) Terrifier 2 Bloody Disgu… $1,756,000 +70% 755 +55 $2,326 $5,116,500 3
8 (6) Don’t Worry, Darling Warner Bros. $867,750 -61% 1,306 -1,428 $664 $44,260,372 5
9 (5) Amsterdam 20th Century… $824,676 -70% 1,750 -1,255 $471 $13,930,241 3
10 (15) Triangle of Sadness Neon $601,052 +80% 280 +249 $2,147 $1,420,927


Looking at the figures, what stands out the most is that Julia Roberts doesn't have much star power left.  Or maybe it's that George Clooney anchored her down?  At any rate, $16 million is awful for a film with 'two' stars -- Julia's the only real star in the movie.  Sandra's THE LOST CITY pulled in $30 million on opening weekend.  TICKET TO PARADISE will not see $100 million.  Julia does not have Sandra's staying power.  The reason she was the first actress to make $12 million a movie?  She put them in their seats on opening weekend.  This opening screams failure.  It will be lucky to make sixty million and I wouldn't be surprised it it only makes $40 million.  

When you pay big money for big names, they need to deliver.  George Clooney has made a career out of failing to deliver.  Julia hasn't been so mismatched since her hideous AMERICA'S SWEETHEART teamed her with the equally ridiculous John Cusack -- the man who looks like he's never bathed and doesn't know what soap and shampoo are.  It didn't even crack one hundred million domestically and should have made clear to Julia that she needs to be pickier when it comes to her leading men.  She and Clooney  teamed in MONEY MONSTER and that flopped as well. 2013 is the last time Clooney had a domestic blockbuster -- that was GRAVITY and he was the supporting player to Sandra Bullock.  Okay, when did a film he carried as the star -- where he wasn't a co-star to a star like Sandra and where the cast wasn't an ensemble -- cross the $100 million mark?

I don't give him THE PERFECT STORM, that was Mark Wahlberg.  But it you want to, okay that's 2000 -- I will gladly give him  BATMAN & ROBIN from 1997.  So we have to go back 20 years or so to find when he briefly could carry a film.  Why do people keep hiring him?  He's a joke.  And Julia was a damn fool to work with him.  In 2017, she crossed the $100 million mark with WONDER.  She needs to be more selective when agreeing on co-stars.

Other big news?  HALLOWEEN ENDS is awful and audiences are rejecting it. Two weekends ago, it managed to top the box office with $40 million.  One weekend later?  Only $8 million ticket sales.

And if you're not getting how bad the box office was -- after number 7 (TERRIFIER 2), no film made even one million dollars over the weekend.

DON'T WORRY DARLING is another flop film from Oliva Wilde.  It won't make it to fifty million domestically. After BOOKSMART, she really needed to prove she could deliver.  She's a niche artist and she shouldn't be given a budget of more than ten million if someone's stupid enough to hire her to direct another film.



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


Monday, October 24, 2022.  Oh, look, Emmanuel Macron just noted Iraq more in two days than US media does in three months, ALJAZEERA offers a documentary on the protest movement, and much more.

Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron was in RomeThe President of France insisted that Ukraine should not make people forget "the conflicts in Armenia, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and the Middle East."  Forget Iraq?  It's forgotten.  The only time it gets mentioned on US media is when some idiot -- Joy Behar last Tuesday on THE VIEW -- mentions it back accident -- she confused Ukraine with Iraq before correcting herself.

And Friday, in Brussels, Macron again spoke of Iraq.

Despite all the garbage chat and chews on American television, Macron said more about Iraq in two days than they say in three months.  But let's continue to pretend that these failed comedians are informing us.

That's a new documentary from ALJAZEERA.  Of the documentary directed by Karrar al-Azzawi, they note:

Tiba joins Iraq’s youth protests where she braves bullets and tear gas with the hope of reclaiming her nation.

After a lifetime of conflict in Iraq, 20-year-old Tiba joins the October 2019 protests. She is amazed to see so many young men and women gathering from across the nation.

Regardless of class and religion, the youth stand side by side in a fight to reclaim their country.

Tiba forms new friendships, ideas and dreams. When the peaceful protests are met with violence, she becomes a medic tending to the wounded. But she could never have imagined the heartache one fatality brings.


Tiba is part of The October Revolution.  Two weeks ago, THE NEW ARAB noted this movement:


'Cowards will not create freedom', a slogan from Iraq’s 2019 October protests, can still be seen on a building near the capital’s Tahrir Square.

Three years later, however, those responsible for the killing of Iraqi youths during the nationwide anti-government demonstrations have yet to be held accountable.

On 1 October 2019, thousands of angry Iraqis held large demonstrations in Baghdad, Basra, Nasiriyah, and several other provinces in the western and southern parts of the country.  

Demonstrators were calling for an end to corruption among Iraq’s ruling elites and the hegemony of Iran and its affiliated political parties and militias in the country.

Soon, the peaceful demonstrations turned violent, with more than 800 protestors killed as Iraq’s security forces and militias used lethal force to silence them. Thousands of others were injured.

Earlier this month, Iraqis commemorated the third anniversary of the protests in two different squares in Baghdad. One group read a statement at al-Nusur Square, while others gathered in Tahrir Square. New protests are scheduled for 25 October.  

Zaid al-Asaad, an activist from the October protests, admitted that there is a division inside the protest movement, however, he stressed that the revolution’s goals are still mobilising the different groups.   

“Since 2019, the demands of the protestors did not change, including prosecuting the killers and those who were behind the bloodshed, the corrupt people who wasted Iraqi public money, the legislation of a fair election law, and passing a law regulating Iraqi political parties,” al-Asaad told The New Arab.

Demonstrators, mostly the younger generation, had camped out in the capital's Tahrir Square and other public squares from October 2019 until early 2020, decrying endemic corruption, poor services, and unemployment under the former Iraqi government led by Adil Abdul-Mahdi, who was forced to resign and was replaced by Mustafa al-Kadhimi. 

Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani is now the prime minister-designate in Iraq.  Though not yet prime minister, already he's receiving visitors.

Two more visitors are noted by INA:

Prime Minister-designate Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani affirmed on Sunday,  that his work priorities are to form a strong government capable of facing challenges, the most important of which are economic.

"The Prime Minister-designate, Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani, received the Ambassador of the European Union to Iraq, Ville Varjola, the head of the European Union Advisory mission (EUAM), Anders Wiberg, and the accompanying delegation," The media office of the Prime Minister said, in a statement received by the Iraqi News Agency (INA).

During the meeting ,They discussed strengthening relations between Iraq and the European Union to achieve the aspirations and interests of Iraq and the European Union countries.

Since his appointment as the prime minister-designate on Oct. 13, Al-Sudani has conducted several meetings with members of the diplomatic community.

Following over a year-long political deadlock, Iraq overcame the stalemate when the parties elected a new President of the Republic Latif Rasheed, who later named Al-Sudani as prime minister-designate.

He said he would announce his picks for the ministerial positions after he checks their backgrounds. Al-Sudani has until Nov. 12 to present his cabinet.

On the efforts at formation, RUDAW reports:

Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani, Iraq's prime minister-designate, on Sunday said that the names of the candidates for the country’s next cabinet line-up will be announced once they have completed reviewing their legal background.

Sudani was tapped to form Iraq’s next government on October 13, after more than a year of political bickering since the parliamentary elections in October 2021. The PM-designate will have 30 days to name all ministers of his cabinet, or risk losing the position if he fails to do so.

The Running the State Coalition on Tuesday invited MPs of the Iraqi parliament to hold a session on Saturday aimed at voting on the new government's ministers, but the session was ultimately postponed as haggling continued over the allocation of the cabinet’s posts.

A statement from Sudani’s office on Sunday said that the PM-designate continues his talks with the political powers that have decided to participate in the new government, adding that interviewing the candidates for the ministerial positions will be conducted by a “specialized committee” of advisors.

“The official announcement for the candidates that have been selected to take on the responsibilities will be made once the interviews are concluded and the legal background of the candidates is ensured,” the statement added.

The giant friezes of the biblical King Sennacherib carved into the sides of a canal in northern Iraq have taken 50 years to reveal. But it has been a disruptive 50 years of invasion, civil war and insurgencies.

In 2014 the fighters of Islamic State came within 15 miles of excavations on the canal. These restarted in 2019 only to pause again for the pandemic.

Now the canal, part of the greatest man-made water management system of the ancient world, has been uncovered.  At is heart are reliefs cut into the mountainside showing Sennacherib, the greatest monarch of the Assyrian empire, paying tribute to the seven chief god's of his universe. 

Here's a Tweet.


Ancient rock carvings that are believed to be more than 2,700 years old have been unearthed by a team of archaeologists in Iraq's northern city of Mosul.

The marble slabs were found during restoration work on the Mashki Gate, an ancient monument that was partially destroyed by Islamic State militants when they captured the city in 2016.

The relief carvings show scenes of war from the rule of Assyrian kings, in the ancient city of Nineveh, the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage said in a statement Wednesday.

The gray stone carvings date to the rule of King Sennacherib, in power from 705 to 681 B.C., the statement added.

Sennacherib was responsible for expanding Nineveh as the Assyrians’ imperial capital and largest city — siting on a major crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Iranian plateau — including the construction of a palace.

The discovery was made last week by an Iraqi team, alongside American experts from the University of Pennsylvania who are helping to lead the reconstruction effort.

The “discovery consisted of eight marble slabs carved with a relief representing scenes of Assyrian soldiers, in addition to palm trees, grapes, pomegranates and figs belonging to the palace of King Sennacherib,” Ali Shalgham, the director general of Iraq’s Investigations and Excavations Department, told NBC News on Thursday.

And Tiffany Wertheimer (BBC NEWS) notes:

It is believed the relics once adorned his palace, and were then moved to the Mashki Gate, Fadel Mohammed Khodr, head of the Iraqi archaeological team, told AFP.

The Mashki Gate was one of the largest in Nineveh, and was an icon of the city's size and power. The gate was reconstructed in the 1970s, but was destroyed with a bulldozer by IS militants in 2016.

But who will note the reality?  That if it were found sooner, it would have been taken out of Iraq and put in some European museum?  Like the following that illegally remains in a London museum?

In other news, Karwan Faidhi Dri (RUDAW) notes:

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has claimed multiple times that the Turkish forces have conducted chemical attacks against its fighters in the Kurdistan Region’s mountainous areas since April. Turkish authorities denied this on Friday, saying their army follows international laws.

The Turkish army has carried out several military operations against the PKK, an armed group struggling for the increased rights of Kurds in Turkey, in the Kurdistan Region in recent years, with the latest one being launched in April. Ankara sees the PKK as a terrorist organization. The Kurdish group has recently published several videos which purportedly show Turkish soldiers targeting its fighters with chemical substances. 

On Tuesday, the PKK-affiliated Firat News Agency (ANF) published footage which it claimed showed Turkish soldiers putting chemical substances into a cave in Duhok province’s Warkhal area through a tube. The news outlet added that a couple of PKK fighters, who were in the cave, have been affected by the substances - suffering from memory loss and breakdown of nerves.  

The PKK said a day earlier that Turkey had used banned bombs and chemical substances for at least 2,476 times since April. On Tuesday, the PKK also published the identities of 17 of its fighters whom it claimed had been killed in the alleged chemical attacks by Turkey.  

ANF adds:

Reactions continue to pour in over the latest images and information exposing the employment of chemical weapons by the Turkish state in the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defence Commission member Hadi Amirli said they were aware of the reports on the use of chemical and banned weapons by the Turkish state in its ongoing military campaign in northern Iraq.  

“We are following the Turkish state’s attacks on civilian settlements in Iraq closely. We have been informed that Turkey has been using chemical and banned weapons, which is against neighborhood principles and international law,” he said.

Reminder BROS is on streaming platforms in the US. 

The following sites updated:

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