HOLLYWOOD, May 12, 2018 (News Wires) - “Avengers: Infinity War” is showing plenty of staying power in North America as it heads for the fourth-highest grossing third weekend of all time at $55 million to $60 million, early estimates showed on Saturday.
A pair of new counterprogramming titles were in a battle for second place with Melissa McCarthy’s comedy “Life of the Party” tracking for about $18 million at 3,656 sites, followed by Gabrielle Union’s thriller “Breaking In” at around $14 million at 2,537 venues.
“Avengers: Infinity War” set the all-time record for biggest domestic opening weekend with $257.7 million, then fell 56% to $114.8 million. A similar decline will give the superhero tentpole $56 million to $60 million this weekend. Only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($90.2 million), “Avatar” ($68.5 million), and “Black Panther” ($66.3 million) finished above that mark in their third frames.
Early estimates showed “Avengers: Infinity War” with about $16 million on Friday, its 15th day in theaters after grossing $486 million in its first two weeks. It should wind up the weekend at about $545 million — eighth on the all-time domestic list, ahead of “The Dark Knight” at $534.9 million.
“Life of the Party” was heading for about $5 million on Friday, including $700,000 from Thursday night previews. Released by Warner Bros.’ New Line division, the PG-13 title is aimed at getting mothers and daughters to hit theaters during the Mother’s Day weekend. McCarthy plays a mom who joins her daughter (Molly Gordon) in college after getting divorced. McCarthy’s spouse, Ben Falcone, directed from a script he co-wrote with McCarthy.
“Breaking In,” directed by James McTeigue, had been pegged for a bow in the $14 million to $17 million range. Union portrays a single mom who has to protect her two children (played by Seth Carr and Ajiona Alexus) after her father’s Malibu mansion is invaded by burglars.
Neither new film carries much critical support, with “Life of the Party” rated at 39% on Rotten Tomatoes and “Breaking In” at 30%.
The second weekend of Lionsgate-Pantelion’s comedy “Overboard” was heading for fourth place with about $8 million, followed by Paramount’s sixth weekend of horror hit “A Quiet Place” with $6 million. “A Quiet Place” will wind up the weekend with nearly $170 million domestically.
Thanks largely to “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” the overall domestic box office is up 4% to $4.16 billion as of May 9, according to comScore. Business is likely to boom in coming weeks with Fox’s “Deadpool 2” launching on May 18 and Disney’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” opening on May 25.
“We could be looking at a record-breaking May with that triumvirate of huge titles,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore. “For moviegoers, this is a perfect month to start the summer. Hopefully, the marketplace will expand over Memorial Day weekend to accommodate these big films.”
MADRID, May 11, 2018 (News Wires) - Rafael Nadal made it 50 sets without defeat on clay as he brushed Diego Schwartzman aside to reach the Madrid Open quarter-finals.
The Spaniard reigned supreme on the red dirt once more as he wrapped up a 6-3 6-4 victory after one hour and 44 minutes on court.
The straight-sets win saw defending champion Nadal beat John McEnroe’s single-surface record of 49 straight sets won, achieved on carpet back in 1984.
Nadal, aiming for a sixth title in Madrid, needed just the one break to take the first set, and though he did drop serve once in the second, two breaks saw him seal the record-breaking win.
Up next for the world No 1 is Dominic Thiem, who battled from a set down to beat Borna Coric 2-6 7-5(5) 6-4.
Earlier in the day, world No 6 Juan Martin del Potro crashed out after Serbia's Dusan Lajovic came back from a set down to beat the Argentine 3-6 6-4 7-6(6).
Del Potro looked in complete control as he converted two break-point opportunities to take the opening set but Lajovic, ranked 95 in the world, dug deep to stay in the contest.
A break midway through the second set was enough for Lajovic to force a decider before he wrapped up his first career victory over a top-10 opponent in the tiebreak.
Meanwhile, Kiki Bertens fought from a set down against Maria Sharapova to reach the Madrid Open semi-finals on Thursday.
The Dutchwoman’s reward for a hard-fought 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory after more than two hours on court is a last-four encounter against seventh seed Caroline Garcia, who breezed past Carla Suarez-Navarro 6-2 6-3.
Sharapova had overcome Kristina Mladenovic to reach the quarters, and carried that form with her into the opening set, taking it 6-4 with a crucial break in the 10th game.
However, the Russian’s serve capitulated in the second set as Bertens, who beat Caroline Wozniacki in the last 16, broke three times to level the match.
Service problems continued for world No 52 Sharapova in the decider as she fell 5-1 behind.
Bertens could not serve out for the match at 5-2 as Sharapova got one break back, but the world No 20 broke her opponent once more to take the final set 6-3.
Elsewhere, Karolina Pliskova proved too strong for world No 1 and two-time defending champion Simona Halep, prevaling 6-4 6-3 after 70 minutes on court.
Pliskova broke the Halep serve four times en route to victory, and she will now play either Daria Kasatkina or Petra Kvitova for a place in the final.
Halep, who has won the tournament for the last two years, had looked imperious on her way to the last eight, dropping only nine games in three matches including Wednesday's win against Pliskova's twin sister Kristyna.
But her winning streak in the Spanish capital ended at 15 matches as her 26-year-old opponent continued her impressive form on the red clay having won the Stuttgart title last month.
It was sixth seed Pliskova's first claycourt victory over Halep and it was the kind of authoritative performance that will turn a few heads as the French Open looms later this month.
Pliskova broke for a 4-3 lead in the opening set and although Halep saved two set points serving at 3-5 Pliskova closed out the opener with a love hold.
Romanian Halep's error-count was surprisingly high and she found herself under pressure early in the second set as Pliskova pounced to break in the third game.
Halep could make little impression on Pliskova's powerful serving and she buckled at 3-5, dropping serve again to bow out.
LONDON, April 1, 2018 (News agencies) - Mohamed Salah scored his 29th Premier League goal of the season to give Liverpool a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace as his record-breaking campaign continued Saturday.
The Egyptian's close-range strike, his 37th of the campaign in all competitions, came after Sadio Mane had cancelled out Luka Milivojevic's penalty at Selhurst Park, Sky Sports reported on Sunday.
The records Salah has broken
* Highest-scoring Egyptian player : Salah is flying the flag for Egypt in England. He is already the highest-scoring player from Egypt in the history of England's top flight - well ahead of Mido, who managed 22 - and with his four-goal haul against Watford before the international break, he also became the first Egyptian to hit three or more in a single game.
* Most Premier League goals in a season by an African player: Salah's strike against Crystal Palace put him level with Didier Drogba for the most goals scored in a Premier League season by an African player. Drogba hit 29 for Chelsea during their title-winning 2009/10 campaign.
*Most goals in a season by a Liverpool player in Premier League era: Salah's overall total of 37 goals is the most in a single season by a Liverpool player in the Premier League era, beating Robbie Fowler's total of 36 in the 1995/96 campaign. Salah's tally is even more impressive considering it has come in just 41 games, compared to Fowler's 36 in 53 games.
*Most goals by a Liverpool player in a debut season: Salah has therefore also enjoyed the most prolific debut season by a Liverpool player in the Premier League era, beating Fernando Torres' record of 33 goals during the 2007/08 campaign.
*Most left-footed goals: Salah's 29th Premier League goal of the season came with his weaker right foot at Selhurst Park, but 22 of his total have been scored with his left. It's the most left-footed goals ever scored in a single Premier League season.
*Most games scored in during a Premier League season: Salah has now scored in 21 different Premier League games this season, a joint-high for a 38-game season in the competition along with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007/08 and Robin van Persie in 2012/13.
Amazingly, the only teams Salah has failed to score against in the Premier League this season are Manchester United and Swansea.
The records he could still break
*Most Premier League goals in a season: Salah only needs two more goals to equal the record for goals in a 38-game Premier League season. Three players have hit 31 (Luis Suarez 2013/14, Cristiano Ronaldo 2007/08, Alan Shearer 1995/96), but with six games still to play, Salah will be confident of eclipsing them all.
*Most Premier League goals and assists combined in a season: Salah has contributed nine Premier League assists in addition to his 29 goals, meaning he only needs six more goals or assists to match Thierry Henry's record for the highest combined total. Arsenal legend Henry reached that total back in 2002/03, when he scored 24 goals and claimed 20 assists.
*Most top-flight goals in a season by a Liverpool player: If Salah becomes the first Premier League player to score 32 goals in a 38-game season, he will also match the record for most top-flight goals by a Liverpool player in a season. Ian Rush is the current holder, having hit 32 during their title-winning 1983/84 season.
*Most goals in a season by a Liverpool player in all competitions: Salah needs 10 more goals in all competitions to match Rush's record of 47 goals in all competitions in the 1983/84 season. It's a tall order but Salah could have five Champions League fixtures still to play in addition to the six remaining Premier League games.
*Most teams outscored by a single player: Salah's total of 29 Premier League goals is more than four entire teams (Swansea, Huddersfield, Burnley, Brighton) have managed this season and the same number as Southampton and Stoke, meaning he is on course to become the first player in the history of England's top-flight to outscore more than two teams in a single season.
Salah knew Robertson would set up winner
According to Salah, he knew that Andy Robertson would set him up to net against Crystal Palace – because he did so from a similar position during Liverpool's previous game.
The Egyptian forward, the runaway top scorer in the Premier League, bagged four against Watford before the international break and the second that day was brilliantly served up by a Robertson cross.
So when the left-back had time and space to pick out a pass into the box at Selhurst Park with 84 minutes on the clock and the score 1-1, Salah was certain a chance was about to come his way.
“I expected the ball to come to me in that area – last game he also gave me a similar ball in that area and in the end I scored,” the No.11 told Sky Sports.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had trailed to a Luka Milivojevic penalty in the first half but Sadio Mane levelled and the turnaround was completed by Salah late on.
The result consolidated Liverpool’s strong position in the Premier League top four against a side battling fiercely amid the fight to avoid relegation.
“The result is the most important thing, I helped the team get the three points. It is always a difficult game here, so we kept fighting and we had a good result,” added Salah.
GENEVA, MARCH 30, 2018 – Egypt's Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Ambassador Alaa Youssef, on Friday said that Egypt made noticeable progress at the UN human rights forums.
This progress, Ambassador Youssef said, included correcting a large number of misconceptions about human rights conditions in Egypt.
It also included contribution to the formulation of important resolutions on human rights issues at the Arab and Islamic levels, Youssef told the Middle East News Agency.
He said together with other countries Egypt pushed for a resolution by the UN Human Rights Council on the right to work.
He added that Egypt also pushed with other countries for a resolution that committed the international community to take action against terrorism and the support that was being offered terrorist groups by some governments.
Ambassador Youssef said the resolution on the right to work linked for the first time this right to the goals of sustainable development.
He described the second resolution on terrorism as "extremely important".
"This resolution is important because terrorism is an issue that threatens almost all countries and this is why the international community needs to take action against it," Ambassador Youssef said.
The international community also needs to take action against all forms of support to terrorism, he said.
Egypt, Ambassador Youssef added, works to rally up support from the international community for adopting a comprehensive counterterrorism plan.
He said the resolution of the Human Rights Council on terrorism calls for an immediate suspension to all forms of support to terrorist groups and organisations.
The resolution also, he added, condemns all terrorist attacks and expresses solidarity with the victims of these attacks.
The two resolutions were issued after concerted efforts by Egypt and other countries, Ambassador Youssef said.
He added that Egypt's ability to convince other countries to back these resolutions reflected the strong leverage of Egyptian diplomacy.
Ambassador Youssef said that Egypt also raised during the meetings of the UN Human Rights Council the issue of the disappearance and killing of Egyptian nationals in Europe.
LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2018 (AFP) - Cleveland superstar LeBron James matched NBA icon Michael Jordan's record streak of 866 straight double-digit scoring games in leading the Cavaliers to a 118-105 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
James finished with 41 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Cavs, who bounced back from a dismal defeat in Miami on Tuesday in which they scored just 79 points.
He hit double digits in the second quarter with an alley-oop dunk off a pass from JR Smith.
"Any time I'm in the same conversation with Mike and other great guys it lets me know I'm doing the right thing," said James, whose streak began on January 6, 2007.
Jordan put together his streak from 1986-2001.
It was a milestone night for Charlotte's Kemba Walker as well. With 21 points he surpassed Dell Curry (9,839 points) as the Hornets' all-time leading scorer.
James said such moments should be savored — even in a losing effort. But he said records aren't what drive him.
"My motivation is love of the game," he said.
James said the Cavs had to bounce back after they were stymied by the Heat.
"Miami did a great job of pushing us out of our comfort zone and we wanted to come in here tonight and try to get that back, and we did that," said James.
Cleveland, who were without Kevin Love after the forward suffered a concussion in Miami, are just half a game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for third place in the Eastern Conference.
The 76ers' 118-101 victory over the New York Knicks was their eighth straight, their longest winning streak since they won nine in a row from February 12 through March 3, 2003.
Dario Saric led Philadelphia with 26 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, but the 76ers saw All-Star Joel Embiid depart in the first half with what the team called a facial contusion after an accidental collision with teammate Markelle Fultz.
The Sixers initial tests didn't indicate a concussion, but Embiid was hospitalized after the game, posting a brief video of himself there on Instagram captioned "Not Good".
TOWNS ON FIRE
In Minneapolis, Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns erupted for a career-high 56 points to propel the Timberwolves to a 126-114 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
The victory snapped a two-game skid for the Timberwolves, who are chasing their first playoff berth since 2004 and who moved up to seventh in the Western Conference with the win and Utah's 97-94 loss to the Boston Celtics that dropped the Jazz into the eighth and final playoff spot.
"It's great to have nights like this, but it's better to be in the playoffs," said the 22-year-old Towns, who eclipsed the club scoring record of 52 points held by Mo Williams.
But nothing is assured as the regular season hurtles to a finish. The Los Angeles Clippers, ninth in the West, kept the pressure on Minnesota and Utah with a 111-99 victory over the Suns in Phoenix.
The Jazz endured a heart-breaker on their home floor in Salt Lake City.
The Celtics arrived without injured All-Star Al Horford and Marcus Morris as well as Kyrie Irving — who is out for the rest of the regular-season after knee surgery — but came away with an unlikely win thanks to Jaylen Brown's buzzer-beating three-pointer.
"We're fighters," said Boston's Shane Larkin, who came off the bench to score 10 points. "That's what we do."
It was a big night for CJ McCollum in Memphis, where he scored 42 points to lead the lowly Grizzlies to a 108-103 victory over a Portland Trail Blazers team missing star Damian Lillard — who stayed home for the birth of his first child.
BARCELONA , March 9, 2018 (Reuters) - Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel signed off from Formula One’s pre-season testing with the fastest lap yet around Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.
The next time the four-times world champion will get behind the wheel will be for first Friday practice at Melbourne’s Albert Park on March 23.
“The times on these test days don’t mean much,” said the German Thursday, playing down his time of one minute 17.182 seconds, set on the new hypersoft tyres.
“The important thing is that the SF71H (car) has proved to be very strong, allowing us to run all day without any significant problems.
“We are still working on some things for the first race and it’s not really possible to make any predictions based on the performance of the other teams, because everyone is running a different programme,” he added.
That said, his time was more than a second quicker than anyone else and eclipsed the previous best, since the Barcelona circuit was reconfigured in 2007, of 1:18.047 set on Wednesday by Red Bull’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo.