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Quick Takes: 'Captain America' will be renamed for release in some countries

January 22, 2011

How do you sell a movie called "Captain America" to an overseas market? In South Korea, Russia and Ukraine, apparently, the answer is you don't even try.

The film "Captain America: The First Avenger" will have its title truncated to, simply, "The First Avenger" in those three overseas markets, according to Marvel Studios insiders. The choice was made by Marvel, Paramount Pictures' international team and distributors in those three countries based on market research results.

Those involved in the decision are being careful to frame the move as a matter of brand management and consumer awareness and not as a decision tilted by cultural or political winds.

The film, starring Chris Evans, is due to open July 22.

—Geoff Boucher

Thursday 'Idol' boosts Fox

"American Idol" pulled off a bit of a magic trick Thursday night, handing Fox its best ratings on the night since 1995 without seriously dragging down the other networks.

Fox moved "Idol" to a Wednesday-Thursday schedule this season after following a Tuesday-Wednesday pattern in years past. In its Thursday debut, "Idol" delivered an average of 22.9 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Co. That was down a relatively modest 13% compared with last year's Wednesday opener — not bad considering "Idol's" age and the heightened competition on Thursday nights.

In the key category of ages 18 to 49, the decline was more dramatic. "Idol" — with new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez — slipped to a 7.8 rating in that demographic, for a 23% loss compared with last season. That's a fairly alarming drop for Fox and shows that "Idol" continues to erode much more quickly among young adults than it does among the general population.

—Scott Collins

The Bard and an Olympian feat

Shakespeare said all the world's a stage. Next spring, all the world will be on stage at Shakespeare's Globe theater in London.

The theater is planning a six-week run of the bard's 38 works — to be performed in 38 languages by troupes from around the world.

The theater says the project will celebrate the London 2012 Olympic games.

"Titus Andronicus" in Cantonese, a Shona version of "The Two Gentleman of Verona," and an Urdu performance of "The Taming of the Shrew" are all expected to take the stage when the season kicks off on April 23, 2012 — the bard's birthday.

—Associated Press

Baron Cohen's power play

Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comedian who shone an ugly light on middle America in "Borat" and satirized the fashion industry in "Bruno," will next turn his attention to the lighter side of dictatorships.

Baron Cohen will star in "The Dictator," which Paramount plans to open worldwide on May 11, 2012.

"The film tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed," the Viacom Inc. unit added.

The $58-million project will be directed by "Seinfeld" veteran Larry Charles, who also shot "Borat" and "Bruno."


'Big Brother' to the big house

The winner of the CBS reality show "Big Brother 9" was sentenced Friday to four years in prison on drug and tax charges.

Adam Jasinski, of Delray Beach, Fla., was sentenced in federal court in Boston for attempting to sell 2,000 oxycodone pills in October 2009 to a witness cooperating with the government.

Jasinski pleaded guilty in October to possession with attempt to distribute oxycodone and failure to file a tax return for 2008, the year he won the television show's $500,000 prize. The series features contestants who live under constant surveillance and vote weekly to evict each other.

—Associated Press

Lennon letters to be published

In the Beatles' song "Across the Universe," John Lennon famously sang that "Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup," and next year a slew of the former Beatle's words that flowed onto paper in the form of his private letters will be collected in a volume to be published by London-based Orion Books, according to the Guardian in London.

Orion bought the rights from Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, to about 150 letters that Lennon wrote over the years to friends, fans and business associates. They have been in the possession of Beatles biographer Hunter Davies, but Ono controls the intellectual property rights.

Orion plans to publish them in October of next year in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles' first hit single, "Love Me Do."

—Randy Lewis

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