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Quick Takes: It's 'Avengers' vs. 'Titanic'

June 27, 2012

"The Avengers" now has "Titanic" in its sights at the domestic box office.

Marvel Entertainment's hit superhero team-up is expected to pass $600 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada on Tuesday, according to distributor Walt Disney Co. Only two other movies have done so previously, and both were directed by James Cameron: "Titanic," which came out in 1997 and finished its run at $658.7 million, and "Avatar," which was released in 2009 and took in $760.5 million.

Surpassing "Titanic" in absolute dollars is still a long shot for "Avengers," but not out of the question, as its receipts dropped a very modest 19% last weekend to $7.1 million and theater attendance should be very strong around the July 4th holiday.

Marvel's movie has a global box office tally of $1.438 billion, compared with $2.185 billion for "Titanic" and $2.78 billion for "Avatar."

— Ben Fritz

Holocaust project wraps up

It's a wrap for the Shoah Foundation Institute's ambitious 18-year project to gather and preserve testimonies from more than 52,000 Holocaust survivors and witnesses.

The foundation, established in 1994 by Steven Spielberg following his making of the movie "Schindler's List," announced Monday that the last interview — with Hungarian survivor Feher Istvan — was digitized June 20 and will soon be available to view online, alongside 105,000 hours of oral history from the Jewish Holocaust.

Taken from 1994 to 2000, the testimonies span 32 languages and 56 countries. While most of the interviews were of Jewish survivors, the foundation also solicited interviews with witnesses and other victims of the Holocaust, including homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and others who fell prey to the eugenics programs under Nazi Germany.

In 2006, when the foundation became part of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, attention shifted to how best to preserve those testimonies so that future generations could remember.

— Alex Pham

Louis C.K. to sell own tour tickets

After selling a comedy special directly to fans and upending the comedy business, Louis C.K. is taking the same approach with tickets to his next tour.

The comedian announced Monday evening that he'll charge a flat, no-fee rate of $45 to all of the shows on a 39-city tour he kicks off in October. Tickets will bypass ticketing services and are available only through louisck.com.

That's similar to how he sold downloads of his special "Live at the Beacon" for $5, a move that was widely hailed and has since been imitated by other comics like Jim Gaffigan and Aziz Ansari. It made more than $1 million in 12 days.

"I'm trying something new, building on the fun, success and fan-benefit of selling my content online," the comedian, whose FX show "Louie" debuts its third season Thursday, said in an email to fans.

In an effort to deter scalping, he pledged that any tickets sold above the original price will be canceled. True-market value for a show by the comedian, one of the most popular stand-ups in the country, would fetch higher prices. (Online ticketing company Etix is assisting in the sale.)

— Associated Press

Four more actors sign on to 'Jobs'

Four more actors have been added to the cast of "Jobs," the new biopic about the late Steve Jobs, the computer designer and inventor who was co-founder, chairman and chief executive of Apple Inc.

Joining Ashton Kutcher, who is starring as Jobs, are Ron Eldard ("Super 8") as Apple designer Ron Holt; John Getz ("The Social Network") as Jobs' adoptive father Paul Jobs; Lesley Ann Warren ("Victor/Victoria") as his adoptive mother; and James Woods ("Salvador," "Nixon") as former Reed College Dean of Students Jack Dudman (Jobs dropped out of Reed).

Jobs died in October of complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

Already announced for the film, which began shooting in Los Angeles and Los Altos this month, are Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, Matthew Modine and Dermot Mulroney. Joshua Michael Stern ("Swing Vote") is directing from a script by Matt Whiteley. The film is scheduled for a winter release.

— Susan King

Marrow registry sees a jump

A national bone marrow donation registry says the rate of new registrants has more than doubled since ABC News' Robin Roberts said that she'll need a transplant. The "Good Morning America" anchor is being treated for MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. She will require a transplant this fall.

Roberts stopped by a registration drive at ABC News on Tuesday, watching co-host George Stephanopoulos and her boss, ABC News President Ben Sherwood, get swabbed to see if their bone marrow is a match for someone who needs a donation.

Jeffrey Chell, head of the registry Be the Match, said some 15,000 people had registered since Roberts announced her diagnosis on June 11. That's 11,200 more than they would normally receive in that period.

—Associated Press

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