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ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- Smog seems to have helped Smaug at the Chinese box office this last weekend. "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug," raked in about $33.7 million from Friday to Sunday, consulting firm Artisan Gateway said Tuesday, putting it in first place. Intense air pollution covering much of northern China may have helped drive patrons to theaters, as the government advised people to limit outdoor activities. "Smaug" far outperformed the opening weekend of director Peter Jackson's first installment in the Warner Bros.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
“The Lego Movie” is still snap-and-pop connecting with audiences. As expected, the blockbuster hit comedy, based on the popular toy, topped the box-office charts for a third straight weekend, blowing away newcomers “3 Days to Kill” and “Pompeii.” The animated “Lego Movie,” from Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures, grossed $31.5 million this weekend through Sunday, according to studio estimates. PHOTOS: Images from 'The Lego Movie' Co-written and co-directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, “The Lego Movie” stars Chris Pratt as a Lego-like construction worker.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Amazon.com is gearing up to release an Internet-connected television set-top box as early as next month, according to a report Friday. The Seattle-based online retailer is aiming for a March debut for a product that would go head-to-head with the Apple TV, the Google Chromecast and the numerous Roku set-top boxes that are already on the market, according to the technology blog Recode, formerly known as AllThingsD. Details about the device are limited, but Recode said the Amazon set-top box will be based on the Google Android operating system, which is also used by the company for its line of Kindle Fire tablets.
SPORTS
February 17, 2014 | BILL PLASCHKE
The saddest spot for a U.S. Olympian here is six feet under the ice, in a basement buffeted by heat and hindsight. The saddest spot is the cramped cavern into which the celebrated U.S speedskaters have trudged to meet the media after each of their eight events. The team is 0 for 8. It has won zero medals. It has not finished better than seventh place. It is one of the biggest debacles for an established American powerhouse in more than a generation. The press pit is an awkward proposition under the best of circumstances for small-sport athletes, but the mounting controversy over the bizarre struggles has further widened the speedskaters' eyes and backed them up, and finally, Sunday night, something snapped.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2014 | By Amy Kaufman
"The Lego Movie" built upon its success this holiday weekend, beating out four new movies to secure the No. 1 spot at the box office for the second time. After posting a surprisingly strong debut, the animated 3-D film collected an additional $63.5 million between Valentine's Day and President's Day, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros. After 11 days in release, the movie featuring characters from the famed toy brand has already grossed $143.8 million domestically, indicating that the film will likely have enough stamina to rake in at least an additional $100 million before exiting theaters.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | By Amy Kaufman
Colin Farrell wanted a cigarette, but he didn't have one on him. He was sitting poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel, which seemed like the kind of place where one smokes. So he asked a pretty hostess if she had a pack; she did not. "You want a cigarette?" asked an interloper standing nearby who had overheard the exchange. "I'm going to get you one right now. " A few minutes later, the stranger returned, cigarette in hand. He asked Farrell what movies the actor had coming up, adding that he was producing a few. PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV "Good luck with it. Good luck with it, brother," Farrell replied.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
A series of notable Apple rumors have hit the Web this week, including reports that say a new Apple TV could be unveiled soon and images that may or may not show the next version of the iPhone. Apple TV Apple is working on a new version of its Apple TV set-top box that could be unveiled as early as April and is expected to be released in time for the holiday shopping season, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. Citing unnamed sources, the report said the new Apple TV will use a faster processor than its predecessor and come with an "upgraded" interface.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
When I saw “The Lego Movie” about six weeks ago - alone, in a screening room, with no social proof of any kind - I had two thoughts. The first: Am I crazy, or is this pretty great? The second: Will a mainstream audience go for it? That latter question of course yielded a big yes last weekend, with the film pulling in $69.1 million, one of the largest-ever openings for a movie this time of year. Extracting lessons from a film that is sui generis in so many ways doesn't really make sense - the reason it worked is precisely because it wasn't like anything else.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 9, 2014 | By Amy Kaufman
All the pieces connected for "The Lego Movie" at the box office this weekend, as the 3-D animated release far exceeded industry expectations to post the biggest opening of the year. The family film debuted with a robust $69.1 million, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros. Heading into the weekend, pre-release audience surveys indicated the picture would start off with about $50 million. Instead, the movie ended up collecting almost $30-million more than did "Ride Along" - previously 2014's biggest hit - when it opened last month.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
A publicity-stunt boxing match is no more. The much-hyped and even more divisive bout between DMX and acquitted Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman has been called off, according to the promoter. "This was the wrong person to put in the ring and define celebrity boxing," Damon Feldman said Saturday on Twitter, referring to Zimmerman. He said he was scrapping plans because "I'd rather be happy and make people happy. " PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times The DMX camp, meanwhile, was putting its own spin on the cancellation, suggesting DMX had second thoughts.
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