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November 10, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
With its god of thunder "Thor" lighting up the box office this weekend, Marvel has struck again at the multiplex. The 3-D sequel "Thor: The Dark World" debuted with a healthy $86 million, according to an estimate from Marvel distributor Walt Disney Studios. That's the fourth-highest opening of the year, but well behind another Marvel property, "Iron Man 3," whose $174-million debut is still the biggest of 2013. Heading into the weekend, prerelease audience surveys suggested the comic book adaptation would debut with a minimum of $90 million -- and given strong early interest, even a $100-million launch didn't appear impossible.
November 6, 2013 | By Susan Denley, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
Jaimie Alexander, who plays warrior Sif in Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World," knew how to get attention at the movie's premiere in Hollywood on Monday. All it took was this Azzaro Couture gown. What there was -- or wasn't -- of it. [Telegraph] Julia Peyton-Jones, director of the Serpentine Gallery,  presented the Harper's Bazaar UK Tastemaker of the Year Award to fashion designer L'Wren Scott at a ceremony in London on Tuesday. Victoria Beckham and actress Gillian Anderson were also among award winners.
November 6, 2013 | By Michael Phillips
If anyone ever asks you what "Thor: The Dark World" has in common with "Blondie Goes Latin" and "Bomba and the Jungle Girl," here's the answer: It's the eighth movie in its franchise. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, as "Thor's" particular franchise is known, encompasses the new adventures of Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and so on, worth billions around the world. (Rumor has it the next all-star "Avengers" movie will be two hours of actors in costume, counting their money.) So how's this "Thor" sequel?
November 5, 2013 | By David Ng
"Song of Spider-Man" is a tell-all memoir about the contentious behind-the-scenes drama that dominated the most expensive show in Broadway history. Written by Glen Berger, who co-wrote the script for the $75-million spectacle, the book provides a juicy insider account of artistic egos run amok. At the stormy center of the book, which goes on sale Tuesday , is Julie Taymor, the gifted stage and screen director who sued her collaborators after she was fired from the musical before it officially opened.
November 5, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
Kat Dennings is having a moment -- it's just not the moment she might have predicted. On Monday night -- just as her television show "2 Broke Girls" was airing on CBS -- the actress walked the red carpet to promote her new movie "Thor: The Dark World. " A few hours later, it was announced that she and her sitcom costar Beth Behrs will host the upcoming People's Choice Awards, that big barometer of the American mainstream. That Dennings, 27, has become a go-to girl in all kinds of broad entertainment is more than a little unexpected.
November 4, 2013 | Chris Megerian and Anthony York
Tony Russo had a multimillion-dollar problem. The Republican consultant and his team had raised piles of cash to use in California politics as last November's election approached. But a wrinkle in state law meant he couldn't spend it in the final two months of the campaign without jeopardizing the anonymity he had promised his rich donors. So Russo turned to what he called "the Koch network. " He asked a political consultant who has worked with billionaire Republican contributors Charles and David Koch to shuttle the money through an Arizona nonprofit.
November 1, 2013 | By Susan Stone
POTSDAM, Germany - Biting cold and a blue, blue April sky marked the day as perfect for a foot race. On the back lot of Babelsberg Film Studio here outside of the German capital, young actors Sophie Nélisse and Nico Liersch took their marks, got set and dashed off through the cobblestoned snow, laughter bouncing and blond heads glinting in the sun. Their characters - best friends Liesel Meminger and Rudy Steiner - are bright lights in a...
October 31, 2013 | By David Colker
When attorney and Republican Party activist John J. Lynch ran for Los Angeles County tax assessor in 1986, he was shocked at the result - he won. "It was a surprise," said Lynch, and he wasn't the only one taken aback. Lynch, who had never run for elective office, was up against 11 other candidates, including two former state Assembly members - Gordon Hahn and Jim Keysor. Lynch spent only a few thousand dollars on the campaign, whereas Hahn spent $100,000 and Keysor $185,000. "I can't figure where John Lynch came from," Keysor said.
October 31, 2013 | By Robert Abele
The cryptic pull of masterful French filmmaker Claire Denis ("Beau Travail," "White Material") - stories told through faces, time rendered elliptically, visuals and sound in dreamlike sync - betrays a noirish stain in her unsettling new film, "Bastards. " Tanker captain Marco (Vincent Lindon) is called back to Paris to attend to a family disaster involving a wrecked business, a distraught sister (Julie Bataille) whose husband has committed suicide, and their traumatized daughter (Lola Créton)
October 30, 2013 | By Ciara Torres-Spelliscy
Anticipating the Securities and Exchange Commission's actions can feel like waiting for Godot. The SEC has been sitting on a petition for a new rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose to shareholders what corporate funds are spent on political activities. The petition was filed in August 2011 by 10 corporate law professors, yet the formal rule-making process on it still has not begun. More than 640,000 people - including senators, representatives, state treasurers, comptrollers, former Vanguard Chief Executive John Bogle, investors and me - have filed public comments endorsing the need for such a rule.
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