‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ dethrones ‘It’ with $39m debut

From left, Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Pedro Pascal in ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle.’ The R-rated spy comedy ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle.’ (AP)
Updated 25 September 2017
0

‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ dethrones ‘It’ with $39m debut

NEW YORK: The R-rated spy comedy “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” displaced the horror sensation “It” as the No. 1 film in North America, while the second “Lego Movie” spinoff of the year did not assemble the expected audience.
The 20th Century Fox release opened with a weekend-leading $39 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday. But “It” still continues to pull in record crowds. With $30 million over the weekend, “It” is now the highest-grossing horror film of all time, not accounting for inflation, with $266.3 million thus far. (1973’s “The Exorcist” grossed $232.9 million domestically, or more than $1 billion in 2017 dollars.)
Twentieth Century Fox’s “Kingsman” sequel sought to expand on the 2015 original’s $36.2 million opening, and its $414 million worldwide take. Matthew Vaughn’s sequel returned stars Taron Egerton and Colin Firth, while adding Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and others. Made more for audiences than critics, reviews for the gleefully distasteful spy romp were poor, at 51 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fox could celebrate an uptick the second time around, albeit a small one. “The Golden Circle” also debuted with $61 million overseas, giving it a $100 million global weekend. Vaughn is planning a third “Kingsman” film.
“We are 7 percent bigger than the last one, which opened on a holiday weekend,” said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Fox. “We grew the franchise. We are very happy.”
The Stephen King adaptation “It,” from Warner Bros. and New Line, may have slightly eaten into the ticket sales for “Kingsman.” Few believed “It” would still be such a draw in its third week of release; horror films usually drop severely after release. But the film has already established itself as the biggest hit ever in the month of September — a welcome relief to Hollywood after a dismal August.
The “Lego Movie” spinoff “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” was further off expectations, debuting with $21.2 million. Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s “The Lego Movie” — the 2014 hit that made $469 million worldwide — kicked off a bustling franchise. “Ninjago,” though, is the second spinoff of the calendar year, following February’s “The Lego Batman Movie.”
That release opened with $35 million and grossed $312 million in total — marks that “Ninjago” appears will fall well short of. It may be two “Lego” movies in a year were too many.


A hairy issue: Sailors tell the US Navy, ‘We want beards’

Updated 20 July 2018
0

A hairy issue: Sailors tell the US Navy, ‘We want beards’

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: Now that women in the Navy can wear ponytails, men want beards.
The Navy said last week that servicewomen could sport ponytails, lock hairstyles, or ropelike strands, and wider hair buns, reversing a policy that long forbade females from letting their hair down.
Servicemen immediately chimed in on social media, asking the Navy if they could grow beards. A sailor’s Facebook post with a #WeWantBeards hashtag was shared thousands of times.
Beards were banned in 1984. The Navy wanted professional-looking sailors who could wear firefighting masks and breathing apparatuses without interference.
The Navy says that’s still the case. Still, some hope the change in female grooming standards opens the door.
Travis Rader, a 29-year-old naval physical security officer, said allowing beards would boost morale for men, just like allowing ponytails and locks has for women. There are two things that would make many Navy men happy: beards and better boots, he added.
Rader had a 6-inch-long beard when he joined the Navy after high school.
“You take something away from somebody, and they want it more,” said Rader, a master-at-arms assigned to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.
The Navy announced it was adding grooming options for women during a Facebook Live event. Many black women had asked the Navy to be more inclusive of different hair textures. The Navy had the standards in place because of safety concerns and to ensure everyone maintained a uniform, professional look.
Rader was one of several sailors who wrote in the comments section of the Facebook Live event to press for beards. Bill Williams, a 20-year-old naval information systems technician, commented too, asking why sailors can’t have beards if bearded civilian firefighters wear masks.
Williams said he thinks a nice, well-groomed beard looks very professional.
“It’d be great because I know that when I shave for multiple days in a row, it starts to really hurt,” said Williams, who works at the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Hampton Roads in Virginia.
Sailors can get permission to grow a beard for religious reasons or if they have a skin condition that’s irritated by shaving. Mustaches are allowed as long as they are trimmed and neat.
“Handlebar mustaches, goatees, beards or eccentricities are not permitted,” the policy states. The Navy isn’t currently considering changing that.
Safety continues to be the primary concern, said Lt. J.G. Stuart Phillips, a spokesman for the chief of naval personnel. He referenced a 2016 study by the Naval Safety Center, which concluded that facial hair affects the proper fit and performance of respirators.