’The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

Star Wars fans raise their lightsabers before the starts of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” movie in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. (AP)
Updated 17 December 2017
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’The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

NEW YORK: The Last Jedi” rocketed to a debut of $220 million at the box office, landing the second-best opening weekend ever in North America and slotting in behind only its predecessor, “The Force Awakens.”
The Disney blockbuster is only the fourth film to open above $200 million in North America. Aside from “The Force Awakens,” the others are “The Avengers” and “Jurassic World.”
Good reviews helped it. Rian Johnson’s sequel to “The Force Awakens” has a 93 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences endorsed it too, giving it an A on CinemaScore.
The weekend’s only other new wide release came from 20th Century Fox, the film studio that Disney on Thursday acquired as part of its $52.4 billion purchase of its parent company, 21st Century Fox. “Ferdinand” grossed $13.3 million.


Two get life sentence in S.Africa ‘cannibalism case’

Updated 13 December 2018
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Two get life sentence in S.Africa ‘cannibalism case’

  • Police refused to believe his claims until he took them to a house where more body parts were found
JOHANNESBURG: Two South African men accused of cannibalism were given life sentences for murder on Wednesday, with the judge saying they were guilty of “the most heinous crime,” local media reported.
Sitting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, judge Peter Olsen sentenced Nino Mbatha, 33, and Lungisani Magubane, 32, to life in prison for the killing of Zanele Hlatshwayo last year, the Witness newspaper said.
Mbatha, a traditional healer, was arrested after handing himself in at a police station in Estcourt, a town in KwaZulu-Natal province.
He was carrying a bag containing a human leg and a hand, telling officers he was “tired of eating human flesh.”
Police refused to believe his claims until he took them to a house where more body parts were found.
A third man was acquitted on Wednesday. Seven people were initially arrested.
At earlier hearings in Estcourt, angry residents had gathered outside the courthouse to protest against the grisly murder.
South Africa has no direct law against cannibalism, but mutilating a corpse and being in possession of human tissue are criminal offenses.