Avengers opens with $630 mn, smashing global record

This image released by Marvel Studios shows, front row from left, Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson and Sebastian Stan in a scene from “Avengers: Infinity War.” (Marvel Studios via AP)
Updated 30 April 2018
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Avengers opens with $630 mn, smashing global record

LOS ANGELES: “Avengers: Infinity War” took in $630 million in its first weekend, the highest global opening of all time, industry estimates showed on Sunday.
“The latest Marvel juggernaut... opened with $630M worldwide, making it the largest global weekend tally in the history of film, and this was done without China,” which has a later opening, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.
That topped “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth installment of the high-octane action series starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Michelle Rodriquez that opened with more than $530 million globally in 2017.
“Infinity War,” which features more than two dozen superheroes fighting to save the universe, also broke the record for highest North American opening weekend, raking in $250 million at US and Canadian box offices.
That beat “The Force Awakens,” the seventh film in the long-running “Star Wars” space saga that made $248 million in its opening weekend in 2015.
“Infinity War” is the 19th film in the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), combining a whopping nine franchises and a cast list that reads like a who’s who of Hollywood’s A-list.
Robert Downey Jr dons the red and gold metal suit once again as Iron Man; Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange; Scarlett Johansson is back as Black Widow; and Australia’s Chris Hemsworth is Thor.
Also back for more? Black Panther — the Marvel breakout of the year after the massive opening of the standalone pic in February, Captain America, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, the Guardians of the Galaxy and their assorted allies.
Their mission? To prevent the powerful purple alien Thanos (Josh Brolin) from destroying the universe.
“We took a picture of every single person whose character has been in the MCU. We hung it up on a wall all around us,” co-director Anthony Russo, who helms the pic with his brother Joe, told reporters ahead of the film’s release.
“We basically spent months and months and months talking about where we could go with each character, how we could draw them through the story,” he added.
“Every one of these characters... has been on a very specific journey through the MCU to arrive at this moment.”
This is the third “Avengers” film, with the final, untitled saga set for next year.
An important source of inspiration is the Marvel canon — the storylines developed over decades in the original comic books.
“Infinity War” is drawn from the “Infinity Gauntlet” series of the early 1990s.
“It starts with those comics and us beginning to rip pages out or rip copies of pages out and put them on the walls and start to be inspired,” explains Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney.
“It’s a North Star for us as we lead these giant productions into reality.”
In the movie’s trailer, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) — Thanos’s daughter, of sorts — explains that the villain believes that if he annihilates half of the universe, he can save the other half.
He needs the so-called Infinity Stones to do it. So, the heroes need to keep him from getting them.
The film cost an eye-watering $300 million to make, according to Hollywood media.


Film Review: Line of Descent is a dramatic tale of crime and atonement 

Updated 18 min 50 sec ago
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Film Review: Line of Descent is a dramatic tale of crime and atonement 

CHENNAI: Cinema has often told stories about crime families. Hollywood’s “The Godfather” series, or Scott Cooper’s 2015 “Black Mass” with an unrecognizable Johnny Depp, or even Bollywood’s bloody thriller “Titli” about a Delhi carjacking family, which first screened at Cannes in 2014. 

The latest addition to the genre is writer-director Rohit Karn Batra’s “Line of Descent” which premiered on Sunday at the European Film Market, currently running alongside the Berlin Film Festival. This movie is also set in Delhi, India’s crime capital, where some families have built unimaginable wealth through nefarious land deals, extortion, kidnapping and murder. 

An aged patriarch, Bharath Sinha (essayed by Hindi cinema’s legendary villain, Prem Chopra), heads a family of three sons — Prithvi (Ronit Roy), Siddharth (Neeraj Kabi) and Suraj (Ali Haji). Equally at home in Delhi’s seedy underbelly as in some of the poshest enclaves and among India’s elite, this is a clan with many conflicting faces, unified on the outside, but conflicted within by division, vice and repentance. 

Bharath’s notoriety as a criminal gives way to remorse and shame for the legacy he will leave behind. His death, and the bequesting of all his ill-gotten wealth to his eldest son Prithvi, creates a storm among the brothers, with Siddharth demanding his share so that he may partner with an arms-dealer, Charu (Brendan Fraser). When things begin to get out of hand, a cop named Raghav (Abhay Deol), is drawn into the mix, and asked to go undercover. 

“Line of Descent” is tightly and imaginatively scripted. Its exposition of organized crime is masterful, and some brilliant performances, especially from Deol, Roy and Kabi add a dash of class to an otherwise gritty enterprise. A compelling dramatic arc is established from the start in this fast-paced thriller, and the themes of guilt and atonement permeate throughout the movie, with both coming home to roost for the Sinha family in a touching final sequence.