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Box Office: 'Doctor Strange 2' Rules Again as 'Firestarter' Flames Out

In its second weekend of release, the latest installment in Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe has collected $61 million from 4,534 North American theaters

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Box Office: 'Doctor Strange 2' Rules Again as 'Firestarter' Flames Out
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Los Angeles: "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is again the No. 1 movie at the domestic box office.

In its second weekend of release, the latest installment in Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe has collected $61 million from 4,534 North American theaters. Ticket sales were down 67% from its opening weekend, marking a steeper drop off compared to recent Marvel movies like "Eternals" (which declined 61% in its second weekend) and "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" (which declined 52% in its second weekend). However, that sizable decline is not surprising since "Doctor Strange 2" is coming off the 11th biggest opening weekend in history with $187 million. After 10 days on the big screen, the standalone superhero adventure has grossed a strong $291 million in North America.

At the international box office, the "Strange" sequel added $83.5 million from 49 markets. In total, the film has grossed $688.1 million globally.

When Disney unleashes a Marvel movie in theaters, rival studios tend to shy away from opening new films -- or risk getting crushed in its wake. Over the weekend, two movies opened nationwide to disappointing results. Universal's disturbing remake of Stephen King's "Firestarter" fizzled with $3.8 million from 2,412 screens while landing simultaneously on Peacock; and the Roadside Attractions faith-based comedy "Family Camp" generated a paltry $1.4 million from 854 locations. Neither of those films were particularly expensive to produce, meaning it may not be nightmarish to get those films to turn a profit, but it's certainly not the kind of coinage that studios hope to generate when putting a new film in cinemas across the country.

"Firestarter" was dinged by negative reviews and poor word-of-mouth. The film, about a girl with extraordinary pyrokinetic powers, landed a 12% on Rotten Tomatoes and a "C-" CinemaScore from moviegoers. Those weak figures suggest that the few people who saw the film over the weekend will not be rushing home to tell their friends to watch it in theaters. The most shocking aspect of "Firestarter" is that "High School Musical" heartthrob Zac Efron is officially old enough to play a dad on the big screen. And yet that was not enough to entice audiences.

Just how bad were opening weekend ticket sales for "Firestarter"? To put them in perspective, the original 1984 film, starring Drew Barrymore, had a bigger start -- not adjusted for inflation -- grossing $4.7 million from 1,356 theaters. The latest "Firestarter" may get a boost on Peacock, the streaming service owned by NBCUniversal, but the company did not provide streaming metrics.

David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, believes ticket sales were flattened because the film is already available at home.

"'Firestarter' has a lot of production pedigree; Blumhouse and Stephen King are consistent hit-makers," says Gross. But, he adds, "having the movie available on streaming at the same time it's in theaters reinforces that this is not big-screen, must-see entertainment."

 

 

SOURCE: REUTERS

 

 

Pakistan

President calls for stronger commitment to address challenge of drug abuse

"The day was celebrated across the globe to prevent drug abuse and raise awareness about the alarming threats it poses to society, especially the youth."

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President calls for stronger commitment to address challenge of drug abuse

Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi said the government must strengthen its commitment to address the challenges stemming from drug abuse and illicit trafficking and protect youth from the threat of illicit drugs.

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed annually on June 26 to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of illicit drugs.

In a message on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, he said the day was celebrated across the globe to prevent drug abuse and raise awareness about the alarming threats it poses to society, especially the youth.

The World Drug Report 2021, published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), indicated that deaths attributed to drug-related disorders had almost doubled over the past decade. The youth, which makes up nearly 60% of Pakistan’s total population, remained especially vulnerable to drug abuse, he said adding students and parents must be sensitized through workshops and seminars with the help of the media, civil society, and educational institutions.

“To this end, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) can play an important role and it has been directed to implement a strict policy to counter drug abuse in higher educational institutions.”

He said, “Today, we also celebrate the tremendous efforts Pakistan has made in collaboration with international organizations to address drug-related challenges.”

International cooperation had helped limit the proliferation of new psychoactive substances used by younger generations, he added.

He commended the Ministry of Narcotics Control for the measures it had taken to combat the trafficking of illicit drugs in our society and mitigate the detrimental impacts of drug abuse. Pakistan had also achieved the status of a poppy-free state which was a reflection of the proactive approach taken by the Ministry of Narcotics Control/Anti-Narcotics Force, he mentioned.

“Only with cooperation and collective commitment will we achieve our vision of a world free of this menace. We are committed to making Pakistan a model country, in the region and beyond, in this fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking,” he concluded.

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Int’l Day in support of Victims of Torture being observed today

The day serves as a reminder to people that torture is a crime

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Int’l Day in support of Victims of Torture being observed today

Islamabad: Intentional Day in support of Victims of Torture is being observed today across the globe including Pakistan to remind people that human torture is not only unacceptable but it is also a crime.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is an international observance held annually on 26 June to speak out against the crime of torture and to honour and support the hundreds of thousands victims and survivors across the world.

On June 26, 1987, the convention against torture came into force. It was an important step in the process of globalizing human rights and acknowledging that torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment should be universally illegal. In 1997 the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated June 26 each year as the international day in support of victims of torture.

The first International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was held on June 26, 1998. It was a day when the United Nations appealed to all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers everywhere.

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Pakistan

PM Shehbaz Sharif felicitates COAS on conferment of King Abdulaziz Medal

"it was a great honour for the people and the armed forces of Pakistan"

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PM Shehbaz Sharif felicitates COAS on conferment of King Abdulaziz Medal

Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday extended felicitation to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on conferment of ‘King Abdulaziz Medal of Excellence’ in recognition for his contributions to strengthening of defence ties between the brotherly countries of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

On his Twitter handle, the prime minister said that it was a great honour for the people and the armed forces of Pakistan.

The prime minister said that they considered KSA’s security as their own and resolved to further cementing of multifaceted bilateral ties between the two countries.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, has conferred upon Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the King Abdulaziz Medal of Excellence, for making significant contributions in defence cooperation between the two countries.

Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a press release on Sunday said that during an official visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the COAS called on Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Chief of General Staff (CGS) Saudi Armed Forces General Fayyadh Bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili at Jeddah.

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