Review Category : Entertainment

Sunday Night’s Super Bowl Scores Second-Highest Ratings Ever

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Sunday night’s match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers scored the second-highest overnight rating for a Super Bowl, according to Variety. Only last year’s game drew more viewers.

Variety reports that, according to Nielsen, Super Bowl 50 averaged a 49 rating/73 share. Last year’s game scored a 49.7 rating, which equaled 114.4 million viewers — an all-time record. Actual viewer estimates for Sunday’s game will be out later today.

The Bronco’s beat the Panthers 24-10, while Beyonce and Bruno Mars upstaged Coldplay during the halftime performance. Lady Gaga nailed the national anthem all by herself.

This year, digital ratings are expected to set records as well; this year’s game was available for free viewing on devices like Apple TV and Roku for the first time.

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“Kung Fu Panda 3” Stays on Top at the Box Office

DreamWorks Animation(NEW YORK) — Kung Fu Panda 3 scored another box office win during Super Bowl weekend.

The animated sequel earned an estimated 21 million dollars in its second weekend of release to top three new films.

The Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar! opened in second place, collecting 11.4 million dollars. It boasts an all-star cast that includes George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum.

The Nicholas Sparks romantic story The Choice debuted in fifth place, with 6.1 million, followed by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which premiered with 5.2 million.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens reached two more milestones over the weekend. It surpassed the 900-million-dollar mark at the domestic box office and two billion globally. It was released in December by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated ticket sales, according to Rentrak:

1. Kung Fu Panda 3, $21 million.
2. Hail, Caesar! $11.4 million.
3. The Revenant, $7.1 million.
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, $6.9 million.
5. The Choice, $6.1 million.
6. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, $5.2 million.
7. The Finest Hours, $4.7 million.
8. Ride Along 2, $4.5 million.
9. The Boy, $4.1 million.
10. Dirty Grandpa, $4.1 million.

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Bernie Sanders and Larry David Together at Last on “Saturday Night Live”

Dana Edelson/NBC(NEW YORK) — Democratic presidential hopeful Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders flipped the tables and did an impression of comedian Larry David while standing right next to him onstage on NBC’s Saturday Night Live over the weekend.

Asked how New Hampshire was going, Sanders replied, “Well, it’s pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good,” referencing David’s famous line from his show Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Saturday was the first time the two doppelgangers stood side-by-side since David debuted his instant-Internet sensation impression of the presidential hopeful on SNL last fall. David hosted the show Saturday night.

During a Titanic-esque skit, David was arguing he should be given a spot on the sinking ship’s lifeboat because he was from a wealthy family.

“Hold on, hold on, wait a second. I am so sick of the one percent getting this preferential treatment,” Sanders boomed, coming on set waving his finger and wearing a vest and newsboy cap.

“Enough is enough,” he continued, delivering one of his go-to campaign lines. “We need to unite and work together if we are all going to get through this.”

“Sounds like socialism to me,” David retorted.

“Democratic socialism,” Sanders replied.

“Huge difference,” he continued in his accentuated Vermont-via-Brooklyn accent. Sanders is the longest-serving independent in Congress and a self-described democratic socialist.

The senator introduced his character as “Bernie Sanderswitzky.”

“But we’re gonna change it when we get to America, so it doesn’t sound quite so Jewish,” he said.

David also spoofed Sanders with a “Bern Your Enthusiasm” sketch that resembled a Curb episode.

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Super Bowl 50: The Commercials

ABC News(SANTA CLARA, CALIF.) — The stars weren’t only on the field during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The much-hyped commercials offered a wide range of A-listers, from Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen to Christopher Walken to Willem Dafoe –- as Marilyn Monroe.

Of course, the ads cost a lot of money to air during the CBS broadcast of the game: $5 million per 30-second spot, according to reports.

If you missed some of the commercials during the Super Bowl telecast, or if you want to re-watch them, you can check out all of the ads on YouTube.

Here’s a recap of the best spots:

Pregame

— Comedian Jim Gaffigan made his debut as KFC’s new Colonel Sanders, replacing Norm MacDonald.

— Kevin Hart is an overprotective dad who lends his daughter’s date his Hyundai Genesis, then follows their every move with its tracking system.

— There were movie previews for Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War and 10 Cloverfield Lane.

First Quarter

— Willem Dafoe tries to pass himself off as Marilyn Monroe in her Seven Year Itch white dress in Snickers’ latest “You’re not you when you’re hungry” spot.

— Jeff Goldblum and a choir perform The Jeffersons theme -– and Lil Wayne makes a cameo -– in a spot for Apartments.com.

— Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in an action-packed commercial for the game Mobile Strike.

— Things get nutty when a pregnant woman’s partner eats Doritos during her ultrasound.

— A retired, depressed astronaut is reinvigorated when he’s handed the keys to the Audi R8 V10 plus. The commercial utilizes the David Bowie song “Starman.”

— What do you get when you cross a puppy, a monkey, and a baby? A really weird creature for an even weirder ad for Mountain Dew Kickstart.

— Comedy duo Key and Peele play funky characters as they tout Squarespace.

Silicon Valley‘s T.J. Miller trades insults with a Shock Top beer tap.

— There was a movie preview for The Jungle Book.

Second Quarter

— Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen form the “Bud Light Party” and go on the campaign trail like they’re in the presidential race. Paul Rudd and Michael Pena make cameos.

— Steven Tyler teaches a Skittles portrait of the Aerosmith singer how to sing like him –- until it falls apart.

— Steve Harveyspoofs his Miss Universe mishap in an ad for T-Mobile.

— Two women driving a Hyundai Elantra on a road in “Ryanville” pass by Ryan Reynolds as a cop, a construction worker, a dog walker, etc. The car is billed as one that “doesn’t get distracted” thanks to its auto-emergency brake system.

— Bank robbers are forced to rely on a Toyota Prius for their getaway vehicle, leading to a chase that becomes a media sensation.

— There were movie previews for the new Bourne movie starring Matt Damon and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Independence Day sequels.

Halftime

— CURE auto insurance had an awkward ad in which a dying father has something important to tell his son, who’s distracted by an attractive hospital staffer.

— Janelle Monae dances to the sixties hit “Do You Love Me” by the Contours and Madonna’s “Express Yourself” before singing her updated version of the “Joy of Pepsi” jingle.

— Alec Baldwin and Dan Marino take verbal jabs at each other during a party in a commercial for Amazon’s Echo speaker and Alexa voice service. “How many championships has Dan Marino won?” Baldwin asks Alexa. Marino’s response: “How many Oscars has Alec Baldwin won?”

Third Quarter

— Dogs desperate for Doritos dress in human clothing to purchase the cheesy snack in a shop.

— Serena Williams, Tony Hawk, soccer star Abby Wambach, T-Pain and others describe MINI USA vehicles as a “chick car,” a “short man’s car,” a “cute car,” a “slow car” and more. The message: the MINI will “defy labels.”

— Anthony Hopkins stars in an ad for TurboTax.

— Liam Neeson is a man who travels back in time to chat with his younger self, played by his real-life son, Micheál, about protecting the future –- and LG’s OLED TV.

— Kung Fu Panda isn’t just a star on the big screen. The animated character is front and center in an ad for Wix.com, a website builder.

— Dogs dressed in hot dog costumes? Why not. That’s what Heinz gave us.

— A flock of sheep sings Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” apparently inspired by the Honda Ridgeline truck.

— There was a movie preview for X-Men Apocalypse.

Fourth Quarter

— The NFL aired its commercial on “Super Bowl babies” –- kids born nine months after their city won the big game. The children sing a football version of Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose.” Seal himself appears in the spot, too.

— Christopher Walken and his sock puppet lecture a man inside a walk-in closet — get it? –- before introducing him to the new Kia Optima.

— In a T-Mobile commercial, Drake gladly takes suggestions on how to revise his hit tune “Hotline Bling” for a mobile phone company.

— Helen Mirren charmingly warns viewers about the dangers of drunk driving on behalf of Budweiser.

— Colgate advises viewers to start conserving water by turning off the faucet when it’s not needed.

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Beyoncé Announces The Formation World Tour

ABC NewsAfter joining Coldplay for their Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday night, Beyoncé announced a stadium tour for later this year.

The North American leg of The Formation World Tour will launch in Miami on April 27 and will continue through a June 12 date in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Incidentally, one of the stops will be Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, where Sunday night’s Super Bowl was held.

Tickets will go on sale beginning Tuesday, February 16. Visit Beyonce.com for more info.

Bey’s halftime show appearance and tour announcement came one day after she released a new song, “Formation.”

Here are the North American tour dates:

4/27 — Miami, FL, Marlins Park
4/29 — Tampa, FL, Raymond James Stadium
5/1 — Atlanta, GA, Georgia Dome
5/3 — Raleigh, NC, Carter-Finley Stadium
5/5 — Nashville, TN, Nissan Stadium
5/7 — Houston, TX, NRG Stadium
5/9 — Dallas, TX, AT&T Stadium
5/12 — San Diego, CA, Qualcomm Stadium
5/14 — Los Angeles, CA, Rose Bowl
5/16 — Santa Clara, CA, Levi’s Stadium
5/18 — Seattle, WA, CenturyLink Field
5/20 — Edmonton, AB, Commonwealth Stadium
5/23 — Minneapolis, MN, TCF Bank Stadium
5/25 — Toronto, ON, Rogers Centre
5/27 — Chicago, IL, Soldier Field
5/29 — Detroit, MI, Ford Field
5/31 — Pittsburgh, PA, Heinz Field
6/3 — Boston, MA, Gillette Stadium
6/5 — Philadelphia, PA, Lincoln Financial Field
6/7 — New York, NY, Citi Field
6/10 — Baltimore, MD, M&T Bank Stadium
6/12 — Hershey, PA, Hersheypark Stadium

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Super Bowl 50: The Halftime Show

ABC News(SANTA CLARA, CALIF.) — Coldplay offered a flashback performance during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show Sunday night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, dipping deep into their catalog while also paying homage to past performers who’ve graced the big stage at the big game — with the help of Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.

Chris Martin and company teased their first hit, “Yellow,” before launching into “Viva La Vida.” Martin commanded a psychedelic stage while the fans in the seats held up yellow, blue and orange signs.

Martin said, “Wherever you are, we are in this together,” before seguing into the sing-along “Oooooh” part of the song.

His band — which was joined by the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles — followed up with “Paradise,” as the audience surrounding the stage waved their arms.

Chris shed his jacket with blue patches for a more recent tune, “Adventure Of A Lifetime,” jumping up and down and singing “Woohoo” repeatedly.

Coldplay gave way to Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson, who delivered their smash hit “Uptown Funk.” Bruno wore a shiny black outfit with sunglasses, plus large chains dangling from his neck.

A marching band led into Beyoncé, who performed her just-released song “Formation.” She and Bruno then had a bit of a dance-off before she and Martin joined in on “Uptown Funk,” with a sample of Bey’s “Crazy In Love” mixed in.

Coldplay returned with “Clocks” and “Fix You,” as viewers saw a montage of highlights of past Super Bowl halftime performances from the likes of Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Stevie Wonder and others.

Martin, Beyoncé and Bruno all sang Coldplay’s “Up&Up” to close things out.

A new Beyoncé tour was announced immediately after her appearance in the halftime show.

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Super Bowl 50: The Pregame Performances

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Lady Gaga dazzled at Super Bowl 50, performing the national anthem before the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers faced off at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Accompanied by a pianist, Gaga delivered a stunning performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She wore a shimmering red outfit for the occasion.

After belting out the final words, Gaga said, “God bless you, America.”

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin signed the national anthem for the hearing impaired.

Before Gaga took center stage, an Armed Forces chorus sang “America the Beautiful.”

The Tailgate Party during the pregame show was headlined by Seal and country star Sam Hunt.

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A History of Super Bowl Halftime Performances

Katy Perry performs at Super Bowl 49; Tom Pennington/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Super Bowl halftime show normally features the biggest names in music, who are often veteran performers. This year’s headliners, pop/rock band Coldplay, aren’t on the level of past headliners like The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, but they’re a bit more seasoned than the headliners from the last two years: Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.

Coldplay, who just released a new album, A Head Full of Dreams, will celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. They’ll take the stage with some help from past headliner Beyonce and, rumor has it, Bruno Mars, who headlined in 2014. Special guests have also been teased for today’s 12-minute performance.

It’s more than been ten years since Janet Jackson’s notorious “wardrobe malfunction” scandal of 2004 led the NFL to turn to “safe” classic rock acts. In addition to the Stones and Springsteen, we saw Paul McCartney, The Who and Tom Petty take the stage over the past decade. Contemporary pop returned to the scene in 2011, when the Black Eyed Peas took the stage; no wardrobe malfunctions ensued.

The NFL took a risk in 2012 with one of pop music’s most controversial stars, Madonna, but the only controversy that emerged from that was courtesy of one of her invited guests, M.I.A., who flipped the bird during the performance. In 2013, Beyonce delivered a widely-acclaimed performance, though some felt her outfit and her gyrations were a bit racy.

Early in her career, Katy Perry had been a bit controversial due to her #1 hit “I Kissed a Girl,” and for her cleavage-baring outfits, but last year, her spectacular headlining show went off without controversy, to great critical acclaim and record viewership.

But believe it or not, the trend of having major pop, rock and country music stars appear at the Super Bowl halftime show only dates back to 1991, when New Kids on the Block performed. Before that, the halftime show usually consisted of marching bands, older stars like Chubby Checker and Ella Fitzgerald, or the G-rated vocal troupe Up with People. That’s because initially, the halftime show was designed to entertain the audience in the stands, not those viewing at home. As the New York Times puts it, “It was decades before the NFL realized that the halftime show plays not to the stadium but to the camera.”

But after ’91, it was all stars, all the time, especially in 1993, when Michael Jackson, the reigning King of Pop, sang “Heal the World” with thousands of children. Writes the Times, “It was one template for the Super Bowl shows that eventually followed: a superstar, big hits, a cast of thousands and graphics for blimps to photograph from above.”

Here’s a reminder of who’s played Super Bowl halftime shows in the modern era:

1991 — New Kids on the Block
1992 — Gloria Estefan
1993 — Michael Jackson, performing with 3,500 children
1994 — Country stars Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, Wynonna, and Naomi Judd
1995 — Patti Labelle, Miami Sound Machine & Tony Bennett
1996 — Diana Ross
1997 — ZZ Top, James Brown, the Blues Brothers featuring Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi
1998 — Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, the Temptations, Queen Latifah
1999 — Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
2000 — Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton
2001 — Aerosmith, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige
2002 — U2
2003 — Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting
2004 — Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Kid Rock, P. Diddy
2005 — Paul McCartney
2006 — The Rolling Stones
2007 — Prince
2008 — Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
2009 — Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
2010 — The Who
2011 — Black Eyed Peas
2012 — Madonna
2013 — Beyonce (and Destiny’s Child, briefly)
2014 — Bruno Mars feat. Red Hot Chili Peppers
2015 — Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz & Missy Elliott
2016 — Coldplay, Beyonce and guests

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Nearly 30 Years After “Like a Prayer” Furor, Madonna Song Featured in New Pepsi Super Bowl Commercial

Christopher Polk/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — It just goes to show that if you wait long enough, all scandals will fade away. Pepsi’s big Super Bowl commercial this Sunday will include a classic Madonna song — nearly thirty years after the soft-drink company had to pull an ad featuring another Madonna tune.

In 1989, Madonna’s hit “Like a Prayer” was featured in a Pepsi commercial, but controversy soon erupted over the song’s video, which featured the singer kissing a black saint and other provocative uses of Catholic imagery. The Vatican condemned the video, and family and religious groups threatened a boycott of Pepsi products. Pepsi caved, the ad was pulled and Madonna’s contract was canceled, though she kept her initial fee.

Now, another classic Madonna tune — “Express Yourself” — is featured in Pepsi’s new commercial, which has a theme of past, present and future.

The spot, starring R&B singer Janelle Monae [moh-NAY], starts with her dancing to the sixties hit “Do You Love Me” by the Contours. Next, she’s sporting an early Madonna outfit and dancing to “Express Yourself.” The spot ends with Janelle singing her updated version of the “Joy of Pepsi” jingle.

As for why “Express Yourself,” which appears on Madonna’s 1989 album Like a Prayer, was chosen, Pepsi VP of marketing Chad Stubbs tells Ad Age, “It was within that album and era that we had worked with Madonna before.”

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Helen Mirren Defends Academy in Oscar Diversity Debate

Helen Mirren accepts the Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar for “The Queen” in 2007; Michael Caulfield/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Oscar winner Helen Mirren is defending the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Oscars diversity debate.

Asked about the controversy by England’s Channel 4 News, the 70-year-old actress said she thinks “it’s unfair to attack the Academy.”

“It just so happened this year it went that way,” she said Wednesday about the Academy’s failure to nominate any people of color in the top acting categories for a second year in a row.

She did acknowledge that “Idris Elba absolutely would have been nominated for an Oscar,” but explained that “he wasn’t because not enough people saw — or wanted to see — a film about child soldiers.”

Elba won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor last weekend for his role in Beasts of No Nation.

The bigger issue, Mirren added, “is what happens before the film gets to the Oscars.”

“What kind of films are made, and the way in which they’re cast, and the scripts,” she said. “So it’s those things that are much more influential ultimately than who stands there with an Oscar.”

The Academy recently announced that it was planning to double the number of women and diverse members by 2020.

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