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Weekend News: ‘Avengers’ Sets Record; ‘Hunger Games’ to Open in China

Weekend News: ‘Avengers’ Sets Record; ‘Hunger Games’ to Open in China
Photo Source: Marvel
“The Avengers” shattered box office records this weekend, taking in a whopping $200.3 million and surpassing “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” for the biggest domestic opening ever. Combined with its international box office take, the Disney/Marvel Studios collaboration has earned $641.8 million since opening abroad April 25. [THR]

China has agreed to release “The Hunger Games” in early June. Having already grossed $620 million worldwide, the blockbuster “will be among the first major Hollywood films to be released in China under the landmark revenue sharing agreement announced in February that allows foreign distributors to collect up to 25 percent of a film's receipts in China. Previously, Western distributors were allotted just 13 percent-17 percent of their films’ grosses in the country.” Although “Hunger Games” will likely have a huge opening weekend there, it remains to be seen whether it will cause the type of controversy generated by “Avatar,” the current record-holder for highest grossing movie in China. “Avatar” was pulled from theaters early by propaganda officials who “deemed the film’s domestic market dominance undesirable and its storyline too similar to a sensitive issue of the day: the forced eviction of Chinese villagers to make way for civic and commercial development.” [THR]

“Glee” and “American Horror Story” producer Brad Buecker has signed on to direct new movie musical “Time After Time.” Written by Brian Yorkey, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist and book writer for “Next to Normal,” the John Hughes-style flick is about a teenage girl who finds herself trapped in the ‘80s, with her mother as her best friend. [Deadline, Playbill]

In stage news, “Once” and “Sons of the Prophet” took home the big prizes at last night’s 27th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards, winning for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Play, respectively. [Back Stage]

Off-Broadway openings this weekend included “The Caretaker” at BAM (Back Stage review here) and “The Runner Stumbles” at the ArcLight Theater (New York Times review here).

Broadway’s “Seminar” closed Sunday; despite its Best Play nominations from the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama League (as well as Distinguished Performance nods from the latter for original cast stars Alan Rickman and Lily Rabe), the world premiere did not earn any Tony nominations. [Playbill]

And in sad news of the weekend, Beastie Boys fans around the world mourned the loss of Adam “MCA” Yauch, who lost his battle with cancer on Friday at the age of 47. Here in New York, the Mets changed their walk-up music to Beastie Boys songs on Friday night (full list here). On Saturday, HBO broadcast the Beasties’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held last month in Cleveland; Yauch was too ill to attend. HBO dedicated the broadcast to Yauch’s memory. [THR]

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