Hits and Misses at the Box Office for 2013

Let’s have a look at which of the movies made it big and which tanked in the year 2013.

The Hits

  • Iron Man 3

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Robert Downey Jr. gave the biggest hit of 2013; it was the third installment of Iron Man, Iron Man 3. The movie had a $174 million opening and went on to cross the staggering figure of $1 billion. The total budget of the movie was $200 million.

  • Frozen

FrozenFor the first time in forever, an animated movie has done so much business. Frozen emerged as a successful blockbuster by the end of 2013 and earned a little over $1.2 billion in worldwide gross earnings. For a movie which had a budget of $250 million, this is huge, and the producers were definitely happy. But Disney fans were happier. Frozen went on to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature later on at the 2014 Academy Awards.

  • Despicable Me 2

2013 was an excellent year of animated features, and the business that Despicable Me 2 had is proof of that phenomenon. Earning $970 million in global revenue, with only $76 million production budget, this Steve Carell starrer was one of the biggest hits of the year.

  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

the_hobbit_the_desolation_of_smaug-wideThe first part of the Hobbit franchise did amazingly in 2012, and of course fans returned to theatres for the sequel. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, based on the famous book “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien, is the continuation of the tale of Bilbo Baggins in the mythical land of Middle-Earth, starring Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, and Benedict Cumberbatch (to name a few actor). Directed by Peter Jackson, the second part of the Hobbit took home $950 million in global revenue, making it a highly profitable venture for the producers who invested only $250 million in production.

  • Star Trek into Darkness

With amazing special effects, starring Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine, Star Trek into Darkness attracted all Star Trek fans world over. With a production budget of $190 million, the movie crossed the $450 million mark in worldwide gross earnings, making it a summer blockbuster.

The Misses

  • Before Midnight

The film did not fail the box office due to quality, because it was later nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The credit for its failure should go to its limited release, with it gracing only a few hundred theaters in the US. With only $11 million in revenue, and production budget of $3 million, Before Midnight turned out to be a great disappointment at the box office.

  • The Last Exorcism Part 2

LASTEXORCISM2_QUAD_FINALA horror film, with its R rating for strong graphic violence, is bound to limit its audience hence businesses income. The Last Exorcism Part 2 was able to gather only $15 million in revenue, which still turned out profitable for producers who had invested only $5 million into the project.

  • Nebraska

This Oscar-nominated feature failed to impress the box office charts due to its serious storyline and low entertainment appeal. Will Forte, the star of Nebraska, has presented a phenomenal performance in the film, garnering an Oscar-nomination for himself for his role. However, with only $17 million in box office business, on a budget of $12 million to begin with, Nebraska has been a bummer at the box office.

The_Bling_Ring_posterThis Emma Watson starrer was expected to impress, but fell flat on the box office with only $19 million in global earnings. A film with only $8 million production budget, the Bling Ring had a great cast, storyline, and making. The marketing for the film’s release was extensively done, with the trailer gathering positive reviews. The film, however, received a very limited release, with only 800 theatres releasing it, limiting its audience and hence its box office mojo.

  • Diana

This highly anticipated feature, starring critically acclaimed actress Naomi Watts, failed to impress both critics and viewers. You’d expect a film surrounding the life of the highly lovable late Princess Diana to make an impressive box office debut, but the appeal was only international. Domestically, in the US, Diana did business worth only $335K, whereas the rest of the world offered $21 million to Diana in business revenue. Still, with a production budget of $15 million, the film Diana is a flop.

Posted in Entertainment |

Coachella

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One of the most popular and famous music and arts festival is the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It is an annual festival occurring over two weekends for three days each weekend, and is held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The festival features different types of music genres, such as electronic, hip hop, indie, and rock. During the festival, several stages feature a variety of artist performing throughout the day. The main stages are the Mojave Tent, Gobi Tent, Coachella Stage, Sahara Tent, and Outdoor Theatre.

Throughout the years, the festival has featured many different popular artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Daft Punk, Oasis, Duran Duran, The Killers, Arcade Fire, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Beastie Boys, Tool, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Foo Fighters.

Coachella09MainStageBigViewThe first Coachella festival was on October 9, 1999, which was three months after Woodstock ’99. In this inaugural festival, several headlining bands played including Tool, Morrissey, and Rage Against the Machine. Although the first Coachella festival was mainly a success, there was no festival held in 2000. However, the even organizers decided to hold another festival in 2001. Although the lineup was rather small and did not have a headlining act for a while, the organizers arranged Jane’s Addiction to play. The festival proved to be a success and returned in 2003.

With each returning year, the festival became more popular and featured a larger variety of musicians. In 2010, it was estimated that 225,000 people attended the music festival, which had surpassed previous records for attendance. In 2011, it was announced that the festival would move to be two weekends long instead of one weekend and that this change would take place the next year. The Coachella 2012 Festival proved to be the most popular yet, with the festival selling out within hours. Many popular artists such as The Hives, Radiohead, Eminem, M83, Bon Iver, The Shins, Awolnation, Zedd, and Squeeze performed.

The lineup for 2014 looks promising, with acts such as Arcade Fire, Muse, and OutKast headlining the shows. The Replacements, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nas, MGMT and Foster the People are other acts set to perform at the festival.

Detail of Helix Poeticus by Poetic Kinetics Photo by Mike Wang

A less-known aspect of the festival is dedicated to visual arts, like sculpture and installation art. Many of the featured pieces are interactive, which can provide a visual experience to festival-goers. Some of the art pieces were also featured at Art Basel and Burning Man. Previous artists that have been featured include Robochrist Industries, The Do LaB, Cyclecide, and the Tesla Coil.

In 2003, the festival started giving attendees the option to camp on the grounds. With each year that passes, more amenities are featured making it easier for campers to enjoy their festival experience. In 2012, showers, WiFi, and on-site facilities such as showers and a general store were added.

Although other concert festivals have occurred through the years and some have been a disaster, Coachella continues to be a festival that gains popularity each year, proving that music festivals can work and be a success.

 

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Who is Karin Dreijer Andersson?

One of the most popular Swedish electronic musicians is Karin Dreijer Andersson. She is also known by her stage name and one-man band, Fever Ray. Together with her brother, she also performs as the band The Knife. She is known for her ability to sing in different tones along with the ability to use mulitracked vocals. She creates different pitches and sounds with her voice using technology that adds a mysterious and intricate effect in her music. Andersson enjoys using theatrical elements in her shows like masks and body paint to remain more obscure in her performances.

Style: "fever ray 2"

In 1999, she formed The Knife with her brother, Olof Dreijer. The band gained international recognition in 2003 with their album Deep Cuts. They earned even more attention when one of their songs, Heartbeats, was covered by Jose Gonzalez for a Sony commercial. The band has earned a number of Swedish Grammis, but the group refuses to attend the rewards ceremonies.

In 2006, the band went on their first tour and performed to sold out audiences. A part of the performances on the tour were filmed and released on DVD called Silent Shout: An Audio Visual Experience. In 2009, the band collaborated with Planningtorock and Mt. Sims on an opera for the Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma. The opera was entitled Tomorrow, In a Year, and is centered on Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. In 2013, the duo released their latest album titled Shaking the Habitual. They are set to play at Coachella 2014 and will have an American tour shortly thereafter.

Fever Ray, Andersson’s solo act, is also well known. Although it is quite popular, Andersson has only produced one album for the act which was released in 2009. The album became critically acclaimed, with critics praising the combination of her vocals and electronic sounds. The Guardian named it the second best album of 2009, calling it impish and creepy. In 2010, she performed at Coachella to an impressed crowd.

Andersson has also collaborated with other artists such as Röyksopp. In 2009, she provided the vocals for the songs What Else Is There?, This Must Be It, and Tricky Tricky. All songs were well received.

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It can be said that Andersson is one who cherishes her privacy and free time. Little is known about her life outside of music. She is reluctant to give interviews, although she does participate in them more often than her brother. When they do agree to do interviews, they do not talk about their personal life. In fact, even though Andersson is married with two children, their names are not known to protect their identity.

Her personal life is mostly mysterious, and many listeners will find her music mysterious, too. However, extensively listening to the music she creates opens up a whole new world of sounds and tones that go together wonderfully. Many people may scratch their heads at some of her music, but that is the beauty of it all.

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What is visual art and what are the core elements of it?

Visual art refers to the creations that are tangible and can be seen by the naked eye. Examples of these are paintings, drawings, sculpture, architecture, photography, film, and printmaking. It also includes decorative arts such as ceramics, furniture and interior design, jewelry making, metal crafting, and woodworking.
In visual art, there are seven core elements:
1.) Color – This could be broken down further into three properties namely hue, value, and intensity. Hue is the name of the color. Value refers to the lightness or darkness of the color. Intensity is the strength and purity of the color defined by its brightness or dullness.
2.) Line – Defined by a point moving in space it may be abstract, implied, descriptive, and two or three-dimensional.
3.) Shape – Typically three-dimensional and enclosing a volume. It often has height, width, and depth. Examples are cube, sphere, pyramid, and cylinder. It may also be free flowing.
4.) Value – Refers to the lightness or darkness of colors or tones. Black is known to be the darkest while white is the lightest. Halfway between these extremes is the middle gray.
5.) Space – Positive and negative areas are defined by space or a sense of depth
6.) Texture – This refers to the way things feel or look if touched.

Here are some impressive examples of visual arts captured in video:

Posted in Art & Culture |

Art and Music of Daniel Johnston

daniel-johnston
Daniel Dale Johnston or better known as Daniel Johnston was born on January 22, 1961 from Sacramento California and is now currently residing at Waller, Texas. He is a composer and a singer. He also knows how to play the piano, guitar, chord organ and drums. Other special talents included making artworks now being shown in London and New York. Continue reading

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Anthology of American Folk Music, Compiled by Harry Smith

anthology-of-american-folk-music-album-coverThe Anthology of American Folk Music was released in 1952 and comprises of 84 recordings that were released in 1927 to 1932. Genres included in this anthology are folk, country music, and blues. Filmmaker Harry Smith was the one who made a compilation of all this music from his personal collection. This paved way for the revival of American folk music. Continue reading

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