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Nolte: LeBron James’ ‘Space Jam’ Sequel Underperforms at Box Office, Disney’s ‘Black Widow’ Sinks

For context, more than a quarter-century ago (26 years to be exact), Michael Jordan’s original Space Jam opened to $27.5 million in 1996 in only 2,650 theaters.

In 1996, Jordan’s Space Jam went on to a $90.4 million domestic gross. Next week, LeBron’s sequel will probably die a hard death and have troubling creeping to a $60 or $70 million gross.

How big of a disaster is that? Well, before promotion costs, this sucker cost $150 million to produce.

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You can’t blame the coronavirus, not when Black Widow opened to $80 million last week. If Black Widow can open to $80 million, so can Space Jam – and it didn’t.

What’s more, the overall box office was down -22 percent over last weekend. So people stayed home, not because of the virus, because of the product.

The reasons for Space Jam’s weak box office when compared to its predecessor are obvious. Michael Jordan is a much more appealing personality than LeBron James, and in 1996, Jordan was a mythical basketball talent. LeBron is a great player, but he’s no Jordan. He’s also a divisive, pompous jerk.

Space Jam: A New Legacy also sent out a pretty clear signal it was anti-fun when it announced capitulation to the #MeToo Nazis with the blacklisting of the Pepe Le Pew character.

Speaking of pew, Marvel’s Black Widow took an almost 70 percent dive in its second weekend. After a disappointing $80 million opening, in this, its second weekend, it grossed just $26 million. As a result, over two weekends, Black Widow sits at a measly $131 million and is almost certainly not going to clear $200 million domestic.

Worldwide, Black Widow is dying with just $233 million.

On its fourth weekend, the stinkaroo F9 brought in just $6.7 million, bringing its domestic total to around $160 million. This is another disappointment that won’t clear $200 million. Worldwide, F9 sits at $553 million, which is not all that hot. In the heart of the pandemic, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet cleared $364 million worldwide. Pretty much everything is open now, and people are not going to see F9.

Anyone who blames all this underperformance on the China Flu has to explain A Quiet Place Part II. The original Quiet Place cleared $188 million domestic and $350 million worldwide. So far, the sequel has cleared a perfectly respectable (for a sequel) $152 million domestic and $228 million worldwide.

In other words, A Quiet Place’s domestic audience turned out. The audience for the Fast and Furious, Marvel, and Space Jam franchises did not.

Is the virus having some impact? Sure. But there is something more going on here, and it’s about the appeal of the product, not the virus.

Originally found on Breitbart Read More




David Beckham Looks Totally Starstruck Meeting This Iconic Actor!

David Beckham got the chance to meet a legendary actor!

On Wednesday night (July 14), the 36-year-old retired soccer player was leaving a restaurant in London, when he noticed that a two-time Oscar winner was arriving at the restaurant.

Click inside to find out who it was!

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of David Beckham

And that actor was Michael Caine!

David had a huge smile on his face as he chatted with the 88-year-old The Dark Knight Rises actor through his car window.

After a little small talk, and snapping a photo of Michael, David hopped on his motorcycle and headed home as Michael made his way into the restaurant for dinner.

If you missed it, David recently celebrated a big milestone!

55+ pictures inside of David Beckham and Michael Caine bumping into each other…

Originally found on Just Jared Read More




Journalists Keep Complaining Biden Is Too ‘Boring’ (Translation: Trump Is More Fun To Write About)

This is why the book publishing industry is in the throes of an all-new Trump boom, as a wave of new titles hits stands in an attempt to unpack the hurricane of madness from 2020.

Originally found on Forbes Read More




AP FACT CHECK: Trump makes false claims about Arizona audit

PHOENIX (AP) — Former President Donald Trump issued three statements in two days falsely claiming that voting fraud and irregularities cost him Arizona’s electoral votes.

Trump relied on comments made Thursday by contractors hired by state Senate Republicans to oversee a partisan review of the 2020 vote count in Maricopa County, which includes metro Phoenix.

The “forensic audit,” as Senate GOP leaders are calling their review, is overseen by Cyber Ninjas, a small computer security firm with no election experience before Trump began questioning the 2020 results. Its CEO, Doug Logan, spread false conspiracy theories about the election before he was hired to lead the Arizona review.

Logan and Ben Cotton, a digital forensics analyst working on the audit, described issues they say need further review. Trump has parroted them as evidence the election results are tainted.

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County officials and elections experts say the claims are false and based on a misunderstanding of election materials, which they say creates an appearance of irregularities where none exists.

Trump laid out his claims most specifically in a statement Friday night. A look at the irregularities he alleges in that statement:

TRUMP: “168,000 fraudulent ballots printed on illegal paper (unofficial ballots)”

THE FACTS: All of that is false. The ballots were not unofficial or printed on illegal paper, and even Logan never alleged they were fraudulent.

Logan pointed to ballots with the printing slightly offset between the front and back. He claimed this could cause votes to be counted for the wrong candidate if ink from one side bleeds through to another. He said the alignment issues were mostly from polling-place ballots, which are printed onsite, and said about 168,000 ballots were cast that way. The overwhelming majority of Arizona voters cast ballots by mail.

“We are seeing a lot of very thin paper stock being used especially on Election Day,” Logan added.

The allegation harkens back to the debunked “Sharpiegate” conspiracy theory that arose in the days after the election. Election experts say bleed-through doesn’t affect the vote count because bubbles on one side of a ballot don’t align with those on the other. Ballots that can’t be read are flagged and duplicated by a bipartisan team.

Arizona’s election procedures manual says only that ballots “must be printed with black ink on white paper of sufficient thickness to prevent the printing from being discernible on the reverse side the ballot.” Maricopa County uses 80 pound Votesecur paper from Rolland, which is among the papers approved by Dominion Voting Systems, which makes the county’s tabulation equipment, said Fields Moseley, a county spokesman.

Logan did not provide any evidence that alignment problems affected the vote count and said the issue needs more analysis.

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TRUMP, citing “74,000 mail in ballots received that were never mailed (magically appearing ballots).”

THE FACTS: No, there were no magically appearing ballots. He is alleging that the number of filled-out ballots received in the mail by election officials exceeded the number of people who had asked earlier for mail-in ballots, by 74,000. But that’s not at all what happened.

The claim mischaracterizes reports created for political parties to track who has voted early so they can target their get-out-the-vote efforts.

One report tracks all requests that voters make for early ballots, either by mail or in person, up to 11 days before the election. The other report tracks all ballots received through the day before the election. That leaves a 10-day window during which people who vote in-person but don’t request a mail ballot would appear on one report but not the other.

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TRUMP, claiming “11,000 voters were added to the voter rolls AFTER the election and still voted.”

THE FACTS: There’s nothing untoward about voters rolls growing after Election Day. The rolls are simply updated to reflect people whose provisional ballots are added to the tally after election officials verify that they were eligible to vote.

The allegation that the updated tally was the result of electoral wrongdoing first came from Logan this past week, when he told state lawmakers of “11,326 people that did not show up on the Nov. 7 version of the voter rolls, after votes were cast, but then appeared on the Dec. 4 voter rolls.”

Maricopa County officials said Logan is probably referring to provisional ballots, which are cast by people who do not appear on the voter rolls or don’t have the proper identification on Election Day. They’re only counted if the voter later shows he or she was eligible to vote. To be eligible, such voters must have registered before the deadline.

“These go through a rigorous verification process to make sure that the provisional ballots cast are only counted if the voter is eligible to vote in the election,” Maricopa County officials wrote on Twitter. “This happens after Election Day. Only eligible voters are added to the voter rolls.”

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TRUMP, alleging “all the access logs to the machines were wiped, and the election server was hacked during the election.”

THE FACTS: That flies in the face of the evidence. Maricopa County’s election server is not connected to the internet and independent auditors found no evidence the election server was hacked.

Trump’s hacking allegation refers to the unauthorized download of public data from the county’s voter registration system. That system, which is connected to the internet and broadly accessible to political parties and election workers, is not linked to the election management system, the web of ballot counters, computers and servers that tallies votes.

The election management system is “air gapped,” or kept disconnected from the rest of the county’s computer network and the wider internet. Two firms certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to test voting systems found Maricopa County’s machines were not connected to the internet and did not have malicious hardware or software installed.

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TRUMP: “Arizona shows Fraud and Voting Irregularities many times more than would be needed to change the outcome of the Election.”

THE FACTS: Not so. The number of potential fraud cases is far smaller than President Joe Biden’s margin of victory in Arizona.

County election officials identified 182 cases where voting problems were clear enough that they referred them to investigators for further review, according to an Associated Press investigation. So far, only four cases have led to charges, including those identified in a separate state investigation. No one has been convicted. No person’s vote was counted twice.

Biden won Arizona by 10,457 votes out of 3.4 million cast. Of the four cases that have resulted in criminal charges, two involved Democratic voters and two involved Republicans.

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EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.

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Associated Press writer Ali Swenson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Find AP Fact Checks at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck

Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

Originally found on AP Fact Check Read More




How to Challenge Big Tech–Rep. Ken Buck, Rep. Greg Steube, Mercedes Schlapp, and Harrison Rogers

How to Challenge Big Tech Censorship–Rep. Buck, Rep. Steube, Mercedes Schlapp, and Harrison Rogers

From Trump’s recent class-action lawsuits to antitrust legislation, what are the different legal avenues currently in play to challenge Big Tech? And what can the average person do to deal with big tech censorship?

At the CPAC conference in Texas, American Thought Leaders sat down with ACU Foundation Senior Fellow Mercedes Schlapp, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.), and HJR Global founder Harrison Rogers.

Subscribe to the American Thought Leaders newsletter so you never miss an episode.

You can also follow American Thought Leaders on Parler, Facebook, or YouTube. If you’d like to donate to support our work, you can do so here.

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Originally found on Epoch Times Read More




LA music executive identified as victim of Florida condo collapse

SURFSIDE, Fla. — Another victim was identified in the collapse of a 12-story Florida condominium that killed at least 97 people, authorities said Saturday.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said in a news release that Theresa Velasquez, 36, was a confirmed fatality in the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo. Her body was recovered July 8.

She becomes the 95th fatality identified in the collapse, police said.

Velasquez was a Los Angeles-based executive for the Live Nation event promotion company. She had flown into Miami to visit her parents at the Surfside condo, both of whom also died in the collapse.

RELATED: 911 calls from Florida condo collapse reveal confusion, chaos as Surfside building came down

“Theresa was an impassioned leader at Live Nation, who elevated every project she was part of, at the same time breaking down barriers for women, and the LGBTQIA+ community,” the company said in a statement. “We will always remember and honor the impact she made, and will miss her dearly.”

The bodies of Julio and Angela Velasquez were recovered and identified earlier.

The recovery effort at the condo site is slowly winding down, with perhaps one more body still buried in the rubble. Work is now shifting toward determining what caused the oceanfront condo to come down.

A judge is also considering what should be done with the building site. An outright property sale, government purchase for construction of a memorial or a combination of both are among the suggestions.

Hacker steals identities of multiple victims killed in Surfside condo collapse

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Copyright (C) 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Originally found on Read More




Covid Hospitalizations Rise Nationwide Amid Delta Surge — Especially In These States

Over 20,000 Americans are currently hospitalized for Covid-19, up 30% in two weeks.

Originally found on Forbes Read More




All the NHL trades and signings that happened before the Expansion Draft trade/waiver freeze

NHL teams’ protection lists for the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft were due at 5 PM. But two hours before that deadline was another and it turned out to be a big driver of activity leaguewide. At 3 PM on Saturday,…

Originally found on Read More




Mask Mandate for Children Is Not Backed by Science: New Jersey Senators

New Jersey senators held a hearing last week to explore whether the science supports forcing children to wear face masks in schools amid growing concerns regarding the efficacy and negative effects of these masks.

Scientists testified about the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. Health professionals and parents talked about the impact of masks on children’s health and well-being.

The participating lawmakers asserted that wearing masks by children does little to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and may harm children psychologically, emotionally, developmentally, and physically.

The requirement to wear masks in almost all public places in New Jersey was lifted by Governor Phil Murphy in May, but the mandate to wear masks for children in schools remained in place, justified by the lack of a COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12.

Mask Effectiveness for Children

There have not been any randomized clinical trials on children to assess the benefits of wearing masks, but different countries responded differently to the pandemic, said Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a biostatistician and epidemiologist.

“During the first wave [of the COVID-19 pandemic] in the spring of 2020, most large Western countries closed their schools for longer or shorter time periods, including more states in the U.S. The one exception was Sweden, which kept schools and daycare open from ages 1 to 15, for which there are 1.8 million children.”

At that time, there was no mask-wearing, no social distancing, and no COVID-19 testing for children in Sweden, Kulldorf said at the hearing, but there was more cleaning than normal in schools and daycare facilities and children who got sick were sent home.

Despite this lack of restrictions, “none of these 1.8 million children died [of COVID-19],” Kulldorf emphasized.

“COVID is primarily spread through adults. When children do get infected … they typically get it from an adult. And it’s very unusual to get transmission from children to adults.”

The risk of COVID-19 infection for teachers is the same or slightly lower than the average in other professions, Kulldorf said. “There’s no purpose of wearing masks, either for the benefit of the children or for the benefit of teachers. There’s no public health reasons to do that.”

“I think in the United States, for this whole pandemic, there have been about 350 reported COVID deaths among children. And we don’t know exactly how many of those are due to COVID versus how many are with COVID because [the] CDC hasn’t done that evaluation.”

Kulldorf said that the number of child deaths due to influenza is between 200 and 1,000 every year depending on the severity of influenza.

“Every one of these deaths is tragic,” Kulldorf said, but “for children, [mask] doesn’t particularly give them any protection from COVID.”

 Adverse Effects of Masks

A student plays the flute while wearing a mask during a music class at the Sinaloa Middle School in Novato, Calif., on March 2, 2021. (Haven Daily/AP Photo)

“There was ample evidence for adverse effects of children wearing masks and they should not be forced to wear them,” said Maria Crisler, a clinical scientist with specialty experience in microbiology.

According to a study conducted in April, 68 percent of more than 25,000 children participating in the study “had problems wearing face coverings” and the content of carbon dioxide inhaled by them was several times higher than the acceptable norm, Crisler testified.

Due to the high intake of carbon dioxide, children sampled for the study experienced symptoms such as irritability, headache, difficulty concentrating, reluctance to go to school or kindergarten, malaise, impaired learning, drowsiness, or fatigue, Crisler said.

The issue of mask-wearing is even more critical for children than for adults because anatomical differences make a child more vulnerable than an adult to injury from oxygen deprivation and high intake of carbon dioxide, the clinical scientist explained.

“There are physiological changes within 45 seconds of wearing a mask to the brain, from the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, and the immune system.”

Moreover, microbes can concentrate on the outside of masks because microbe carrying droplets are trapped in masks and can be re-inhaled, Crisler said in her presentation. “Without a mask exhaled droplets and aerosol dry quickly. … The longer the mask is used, the more bacteria are exhaled through it.”

“The outside of surgical mask—the ones that the children are mostly wearing to school—tested in hospitals, found more concentrated microbes on the outside of the masks themselves than in the environment.”

A study performed by a lab of the University of Florida showed that several types of microbes were present on masks, Crisler noted, emphasizing that the study was non-scientific.

Crisler also mentioned that natural solutions to protect children “begin with diet and exercise,” as poor diets and lack of rest are among factors contributing to disease and immune dysfunction.

Dr. Paul Alexander, a professor of evidence-based medicine at McMaster University in Canada and a former COVID pandemic advisor at the Trump Administration, pointed out that there is no clear evidence that masks are effective but there are reports and evidence that wearing masks is potentially harmful.

“You’re accumulating carbon dioxide behind the mask, you’re not getting proper oxygen, etc. And you have reports across the world of damage,” Alexander said adding, the “WHO [World Health Organization] put out a report … stating children under six years old, should not be masked, under no condition.”

Alexander also said that cases of asymptomatic transmission of COVID-10 which drove the lockdowns and school closures as well as reinfections are very rare.

“When we look at the evidence, we can’t find clear indications, actual evidence, cases, where asymptomatic spread is a real concern or reinfections, recurrent infections is a real concern. And we can argue each case that you present as flawed interpretation.”

Masked students wait in a socially distanced single file line before heading to the cafeteria at an elementary school in Louisville, Ky., on March 17, 2021. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Jacqueline Tobacco, a member of the Board of Education in Middletown, New Jersey, testified that her son attended a school without wearing a mask since September after a long fight and a lawsuit that she had filed.

“He has successfully attended school all year—schools have been open in Middletown—and never was quarantined, never got COVID,” Tobacco sad.

She won the race for a seat on the Board of Education after campaigning on a platform against the lockdowns and against the mask mandates and became a board member in January.

Erin Pain, a school nurse, testified that wearing masks can harm children psychologically, developmentally, and physically.

She saw many children experiencing anxiety and severe fear. Pain told senators the story of a girl who came to see her because she vomited in class. That girl got really nervous when she saw people wearing masks and the thought occupied the child’s mind to the point that she felt sick in her stomach and threw up.

Another girl who Pain saw was hysterically crying because she forgot to bring her mask to school and was afraid that she would bring COVID home. “I had to spend 15 minutes with her to calm her down just to get her to go into class,” Pain said.

A child’s development may also be impacted by wearing a mask, Pain explained. “Children learn by recognizing facial cues … and [their learning] is hindered by wearing a face mask.”

When their teacher smiles at them, children know that they got the right answer or did a good job, Pain continued.

“Developmentally, these kids are suffering. They’re having a really hard time, especially the hearing impaired and the special needs children who are having a severely difficult time wearing these masks,” she said.

The nurse also saw face rashes, sore throat, canker sores related to wearing masks. Children sometimes wear the same mask for several days, touch them, and sometimes forget to wash their hands after using the bathroom, or flip them inside out, Pain said.

The CDC recommends washing cloth mask whenever it gets dirty or at least daily.

New Jersey state Sen. Michael Doherty, a Republican, said after all testimonies were given, “We heard today that masks cause harm and there’s no benefit. And there’s a lot of science to back that up. It’s causing irreparable harm to our children. And the science is very clear to me.”

“It was really important to hear the science,” said Republican New Jersey Sen. Kristin Corrado.

“We have legislation [introduced] … that would prohibit any school or school bus from mandating that children wear masks in school or on the bus. We also have legislation that would prohibit masking mandated at daycares and summer camps. Parents should be the only ones making medical decisions for their children. And let’s be clear, wearing a mask is a medical decision, that should never be made by” the government of New Jersey, Corrado said at the conclusion of the hearing.

Originally found on Epoch Times Read More




Rays’ Yandy Diaz shows support for protestors in his native Cuba

ATLANTA — Rays infielder Yandy Diaz is showing his support for protesting residents of his native Cuba.

Diaz wrote SOS Cuba on his cap for Saturday night’s game against the Braves, which he is starting at third base.

Residents have been protesting about food and medicine shortages they say are caused by the communist government, and similar shows of support have been staged in U.S. cities, including Tampa.

“I feel bad,” Diaz said Saturday, via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “I feel bad for my people in Cuba. It’s an unfortunate incident, and I’m just hoping everything goes well.”

Diaz said from what he has heard from friends and relatives in Cuba the situation is bad.

“Unfortunately, it’s not a good sight,” he said. “You know, there’s people dying. There’s adults, there’s kids dying out there. It’s very unfortunate. I’m hoping things will get better soon.”

By speaking out and making a visible statement on his cap he hopes to draw more attention to the issue.

“I’m Cuban,” he said. “I was born in Cuba. I’m always going to support it. I love the country. Everyone’s there to support me and I’m going to support everyone that’s there as well.”

Several of the Cuban players at the All-Star Game, including Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman and Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia, had messages on their caps.

Diaz said he hadn’t spoken directly with them, but knows that other players who left Cuba to come to the majors feel the same way.

“We all support each other,” he said. “Everyone in Cuba, I’m going to support. I’m here for them, anything they need. I love my country.”

Randy Arozarena, the Rays’ other Cuban player, declined to address the situation.

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Originally found on Read More