Thursday, May 17, 2012

Global 2012: Robert Downey Jr. 'Avengers' Pay Set to Hit $50 Million

Actor Robert Downey, Jr. at the 83rd Academy A...Actor Robert Downey, Jr. at the 83rd Academy Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Marvel’s The Avengers is a global box-office sensation, but among studio executives, it’s being hailed as much as a triumph of smart dealmaking. After all, the famously frugal Marvel managed to corral six hot stars into one film without breaking the bank. But Robert Downey Jr., 47, seems to be the lone exception to Marvel’s strict cost controls.

According to multiple knowledgeable sources, Iron Man/Tony Stark is set for a highflying payday of about $50 million once box-office bonuses and backend compensation are factored in. (Two sources claim the number could go higher than $50 million once the ultimate box-office haul of Avengers is known, but another cautions that it could be years before the final number is known.) While on par with the upper echelon of franchise movie stars, that number blows away his superhero co-stars, all of whom will make a small fraction of Downey’s total, even as Avengers has a shot at topping the final Harry Potter film’s $1.32 billion global haul.

Why the difference? When Marvel’s Iron Man grossed a surprising $585 million worldwide in 2008, Downey’s reps at CAA and the Hansen Jacobson law firm renegotiated a deal to include what multiple sources say is a slice of Marvel’s revenue from future movies in which he plays Iron Man (one source puts it in the 5 percent to 7 percent range; another source disputes the percentage. Marvel and Downey’s reps declined comment).

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Global 2012: Kanye West to Join 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Kim Kardashian and ...LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West watch the video board from their courtside seats as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)Looks like "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" will have a new cast member: Kanye West. But don't expect Khloé and Lamar-style action.

Kim K. confirmed to E! Online that her new beau, rapper Kanye West, will appear on several episodes of the reality series, saying: "I want to show my life,” adding, "If we are having dinner and he does show up, I'm sure we're not going to go, 'Stop the cameras!'"

But she added, "I'm not going to be taking a bubble bath and drinking champagne or on a sex swing [on camera] like Khloé and Lamar do," Kardashian told E! News, adding, "It's not going to be like that."

The lovebirds haven’t exactly been hiding their relationship: The two were recently spotted courtside at a Los Angeles Lakers game, but seemed to have eyes only for each other.

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Global 2012: Manny Pacquiao Banned From Hollywood Mall

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 21:  Manny Pacqui...BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 21: Manny Pacquiao attends a press conference announcing his upcoming World Boxing Organization welterweight championship fight against Timothy Bradley at The Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Manny Pacquiao won't be shopping with the stars ever again, as the homophobic boxing superstar has been banned from Hollywood's ultimate entertainment destination.

Training in Los Angeles for his upcoming fight against Timothy Bradley, Pacquiao was scheduled to sit down for an interview Wednesday with "Extra" host Mario Lopez at the Grove, LA's legendary shopping mall where celebrities and tourists mingle in overpriced shops, restaurants and movie theaters. But that interview won't take place now, at least not at the outdoor mall.

LA Weekly's Simone Wilson reports Pacquiao has been outlawed by the commercial center for his over-the-top anti-gay statements this week. While quoting Bible verses, the boxing star didn't just say he was against the homosexual lifestyle, Pacquiao stunningly divulged gay men should be "put to death" for their sexual crimes.

Management at the Grove quickly issued a statement explaining why the boxer has been officially forbidden from entering the star-studded shopping mecca.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Global 2012: M-1 champion Vinny Magalhaes put championship belt on eBay

Image representing eBay as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase
If you want an MMA championship belt -- a valid one not sold at local toys stores -- you can either train for years and win it, or be the highest bidder on the M-1 belt that Vinny Magalhaes is selling on eBay.

UFC veteran Magalhaes won the M-1 light heavyweight belt last April and defended it in October, but then found himself in a long, public squabble with M-1 management. He and M-1 director of operations Evgeni Kogan have exchanged nasty insults over Twitter after Magalhaes was not happy with the fights the Russian-based promotion was making, and Kogan supposedly coached one of Magalhaes' opponents from ringside, a huge no-no for a promoter who should be unbiased.

Since Magalhaes said he is through his contract and wants to move on from the promotion, he has no reason to hold on to the belt. He put it on eBay, starting bids at $0.09. At the time of writing, it's up to $2,605.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Global 2012: ‘Angry Birds’ team reveals next project

Angry BirdsAngry Birds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After flinging ticked off toucans at egg-stealing pigs for the past three years, the developers at Rovio are ready to spread their wings and fly away from the nest.

The creator of the massively successful Angry Birds franchise has a new game on the way, with nary a bird in sight.

Amazing Alex is in the works right now, a game centered on a young boy (go on…guess his name) who loves to build things. It's expected to hit the App store in the next two months.

"The quality pressure is high," Rovio head Mikael Hed told Finnish television. "We want to maintain the high standard Angry Birds fans have come to enjoy."

The game's based on "Casey's Contraptions," a property Rovio confirmed it had acquired earlier this week. Whether it will have the same sort of Rube Goldberg-esque puzzles is still a mystery, though. You can catch Casey's Contraptions at work here.

"The gameplay is a perfect fit in our arsenal with its approachable, fun and highly addictive take on the physics puzzler genre," said Ville Heijari, Rovio's VP of franchise development. "We are currently reworking the title to enhance it, and getting ready to re-introduce it in a true 'expect the unexpected' Rovio style launch to an even larger audience."

Hed also hinted the game will include some educational elements, though he didn't elaborate on those.

The departure from Angry Birds is a risk of sorts for the company. That franchise has been downloaded over 1 billion times since its release and has become a true pop-culture phenomenon. Last year, it helped Rovio post more than $67 million in profits on revenue of $106 million.

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Global 2012: Pacquiao has concerns about Bradley's fighting style

Manny Pacquiao, right before the Erik Morales ...Manny Pacquiao, right before the Erik Morales fight. (original text) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(In conjunction with HBO Sports, Yahoo! Sports will be featuring special Q&A entries from Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. as they train for their showdown on June 9. This is part 1 of 4 from Pacquiao.)

What are Bradley’s strengths in this matchup, what are your advantages, and do you have any concerns about his physical style and the frequency of head clashes in his fights?

Timothy Bradley brings a lot of weapons to a fight. He has youth, an aggressive style and a state of mind that only a world champion possesses. No matter how much talent a fighter has, his game is raised by being a world champion. Tim has always found a way to win. He has great determination and can adapt and change his game plan in mid fight.

Bradley seems to be improving with every fight. His victories over Lamont Peterson and Devon Alexander, who were undefeated when he fought them, were very impressive. He knows how to impose his will on his opponents. He turns fights into wars.

Manny Pacquiao has plenty of distractions before his fight with Timothy Bradley. (Getty)

I have speed and power to counter Bradley. My experience against Hall of Fame caliber opposition is also an advantage for me. I have learned so much from fighting legends such as Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez. I also have the best teacher in my trainer Freddie Roach.

I do have concerns about Bradley's fighting style. Anytime a southpaw fights an orthodox-style boxer headbutts are bound to happen, but with Bradley it's more of a concern because he tends to lead with his head. Hopefully we will have a good referee who will not let him do that. Regardless, it's my job to be prepared for anything he may bring.;_ylt=AoarG_rP9qkn_bUN_8zN.ww5nYcB

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Global 2012: Five things to know about ‘Diablo III’

Diablo IIDiablo II (Photo credit: Dekuwa)
Releasing for the PC and Mac on May 15, Diablo III is just around the corner. Passionate fans have been waiting years for this -- it's been over a decade since Diablo II first stormed shelves -- and with midnight sale launch events occurring all over the country on Monday, there are going to be millions of red-eyed gamers dragging themselves to work Tuesday morning. Those who don't phone in sick, that is.

But why the fervor? What makes this particular action/role-playing romp such a big deal? Here are five reasons:

1. Diablo helped pioneer Internet gaming.
2. You'll never have to play alone.
3. New auction house could be lucrative for players.
4. It's bringing the gaming world together.
5. Deckard Cain returns!

Cain's positive impact on fans was clear, given Blizzard released a medieval-themed Deckard Cain rap as a promotional Easter Egg for Diablo II starring the original actor. More recently, Blizzard's April Fool's Day contribution in 2010 was marketing a GPS voice pack with "carefully considered directions from everyone's favorite antediluvian archivist."

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Global 2012: Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto fight sells 1.5 million on PPV, sixth-highest ever

Poster publicizing the June 28, 1997, Holyfiel...Poster publicizing the June 28, 1997, Holyfield–Tyson II fight, dubbed The Sound and The Fury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The huge pay-per-view numbers that Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer was anticipating for the Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto fight came in on Friday. HBO announced that the May 5 bout at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, which Mayweather won by unanimous decision, sold 1.5 million pay-per-view units and generated $94 million in pay-per-view revenue.

That makes it the second-biggest non-heavyweight fight of all-time, behind only the 2007 match between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya, which did 2.5 million. It is also the sixth largest boxing pay-per-view ever.

The Mayweather-De La Hoya bout sold 2.5 million pay-per-view units and generated $137 million in revenue, according to HBO.

The top pay-per-view bouts ever, according to research by Yahoo! Sports:

1. Floyd Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya, May 5, 2007, Las Vegas, 2.5 million
2. Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis, June 8, 2002, Memphis, Tenn. 1.98 million
3. Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield II, June 28, 1997, Las Vegas, 1.98 million
4. Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield I, Nov. 9, 1996, Las Vegas, 1.59 million
5. Mike Tyson-Peter McNeeley, Aug. 19, 1995, Las Vegas, 1.55 million
6. Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto, May 5, 2012, Las Vegas, 1.5 million

The $94 million generated by Mayweather-Cotto is fourth all-time. It trails Mayweather-De La Hoya ($137 million); Tyson-Holyfield II ($110.8 million); and Tyson-Holyfield I ($100 million).;_ylt=AuNFQ7BnDQ78K1MLw6owb12UxLYF

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Global 2012: Mayweather impressive, still shuns Pacquiao

Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao at the Traffor...Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao at the Trafford Centre. From left to right: Floyd Mayweather, Sr., Hatton, Pacquiao and Freddie Roach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. was getting ready to make his ring walk about the time Manny Pacquiao arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Philippine Airlines Flight 102. He'll be occupying a cell at the Clark County Detention Center by the time Pacquiao makes his way to this gambling city for his June 9 fight with Timothy Bradley.

The two are seemingly destined never to be in the same spot at the same time. Certainly not in the ring, something Mayweather made clear Saturday night after taking on Miguel Cotto in a bruising fight that, if not his best, was certainly among his most exciting.

''The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is not going to happen,'' Mayweather said. ''It's not my fault.''

More on that later, though Mayweather could be called out for using some convoluted logic about why the fight won't happen. Suffice it to say he believes he's in the driver's seat for any mega-fight, and is both suspicious of Pacquiao and unwilling to take equal money for the bout.

After making a minimum $32 million in an impressive performance Saturday night against Cotto, Mayweather could be excused for dismissing what would be the richest fight in boxing history. But, with jail time coming up for a domestic abuse charge, there will be plenty of time for reflection about his future

''I don't know where we're going to go from here because we basically have fought everybody in this sport,'' Mayweather said. ''I don't have to fight if I don't want to.''

Indeed, Mayweather hinted of retirement following his tough battle with Cotto, which ended with Mayweather claiming a piece of the 154-pound title with a unanimous decision. But there's huge money still to be made, and he's a fighter who burns through cash with a Money Team entourage that seems to grow with each fight.

Unlike most of his fights, though, Mayweather looked like he had been in a fight after beating Cotto. He had welts under his both eyes and he spoke deliberately, like a fighter who was exhausted by the effort needed to capture the 43rd win of his unblemished career.

He could have danced about and beaten Cotto without taking the most punishment of his career, Mayweather insisted. But he wanted to give fans a good show, and make them happy they spent $69.95 on pay-per-view to see him fight.

Having Justin Bieber and 50 Cent accompany him into the ring was entertaining, sure. But the action in the ring was even better.

''Things happened tonight and we both had to fight. But the main thing is that we got the victory,'' Mayweather said. ''The fans were happy. It's about impressing fans and giving them what they want to see.''

The fans did enjoy it, though it was a strange strategy for the normally defensively oriented Mayweather, who said a few days before the fight that he wasn't going to get into any brawls in the ring because he was worried about his future health. Both fighters paid a price for this brawl, with Cotto going to a local hospital for examination instead of attending the post-fight press conference.

They traded punches for 12 rounds without taking a second off, and the sellout crowd at the MGM Grand arena stood and cheered most of the way. Mayweather was the sharper and cleaner puncher, but Cotto had his moments, too, landing some big shots to Mayweather's head and body.

Though Mayweather ended up winning easily on all three ringside scorecards, the fight was in doubt in the middle rounds and he never really dominated until he caught Cotto with an uppercut that buckled his knees in the final round.

''You're a hell of a champion,'' Mayweather told Cotto in the ring afterward. ''You're the toughest guy I ever fought.''

Most in boxing figure Pacquiao would be even tougher for Mayweather, which might be the reason he seems to want no part of him. Mayweather said before the fight he believes Pacquiao used steroids to bulk up and it would be dangerous to fight him, though he has offered no proof of his claims and is being sued by Pacquiao for defamation.

Afterward, Mayweather said the fight wouldn't be happening because Pacquiao is tied to promoter Bob Arum and he doesn't want to deal with Arum. He said he offered Pacquiao $40 million to fight - with $20 million wired to him within 24 hours of accepting - and was turned down. The fight could easily make each man much more than that, but Mayweather believes he is the true attraction and won't agree to split the proceeds 50-50 with Pacquiao.

Mayweather's more immediate future is a bigger worry for him than a Pacquiao fight. He's going to be spending much of the summer in a jail cell for his no contest plea to domestic abuse stemming from a fight with the mother of his children. It will be the first long jail stretch for Mayweather, who has a history of such charges over the years.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Global 2012: Mayweather wins unanimous decision over Cotto

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at the DeWalt event on J...Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at the DeWalt event on June 29, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally found himself in a real fight, complete with a bloody nose and an opponent in Miguel Cotto who was never going to quit.

As usual, he found a way to win.

Mayweather used his speed and accuracy Saturday night to take a unanimous decision over a game Cotto in a bruising bout to win a piece of the 154-pound title. But it wasn't easy, as Cotto landed some hard punches and kept attacking all the way to the final bell.

''You're a hell of a champion,'' Mayweather told Cotto in the ring afterward. ''You're the toughest guy I ever fought.''

Mayweather dominated late, rocking Cotto in the 12th round to pull out a win and remain unbeaten in 43 fights. Unlike most of his fights, though, Mayweather got his nose bloodied and engaged in some bruising exchanges he usually likes to avoid.

Two judges scored the fight 117-111 and the third had it 118-110. The Associated Press had Mayweather winning 116-112.

Fighting just a few weeks before he enters a county jail to serve a three-month sentence for domestic abuse, Mayweather found himself in a tough fight against a game opponent who never stopped moving forward. But he was faster and more accurate than Cotto and seemed to wear him down in the final rounds.

In the last round, Mayweather landed his best punch of the night, a left uppercut that seemed to hurt Cotto. He followed that with several flurries to the head to wrap up a decision that until the later rounds had been in doubt.

The decision was roundly booed by the crowd at the MGM Grand arena, which cheered wildly every time Cotto landed a punch.

''He's a tough competitor,'' Mayweather said. ''He came to fight, he didn't just come to survive. I dug down and fought him back.''

Cotto was never down, though he seemed hurt several times during the fight, particularly in the 12th round.

''The judges said I lost the fight, I can't do anything else,'' Cotto said. ''I'm happy with my fight and performance and so is my family. I can't ask for anything else.''

Mayweather, who was guaranteed $32 million, was forced to fight every minute of all 12 rounds against the Puerto Rican champion. He did it after weighing in at 151 pounds, the heaviest he has ever been for a fight.

The weight didn't seem to affect Mayweather, and neither did the heavier 10-ounce gloves at super welterweight. But he took some punishment, including a bloody nose during the middle rounds, before coming back to dish some out in the later rounds.

''When you fight on pay-per-view you have to give the fans what they want, and that's excitement,'' Mayweather said.

Mayweather entered the ring unbeaten in his 16-year pro career, and a 6-1 favorite to stay that way. The fighter who has become the biggest pay-per-view attraction in the sport padded his already thick wallet with the fight, but he was forced to earn every penny of it.

The win gave Mayweather the 154-pound title held by Cotto, and assured him of still being a champion when he reports to jail June 1 for a sentence stemming from a domestic abuse case involving his former girlfriend and their children.;_ylt=AlYjNAlmrjsHz3v.ooYzW.qUxLYF

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Global 2012: Supermodel Kate Upton To Be In 2012 Topps Baseball Card Set

1964's first swimsuit issue cover featuring Ba...1964's first swimsuit issue cover featuring Babette March. Sales jumped to unprecedented levels with the issue Tom Pendergast, Sara Pendergast, St. James encyclopedia of popular culture, page 488, St. James Press, 2000, ISBN 155862404X (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Once upon a time, collecting baseball cards was a staple of American culture, but the era of technology has forced the industry to find creative ways to keep itself afloat.

About one month ago, Topps introduced an iPhone app, which allows users to virtually collect and trade cards. If that was tough for card-collecting conservatives to digest, they may have an even more difficult time hearing about Topps' next move:

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model Kate Upton is about to get her own baseball card.

That's right. According to USA Today, when the 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter World Champions Set hits drug store counters, batting cage shops and well, iPhone apps, on July 11, collectors will find Upton's name on the same checklists as Albert Pujols, Justin Verlander and the rest of baseball's stars.

The set is modeled after the original cards provided by the Allen & Ginter tobacco manufacturing firm in the late 1800s. The cards featured paintings of the players and were placed in cigarette packs. The set is known for featuring non-athletes, along with baseball players.

Upton's portrait displays her in a red dress she wore at the SI Swimsuit Issue launch party. According to ESPN, a limited number of cards signed by the model will be packaged in the set.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Global 2012: Woman who lost Ark. lotto ticket entitled to $1M

Louisiana State Lottery ticket from 1888. Fron...Louisiana State Lottery ticket from 1888. Front and back of "Tenth Class" ticket (eg, 1/10th of a dollar or 10 cents) for the drawing of May 8, 1889. Engraving on back of ticket includes signature of P.G.T. Beauregard. Stamp on back indicates it was sold by an agent in Boston. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)An Arkansas woman who cashed a $1 million lottery ticket may have to give up the winnings to a woman who threw away the ticket after she bought it, according to a judge's ruling Tuesday.

The judge decided that Sharon Duncan was entitled to the prize money, not Sharon Jones, who claimed the prize money after she took the ticket from a trash can of discarded lottery tickets at a convenience store in Beebe, a city about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock.

Jones' attorney, James Simpson, said he plans to appeal. Jones had testified that she already spent some of the money on a new truck and cash gifts to her children.

Simpson noted that Duncan testified she threw away the ticket after the read-out on a ticket scanner said, "Sorry. Not a winner." The attorney argued that people shouldn't be allowed to throw items away and then say, "'ooh, I want to un-abandon it.'"

"We'd have garage-sale law all over the place," he said. "It became trash when someone threw it away."

White County judge Thomas Hughes, however, said Jones never met the burden of proof that Duncan abandoned her right to claim $1 million.

"The $1 million was never found money," Hughes said.

Earlier Tuesday, Jones testified that she gathered a handful of discarded tickets from the trash can — as she had done many times before — and said there was no sign alerting customers not to take tickets.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Global 2012: 8 cool things you can do with your game console

The Xbox 360 Arcade with wireless controller. ...The Xbox 360 Arcade with wireless controller. This is a Jasper chipset, with onboard memory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You obviously bought your game console to play games, but these days, you can do more with an Xbox 360 or PS3 than rampage through Modern Warfare 3 maps. A lot more.

Thanks to a number of awesome updates, both the 360 and PS3 are now viable all-in-one entertainment hubs, offering a wealth of features and services that make conventional cable boxes and media players seem ridiculously one-dimensional. Here are a handful of non-gaming uses for your game console:

Watch TV shows and films
Be a sports nut
Run your home's media
Network socially
Fight disease
Use it as a stereo
Video chat

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