Avengers: Endgame beats Avatar and becomes the highest-grossing film of all time

Marvel can rest now.

Avengers: Endgame this weekend is set to officially pass Avatar at the worldwide box office and become the highest-grossing film in history, Disney has announced. The Marvel superhero event was just $500,000 short of topping James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi film on Friday, prompting Disney to officially call it for the Avengers, as that amount will come in this weekend, reports The Hollywood Reporter. This is the first time the highest-grossing film worldwide unadjusted for inflation has been a movie not directed by James Cameron since before 1998’s Titanic.

The milestone for Endgame, the culmination of more than a decade of Marvel Studios’ storytelling, comes nearly three months after it landed in theaters with a mind-blowing domestic opening weekend of $357 million, beating the previous biggest U.S. opening by $100 million. For some time after, box office prognosticators were skeptical that Endgame could leap past Avatar, but a re-release prior to Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home helped provide a boost, and Disney also “found additional money when reconciling the movie’s final global earnings,” the Reporter notes.

The timing of this announcement couldn’t have been better, either, as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was able to inform fans about the studio’s achievement at the start of its Saturday night San Diego Comic-Con panel, during which Marvel went on to preview its next several years of post-Endgame movies and TV shows, announcing a fourth Thor movie featuring Natalie Portman as a female Thor, a new Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali, and much more.

Given Endgame’s unprecedented level of anticipation, it’s difficult to imagine another film on the horizon that might outgross it, with one exception: Avatar itself. Several sequels are coming, and it’s possible Disney will re-release the original Avatar prior to its follow-up, …read more

Source:: The Week – Business


California preschool teachers are asking why ‘cashiers at McDonalds’ get better pay

Preschool teacher Lorena Gomez’s workday begins at 6:30 a.m. when she welcomes a dozen 3-year-olds into her classroom. Every day, Gomez spends nine hours standing, sitting and crouching at the height of a toddler, passing out snacks, overseeing playtimes and teaching tiny Californians their numbers, shapes, colors, letters, and social niceties. She marvels, she says, at how quickly they grow — that is, when she has time.

Her second and third jobs, as a rideshare driver and nanny, start as soon as class is dismissed at 3:30, and she works far into the evening to augment the $14 an hour she makes in early childhood education. Her chosen career, she says, just doesn’t pay enough for her to live in an increasingly costly Sacramento housing market.

Gomez is not alone: Across California, early childhood educators are paid so poorly that more than half of the workforce — mostly women of color — rely on public assistance.

“There’s people who are cashiers at McDonald’s that make more than (preschool) teachers,” Gomez said. “We’re completely underpaid, by far.”

This year, legislators and early childhood advocates cheered a budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that included the most significant investments in recent history toward early childhood education programs. The $1.8 billion is expected to give tens of thousands more kids access to subsidized child care and preschool, and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into educator training and new childcare facilities.

But left out of the budget picture was the issue of pay for early childhood educators, whose chronically low compensation has long troubled early childhood providers, advocates and experts. It’s an expensive ask—on top of an ambitious agenda with a price tag already estimated in the tens of billions of dollars—but one that could be critical, according to experts.

“If we don’t raise teacher salaries, all this training …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Famed architect Cesar Pelli dies at 92

By JENNIFER PELTZ and SUSAN HAIGH | The Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Architect César Pelli, renowned for designing some of the world’s tallest buildings, has died, his firm said. He was 92.

Pelli, an Argentine-American whose work ranged from skyscrapers in Malaysia and New York to an arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, died Friday at his home in New Haven, Connecticut, said Anibal Bellomio, a senior associate architect at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.

Pelli’s cause of death wasn’t specified.

After growing up in Depression-era Argentina, Pelli rose to the literal heights of the architectural world. At 1,483 feet (452 meters) tall, his Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are among the tallest buildings on the planet.

News of his death prompted tributes from people including Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who tweeted that “the works he leaves throughout the world as a legacy are a pride for Argentines.”

Matt Fleury, president of the Pelli-designed Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, lauded the architect Saturday for creating “exactly the expressive, beautiful and functional structure required.”

Pelli, a former dean of the Yale School of Architecture, saw his field as “an eminently social art,” as he told a magazine interviewer in 2012.

“It has a deep responsibility in everything that has to do with human beings, their history, their geography and their feelings,” he told Americas, a magazine then published by the Organization of American States.

Besides the Petronas Towers, Pelli’s buildings include Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, Los Angeles’ colorful Pacific Design Center and Brookfield Place, a downtown Manhattan skyscraper complex that includes the headquarters of The Associated Press. The complex, formerly called the World Financial Center, is across the street from the World Trade Center.

Other Pelli projects are as varied as the three-tower Shanghai International Finance Centre, the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, a chapel at Xavier University …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Redwood City mulls putting the clamps on second-story granny units

In the grip of a Bay Area-wide housing crisis, Redwood City officials are trying to walk the line between some residents who want to build second-story granny units and others worried about losing their privacy and neighborhood character.

Unlike cities that ban such second-story units altogether, Redwood City is among those that have allowed them but is now considering restrictions in response to growing complaints.

The second guessing isn’t sitting well with housing advocates and other members of the community who see granny units — formally called accessory dwelling units (ADUs) — as a less-expensive and easier way to build housing. They say any restrictions that discourage construction of units are irresponsible given the region’s dire shortage of housing.

On Monday night, the City Council is scheduled to vote on measures that would limit the size and height of second-story accessory dwelling units while providing incentives for construction of single-story units.

The city updated its accessory dwelling unit ordinance twice in recent years — once in 2015 and again in 2017 — to entice residents to build more granny units to boost the housing stock.

And, it worked.

More accessory dwelling units were built in 2017 than during the prior four years combined. Over the past two and a half years alone, more than 120 units have been built, including about 20 above garages.

But that has triggered has triggered objections — much of it directed against units built above garages — by residents in older neighborhoods with single-story homes. They have requested a ban on all second-story ADUs above garages.

Many cities between San Francisco and San Jose have prohibited second-story ADUs, including Burlingame, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Santa Clara and Daly City. Redwood City staff, however, has deemed an outright ban in conflict with California’s statewide ADU regulations.

In Redwood City, detached single-story ADUs are limited to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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