NEW YORK (AP) - They say it's not over till the fat lady sings - and that means Fat Amy isn't ready to put down her microphone.
The movie "Pitch Perfect," which was released in September and grossed $65 million domestically, is also a success on the music charts, where the film's soundtrack has peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and has sold more than 713,961 units so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The film stars Rebel Wilson (Fat Amy) and Anna Kendrick (Beca) as members of the all-girl a cappella group, The Barden Bellas, who are battling other a cappella groups in a national competition.
Kendrick's rendition of the folk-pop tune "Cups" is helping push the soundtrack to musical heights: The song has sold one million tracks and currently sits at No. 27 on the Hot 100 chart.
"It's totally surprising," the perky, red-haired 27-year-old said. "I always figured soundtrack sales would be a part of a movie that has so much music in it ... but I had no idea we'd be into summer of the next year and people would still be talking about the album (and) buying the album."
The gold-selling "Pitch Perfect: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" was released the week the film hit theaters. Kendrick, an Oscar-nominated actress, was in New York last week to receive a platinum plaque for "Cups," which is also a viral hit thanks to the cup routine she performed in the film, in the song's music video - which has 17 million views - and others imitating it in their own videos and posts online.
"We were like, 'OK, it's a cute song. Let's ask our audience what they think about it.' And it was enormous. It was enormous," said Sharon Dastur, program director for New York City's top station, Z100 (100.3 FM), where the song is on rotation.
"Cups" was originally just 76 seconds long, but Kendrick re-recorded a version that is just over 2 minutes and it appears on a second soundtrack from the film dubbed "More from Pitch Perfect," which was released last week.
"It wasn't already planned," said Mike Knobloch, the president of film music and publishing at Universal Pictures, of the new album. "There were just some things we couldn't get cleared or include more for business reasons initially. Once we saw there was such a demand for it, we were able to go back and release more music from the film."
The albums feature mash-ups and covers of songs like Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," Rihanna's "S&M" and La Roux's "Bulletproof." The success of the soundtrack comes at a time when album sales are low and for soundtracks, gold and platinum plaques are rare.
"Universal was looking for partners and there were other companies that looked at this movie and passed on the soundtrack opportunity," said Bruce Resnikoff, the president and CEO of Universal Music Enterprises, the label that released the soundtrack. "We were fortunate enough to have people who saw it and believed it."
Resnikoff said the reason for the soundtrack's winning moment is because its audience includes teenagers who are constantly listening, streaming and buying music online.
"This was an album that was completely launched through a digital medium," he said. "I do think some of the same things that have hurt the soundtrack business - the digital marketplace - were essential in creating the bigger opportunities here."
Harvey Mason Jr., the Grammy-winning producer and songwriter behind hits for Chris Brown and Beyonce, said music fans enjoy new renditions of popular songs, which is evident in the success of tunes from shows like "Glee," ''American Idol" and "The Voice."
"My daughter, she's 15 and she liked it. So I said, 'Yup, that's a good sign,'" said Mason Jr., who co-produced the soundtrack.
Kendrick, who earned a Tony nomination for her debut on Broadway at age 12 in "High Society," said she's enjoying her success on the music charts, but that she isn't jet-setting to create an album and launch a career as a pop star.
"I really don't see that happening. ...This has been so amazing and such an accident that I think now there would be a real expectation for it to do well and I'm perfectly fine with being one for one and just calling it a day," she said.
Kendrick's film credits include "Up In the Air," for which she received an Academy Award nomination, "50/50" and the "Twilight" franchise. She said she's currently filming a musical and will also appear in the 2015 sequel to "Pitch Perfect." In the meantime, she's waiting to hear her version of "Cups" on the radio.
"I've been in Berlin so I still haven't heard it on the radio, so I haven't had that moment of like being in my car, like in all of those movies about musicians the first time that you hear it in the car," she said. "But then I think, like, my band would break up and we'd all do drugs and yell at each other and sleep with each other's wives, so maybe I don't need that moment because that is a foreshadowing moment that I think would end in tragedy."
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mumford & Sons bassist Ted Dwane has a blood clot on his brain that will require surgery.
The Grammy Award-winning folk-rock group postponed concerts Tuesday in Dallas, Wednesday in The Woodlands in Texas and Thursday in New Orleans. A statement on its website said there are no plans to postpone or cancel any other appearances on the current tour. Mumford & Sons has a headlining gig Saturday at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn.
The statement says Dwane hasn't felt well for a few days and went to the hospital Monday for emergency treatment. Scans revealed the blood clot on the surface of his brain, requiring surgery. The band is being assured that he will recover quickly.
The weather may not be ideal today -- but you know the first time it hits 75 degrees again (hint: this weekend), you're going to pack up the sunscreen and head to the beach. But Seattle's most popular waterfront spots can get so crowded (have you tried parking at Golden Gardens on a Saturday?), you might be looking for a new place to lay down your towel. Don't sweat it; we've scoped out a few lesser-known beaches for your sunning, swimming pleasure.
These neighborhood treasures are spread across the city and have plenty of space for everybody, so it's not like we're blowing up some secret spots. We just wanted you to know that when it comes to beaches, you've got options. Because really, in a city that's surrounded by water, there's no reason to circle for parking when you want to hit the shore.
Do you take this Twelfth Man to be your lawfully-wedded husband? One area couple showed their devotion to the pride and joy of Seattle with a Seahawks-themed wedding!
The Seahawks' official blog reports that Ryan and Janna Willmaser, who were married last weekend in Auburn, had a traditional ceremony -- but made sure to mention the team in their vows. The two share a love (or, as Ryan calls it, an "obsession") with the teams. The groomsmen wore custom-made Hawks jerseys outside of the ceremony.
When he's not whale-watching, riding on trains, or hosting the Kent & Alan show, Alan likes to spend time in his garden. He does not, however, like inhaling large amounts of potentially-harmful chemicals. So he's tried out more than a few at-home, pesticide-free remedies for lawn care and pest control -- some of which even actually work!
Made with everyday materials and ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, these old-school treatments, inspired MSN but compiled with input from STAR's various greenthumbs, can help control pests like aphids and ants, as well as unwanted growth, like weeds in the lawn.
It has been a black eye to Hollywood that throughout this, the unending and increasingly repetitive age of the superhero blockbuster, the comics' most iconic son has eluded its grasp like a bird or, if you will, a plane.
New hopes of box-office riches and franchise serials rests on Zac Snyder's 3-D "Man of Steel," the latest attempt to put Superman back into flight. But Snyder's joyless film, laden as if composed of the stuff of its hero's metallic nickname, has nothing soaring about it.
Flying men in capes is grave business in Snyder's solemn Superman. "Man of Steel," an origin tale of the DC Comics hero, goes more than two hours before the slightest joke or smirk.
This is not your Superman of red tights, phone booth changes, or fortresses of solitude, but one of Christ imagery, Krypton politics and spaceships. Who would want to have fun at the movies, anyway, when you could instead be taught a lesson about identity from a guy who can shoot laser beams out of his eyes?
"Man of Steel" opens with the pains of childbirth, as Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer) and husband Jor-El (Russell Crowe) see the birth of Kal-El, the first naturally born child in years on Krypton. The planet — a giant bronze ball of pewter, as far as I can tell — is in apocalyptic tumult (the disaster film has gone intergalactic), and General Zod (Michael Shannon) attempts to take over power, fighting in bulky costumes with Jor-El.
His coup is thwarted (though not before killing Jor-El, who continues on in the film in an Obi-Won-like presence), and he and his followers are locked away, frozen until Krypton's implosion frees them. Baby Kal-El has been rocketed away with Krypton's precious Codex, an energy-radiating skull.
Kal-El rockets to Earth, setting up not a Midwest reprieve to the lengthy Krypton fallout, but a flash-forward to more explosions. Our next glimpse of Kal-El is as a young adult Clark Kent (the beefy Brit Henry Cavill) aboard a fishing vessel on stormy seas, where he — shirtless and aflame — saves the crew of a burning oil rig.
At this point, your Codex may be spinning. Working from a script by "Blade" scribe David S. Goyer and a story by Goyer and "Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan, Snyder has clearly sought to avoid some of the expected plot lines and rhythms of the familiar Superman tale. There's a constant urge to push the story to greater scale — a desperate propulsion that will surely excite some fans but tire others.
The film hops back and forth from Clark's grown-up life and his Smallville, Kansas, upbringing with Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane). Costner, back among the corn stalks, makes the strongest impression of the cast as a severe father urging Kent to hide his gifts.
We're meanwhile introduced to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lois Lane (Amy Adams), fresh off a stint embedded with the military for the Daily Planet. Adams, as she usually does, helps animate the film, as she plunges into a bulldog investigating of Clark and spars with her editor (Laurence Fishburne).
Snyder brings to the film a sure hand for overly dramatic compositions that take after comic strip panels. He has a clearly sincere reverence for the source material (originally created in 1938 by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster). He's a filmmaker who, even with his last film, the abysmal "Sucker Punch," seems to precisely make the movie he intended.
Eager fans will likely thrall to the film's many overlong action set pieces, as Superman battles with Zod and his minions. There's little creativity to the fight sequences, though, which plow across countless building facades. Much of New York is, of course, laid to rubble, presumably a contractually obligated element at this point.
But Snyder doesn't have the material or the inclination to make "Man of Steel" as thought-provoking as Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy. Superman wrestles with his allegiance to humans or his home planet, but the quandaries of a super-powered man betwixt worlds doesn't have any real resonance. The gravity that cloaks "Man of Steel" is merely an en vogue costume.
While Snyder has succeeded in turning out a Superman that isn't silly (not a small feat) and will likely lay enough of a bedrock for further sequels, it's a missed opportunity — particularly with a bright cast of Shannon, Adams and Lane — for a more fun-loving spirit.
Cavill's performance is less memorable for his introspective brooding than for his six-pack (a fetish for Snyder, the director of "300"). He's handsome and capable, but one can't help missing Christopher Reeve's twinkle. At least he smiled.
The awkward acrobatics to modernize "Man of Steel" are most evident with its new explanation of Superman's shield. The "S," we are told, doesn't stand for Superman, but is a Krypton glyph meaning hope. But if "S'' doesn't stand for "Superman," ''Man of Steel" is the one with the identity issues — not to mention a spelling problem.
"Man of Steel," a Warner Bros. release, is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language. Running time: 144 minutes. Two stars out of four.
Motion Picture Association of America rating definition for PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle
The 2013 Seattle International Film Festival ended with a showing of Sofia Ford Coppola's "The Bling Ring," which stars Emma Watson, Israel Broussard and Katie Chang. The showing, which took place at the iconic Cinerama, included a question-and-answer segment with Broussard and Chang, and was followed with a closing gala at MOHAI in South Lake Union.
"The Bling Ring" will come to theaters beginning June 14, and will be shown at SIFF Cinema three times on June 21. For ticketing information, visit SIFF's website.
The 2013 Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show will took place June 7th-9th at the Tacoma Convention Center in Tacoma, WA. The show included 350 pinball and arcade games free to play with admission, guest speakers and personalities from the world of pinball and video games, from designers and manufacturers to world record high score holders.
NEW YORK (AP) — Kanye West closed the three-day Governors Ball on Randall Island with a set that featured his familiar hits as well as a batch of new, darker tracks from his upcoming album.
West kicked off his set Sunday night with the song "Black Skinhead," with flashing visuals in the background, including the words "not for sale." He later performed "New Slaves" and the dark vibe of his songs was matched by his stage lighting and style.
Both tracks will appear on "Yeezus," his sixth album, which comes out June 18.
The crowd responded nicely to some of those songs, but it was lukewarm compared with West's performances of his well-known hits. There was a loud roar from the thousands in the crowd — bunched up tightly and standing on the muddy ground — when the beat of "Mercy" dropped. He followed that with "Cold" and earned more cheers.
West's set also included "Stronger," ''Good Life," ''Jesus Walks" and "All Falls Down." The rapper — who turned 36 on Saturday — also sprinkled new tracks in between those jams.
Guns N' Roses headlined the Governors Ball on Saturday. Kings of Leon was to headline Friday but pushed their performance to Saturday because of the bad weather.
The Lumineers, the xx, Gary Clark Jr. and the Avett Brothers also performed Sunday.
Follow Mesfin Fekadu on Twitter: twitter.com/MusicMesfin
Maybe Kate Middleton's beauty just doesn't translate to canvas, but for whatever reason, the latest portrait of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, which features the baby she is due to have in July, is every bit as bad as that one that was revealed back in January. I mean, really. Look at this. Though, to be fair, it's by a political painter who frequently lampoons politicians and other public figures. So...it's kind of like a high-brow caricature?
Kaya Mar, who's known for his satirical paintings, has turned his attention to Kate and Wills, who are expecting their first child next month. And, well, this is the result.
Seattle International Film Festival wrapped up last night, but you can still see some of the best films with the festival's Best of SIFF week, which starts Wednesday.
From June 12 until June 20th, SIFF Cinema Uptown will screen the films that won awards and were highly voted by viewers during the previous month's film festival. Featuring 18 full-length films, including local hip-hop documentary "The Otherside," critically-acclaimed "Decoding Annie Parker," "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks," and many more, Best of SIFF is packed with some of the year's must-see independent films.
And if you can't make it this week, plenty of other SIFF films will be returning throughout the summers. Look for Sofia Ford Coppola's "The Bling Ring," which opens in theaters on June 14, Joss Whedon's "Much Ado About Nothing," which opened on June 7, and surprise hit "SOMM," which will be in theaters and available on iTunes beginning June 21.
For a full listing of SIFF's award winners and when they may be showing in the future, visit SIFF's website.
What happens when you improperly leave your campsite after kayaking in the forest? Woodland Park Zoo's Bear Affair showed how destructive two 750 pound grizzly bears can get with this simulated camp ground. The two bears got into backpacks, fishing lines, clothes and kayaks and more.