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Gaming, Entertainment, Hollywood and Celebrity News - 12th July 2012

Gaming, Entertainment, Hollywood and Celebrity News: Sydney casino, Spider-Man movie, movie ratings, The Wolverine, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, James Bond 007 in Skyfall, Highest paid actors includes "The Rock" and more...


'Amazing Spider-Man' Tops Box Office, Snares $140 Million Over Six Days...

After a record-setting opening day, "The Amazing Spider-Man" remained strong through the weekend, helping the Sony/Columbia production earn $140 million in less than a week in theaters. Oliver Stone's "Savages" also opened with a decent $16 million in revenue, though music documentary "Katy Perry: Part of Me" struggled to find an audience and racked up just $7 million. Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" also continued to hit with its target demographic, hauling in $32 million and pushing its 10-day total to an enormous $120 million in domestic revenue.

With a $230 million production budget and a very large built-in fan base, expectations were understandably high for "The Amazing Spider-Man." The Sony/Columbia reboot didn't take long to find its audience, racking up $35 million in revenue on Tuesday alone and putting up solid numbers throughout the rest of the week. "The Amazing Spider-Man" ended up with $65 million in weekend revenue, helping it to hit the lofty industry expectations.

Globally, "The Amazing Spider-Man" also got off to a good start by bringing in more than $200 million in revenue outside of the U.S. After already eclipsing $340 million worldwide, "The Amazing Spider-Man" will easily cruise past $500 million in worldwide revenue in the coming weeks, though it's still unclear whether it will be able to challenge the franchise-best $890 million that "Spider-Man 3" brought in. Without any major new competition until "The Dark Knight Rises" opens in a couple weeks, "Spider-Man" should remain a box office stalwart and continue to put up some big overall numbers throughout the rest of the month.

As mainstream action audiences came out in droves to see the new version of "Spider-Man," older audience members turned up for Oliver Stone's thriller "Savages." Backed by some decent critical reviews, "Savages" ended up with a decent $16 million in opening revenue - a strong total for a $45 million production. "Savages" also doesn't have to worry about too much new competition next weekend, opening the door for another decent revenue haul.

While "Spider-Man" and "Savages" mainly hit with their target demographics, "Katy Perry: Part of Me" wasn't quite as fortunate. "Katy Perry" managed just $7.15 million over the weekend and $10.25 million in its first four days following its Thursday release. Though these are unimpressive numbers for a release of more than 2,700 total venues, "Katy Perry" also comes with a slender production budget of just $12 million. "Katy Perry" won't end up as one of the most lucrative music documentaries released in recent years, but it should end up as an overall success for distributor Paramount.

Aiming at a much different demographic than "Katy Perry" this weekend was "Ted," which headed into its second weekend with plenty of buzz. After dominating the box office a week ago and posting $54 million, "Ted" dipped just 40% from its opening totals and finished the weekend with $32 million. Now with $120 million domestically in just 10 days in theaters, "Ted" is easily the top R-rated hit of the year and might even challenge $200 million in the U.S. if it can remain strong in the coming weekends.

Also continuing to hit with its intended audience was Pixar/Disney's "Brave." "Brave" earned $20 million in its third weekend in theaters, pushing it to a very solid $174 million in its first 17 days. Foreign numbers have been slow so far for "Brave," though that should also change as it gets released in its biggest overseas markets in the coming weekends. The only real problem for "Brave" is the impending release of "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which opens this weekend with an enormous built-in family audience.

Next weekend, the release schedule will slow down, as "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is the only new title slated to hit theaters in wide release. Though not as touted as some other animated franchises, "Ice Age" has been a great success for Fox, with enormous worldwide revenues despite production budgets roughly half the size of Pixar releases. The following weekend, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" brings a similar amount of hype as "The Avengers" and is a lock to dominate the box office well into August.

Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 7/6/12 - 7/8/12 (In Millions):

1. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony/Columbia): $65 [$70]

2. Ted (Universal): $32.59 [$32]

3. Brave (Disney): $20.16 [$18]

4. Savages (Universal): $16.16 [$13.5]

5. Magic Mike (Warner Brothers): $15.61 [$21]

6. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (Lionsgate): $10.20 [$11.5]

7. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $7.70 [$6.4]

8. Katy Perry: Part of Me (Paramount): $7.15 [$13]

9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $4.64 [$2.6]

10. To Rome with Love (Sony Classics): $3.50 [N/A]


Hugh Jackman Joined By Six Additions to Cast of The Wolverine...

If director James Mangold's (3:10 to Yuma) The Wolverine hadn't been beset by weather, script and scheduling problems — title star Hugh Jackman opted to star in the musical version of Les Miserables rather than wait for those issues to be sorted out — the movie would currently be in post-production, with potentially enough edited footage to offer at least a teaser at this week's San Diego Comic-Con. As it is, Mangold is spending his time in the casting room, rather than the editing room, as he tries to put together a cast to support Jackman. In the last several days, six actors have joined the cast of The Wolverine, which takes Logan (Jackman) far away from his X-Men teammates and his wilderness retreat in Canada to Japan, where he must fight against the Silver Samurai and the deadly Hand ninjas at his command.

Written by Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie), with rewrites by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), The Wolverine is based on the classic Marvel Comics limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, creator of Sin City and 300. The series stripped away Wolverine's superhero trappings and thrust him into a Japanese underworld brimming with feudal warriors and mystical ninjas. According to the list compiled by Empire from various sources, the cast will include: Hiroyuki Sanada (Speed Race) as Japanese crimelord Shingen Harada, leader of Clan Yashida; Tao Okamoto as Shingen's daughter and Wolverine's love interest, Mariko Yashida; Will Yun Lee (Total Recall remake) as Mariko's mutant half-brother, Kenuichio Harada, a.k.a. the Silver Samurai; Rila Fukushima as Yukio, an assassin who drugs Wolverine before his duel with Shingen; Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) as Yashida; and Brian Tee (Wedding Palace) as Noboru Mori, a corrupt minister of justice betrothed to Mariko.

The Wolverine is set to begin shooting next month. It will primarily be filmed in Jackman's native Australia, but will also shoot on location in Japan.

Next Showing:The Wolverine is slated to open July 26, 2013 (Reelz)


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson In Highest Paid Actors List...

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was listed at #4 on the Forbes annual list of the highest paid actors in the world over the past year. Johnson was reported as earning $36 million this past year, behind only Tom Cruise ($75 million), Leonardo DiCaprio ($37 million) and Adam Sandler ($37 million).


'Amazing Spider-Man' finishes weekend with $62M...

LOS ANGELES (AP) "The Amazing Spider-Man" had a slightly slower start at the box office than initially estimated, taking in $62 million domestically over opening weekend.

The final numbers Monday came in $3 million lower than the $65 million that distributor Sony had projected a day earlier, but it still was a healthy start for the new take on the Marvel Comics superhero.

Since opening last Tuesday, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has taken in $137 million domestically. Its worldwide total is about $340 million since it began rolling out overseas the previous week.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are:

1. "The Amazing Spider Man," Sony, $62,004,688, 4,318 locations, $14,360 average, $137,022,258, one week.

2. "Ted," Universal, $32,202,395, 3,256 locations, $9,890 average, $119,849,740, two weeks.

3. "Brave," Disney, $19,612,370, 3,891 locations, $5,040 average, $173,969,341, three weeks.

4. "Savages," Universal, $16,016,910, 2,628 locations, $6,095 average, $16,016,910, one week.

5. "Magic Mike," Warner Bros., $15,642,337, 3,120 locations, $5,014 average, $72,829,107, two weeks.

6. "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," Lionsgate, $10,177,029, 2,161 locations, $4,709 average, $45,822,984, two weeks.

7. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Paramount, $7,520,690, 2,861 locations, $2,629 average, $195,905,126, five weeks.

8. "Katy Perry: Part of Me," Paramount, $7,138,266, 2,730 locations, $2,615 average, $10,240,213, one week.

9. "Moonrise Kingdom," Focus Features, $4,519,195, 884 locations, $5,112 average, $26,780,989, seven weeks.

10. "To Rome with Love," Sony Pictures Classics, $3,104,328, 806 locations, $3,852 average, $4,863,538, three weeks.

11. "People Like Us," Disney, $2,194,535, 2,055 locations, $1,068 average, $9,190,902, two weeks.

12. "The Avengers," Disney, $2,168,124, 1,125 locations, $1,927 average, $611,127,884, 10 weeks.

13. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," Fox, $1,944,534, 1,657 locations, $1,174 average, $34,050,910, three weeks.

14. "Prometheus," Fox, $1,815,500, 1,105 locations, $1,643 average, $122,390,274, five weeks.

15. "Snow White & the Huntsman," Universal, $1,768,355, 1,152 locations, $1,535 average, $149,756,565, six weeks.

16. "Men in Black 3," Sony, $1,680,714, 879 locations, $1,912 average, $173,089,690, seven weeks.

17. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," Fox Searchlight, $741,091, 359 locations, $2,064 average, $41,991,873, 10 weeks.

18. "Rock of Ages," Warner Bros., $639,406, 701 locations, $912 average, $36,974,619, four weeks.

19. "That's My Boy," Sony, $621,656, 400 locations, $1,554 average, $36,100,833, four weeks.

20. "Bol Bachchan," FIP, $561,996, 98 locations, $5,735 average, $561,996, one week.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


Roger Moore croons 007 birthday song...

PARIS — One-time 007 Roger Moore has teamed up with a former Bond Girl to record a song marking 50 years of the spy's on-screen adventures, a James Bond fan club said on Wednesday.

The 84-year-old British actor took over Bond film duties from Sean Connery in 1973, making his debut in "Live and Let Die" before completing the sequence with "A View to a Kill" 12 years later.

He teamed up with Irka Bochenko, his co-star in the 1979 film "Moonraker", for the anniversary duet titled "Happy Birthday Mr. Bond!", the spy's French fan club told AFP.

Extracts will be posted online at www.jamesbond007.net ahead of the record's release in September.

Hundreds of items -- from tuxedos to bikinis and vodka martinis -- went on show at London's Barbican Centre last week to mark 50 years since Bond made the jump from Ian Fleming's novels to the silver screen with the 1962 "Dr No".

The next Bond movie, "Skyfall", directed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig as the glamorous spy, will hit world screens from October.

 

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Marvel Entertainment Movies: Amazing Spider-Man, Thor 2, The Avengers Et Al Boost Popularity Of Marvel Slot Games...

The Media Man agency reports that Marvel themed online slot games across the network, and featured at partner PartyCasino, are boosting the popularity of the superhero themed online slot games. Bwin.Party currently offers The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, with more expected to soon hit the popular gaming and entertainment website destination.


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Official Marvel's The Avengers Blu-ray and DVD Announcement

Press Release (U.S)...

Coming this fall, the third highest-grossing movie of all time and the #1 movie in the world, “Marvel’s The Avengers” assembles as you’ve never seen it before on Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital and On-Demand platforms on September 25, 2012. In anticipation of this release, Marvel is also launching an all-new App in July - “The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen App” (available for the first time on iPhone) – that gives fans unprecedented access to exclusive content building up to the home entertainment release.

The announcement comes as “Marvel’s The Avengers” crossed the incredible $600 million domestic box office threshold on June 26 – only the third film in history to do so. It has now grossed an estimated $1.44 billion globally.

Providing viewers with the ultimate in-home experience, the premium 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack provides 5-unique ways to enjoy “Marvel’s The Avengers” (on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy and Digital Download of “Avengers Assembled” Music from and inspired by the film) and brings to life the Super Hero team-up of a lifetime in a whole new dimension on Blu-ray hi-def with stunning visual effects, superior sound and unparalleled bonus content.

Extras include a gag reel, a first for a Marvel Studios film, the chance to hear from the cast and Joss Whedon on their experiences in bringing these larger than life characters to the big screen, a behind-the-scenes look at the groundbreaking visual effects and stunning cinematography, the creation of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarrier, Soundgarden’s “Live to Rise” Music Video, deleted scenes and more!

Also for the first time ever, fans will be able to enjoy even more of the Marvel Universe via the all-new “The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen App.” By downloading this onto a secondary device, consumers will be able to gain unprecedented access to exclusive content building up to the home entertainment release on September 25. Pieces will be unleashed bi-weekly in July & August and weekly in September leading up to a full immersive experience accompanying the film on Blu-ray. Content includes special access to the S.H.I.E.L.D. database, becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, invitations to “special missions” either remotely or in the field, links to character profiles, stories and scenes, interactive Marvel digital reader comic books and more. App owners will receive push notifications whenever new content is uploaded and available for their viewing.

The suggested retail price for “Marvel's The Avengers” is: 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack = $49.99 U.S./$59.99 Canada; 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack =$39.99 U.S./$46.99 Canada; 1-Disc DVD = $29.99 U.S./$35.99 Canada. And for Digital & On-Demand platforms, please check with your television provider or favorite digital retailer for pricing.

Source: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
June 29, 2012

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Australian And Hollywood Entertainment, Celebrity and Gaming News; Jackman, Crowe, WWE.. - 20th March 2012


Hugh "The Wolverine" Jackman punches Russell "The Gladiator" Crowe in play...

Hugh Jackman tried to punch Russell Crowe as many times as possible during rehearsals for theatre production Les Miserables.

The Australian star keeps asking to re-shoot fight scenes where he knocks Crowe out, because he enjoys it so much.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "The crew find it hilarious as Crowe would obviously sweep the floor with Jackman in real life.

"Hugh keeps ribbing Russell and winding him up but he's been getting his own back by calling Hugh a twirlie, which is showbiz speak for a singer/dancer."

Although Jackman has always had to be in good shape to play muscular superhero Wolverine in the X-Men films, he was recently told he had to bulk up to play the character in the next movie, The Wolverine, as he had lost so many pounds while appearing in Hugh Jackman: Back On Broadway.

He said: "The studio wants me to bulk up. Singing and dancing makes the suits nervous because weight just falls off me, but I'd rather sing and dance on Broadway than make movies."

Crowe is also no stranger to long fight scenes, having undergone gruelling shoots against Michael Shannon in Superman: Man of Steel, in which he played the titular superhero's father.

He tweeted: "15km bike ride, umpteen hours fighting Michael Shannon. He's very hard to put down. Hard to tell who wins, we are still fighting tomorrow. (sic)"


Bruce Willis and his heavily-pregnant wife make the most of their freedom on a double date with Sylvester Stallone...

They may be two of Hollywood's biggest action stars but recently Bruce Willis and Sylvester "Rambo" Stallone showed off their softer sides.

The actors enjoyed a double date with one another and their wives as they met up for dinner in Los Angeles.

As they emerged from Craig's Restaurant, Willis and his wife Emma Heming looked in good spirits following their meal, as they were making the most of their freedom before the birth of their first child.

Perhaps Stallone and his wife of almost 15 years, Jennifer Flavin, had been giving Heming some parenting advice.

Willis and Heming announced that they were expecting their first child together last year, and judging by the brunette's large bump, it won't be long until the baby arrives.

The model was glowing as she left the restaurant holding her husband's hand and smiled for the cameras.

She wore a black and white printed dress that highlighted her stomach with a waist belt, and completed her look with a black jacket and matching flats.

Die Hard star Willis had also dressed for the occasion and wore a smart dark suit and a shirt but looked less enthusiastic as he left the building.

Stallone followed closely behind the couple wearing a red two-tone blazer with grey trousers and a shirt.

His wife dressed down in a pair of jeans and a blue leather jacket, but she did make sure she was taller than her husband by wearing a pair of black knee-high boots.

Willis and Stallone recently reunited with one another to star in the upcoming action sequel, The Expendables 2.

The film, which is due for release in August this year, features an array of well-known action stars including Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme.


Are Bruce Willis And Sylvester Stallone’s Wives Joining Season 3 Of Real Housewives of Beverly Wills?...

Maybe! There has been many rumors that Sylvester Stallone’s wife, Jennifer Flavin was asked to join season 3 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills but no confirmation just yet. The National Enquirer is now reporting that Jennifer is "heavily recruiting" close friend and Bruce Willis wife Emma Heming to join the show as well! A Hollywood pal told The Enquirer, "They know each other from their modeling days, and Jen thinks the two of them together can ‘take over’ the show – and she loves that their hubbies are friends too!"

So how exactly does Bruce and Sly feel about this? The leak says, "While Jennifer says Sly is totally supportive of the idea, she’s trying to get Emma to convince Bruce that this would be a good thing. He’s wary because Emma is about to become a first-time mom. He’s also not thrilled about having a reality TV crew following them everywhere." The two couples were seen having dinner last week and apparently "Bruce told Jennifer he would consider the idea. But first he wants to get past the impending arrival of his new baby."


Jagger and Richards mend relationship...

We all need someone to lean on, and the founding duo of the Rolling Stones say they are doing just that after overcoming three decades of misunderstandings with a year of that including some heavy conversation.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards said they rebuilt their friendship after guitarist Richards's best-selling 2011 memoirs Life laid bare his pent-up frustration with the snake-hipped frontman.

"In the 1980s, for instance, Keith and I were not communicating very well," Jagger told the pop culture magazine, which celebrates the band's 50th anniversary in its current issue.

"I got very involved with the business side of the Stones, mainly because I felt no one else was interested - but it's plain now from the book that Keith felt excluded, which is a pity. Time I reckon to move on."

"Mick's right," said Richards. The pair the Stones in 1962 after they met in a London train station and discovered their mutual love for American blues music.

"He and I have had conversations over the last year of a kind we have not had for an extremely long time and that has been incredibly important to me," Richards said.

"As far as the book goes, it was my story and it was very raw, as I meant it to be - but I know that some parts of it and some of the publicity really offended Mick and I regret that."

Rolling Stone reported earlier this week that the Stones are planning no concert tour for its 50th anniversary, although it quoted Richards as suggesting that 2013 was a "more realistic" target for hitting the road. (AFP)


Souris in the dark about casino sackings...

The New South Wales Gaming Minister George Souris says he knows nothing about the latest sackings at Sydney's Star casino.

An official inquiry is underway into the sacking last month of Star's managing director Sid Vaikunta, for allegedly inappropriate behaviour.

Now, the casino has reportedly sacked three mid-level managers for breaches of its internet and email policies.

One manager is believed to have forwarded an email explaining why responsible gambling rules do not apply to international guests.

Mr Souris says it is news to him.

"Whatever matters relating to the operation of the casino that arise during this inquiry are matters not for me," he said.

"They are matters for the independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, and are specially in the hands of the independent inquiry that has been commissioned by the authority in the hands of Gail Furness SC."

Mr Souris was confronting a media pack for the first time since allegations were raised about the government's involvement in the Sid Vaikunta episode.

The state opposition has claimed the Premier's former communications director Peter Grimshaw used his position and his friendship with George Souris to conduct a personal vendetta against the casino operators.

Mr Souris says he has done nothing to compromise the government over the affair.

He has confirmed that he spoke to Peter Grimshaw about keeping some information secret, but said it had nothing to do with government policy.

"The conversation was deeply personal." he said.

"It had nothing to do with any decision the government was considering or any matter of policy whatsoever - nothing reflected or compromised the government."

Peter Grimshaw has was stood down from his role pending an investigation into allegations he forwarded confidential work emails.


Souris fronts media over Star allegations...

NSW Tourism Minister George Souris has defended his role in The Star casino scandal a week after being accused of hiding from the media.

Mr Souris has distanced himself from the widening scandal that began with the sacking of the The Star's boss Sid Vaikunta in February.

"This whole issue of the casino really does not reflect on anything I have done," Mr Souris said, speaking to journalists at the launch of the Sydney Racing Carnival at Bondi.

"There is nothing whatsoever that I have compromised - everything that I have done has been proper."

Mr Souris has become the lightning rod for opposition attacks over the casino, with Labor Leader John Robertson saying he had breached the ministerial code of conduct by withholding information from Premier Barry O'Farrell about an investigation into The Star.

In a text leaked to the media, Mr Souris told Mr O'Farrell's communications director Peter Grimshaw he hadn't informed the premier that one of Mr Vaikunta's alleged harassment victims was in fact Mr Grimshaw's partner.

Mr Grimshaw - who has been stood down by Mr O'Farrell over another matter - has been accused of waging a secret campaign against the casino, his former employer.

Mr Souris has been grilled in question time for two weeks over his dealings with Mr Grimshaw, with the opposition calling for him to be sacked.

He has also been accused of hiding from the media after refusing to do interviews about The Star and being absent at major announcements such as Thursday's launch of the Vivid Sydney festival.

On Monday, Mr Souris said the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) inquiry into Mr Vaikunta's sacking would focus on the "real substance of the matter".

"Matters concerning the operation of the casino itself, that is the true focus," Mr Souris told reporters.

"I can assure you not one breach of the public trust has occurred in anything that I have been involved in. No government decisions whatsoever have been compromised."

Mr Souris once again defended his decision not to tell Mr O'Farrell that Mr Grimshaw's partner was one of the casino boss's alleged victims.

"The conversation was deeply personal. It had nothing to do with any decision the government was considering, or any matter of policy whatsoever," he said.

"Nothing reflected or compromised the government. They were deeply personal, and I believe I was able to offer him a personal hearing board from which I respected the confidentiality of it."

Mr Souris's comments came as three more managers, including one who forwarded an email revealing that the casino allowed international high rollers to gamble non-stop for more than 24 hours, were sacked from the casino, Fairfax reported on Monday.

"I just don't even know anything about that," Mr Souris said.

Mr O'Farrell said he was concerned about the latest alleged breaches at The Star but was confident ILGA would investigate.

"That authority is independent, doesn't operate at the direction of government, but has shown itself proactive in the past on these issues," he told reporters in Sydney.


EPIX Celebrates Superheroes and the Legendary Stan Lee With Marvel Heroes Weekend April 27-29
--Hosted by Lee, Event Features World Television Premieres of Captain America: The First Avenger & EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story --National Free Preview Makes Marvel Heroes Weekend Available to Subscribers of Affiliated Partners...

NEW YORK, March 19, 2012 - EPIX, the multiplatform premium entertainment service, will present Marvel Heroes Weekend, April 27 - 29, a marathon of superhero movies including Iron Man 2, Thor, the world television premiere of Captain America: The First Avenger and the EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story. Hosted by legendary comic book creator Stan Lee, the marathon also includes EPIX Extra: Mighty Movie Superheroes, examining the origins and fan following of the mighty team. The weekend celebration of Marvel's famed superheroes and their creator features the movies that have led up to the highly anticipated theatrical release of The Avengers on May 4.

The EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story follows the life and creations of Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man and over 200 other characters that can be found in Marvel comic books, on movie screens and in retail stores around the world.

"These action-packed superhero films are some of the most highly viewed titles among EPIX audiences across all platforms," said EPIX CEO and President Mark Greenberg. "We're excited to give fans more access than ever before to the mastermind behind it all, Stan Lee."

Marvel Heroes Weekend is part of a free preview of EPIX for all subscribers of affiliate partners, which will also showcase Hollywood blockbusters Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Rango, Conan the Barbarian, True Grit, The Lincoln Lawyer and more, along with EPIX original comedy and music events Lewis Black: In God We Rust, Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell and Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball. Over 30 million homes nationwide will have access to the free preview, including over 150 titles available On Demand and more than 3000 movie titles available online at EpixHD.com and through EPIX apps.

The weekend event and free preview will be supported by television, print, online and out of home advertising and a national contest hosted by EPIX which will send winners to the Hollywood premiere of The Avengers. For more information or to enter, visit the EPIX Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EpixHD . Additionally, EPIX has partnered with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for Avengers-themed sweepstakes promoted across Ryan Seacrest's nationally syndicated radio shows and website and across several local Clear Channel stations in the top 10 media markets.