Iron Man 3 doesn't open in North America until this Friday (May 3), but this weekend, it's already up and whomping The Avengers at the international box office. The new adventures of Tony Stark, directed and co-written by Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black, brought in $195.3 million. That beat a mere $185.1 million when The Avengers opened internationally to make it the biggest opening weekend ever in a bunch of countries, including Argentina and Indonesia.
"No man but a blockhead," Samuel Johnson famously observed, "ever wrote, except for money." This is tough news for poets, since the writing they do is often less immediately profitable than a second-grader's math homework (the kid gets a cookie or a hug; the poet gets a rejection letter from The Kenyon Review). Poetry itself is tremendously valuable, of course, but that value is often realized many years after a poem's composition, and sometimes long after the end of its author's life.
Sen. Joe Manchin says he's going to reintroduce his bill that expands background checks for gun purchases to sales made at gun shows and online, and he predicts that the second time around, it will get enough votes to move out of the Senate.
One place American moviemakers are pushing to get into is China, which is why it's a big deal that the first summer blockbuster, "Iron Man 3" will hit theaters in China this Friday, the very same day it opens here at home. Hollywood studios covet a same-day release in China. The Chinese government allows just 34 foreign films into their country each year, at a time when Hollywood is under increasing pressure to break into China's fast-growing movie market, which is now the world's second-largest.
The Atlantic Coast of the U.S. took an economic hit six months ago from Hurricane Sandy. It left behind damaged businesses, homes and hundreds of thousands of waterlogged vehicles.
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports that it's still affecting the auto industry.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Much of the physical damage of Sandy has been cleaned up, but if you didn't live in the storm's path, it's hard to contemplate the scope of destruction - especially when it comes to cars.