Star Wars 7 Passes Jurassic World, Titanic at US Box Office

Buoyed by a record-breaking performance on New Year’s Day, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has passed another giant, Titanic, to become the second highest-grossing movie of all time in the US.

After adding $88.3 million this weekend, The Force Awakens‘ US total stands at $740.3 million, outpacing Jurassic World ($652.3 million) and Titanic ($658.7 million). James Cameron’s Avatar ($760.5 million)is still the No. 1 movie of all-time in the US, but Entertainment Weekly reports that it should pass that film soon.

The Force Awakens made $700 million domestically after just 16 days. It took Avatar 72 days to hit that figure.

Globally, The Force Awakens has now made $1.51 billion, on pace to soon beat The Avengers ($1.52 billion) and Furious 7 ($1.515 billion) on its way to become the No. 4 movie in history.

Head to EW to see a complete breakdown and analysis of The Force Awakens‘ commercial performance.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Watch people beat games at top speed all week during Awesome Games Done Quick

It’s no secret that gamers like to watch other people play video games, and over the course of the next week, you can do it for a good cause. Games Done Quick is back from today through next Sunday, January 10th, to raise money for The Prevent Cancer Foundation, during which time gaming experts will speedrun an impressive list of games. If you’re new to this game, that means they’ll try to beat games (with certain requirements based on the rules of each run) as quickly as possible.

There will be 155 runs over the week, ranging from classics like Final Fantasy VI and Super Mario World 64 to newer games like Ori And The Blind Forest and Hotline Miami. Streaming video games to raise money isn’t a novel idea, but it’s all good fun and it…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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Tesla delivered just 208 of its Model X crossovers last quarter

Tesla’s Model X crossover finally arrived this fall after being delayed from its initially-planned 2013 launch, but only a scarce few actually got the highly-anticipated vehicles in their driveways. The company has revealed that it delivered just 208 Model X vehicles in the fourth quarter (the crossover launched just a few days before Q4 began). A total of 507 of the vehicles were made during the quarter — Tesla says it will deliver the remainder over the course of its first quarter.

That low, low number shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it certainly isn’t an indication of interest in the crossover, which has a months-long waitlist. Tesla has warned that deliveries would be small due to it slowly ramping up production. CEO Elon Musk…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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Samsung's Dolby Atmos 'soundbar' uses two rear speakers to put sound above you

True surround sound has always required lots of speakers, and the clutter only increases if you want a no-compromise Dolby Atmos system with “3D” sound. Of course, people have always wanted surround without the hassle, and that’s why all-in-one soundbars exist. Now, Samsung is promising to deliver a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos system with its HW-K950 soundbar.

Atmos — which is used in fancy cinemas — puts sound above you with either ceiling-mounted or upward-firing speakers. To get sound raining down on you, Samsung’s new soundbar has four (that’s the .4 in 5.1.4) upward-firing sound beams that bounce off the ceiling. But calling this a soundbar system is a bit of a stretch — there’s a soundbar, yes, but also a subwoofer and two independent…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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The Livestream Movi puts the power of a multi-camera setup in your pocket

Live streaming was one of the big trends in 2015. The Meerkat app was a sensation at SXSW, Periscope stole that momentum when it launched a month later, and Facebook released (and slowly opened up access to) its own live video feature. Samsung even baked YouTube live streaming into its flagship Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ phones.

Livestream (the company) wants to capitalize on this trend in 2016 with the Movi, the company’s first hardware for general consumers. It’s a brand new 4K live streaming camera meant for people who need something more professional and reliable than the camera and connection found on a phone.

The $399 Movi, which ships in April, is small, about 2.5 inches long by 2 inches wide. The camera’s covered in a nice…

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Author: Sean O’Kane

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The Verge Review of Animals: the elephant seal

This column is part of a series where Verge staffers post highly subjective reviews of animals. Up until now, we’ve written about animals without telling you whether they suck or rule. We are now rectifying this oversight.

In David Foster Wallace’s first novel, The Broom of the System, one Norman Bombardini is planning to eat the entire universe, to eat himself into infinity so nothing exists that isn’t self. I find it difficult to look at an elephant seal — particularly a large bull — and not see something Bombardini-like. The males can weigh as much as 4,000 pounds (2,500 kg); the females, smaller, are only 1,500 pounds (600 kg).

Elephant seals aren’t named for their size. Rather, the males develop noses that kind of look like…

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Author: Elizabeth Lopatto

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Watch Gaming Speedrunning Event to Support Charity

Charity speedrunning event Awesome Games Done Quick returns today for its first event of 2016.

Awesome Games Done Quick 2016, physically taking place in Virginia, will see expert gamers speedrunning though classic and new games to raise money for charity.

The event begins today at 11:30 AM EST with a pre-show. Tones Balones will perform the first speedrun, for Wii U‘s Splatoon, starting at 12 PM EST. Other games on today’s schedule include Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz, Rayman Legends, Super Mario 64, and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, among others.

AGDQ 2016 runs through January 10. You can see the full schedule here. All events will be streamed though the Games Done Quick website and via this Twitch channel.

Speedrunning is the process of playing through a game as quickly as possible. They are particularly fun and sometimes bewildering to watch because they require expert skill, lots of planning, and often the use of tricks.

The most recent event, Summer Games Done Quick in summer 2015, raised $1.2 million for Doctors Without Borders. It was the biggest and most successful Games Done Quick in the event’s history. Other events have benefited the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

We’ll update this post when we learn what charity Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 benefits.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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The BoomStick makes any wired headphones sound better

Most of us would like our music to sound better, even if we’re not willing to do much about it. The only real solution — buying better headphones — costs money, and picking the right ones takes time and effort. That’s why new company called BoomCloud 360 created the BoomStick, a simple $99 device that uses algorithms to enhance the sound of anything it’s plugged into.

“The problem we’re trying to solve is that audio sucks,” George Appling, the co-founder and president of BoomCloud 360, tells me. “If you put a CD in your car and there are four or eight speakers in the car, it’s pretty good. But if you stream Spotify on an iPhone, it’s terrible relative to that.” Appling thinks audio consumption has gone backwards when it comes to…

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Author: Sean O’Kane

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LG's LCD TV lineup at CES 2016 goes heavy on HDR compatibility

If last year’s Consumer Electronics Show was the moment TV manufacturers went all-in on 4K, this go around will be when those companies do the same for HDR. Short for high dynamic range, HDR boosts a TV’s contrast ratio and color accuracy for a richer and more realistic look. We’ve heard about it in the past, but expect HDR to be back in full force. LG has decided to get ahead of the CES 2016 news deluge by revealing its three new LCD 4K TVs will all come equipped with its fancy-sounding “HDR-Plus” capability.

HDR-Plus combines LG’s so-called Color Prime Plus — which uses a new filter to try and replicate cinema-quality color — with the company’s Ultra Luminance technology for an improved contrast ratio. That’s a lot of marketing speak,…

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Author: Nick Statt

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Star Wars 7 Breaks New Year's Day Box Office Record

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has broken yet another box office record.

The numbers are in–and Disney’s sci-fi blockbuster made $34.5 million domestically on Friday. That’s an all-time domestic box office record for New Year’s Day. Holiday performance was worse overseas, as The Force Awakens made $25 million at the international box office on Friday.

Globally to date, The Force Awakens has now made $1.39 billion. It’s now passed Hay Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 to hit the No. 7 spot at the all-time worldwide box office.

Head to Deadline to see more box office numbers and analysis. The full report for this weekend will come tomorrow, January 3; check back then to learn more.

In other Star Wars news, original Boba Fett voice actor Jason Wingreen has died at the age of 95.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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