Friday, 31 March 2017

All that you need to know about GST bill!

As four key supplementary GST (Goods and Services Tax) bills were passed in Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the historic step, and congratulated everyone. The Prime Minister called it "New Year, New Law, New Bharat" as the government moved a step closer towards meeting the July 1 deadline for rollout of Goods and Services Tax in the country.
Following a seven-hour debate on the GST bill in Parliament, the Lok Sabha approved the four supplementary legislations, but not before the Opposition raised objections to certain clauses and called for amendments to the bills.
However, the government, which has the numbers in Lok Sabha, negated the amendments and ensured the bills get cleared as it is. These bills are: Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Bill, Integrated GST Bill, Compensation GST Bill and Union Territory GST Bill 2017.
Calling it a revolutionary bill that will benefit all, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley led the charge in Lok Sabha. He said 12 meetings of the GST Council were held to ensure the process of drafting the bill and rolling out GST was based on consensus and recommendations.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GST AND THE FOUR BILLS PASSED IN LOK SABHA:
  1. The Goods and Services (GST) is an indirect taxation wherein most of the existing taxes will be merged into a single taxation system.
  2. Once the GST Bill is passed, it will allow the Centre and the states to levy indirect tax on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services across the country.
  3. Simply put, the Goods and Services Tax would put all taxes levied by state and Central government in one basket and merge them into a single-tax system, thus doing away with multiple taxation and promoting the concept of a common market for all.
  4. The Goods and Services Tax is governed by the GST Council which is headed by the Finance Minister. In Arun Jaitley's words, "once all other taxes are removed, the cascading effect is removed, goods will become slightly cheaper".
  5. The biggest challenge for a smooth GST rollout is coordination between states and the Centre to ensure uniform tax rates for good and services.
  6. To this effect, the GST Council has approved a four-tier uniform tax slab of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent on goods and services, plus an additional cess on demerit goods such as luxury cars, aerated drinks and tobacco products.
  7. Food items will not attract any tax and have been kept in the zero-per cent slab. Similarly, petroleum products, although included under the GST, will remain in zero tax slab as of now. However, the GST Council is yet to take a call on whether to keep alcohol under the Goods and Services Tax.
  8. With the Goods and Services Tax coming in, Centre-level taxes likes Sales Tax, Excise Duty, and state-level taxes like Value-added Tax (VAT), Entertainment Tax and Luxury Tax will be subsumed.
  9. On Wednesday, among the four supplemtary GST bills passed in Lok Sabha was the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Bill. The CGST Bill will allow the Central government to levy and collect tax on intra-state supply of goods and services. The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 provides for levy and collection of tax on inter-state supply.
  10. The Compensation GST Bill will provide compensation to states for the loss of revenue they may incur owing to implementation of the Goods and Services Tax.
  11. Clarifying on the clause, Arun Jaitley told the House that no additional tax will be imposed to provide compensation to states, and states will be paid compensation within the existing mechanism.
  12. The other bill passed in Lok Sabha pertained to Union Territory Goods and Services Tax. The bill will enable levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods and services or both by union territories.
P.S. - Inputs from agencies and Wikipedia!

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Apple iPhone's, iPad's & iPod's need to be upgraded immediately!

After months of testing and seven beta releases to developers, Apple finally rolled out public version of the iOS 10.3 update with several new features, additional Siri functionalities, critical bug-fixes and more.
The new iOS 10.3 comes with the much anticipated Find My AirPods feature, which is a handy software tool to locate the small wire-less earphones that are prone to get lost. Using the connected smart device, users can activate the Find My Airpods.
Once switched on, a sound with low decibel unit emits from the AirPods, that's actually a warning earshot for users, who unknowingly/knowingly (to prank others) try to test the Find My AirPods feature, whilst still keeping it in the ear. After the warning sound, it reaches a high volume within a few seconds and this helps you track the lost earphone.
Apple has also announced that the iOS 10.3 will fix the 30-percent battery glitch, the most annoying bug ever to hit iPhones that caused sudden shutdown of devices, despite having sufficient power. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6S series owners have been complaining about this issue since November 2016 after the release of iOS 10.1.1. Apple had even arranged free battery replacement service for select iPhone 6S series models, which angered other device owners, as they too were facing the same issue.
Now, Apple has finally put an end to the nagging battery glitch for good.
There is another key improvement, which will bring joy especially to Indian Apple device owners. Siri will be able to read and display cricket scores, statistics and also Indian Premier League schedules and individual cricketers' stats with just a voice command.
Siri is also updated to be able to pay bills, check on the status of payments, and schedule future rides via cab-hailing apps (such as Uber and Lyft) that support it.
Other key upgrades of iOS 10.3 include:
1. Introduction of 3D Touch functions to the weather icon in the Maps app with hourly forecasts.
2. Easy access to recently used apps on CarPlay.
3. Apple iOS 10.3 allows easy search for parked car via Maps.
4. Slightly refined opening animation for apps to where rounded edges are now visible when opening applications.
5. Podcasts now supports 3D Touch and a Today widget has been added which allows users to access recently updated podcasts.
6. iOS 10.3 update now allows Apple device owners to rearrange songs while repeat mode is turned on.
7. Users can now rent a movie once and they can watch their iTunes movies across their various device.
8. Enhances performance across the system and the responsiveness of the operating system has also been improved.
9. Fixes an issue that could prevent Maps from displaying a user's current location after resetting Location & Privacy settings.
10. Fixes an issue on the iPad Pro where the Apple Pencil's battery wouldn't charge above 5%.
11. Fixes an issue where the Telephoto lens on the iPhone 7 Plus would not activate while in the 2x zoom mode.
12. When choosing an alphanumeric code with numbers only, passcodes can no longer be shorter than 4 characters in length. An error displays saying that "this passcode must be longer".
Though the new iOS 10.3 comes with several new features and critical bug fixes, there is one bummer. All 32-bit class applications will no longer work on your Apple devices. That means, close to 200,000 apps will be loaded off the App Store. This move by Apple has surprised many, as it was rumored to come with iOS 11, which is scheduled to roll-out in September.
A list of apps running in a 32-bit legacy mode can be accessed by going to General -> About and clicking on "Applications".
Note: iOS 10.3 is available to iPhone 5 and later, iPad 4th generation and later, iPod touch 6th generation and later versions.

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Thursday, 30 March 2017

World's tallest building to be suspended from asteroid!

Plans to suspend the “world’s tallest” skyscraper from an asteroid orbiting Earth have been unveiled by an architecture firm.
Analemma Tower would be hung using reinforced cables from a comet 31,068 miles above the planet’s surface, with the orbital path taking the building in a figure of eight pattern over various cities, including New York and Havana.
The outlandish design has been created by Clouds Architecture Office, the same company behind proposals for a house on Mars and a cloud city.
Building from the sky down will “overturn the established skyscraper typography,” the firm says. “Through the course of history humanity has been able to affect the environment on increasing scales.”
The proposals suggest building it in Dubai, due to its proven ability to construct skyscrapers at a fraction of the cost of the US.
The Analemma Tower would be set up in sections, with the point closest to Earth being dedicated to entertainment, shopping and dining. Above that would be office space, while the middle compartments would be used for gardens and residential spaces.
There are also plans for a place of worship, and at the very top a “funerary” section.
The designers plan to use space-based solar panels that would have constant exposure to sunlight, while water could be captured from clouds and rainwater.
The skyscraper would be so big that day time at the top would be 45 minutes longer than at the bottom, due to the curvature of the Earth.
But the architects, while researching atmospheric conditions for the project, discovered that people would be unable to tolerate conditions outside at the top of the building.
“While there may be a benefit to having 45 extra minutes of daylight at an elevation of 32,000 metres, the near vacuum and -40C temperature would prevent people from going outside without a protective suit,” the firm said.
The company believes capturing and redirecting an asteroid will soon be a realistic concept, citing the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which showed it was possible to land on a spinning comet.
Nasa is also planning a mission to capture an asteroid and relocate it into a stable orbit around the moon.

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Comparison between Jio and its competitors!

You might be an Airtel, Vodafone, Idea or a BSNL user, but the launch of Reliance Jio last year clearly made you rethink your choices. The free 4G data and voice calls gave Jio the added advantage over its rivals in the telecom industry, forcing users to join this relatively new telco in large numbers.
More than 100 million users are actively using Jio's services and when the freebies end on March 31, there is a good retention rate for Jio. If you are still weighing your options to get the best prepaid plan and Jio's Prime Membership is making it difficult to make the switch to other carriers, here are best plans offered by incumbents to fend off Jio fever.
Before we get started, let's take a look at what Jio is offering once the Happy New Year offer ends:
Jio Prime Membership
Cost: Rs. 99 (one-time joining fee) + Rs. 303 monthly recharge.
What it gives: It's basically an extension of Jio's Happy New Year offer, where users get 1GB 4G LTE data every day for 28 days, free voice calls, national roaming at no cost, free SMS and access to Jio's full bouquet of entertainment and productive MyJio apps. The offer can only be availed if users join Jio Prime before March 31.
Moving on, let's see what the incumbents have to offer.
Airtel
Cost: Rs. 345 monthly recharge
What it gives: In a fierce step to counter Jio's offer, Airtel came up with the best one compared to any other carrier. For Rs. 345 a month, Airtel prepaid users get 28GB of 4G LTE data and unlimited calling for 28 days. The daily 1GB data is divided into half, so users get 500MB of data during the day between 6am and 12pm while another 500MB can be used from 12 midnight till 6 am.
If you wish to have more data, you can get 42GB for 28 days by paying Rs. 549. Recharges to avail these offers must be done before March 31.
BSNL
Cost: 339 monthly recharge
What it gives: BSNL launched several plans to attract users, but the Rs. 339 plan is of particular interest. With this tariff, users get unlimited calls within BSNL network and 2GB data for 28 days. Users also get 25 minutes off-net calls to any other network, post which calls will be charged at 25 paise per minute.
If you are a BSNL customer who owns a smartphone but haven't used the company's data services, you are entitled to get free 1GB data. This particular offer is not linked to any other plan and it can be availed as a standalone offer.
Vodafone
Cost: Rs. 342 monthly recharge
What it gives: Vodafone may be undergoing a merger with Idea, but it has quite an appealing offer. Under this tariff, users get 28GB data per month, with a limit of 1GB per day, and unlimited calls for 28 days.
Idea Cellular
Cost: Rs, 348 monthly recharge
What it gives: Idea is giving its best with this offer. For the monthly tariff, users get unlimited calling and 500MB data per day for 28 days.
Who wins?
By comparing all the plans, Reliance Jio's offer is the cheapest and has the most generous offering. If the quality of Jio's network concerns you, there's Airtel, which has the best offering. Vodafone, too, makes an appealing offer like Airtel, but our bet is Airtel takes away the crown in this comparison.

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Why water is necessary for healthy living?

Drinking enough water a day is stressed on by many doctors as well as elders. Many people have the habit of overlooking the importance of water in our daily life.

Why water is necessary?

The most common reason that most people are aware of is that it is essential for good digestion and smooth running of digestive processes. Lack of water does not give the digestive system enough fluids to digest the relatively dry food that enters our stomach. It prevents indigestion and constipation and leads to a healthy lifestyle.
It is essential to drink water to flush out the toxic byproducts of our digestive system. If not flushed out this could make a person very ill and hence, the necessity to drink enough water a day.
Not drinking enough water leads to accumulation of toxins in the kidneys, this can lead to urinary tract infections as well as kidney stones. Drinking enough water a day is an effective way of boosting ones immune system and keeping illnesses like the flu, heart attacks and other ailments at bay.
Drinking water is essential to keep the body hydrated and helps boost energy levels.This aids in better concentration, which helps an individual function better. Lack of water leads to dehydration, which leads to exhaustion,sometimes to such an extent that they may faint if they are required to do work which requires a certain degree of physical strain.
Drinking enough water is also an effective method of weight loss. It helps to increase metabolism and therefore, it helps to maintain a steady weight and helps reduce excess body fat.
Water keeps the joints lubricated and helps prevent joint pains and cramps. It also keeps muscles elastic and helps increase agility and co-ordination. It also helps prevent headaches and migraines, which are very often caused due to dehydration,and helps keep a person fit to perform their daily chores.
Water in general helps in better functioning and increased efficiency in daily work.This helps an individual to carry out their duties with ease and without hindrances.

How much water does the human body need in a day?

  • For men it is roughly 13 cups or 3 liters
  • For women it is 9 cups or 2.2 liters a day to keep a healthy lifestyle.
However,it is wholly dependent on an individuals body weight and their physical activities in a day.
This article was originally published on Practo Health Feed by Dr. Sachin Goel, Hair Transplant Surgeon

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

USD 1,00,000 Given to American Who Tried to Save Indians in Kansas!

The Indian American community in Houston has presented USD 1,00,000 to Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old American who was shot while trying to save Indian techies Srinivas Kuchibotla and Alok Madasani during a shooting in Kansas.
The Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna, presented the cheque to Grillot at the annual India House gala in Houston on Saturday evening, The American Bazaar news portal reported.
Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed when Adam W Purinton, a white man, shot the Indians at the Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe on 22 February. Madasani and Grillot, who tried to stop the killer, survived with injuries.
A statement posed on the official page of India House Houston said:
On behalf of the Indian American community in Houston, India House recognised this selfless act beyond the call of duty, and has extended the community’s gratitude to Ian Grillot by helping him to buy a house.
Speaking at the event, Grillot said: "I don't know if I could've lived with myself if I had not stopped, or attempted to stop, the shooter because that would've been completely devastating.
I do have a very powerful message, and if I can help empower people and spread hope and love, then why not?
"I am honoured to be at India House that serves so many families from so many communities in the Houston area," The American Bazaar quoted Grillot as saying.
Jiten Agarwal, a prominent Indian American in Houston and chair of the annual gala, said: "It is not every day that one meets a genuine hero, a person who risks his life for another, and takes a bullet for a complete stranger.
"Ian Grillot is a man who reminds us of the promise of America and its greatness."
Agarwal, with the help of its trustees, mobilised the community to come together to honour Grillot and raise funds.

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Monday, 27 March 2017

Diet tips to help your brain function properly during exams!

Eat your breakfast:

The most important part of your daily meals – and one that should be eaten king sized – is the humble breakfast. Unfortunately, it is also the one meal that students tend to skip the most. Your brain and body need energy, especially after a night spent studying and sleeping. Breakfast energises your brain and helps you stay alert. Eat filling and nutritious breakfast items such as eggs, low-fat milk, oats porridge, brown toast and fruits to help your brain function better. Indian alternatives such as poha, idly/dosa and sambar, vegetable upma, paratha and vegetables, are also good.

Snack right:

If you are studying late into the night, and have the urge to munch on something, avoid going for sugary, high fat food. Instead, opt for nuts, seeds, dry fruits and fresh fruits. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts and cashew nuts are filling, are low in saturated fat and are among the best sources of Omega 3 fats, Vitamin E and other nutrients. Have walnuts for the Omega-3 fats, almonds for Vitamin E, which help improve your memory and enhance problem solving skills, cashew for selenium, the heart friendly monounsaturated-fatty acids and to improve your memory and hazel nuts for folate which helps in decreasing the risk of neural tube birth defects, cardiovascular diseases and fights depression. Another good snack to munch on when you are hungry are seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds. They are a good source of Vitamin E and help give your brain a boost. Pumpkin seeds also have a high amount of magnesium and Omega 3 fats, which help to calm the brain.

Up your Vitamins and minerals:

While Vitamin C helps boost your immune system, lower hyper tension and improve your memory, Vitamin K helps improve your cognitive function and brain power. B Vitamins are essential for supporting the nervous system during stress, apart from giving the energy to study. Fruits and vegetables are powerhouses of essential vitamins and minerals, so up your intake. While bananas are a good source of Vitamin B6, vitamin C, Manganese and dietary fibre, grapes contain Vitamin C and have strong antioxidant properties.  Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, are a good source of Vitamin K, which helps improve cognitive function, and hence are proven brain boosters. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, a chemical which helps to keep the brain sharp and fight against deterioration, which leads to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. Eggs are loaded with choline, a Vitamin B nutrient that improves brain function, thus is also a healthy addition to your diet.

Stay Hydrated:

Keeping yourself hydrated is important, more so when you are sitting for an exam. It is also the one thing that most of us take for granted and skip. Keep a bottle of water next to you as you study for your exams, and remember to keep taking a sip from it. Water helps to flush away toxins that form in your body (stress causes higher buildup of toxins). However, resist the urge to reach out for fizzy drinks, instead up your water intake. You can also take in fresh juice, butter milk, or herbal teas such as chamomile tea, tulsi or jasmine tea – these are known to reduce stress.   

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Often called the ultimate brain food, fish, especially the oily varieties, contain omega – 3 fatty acids which are vital for brain development. Salmon, mackerel and tuna are rich in these omega-3 fatty acids, including the vital docosahexaenoic acids (DHA). Apart from being a high source of protein, fish also has essential amino acids, which are needed to construct neurotransmitters in the brain, enabling it to communicate with the rest of your body. Since the body does not build these essential amino acids on its own, you need to supply it through the food you eat. Flax seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds are also good vegetarian sources of Omega 3.

Small and more frequent meals:

Rather than eating three heavy meals – opt for six smaller ones. This will aide in better digestion while ensuring that you are not hungry at any point of time, and that you do not feel sluggish from eating too much. Opt for healthy brown bread sandwiches, fruits, steamed vegetables, parathas, a cup of dal, yogurt, eggs, are all good options. It is the quality of the food you eat that matters, and not the quantity – eat smart by adding essentials such as calcium, fibre, proteins, vitamins and minerals to your diet. 

Cut down on sugar and caffeine:

While refined sugar and caffeine may give you an energy boost – it is only momentary, and may be counter effective in the long run. Taken in excess, caffeine and excess sugar has a tendency to dehydrate you, and make you hyperactive, thus increasing stress and irritability. If you must have something sweet, opt for naturally sweet food items such as bananas, dates and jaggery. According to research, dark chocolate has also been found to help alleviate stress, and improve problem solving skills – making it good for the brain, if eaten in moderation. 

Avoid junk food

As much as you may be tempted, avoid eating junk and processed food such as burgers, pizzas, fries, etc, during your exams. These have very little nutritional value, are hard to digest, and end up taking away oxygen from the brain, hence making you feel sluggish. Avoid processed and packages food as well – these are high on chemicals and preservatives, and don’t do much help to your health.

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Delicious Coriander Dishes!

Lemon Coriander Soup

Enjoy a healthy soup that has the wonderful zing of lemons & aromatic coriander. Saute 1 tsp finely chopped garlic & one chopped green chili in 1 tsp oil. Add 1/2 cup chopped onions & fry till transluscent. Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots & finely chopped cabbage & saute. Add 3 cups vegetable stock, a little lemon juice & salt to taste. Make a paste with 1 tsp cornflour & little water. Add to the soup. Stir well. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped coriander & bring to a boil. Serve hot. 

Onion Corriander Paratha

Parathas make for a helathy breakfast item or a great lunch. These onion coriander parathas are a good twist to regular parathas & are made with minimal ingredients. Take two cups whole wheat flour. Add one finely chopped onion, 1 cup chopped coriander, green chili paste, a few crushed peppercorns, salt & a little oil. Knead into a soft dough using enough water. With a rolling pin, make parathas & cook on both sides with little oil on a hot tava. Serve hot with pickle or yogurt. “Creative Commons Onion Coriander Paratha” by Zeel Patel is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Dhania Chicken

A delicious aromatic curry, Dhania chicken is easy to make & requires liberal use of coriander. Marinate 500 gms chicken pieces with a little salt, turmeric & oil. Heat 1 tsp oil in a kadhai & fry one chopped onion & 2-3 green chilies slit lengthwise till soft. Add chicken pieces & let them cook evenly for 5-10 minutes. Add one chopped tomato, coriander powder, cumin powder & garam masala to taste. Grind a small bunch of coriander along with some mint leaves to a fine paste. Mix the paste with 2 tsp yogurt & add to the chicken. Add salt to taste & some water. Cook till done. Serve garnished with chopped coriander. “Creative Commons Dhania Chicken” by Sharbani Sengupta is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Coriander Onion Rice

Bored of plain rice? Try this delicious Coriander Onion Rice instead. Heat 1 tsp oil in a kadhai & add little jeera (cumin seeds). Once they splutter, add one finely chopped garlic & fry till brown. Add one chopped onion, little grated ginger & fry till soft. Add 3 cups boiled rice, salt & chili powder to taste. Add one cup finely chopped coriander & mix well. Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander.

Kothimbir Vadi

The Maharashtrian hospitality is legendary. The cuisine has subtle variety and strong flavours and varies from region to region. Heat four cups water in a steamer. Mix together the coriander leaves, green chillies, gram flour, yogurt, salt, turmeric powder and jaggery in a bowl. Add sufficient water to make a thick batter, ensuring that the consistency is not too thin. Adjust salt. Pour the batter into a greased plate that is at least one and half inches deep or a tray measuring approximately six inch x six inch x one and a half inch. Place it in the steamer and steam on high heat for fifteen to twenty minutes or till firm and cook. Check by inserting a skewer into the wadi and if it comes out clean, then it is cooked. Remove, cool and cut into one-inch diamonds. Heat the oil in a small non stick pan and add the sesame seeds, asafoetida and mustard seeds. When they splutter add the wadi and fresh coconut. Toss well. Serve immediately.

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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Box Office: 'Beauty and the Beast' wins weekend!

LOS ANGELES - Disney's second weekend of blockbuster "Beauty and the Beast" is dominating movie going in North America with $88.3 million at 4,210 locations -- capping the best March ever.
Lionsgate's rebooted "Power Rangers" is launching with a solid $40.5 million this weekend while Sony's space-thriller "Life" showed only moderate traction with $12.6 million. Warner Bros.' action-comedy "Chips" opened with a disappointing $7.6 million at 2,464 sites.
The "Beauty and the Beast" weekend is one for the record books as the fourth-largest second weekend of all time, trailing only "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at $149 million, "Jurassic World" at $106 million, and "Marvel's The Avengers" at $103 million.
"Beauty and the Beast," starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, declined just 49% from its opening weekend, which was the seventh-best ever. And after just 10 days in North American theaters, "Beauty and the Beast" is already 55th on the all-time domestic list at $317 million. It's the fourth-largest 10-day domestic total ever.
"Beauty and the Beast," along with Fox's "Logan," Warner's "Kong: Skull Island," and Universal's "Get Out," have led a charge over the past month that has given the domestic box office a major boost. According to comScore, March box office has already hit $1 billion for the first time -- with five days left in the month.
"March has become a rockstar of a month and in particular 2017 enjoyed a perfect storm of new hits and strong February releases that showed amazing staying power like 'Get Out' and 'The Lego Batman Movie,' " said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore. "The cumulative allure of an impressive slate of films conjured up a flat out great month in theaters, generating impressive momentum as the industry charges into what promises to be a furious April and a smashing summer movie season that kicks off in May with 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2.' "
Last year's March set a record with $948.8 million domestically, led by Disney's "Zootopia" ($255.9 million for the month) and Warner Bros.' "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" ($209.1 million).
"Power Rangers," a re-imagining of the 1990's television show about five teenage superheroes, outperformed expectations of about $30 million at 3,693 locations. The film earned an A CinemaScore from customers and A+ from the 30% of moviegoers under 18. The audience was 60% male.
The cast features Becky G as the Yellow Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger, Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger, Dacre Montgomery as the Red Ranger, and R.J. Cyler as the Blue Ranger. Elizabeth Banks plays the evil alien witch Rita Repulsa.
The movie centers on the origins of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a group of high schoolers given extraterrestrial powers who unite to save the world. Lionsgate and Haim Saban announced plans in 2014 for a live-action movie based on Saban's "Power Rangers" property as the first film in a franchise; Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer has asserted that it may do as many as seven films. "Power Rangers" carries a $100 million price tag.
David Spitz, Lionsgate's domestic theatrical distribution president, noted that the movie showed strong traction amid all demographics -- even with "Beauty and the Beast" remaining a potent draw. "We always thought the two films could be complementary to each other," he added.
Spitz also noted that "Power Rangers" debuted in the same late March slot as the studio's "Hunger Games" and "Divergent," enabling it to take advantage of the spring break for moviegoers. The third weekend of Warner-Legendary's "Kong: Skull Island" was headed for third place with $14.4 million at 3,666 locations, which gives the giant ape a domestic total of $133.5 million in its first 17 days.
Sony-Skydance's "Life" stars Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, and Jake Gyllenhaal as International Space Station astronauts threatened by an extraterrestrial life form. It's performing at the lower end of expectations in third place, despite generating mostly positive reviews with a 67% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
David Ellison's Skydance financed 75% of "Life," which has a $58 million budget. Its audience was 55% male and 57% over 25.
The fourth weekend of Fox's "Logan" followed in fourth with $10.1 million at 3,687 sites. "Logan" is 2017's second highest grosser with $201.5 million in Hugh Jackman's farewell to the Wolverine character.
Universal-Blumhouse's fifth weekend of surprise hit "Get Out" finished fifth with $8.7 million at 2,474 locations. The horror-comedy, Jordan Peele's directorial debut, has become enormously profitable, given its $4.5 million budget.
Warner Bros. rolled out action-comedy "Chips," starring Dax Shepard and Michael Pena, amid muted expectations. The R-rated reboot of the TV series, which starred Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox, has not gained much critical traction with a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the budget is a relatively modest $25 million.
By Dave McNary