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Eight of the top 10 financial sucesses of last year picked up on previous films

Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games’

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Avengers film sets new record at box office

The superhero movie Avengers Assemble has set a new record for the biggest-grossing opening weekend at the US box office, becoming the first film to break the $200m (£123m) mark.

Bafta-winning Misfits actress Lauren Socha sentenced for racist attack on taxi driver

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Captain America gets down to some heroic deeds in <i>Avengers Assemble</i>

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A little less conversation, a little more mighty superhero action, please

Avengers Assemble

Observations: How to play the Incredible Hulk

When Mark Ruffalo won his role as the Incredible Hulk for this month's mega-blockbuster Avengers Assemble, he made one fatal mistake: trawling the internet for reactions. Comic-book fans – particularly those obsessed with the Marvel superhero universe – can be an unforgiving bunch. "It was pretty brutal," he laughs. "It definitely hurt my feelings and scared me." How could it not? Insults ranged from "Ruffalo is a tool" to "That guy is barely awake. How is he going to be pissed off as the Hulk?"

Video: Batman pulled over by police

Police in the US pulled over a motorist dressed as Batman, but the caped crusader escaped - legally - without a ticket.

<b>7 March 2012</b><br/>
Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his fifth goal of the night as Barcelona thrashed Bayer Leverkusen 7-1. The diminutive Argentine made history, becoming the first player to score five goals in a Champions League fixture and taking his season’s tally to 53 in 49 games for club and country.

Lifting the lid on Leo, Barça's most reluctant superstar

'Normal' off the pitch, a genius on it, club's new record scorer has changed little. But will it always be this rosy? By Pete Jenson

Hungry for a hat-trick: Lionel Messi celebrates one of his record-breaking Barça goals on Tuesday

Lifting the lid on Leo Messi, Barça's reluctant superstar

'Normal' off the pitch, a genius on it, club's new record scorer has changed little from the shy 12-year-old who first arrived. But will it always be this rosy?

Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon - Superman's new nemesis slips into the costume

Michael Shannon is evil General Zod in the new Man of Steel. James Mottram meets the actor who wowed critics in Take Shelter

Hot wheels: Nicolas Cage, possibly over-revving, in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

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Pick your male fantasy: Writer in Paris pursued by women, or a dead man biking

The Northern Echo Arena in Darlington, where the drama came off the pitch during amazing scenes yesterday

Gone one minute then, at the 13th hour, a lifeline for Darlington

129 years of history looked certain to end under £1.8m of debt but a pair of unlikely saviours came up with £50,000 to save their club for now. Martin Hardy was on hand to witness dramatic scenes

Comic book artist Jerry Robinson

Jerry Robinson: Comic book artist whose most famous creation was The Joker

A central figure in the so-called Golden Age of comic books, Jerry Robinson, who has died aged 89, was perhaps best known as the creator of The Joker, probably the best known villain in comics history.

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