- - Monday, April 2, 2012

Facebook fans are getting an early shot to see the all-star superhero tale “The Avengers,” reported Associated Press.

Disney’s Marvel Studios announced Monday that it will offer advance screenings around the world in cities where “The Avengers” has gained the most fans on Facebook.

Early screenings will start with shows in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston and Miami on April 14, nearly three weeks before the film’s May 4 U.S. debut. Admission will be free, first-come, first-served.

Marvel plans another round of early screenings in five more cities. Fans can lobby for their city on “The Avengers” Facebook page.

“The Avengers” features Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johannson, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner.

Trailer from Houston’s new film debuts on ‘Today’

Viewers got a first glimpse of Whitney Houston’s upcoming film Monday when NBC’s “Today” show premiered a trailer for the much-awaited release.

A remake of the 1976 original, “Sparkle” stars Houston as the mother of three girls who forms a singing group and struggles with fame and drug addiction.

Houston, who died in February after her own battle with drug abuse, was poised for a movie comeback in “Sparkle” 20 years after her defining film portrayal in “The Bodyguard.” She also served as an executive producer of “Sparkle.”

The brief trailer, according to the Associated Press, displayed the daughters in performance and Houston telling them, “I always knew you had the gift.” No drug references were evident, nor was Houston seen singing.

“Sparkle” is scheduled for release Aug. 17.

Alec Baldwin engaged to marry Hilaria Thomas

Alec Baldwin is giving marriage another shot, according to Associated Press. The actor popped the question over the weekend to his 28-year-old yoga instructor girlfriend, Hilaria Thomas. They began dating last year.

His publicist, Matthew Hiltzik, made the engagement announcement over Twitter.

Mr. Baldwin, who once starred in a film called “The Marrying Man,” turns 54 on Tuesday, and an engagement, says Mr. Hiltzik, is a “great way to celebrate!”

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