All domestic box office grosses are according to Box Office Mojo as of Dec. 31, 2014.
10, 9, 8...
It’s been over a century since the New Year’s Eve Ball was first dropped, in 1907, in New York City’s Times Square. According to the Times Square Alliance, the first-ever ball was a metal-and-wood orb that clocked it at 700 lbs. Since then, it’s gone through several iterations, with the current ball — known as the Big Ball — clocking in at nearly 12,000 lbs. of LED lights and Waterford Crystal facets.
The location, TIME declared in 1988, is a meaningful one: “Americans’ emblematic visions of their country incline toward the arcadian — cabins in a peaceable countryside, a small town with no entertainment wilder than a Sousa band in the park. But in this century, as the U.S. became an urban nation, New York City‘s Times Square emerged as a different sort of American apotheosis. Times Square exemplified a certain idea of the city carried to its frenetic extreme: a few blocks dense with too many lights and too much action, a happy chaos of honky-tonk night life (the Florodora girls, Legs Diamond’s Hotsy Totsy Club), theatrical bliss (Barrymore’s Hamlet, the Marx Brothers) and the spontaneous razzmatazz of the rialto,” wrote Kurt Andersen. “There was a civic side as well: Times Square became the natural New York place for jubilation en masse, every New Year‘s Eve and every time America won a war.”
A live webcast of this year’s ball drop will begin at 6:00 Eastern on Wednesday.
The 11,875-pound ball is covered in 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles
Every New Year’s Eve brings a new ball to New York City’s Times Square. The tradition began in 1907 and remains one of the world’s most iconic spectacles at the turn of the new year.
This year’s design is called The Gift of Fortitude. The design utilizes “diamond cuts on either side of a crystal pillar to represent the inner attributes of resolve, courage and spirit necessary to triumph over adversity,” according to the Times Square Ball’s official website.
The ball is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights and can display more than 16 million vibrant colors in billions of patterns.
Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency confirmed Tuesday that searchers had discovered debris from the missing AirAsia Flight QZ 8501 and the bodies of 40 passengers in the Java Sea. The Singapore-bound plane disappeared on Sunday with 162 people on board
Look out for Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt in episodes of Friends when the show hits Netflix
From Paul Rudd to Jon Favreau and Aisha Tyler
After Swingers but before he directed films like Elf, Chef and Iron Man, Jon Favreau played Monica’s super-rich husband who wants to become an Ultimate Fighting Champion.
Aisha Tyler played Charlie, the paleontologist who dates both Joey and Ross. But neither proves smart enough for her: She prefers Nobel prize winners. After Friends, Tyler went on to star in 24 and now voices Lana Kane on Archer.
Sure, Monica and Chandler were a great couple, and the will-they-or-won’t-they drama of Ross and Rachel was endlessly entertaining. But the best pairing on the show was Phoebe and Mike, played by an utterly lovable Paul Rudd. Rudd has had perhaps the most successful career of the Friends vets: Anchorman premiered the same year that Friends wrapped, and the comedian quickly shot to superstardom with The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Role Models and I Love You, Man.
You know that kid who played Ross’ son (that he barely ever saw) Ben? He went on to star as Cody in the Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
Before his roles in The 6th Day, Hitch and The Heat, Michael Rapaport was Pheobe’s cop boyfriend, who she had to break up with after he shot a bird.
Before she was Mystique in the X-Men movies, Rebeca Romijn baffled the Friends by dating Ross despite being super hot. (Though too be fair, the Rachel-Ross combination never really made sense either.) But Ross ultimately breaks up with the girl because her apartment is filthy and has rodents living in it.
Best known for roles in Sahara and Dallas Buyers Club, Zahn first played Phoebe’s gay ex-husband and ice dancer in an early episode of Friends.
In the 1990s, Tate Donovan was probably best known as Jennifer Anniston’s real-life boyfriend. They played an onscreen couple too: Rachel goes to great lengths, even donning her old cheerleading outfit from high school, to win the affection of Joshua. Donovan went on to stints on The O.C. as Jimmy Cooper, Damages as Tom Shayes and 24: Live Another Day as Mark Boudreau as well as roles in films like Good Night, and Good Luck and Argo.
From Santas on water skis to motorcycles, here are some unusual and unexpected celebrations
Missouri police say teen pointed a gun at an officer
Authorities in Missouri said a police officer fatally shot a teenager, identified by his mother as 18-year-old Antonio Martin, after he allegedly pointed a gun at the officer Tuesday evening at a gas station about two miles away from Ferguson. At least 100 demonstrators gathered at the scene of the shooting and clashed with police; Chief Jon Belmar said 4 people were arrested and one officer was hospitalized after a brick struck his face, NBC News reports.
An out-of-this-world collection featuring everything from Europa, a mysterious ice-covered moon of Jupiter, to pictures tweeted by astronauts
READ NEXT TIME Remembers: In Memoriam 2014