Month: August 2020

Box Office: ‘New Mutants’ Lands $7 Million Debut

Superhero thriller “The New Mutants,” one of the first major movies to open since coronavirus caused theaters to close in March, launched to $7 million over the weekend. Though ticket sales were on the lower end of expectations, the Disney and 20th Century Studios release marks the biggest debut yet for a new release during the pandemic.

Around 60-70% of theaters have reopened across the U.S. and Canada, according to Disney. However, some of the biggest moviegoing markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, New Jersey and New York, still remain closed. In parts of the country where theaters have resumed business, venues are capping capacity and keeping space between seats to comply with social distancing measures.

Even before the pandemic hit, “The New Mutants” was facing headwinds. The”X-Men” spinoff, about young mutants discovering their powers, had a particularly arduous journey to the big screen since it was initially scheduled to release in 2018. It reportedly went through extensive reshoots and has been delayed numerous times.

Analyst David A. Gross, who runs movie consultancy FranchiseRe, estimates “The New Mutants” would have generated roughly $14 million if all 6,000 movie theaters in the country were open.

“The figure is below superhero and horror spinoff averages,” Gross said. “Still, it’s a positive step for the business following last weekend.”

“The New Mutants” bowed this weekend alongside a number of fresh offerings, including Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter’s “Bill and Ted Face the Music” and “The Personal History of David Copperfield” starring Dev Patel.

“Bill and Ted Face the Music,” the third installment in the sci-fi comedy franchise, simultaneously debuted on digital rental services. Theatrically, the film picked up $1.06 million from 1,007 screens — with drive-in theaters in Salt Lake City, Dallas and Houston accounting for a bulk of receipts. Though it’s unclear how much money “Bill and Ted” made on premium video-on-demand platforms, Orion Films reported that it was the No. 1 title on iTunes, while the series bundle had the No. 2 slot. “Bill and Ted 3,” directed by Dean Parisot, received mostly positive reviews.

“The Personal History David Copperfield” made $520,000 from 1,360 theaters, a slow start for the PG-rated comedy. Based on the Charles Dickens novel, the movie was directed by “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci. Searchlight, the specialty studio distributing the film, plans to expand “David Copperfield” to nearly 100 additional theaters in time for Labor Day weekend.

“The results, while modest, signals a return to the cinema for moviegoers who are yearning for the majesty of the big screen,” said Searchlight’s head of distribution Frank Rodriguez.

Among holdovers, Russell Crowe’s road-rage thriller “Unhinged” pulled in $2.6 million during its second weekend of release, bringing its total bounty to $8.8 million.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #disney #thenewmutants #movie @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

MTV dedicates VMA show to ‘true hero’ Chadwick Boseman

Youth channel MTV dedicated its Video Music Awards show on Sunday to Chadwick Boseman, calling the “Black Panther” star, whose death last week at age 43 shocked fans around the world, a “true hero.”

Opening the annual ceremony dedicated to the best in pop music, host Keke Palmer called Boseman “an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched, and everyone he encountered.”

“We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many. He’s a true hero, not just on screen, but everything he did. His impact lives forever,” Palmer said.

Boseman’s death on Friday of colon cancer brought an outpouring of tributes ranging from former U.S. President Barack Obama to Oprah Winfrey and “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler.

Boseman had been diagnosed in 2016, his family said, but had not publicly disclosed his illness.

The VMA awards show on Sunday also ran clips of Boseman accepting an MTV Movie Award in 2018 for his role as king of the fictional African kingdom Wakanda in “Black Panther,” and aired a black screen with the words “Rest in Power.”

The groundbreaking 2018 superhero movie, the first in the genre to feature a predominantly Black cast, jumped back into the top five on the Apple and Amazon movie charts on Sunday.

ABC television changed its schedule on Sunday to air the “Black Panther” film and hosted a tribute to the actor’s life and work.

His family’s tweet announcing his death on the actor’s Twitter account became the most-liked posting ever on Twitter, the social media platform said on Saturday. It had 7.2 million likes by Sunday.

Coogler described Boseman in a statement on Sunday as “an epic firework display” and said he had been unaware that Boseman was ill while filming “Black Panther.”

Boseman’s other screen credits included playing Jackie Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s color bar, and funk musician James Brown.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #mtv #chadwickboseman #broadway #movie @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

New Blackpink-Selena Gomez ‘Ice Cream’ song and music video released

K-pop power girl group Blackpink and singer-actress Selena Gomez released their eagerly awaited new single “Ice Cream” on Friday to furious fan approval.

Doused in shades of pink and other pastels, the music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRXZj0DzXIA&feature=youtu.be opens with Gomez in a red-and-white striped outfit and sailor hat in the driver’s seat of an ice cream van, while Blackpink members Jisoo, Jennie, Rose and Lisa later dance holding ice cream in a bright pink ice cream parlour.

Blackpink’s management agency, YG Entertainment, said “Ice Cream” was perfect for summer and completely different from previous songs “Kill This Love” or “How You Like That”. Both had a more dynamic and aggressive club beat while “Ice Cream” has a lighter, bubbly vibe.

“I really like that this song is sort of different than Blackpink’s previous songs,” said one fan with the username Ariel ari. “It’s a new side and concept that really suits them. I can’t wait for the new album!”

The 17-second teaser for the music video, released on Thursday, had over 14.5 million views on YouTube as of 0400GMT on Friday.

“Ice Cream” also loosely ties in with Gomez’s new cooking show “Selena + Chef”, in which famous chefs appear remotely to teach the former Disney star to cook dishes such as omelettes, octopus, tacos and cookies. The 10-episode unscripted series debuted on the HBO MAX streaming platform this month.

When released two months ago, Blackpink’s “How You Like That” broke YouTube’s 24-hour viewing record with 82.4 million views on its first day of release on the video platform, according to Variety.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #selenagomez #blackpink #music @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

Lola Lennox follows in mother Annie’s footsteps with single release

Having a Grammy award-winning mother setting the standard wasn’t always easy for singer Lola Lennox – but any initial intimidation she felt she managed to turn into drive, she said.

The 29-year-old, who is the daughter of singer-songwriter and former Eurythmics star Annie Lennox, has just released the single “Back At Wrong.”

“I wrote the song about a relationship that was as exciting and passionate as it was tragic and difficult,” she told Reuters in an interview from her home in Los Angeles, California.

Singer Lola Lennox poses for a picture at undisclosed location in this handout picture provided to Reuters on August 27, 2020. La Lennoxa Touring inc./XIX Entertainment/Gabriella Ellis/Handout via REUTERS

“I think everyone has those kind of compulsive relationships …you know you’re in a bit of a mess but you keep going back to it,” she said, adding that she’s not in it any more.      

Lola Lennox, who started singing when she was eight years old, said becoming a singer wasn’t always a smooth journey.  She had to overcome self-doubt and work hard to feel ready to launch her music career: “I really wanted to get … to a level that I was proud of,” she said.

Following in her mother’s footsteps helped her meet people in the industry, but she still had to prove herself and she felt she had a lot to live up to.

Singer Lola Lennox poses for a picture at undisclosed location in this handout picture provided to Reuters on August 27, 2020. La Lennoxa Touring inc./XIX Entertainment/Gabriella Ellis/Handout via REUTERS

“Having my mum as my mum – when I was younger, it was like a really high bar that I was trying to shoot for because I had this standard to get to …when I was younger, it was maybe a little intimidating to me, but I turned that into drive.”

In April she enjoyed partnering with her mother to sing a duet of Eurythmic’s hit “There Must Be An Angel” for Global Citizen’s coronavirus fundraising concert One World: Together At Home. Annie Lennox also co-produced “Back At Wrong”.

“I feel lucky to have her there for me,” she said.  

While Lola Lennox doesn’t like to type cast her music into a theme – she says is interested in people, psychology and examining emotion.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #lolalennox #music @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

Sotheby’s changes beat with first hip-hop auction

It started out as just a plastic prop from a party shop but the gold colored crown that rapper Notorious B.I.G wore on the last photo shoot before his death could fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at an auction dedicated to hip-hop culture.

After highlighting sneakers and handbags in recent years, Sotheby’s in New York is branching out again for the September auction, which will feature some 120 lots representing hip-hop artifacts, jewelry, fashion and fine art.

It is the first auction staged by an international house anywhere devoted entirely to hip-hop, and will trace the impact of the musical genre from the late 1970s through to the mid-1990s, Sotheby’s said on Tuesday.

A message from rapper Tupac Shakur is pictured in a school yearbook in this handout photo supplied by Sotheby’s, ahead of a September 15 auction dedicated entirely to hip-hop culture in New York. Sotheby’s/Handout via REUTERS

Notorious B.I.G.’s signed crown, worn in the 1997 “King of New York” photograph and offered on sale for the first time, could fetch $200,000 – $300,000 at the Sept. 15 auction. 

The New York rapper, also known as Biggie Smalls, was shot dead in Los Angeles at the age of 24 three days after the photo shoot as part of a feud between east and west coast rappers that also took the life of Tupac Shakur, 23, in 1996. Both crimes are unsolved.

“I expect that the crown could sell for a lot more because it’s so recognizable,” Cassandra Hatton, the senior Sotheby’s specialist in the books and manuscripts department who put the auction together, told Reuters.

“Anybody who lived through the ’90s knows Biggie’s crown. It’s been on T-shirts, it’s been on the covers of magazines, it’s so iconic,” she said.

Hatton said the plastic crown, which comes direct from photographer Barron Claiborne, is signed by both men and comes with a large print of the K.O.N.Y. photograph.

Another major item is a series of 22 love letters written by a 16-year-old Shakur to his high school sweetheart Kathy Loy between 1987-1988. They are expected to fetch $60,000 -$80,000.

Hatton said the decision by Sotheby’s to devote an entire auction to hip-hop reflects its impact over 40 years on fashion, design, art and pop culture.

It follows the 270-year-old auction house’s recent forays into collectible sneakers, space memorabilia, pop music lyrics and designer handbags.

“This isn’t that jarring of a departure from what Sotheby’s normally does,” Hatton said.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #hiphop #thenewmutants #Biggie @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

Berlin Film Festival to go ahead next February despite pandemic

The Berlin Film Festival will go ahead next February as planned despite the COVID-19 pandemic, its organisers said on Monday, as Germany battles a surge in infections linked to returning holidaymakers, large family gatherings and nightlife.

The film festival, also known as the Berlinale, is being planned as a physical festival while a hybrid model of virtual and on-site events is intended for the European Film Market (EFM) event running at the same time, the organisers said in a statement.

The EFM is the business centre of the Berlinale, and is one of the largest international film market events in the world.

The festival will take place Feb. 11-21 and will observe the health guidelines in place then so that the greatest possible security can be guaranteed for all guests, they said.

“Adjustments in the festival structure, the film programming and the total number of invited films will be defined by the festival management within the coming weeks,” it added.

The Berlin Film Festival, one of the industry’s biggest events in Europe, normally draws 480,000 filmmakers, movie stars and fans into the cinemas of the German capital.

The festival’s Golden Bear is one of the most prestigious awards in Europe, together with the Palme d’Or of the Cannes festival in France and the Golden Lion award of the Venice Film Festival. 

Cannes, the world’s biggest cinema showcase, usually held in May on the French Riviera, was abandoned following a two-month lockdown in France to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #film #festival #movie @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

South Korea’s BTS hopes ‘Dynamite’ blows away fans amid coronavirus gloom

South Korean boy band BTS said on Friday they hoped their new digital single “Dynamite” refreshes fans and helps them recharge their batteries as they cope with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The seven-member group is at the forefront of South Korean pop music and has helped win K-pop fans around the world since their 2013 debut.

The young group members said in a livestreamed news conference ahead of the release of “Dynamite” that they hoped the song would give their fans the same surge of energy it had given them.

“Everyone in the world is going through tough times right now,” member Jimin told the news conference aired via YouTube.

“Dynamite is a song that can lift anyone’s spirit. We gained a lot of energy singing and rehearsing it,” he said.

Group leader and rapper RM said the coronavirus had forced a halt to many of their activities but it had also allowed them to clear their heads and come up with new material.

“It served as an impetus for Dynamite, this was a ray of light, a sip of sweet water,” he said.

Contributors on their first English-language song included David Stewart and Jessica Agombar, their music label, Big Hit Entertainment, said. The full album will be released later this year.

BTS are set to return with two concerts in Seoul in October, with a limited audience observing social distancing, which will also be streamed online, Big Hit said.

Their tour of more than 20 concerts in the United States, Europe and Asia was cancelled because of the coronavirus but some 756,000 fans paid to watch an online concert in June.

BTS broke into the U.S. market in 2017 and were the first Korean group to win a Billboard music award. They performed at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in January.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #BTS # #movie @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

Lights, camera, not much action: Hollywood slow to restart in a pandemic

As home-bound audiences eagerly await new programming during the coronavirus pandemic, Hollywood has been slow to get cameras rolling again, even with quarantined sets and innovations such as love scenes using mannequins.

Only a fraction of movie and TV productions have resumed filming in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States, where coronavirus cases are rising. Actors and crew members are unsure when projects might resume, and some expect they will not return to work until 2021.

FILE PHOTO: Producer Christopher Acebo is interviewed on the set of the film “7th & Union” during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Pomona, California, U.S., July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

Los Angeles County, home to the biggest movie and TV studios, gave a greenlight in June for filming to resume with safeguards. Major unions issued a 36-page report outlining safety measures. Producers had hoped to have many sets working again in August.

The number of film permit requests in the Los Angeles area since mid-June ran about 34 percent of normal. Most of those were for commercials or still photography, according to local organization FilmLA, which said it expected scripted TV and feature film production to pick up in September.

Actor Seth Rogen, who produces TV series and movies with partner Evan Goldberg, said he is exploring international locations, including Bulgaria, for some projects.

“I am not ambitious that any filming is going to be happening in America anytime soon in a way that I’m comfortable with,” Rogen said in an interview this month. “I look to other countries who have dealt with this whole thing much better and think maybe, if they’ll let us in, maybe we can film there.”


A few big movie productions have resumed overseas. The next “Jurassic World” dinosaur adventure from Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures restarted filming in London, and the cast of Walt Disney Co’s “Avatar” sequels is back at work in New Zealand.

To restart, producers must adapt the industry guidelines to their situations, which takes longer for bigger projects.

“It’s not like flipping a light switch,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, chief operating officer and general counsel for actors union SAG-AFTRA.

The union has cleared more than 1,000 return-to-work plans for film and TV projects, he said, adding that the current production level was “far lower” than normal.

Lingering shutdowns will limit the supply of fresh programming that TV networks and streaming services can offer even as many viewers remain home-bound during the pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: A person places a sign reminding about social distancing on the set of the film “7th & Union” during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Pomona, California, U.S., July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The cast of Amazon Studios series “The Boys” recorded a video urging fans to wear face masks to reduce coronavirus spread.

“You want a ‘Boys’ season three? They are not going to let us shoot unless we get the numbers down,” star Jack Quaid said.


Some TV series have pushed ahead with protections including smaller crews, safety officers to monitor compliance with infection-prevention measures and inventive fixes such as using mannequins for kissing scenes.

Producer Tyler Perry created a “Camp Quarantine” at his Georgia studio complex to film his BET series “Sistas” in July. No coronavirus cases were detected during a two-week shoot, Perry said.

ViacomCBS, owner of MTV, Comedy Central and other channels, is setting up closed sets called “COVID compounds” to isolate people working on series such as “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” said Chris McCarthy, president of entertainment and youth brands at ViacomCBS.

In the compounds, “we will control it, we’ll test, but we’ll also contain it and keep everyone as safe as possible,” McCarthy said.

A few productions have reported positive coronavirus tests to SAG-AFTRA, Crabtree-Ireland said, declining to name them. Some temporarily paused production for contact tracing and other steps, he said. Others were caught before the person had reported to set.

“In our view, it’s a sign the system is working,” he said.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #hollywood #film #movie @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

Princess Diana musical to debut on Netflix before hitting Broadway

 A new musical about Britain’s Princess Diana will be filmed without an audience and air on Netflix Inc in early 2021 before it debuts on Broadway, producers announced on Wednesday.

The unusual arrangement for “Diana” was made as Broadway remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We couldn’t be more excited to finally be able to share our show with theater lovers everywhere,” the producers said in a statement. “Though there is no substitute for the live theater, we are honored to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide.”

FILE PHOTO: Actors Jeanna de Waal and Roe Hartrampf speak at the news conference for the musical Diana about the life of the late Princess of Wales, by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, at the Lotte Hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Gaia Squarci/File Photo

“Diana” had been set to open on March 31, 2020, but the debut was delayed as Broadway closed its theaters to help prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading. The show had started previews in early March.

The production, which chronicles Diana’s courtship and marriage to Prince Charles and eventual divorce, now is scheduled to open on May 25, 2021.

The Actors’ Equity Association, a labor union representing stage actors, said it had approved a safety plan for rehearsals and recording of the musical. The plan includes regular coronavirus testing, isolating actors and stage managers and changes to ventilation in backstage areas, the group said in a statement.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #netflix #broadway #movie @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com

‘Dirty Dancing’ sequel in the works with original star Jennifer Grey

Jennifer Grey, the actress who starred opposite Patrick Swayze in romantic drama “Dirty Dancing,” will appear in a sequel to the classic 1987 movie, the studio behind the film announced on Thursday.

Grey also will serve as an executive producer on the film, which will be directed by “Warm Bodies” director Jonathan Levine, said Jon Feltheimer, chief executive of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

“It will be exactly the kind of romantic nostalgic movie that the franchise’s fans have been waiting for,” Feltheimer said on a call with industry analysts.

The company did not provide any details about the movie’s plot or when it would be released.

In the original film, Grey played Frances “Baby” Houseman, a teenager who becomes smitten with a dance instructor (Swayze) while on vacation at a New York resort in the 1960s.

Swayze died of cancer in 2009 at age 57.

“Dirty Dancing” was a box office smash and featured hit song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” which won an Oscar for best original song.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #dirtydancing #sequel #movie @ivoxnews #news :: www.ivoxnews.com