Month: November 2020

BTS ‘Dynamite’ costumes to light up U.S. music charity auction

The K-pop band members of BTS are offering up their outfits from the music video of their hit single “Dynamite” to the highest bidder in a Beverly Hills, California, charity auction in January.

The pink, blue, yellow and lavender pastel outfits the seven singers wore in the record-setting video are expected to fetch what Julien’s Auctions on Monday called a conservative estimate of $20,000 – $40,000.

“This is the first time that BTS has ever sold any costumes,” said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions.

The costumes include the T-shirts, hats, sneakers, pants and shirts worn by the South Korean boy band during the final dance sequence of the music video for “Dynamite” in August.

“Dynamite,” the first all-English language single by BTS, debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts in the summer in a first for a South Korean pop act.

The music video, which features the band members dancing with a sunset sky behind them, became the fastest YouTube video to reach 10 million views, doing so after only 20 minutes.

In January, seven signed microphones used by the band on tour sold in Los Angeles for $83,200 – more than eight times the expected starting price.

BTS, known for using its music to spread optimism, notched another milestone in the U.S. music industry last week when it was nominated for its first major Grammy award.

The “Dynamite” outfits will be one of the items auctioned on Jan. 29 in Beverly Hills and online to raise funds for MusiCares, the philanthropic arm of the Recording Academy which organizes the annual Grammy Awards.

MusiCares funds health and welfare programs for musicians, including tens of thousands who have lost work during the coronavirus pandemic with the shuttering of clubs and concert venues and the cancellation of festivals.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #BTS #dynamite @ivoxnews www.ivoxnews.com

Darth Vader actor David Prowse dies aged 85

 David Prowse, the English actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films, has died aged 85, his management company said on Sunday.

“It’s with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that Dave Prowse MBE has passed away at the age of 85,” Bowington Management said in a statement on Twitter.

The champion weightlifter-turned-actor starred as the body, but not the voice, of one of cinema’s best-known villains.

Director George Lucas opted to dub another voice onto Prowse’s portrayal of the towering, masked antagonist Darth Vader in “Star Wars”, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”.

Prowse was honoured by Queen Elizabeth in 2000 for services to charity and road safety after starring in a long running public campaign as a character called the Green Cross Code Man who encouraged pedestrian road safety.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #darthvader #davidprowse @ivoxnews www.ivoxnews.com

Racing great Hamilton, fundraiser Captain Tom top GQ awards

Britain’s 100-year-old charity hero Captain Tom Moore and motor racing champion Lewis Hamilton have topped GQ magazine’s Men of the Year Awards.

The men’s fashion and style magazine also honoured campaigning soccer player Marcus Rashford and actress Lashana Lynch, among others, at a virtual ceremony broadcast on Thursday via GQ’s YouTube channel and hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall.

It named veteran singer, song writer and TV personality Ozzy Osbourne as winner of its lifetime achievement award.

Lewis Hamilton, winner of the GQ’s Game Changer Award poses for a GQ January/February 2021 issue cover, in this handout image obtained by Reuters on November 26, 2020. Conde Nast/Misan Harriman/Handout via REUTERS

Moore, a World War Two veteran, won the ‘Inspiration’ category after raising 32 million pounds ($43 million) for Britain’s health service and charities at the height of the coronavirus pandemic by walking laps of his garden.

Since completing his walking feat, Moore has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth, scored a No. 1 single, written a book and signed a deal to film a biopic of his life. Last month he launched a podcast series to tackle isolation among the elderly.

Hamilton, 35, the most successful grand prix racing driver of all time and the only Black driver in Formula One, won GQ’s ‘Game Changer’ award. He has used his platform to campaign for racial equality, diversity and environmental sustainability.

“Despite winning more races than anyone else across an impressive 14 seasons in Formula One, it’s Lewis Hamilton’s actions off the circuit that make him GQ’s Game Changer of the Year,” said Dylan Jones, the magazine’s editor.

Among others honoured on Thursday, ‘Captain Marvel’ star Lynch was named breakthrough actress and Irish actor Paul Mescal, who starred in ‘Normal People’, won the breakthrough actor award. British-Nigerian actor John Boyega took GQ’s ‘Icon’ award.

Manchester United player Rashford clinched the ‘Campaigner’ award for his work in helping to tackle child hunger and homelessness in Britain.

Patrick Hutchinson, a Black Lives Matter activist and personal trainer who rescued a white man during violent clashes in London in the summer, won the humanitarian award.

This was the 23rd year of the GQ Men of the Year Awards, which was organised in association with Hugo Boss.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #GQ #magazine @ivoxnews www.ivoxnews.com

Denmark’s Mads Mikkelsen to replace Depp in next ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movie

 Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has been chosen to replace Johnny Depp in the upcoming third film in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, Warner Bros. said on Wednesday.

Mikkelsen, 55, who is known for his role as serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the U.S. television series “Hannibal,” will play the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the spinoff movie from “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.

Depp was forced to exit the role earlier this month after losing a libel case in Britain against a tabloid newspaper that branded him a “wife beater.” The three-week trial in July heard evidence from Depp and his former wife Amber Heard about a tempestuous marriage marked by violence on both sides and of heavy drinking by Depp.

Depp, who had earlier begun production on the third “Fantastic Beasts” movie in London, said he was asked to leave by Warner Bros.

Mikkelsen also played roles in action movies “Doctor Strange” and “Casino Royale” as well as taking roles in Danish dramas such as “The Hunnt” and “A Royal Affair.”

The “Fantastic Beasts” movies, based on the magical adventures of Newt Scamander, are set some 60 years before the “Harry Potter” films but feature several of the same key characters when they were younger.

The third as yet untitled movie in the series is set for release in July 2022.

The first two of the five planned “Fantastic Beasts” films earned $1.5 billion at the global box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #FantasticBeast #NewMovieRelease @ivoxnews www.ivoxnews.com

IVOX MEDIA Announces the Film Release of “A Texas Holiday Tradition • The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market”

IVOX NEWS Presents a Holiday Film just in time for Thanksgiving & Black Friday Shopping – “A Texas Holiday Tradition – The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market” 

IVOX NEWS – ivoxnews.comAnnounces the Film Release of “A Texas Holiday Tradition – The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market” just in time for Thanksgiving and Black Friday Shopping. 

The film showcases highlights of The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market which is celebrating its 40th anniversary year. As a Texas Holiday Tradition, the Nutcracker Market attracts over 100,000 visitors annually to NRG Center to support the Houston Ballet, its academy and scholarship programs. 

When it was announced the in-person shopping event would be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, executive producer Louie Comella, and cinematographer Gracie Henley, wanted to release the film early to bring attention to this year’s online market. The film is part of a douc-series America’s Holiday Traditions by IVOX MEDIA slated to air in 2021. 

“Covid has changed a lot of how we experience the world today, but you can’t dampen the spirit of the Nutcracker Market,” says the film’s narrator, Ernie Manouse of Houston PBS. “Covid-19 won’t be stealing the Holiday cheer of the market this year because you can still shop online to support this annual fundraiser for the Houston Ballet.” 

“Houstonians, Texans, and visitors from around the country come to the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market to experience the best of holiday shopping, and we’re excited to tell the story even if we can’t be there this year,” said Jennifer Joiner, editor in chief of IVOX NEWS. 

The film will be available on Thanksgiving Day. To watch “A Texas Holiday Tradition – The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market” visit ivoxtv.com.

Media inquires: [email protected]

‘Happiest Season’ spotlights LGBT love in Christmas rom-com

“Happiest Season,” out on Hulu on Friday and starring Kristen Stewart, breaks the mold as a romantic comedy about a lesbian couple set around the holidays.

Stewart, who is bisexual, says she’s astounded it’s taken this long for a major studio to get behind such a film.

“I would have loved to have grown up with a movie like this. But the fact that I’m 30 years old and I’m in it – I feel really lucky to be in the first film, but I’m also baffled that it is,” Stewart said.

Stewart plays Abby, who’s been in a relationship with Harper (Mackenzie Davis) for more than a year when Harper invites her to her family home for Christmas. On the way there, Harper reveals that her parents don’t know she’s gay and Abby has to pretend to be Harper’s straight roommate.

“Happiest Season” director and co-writer Clea Duvall said she felt there were was gap in the market for LGBT films with a light touch.

“I don’t think it always has to be this big heavy story,” she said. “We deserve big, bright, bold romances … where you can have a real happy ending.”

Daniel Levy, best known for his Emmy-winning role on comedy “Schitt’s Creek,” plays Abby’s gay best friend. He said more stories like “Happiest Season” need to be told.

“The fact that its 2020, and I think that it’s the first movie depicting two women falling in love over the holidays by a studio, is kind of shocking,” he said.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #lgbtq #NewMovieRelease @ivoxnews www.ivoxnews.com

Taylor Swift voted artist of year for sixth time at American Music Awards

Taylor Swift was named artist of the year at the American Music Awards on Sunday and won two other trophies in a ceremony held live in Los Angeles amid tight coronavirus curbs.

It was Swift’s record sixth win of the top prize at the fan-voted show, although she was absent from the ceremony and thanked fans on video for their support of her surprise lockdown album “folklore.”

FILE PHOTO: Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known as The Weeknd, arrives at the international premiere of “Uncut Gems” at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Canadians Justin Bieber and The Weeknd – the latter sporting a large white face bandage – were the other big winners, with three awards each.

Bieber was named favorite male pop/rock artist and picked up his two other wins for his collaboration with country singers Dan + Shay on “10,000 Hours”. The Weeknd took home trophies for best soul/R&B male artist as well as for his album “After Hours” and song “Heartless.”

He gave no reason for his bandaged appearance, which confused fans on social media, but appeared to be an artistic choice that started with his March album cover on which he sported a bloodied and broken nose.

The show featured a mix of live and pre-recorded performances across Latin, country, pop, rap and R&B music soul in front of a handful of socially distanced fans.

“It has been a long year and now that 2020 is coming to an end it’s time to remember that we are one country, y’all. We need to heal,” said host Taraji P. Henson as she opened the ceremony.

Masked dancers were the order of the night, kicking off with Bieber singing his hits “Lonely” and “Holy” before being joined by Shawn Mendes for their duet “Monster.”

The awards celebrated the surge in popularity of Latin music with expanded categories and a steamy performance by Jennifer Lopez and Colombian singer Maluma singing “Lonely” in both English and Spanish.

Becky G, whose parents are Mexican-American, won for best female Latin artist and dedicated her award to immigrant workers.

K-pop group BTS won two, for best pop/rock group and favorite social artists, and closed the show with a version of their hits “Dynamite” and “Life Goes On” from South Korea.

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion marked her debut performance at the American Music Awards with “Body” and later accepted the best rap/hip-hop song trophy for her raunchy summer collaboration “WAP” with Cardi B.

But she was beaten in the best new artist category by Los Angeles singer Doja Cat, who was also named favorite female soul/R&B artist.

IVOX NEWS by Reuters #AMAs #TaylorSwift @ivoxnews www.ivoxnews.com

‘Freaky’ Repeats as Winner at Quiet U.S. Box Office With $1.2 Million

Body-swap horror comedy “Freaky” repeated as the winner of a seriously subdued U.S. box office with $1.2 million at 2,057 locations in North America.

The Universal and Blumhouse Productions’ movie stars Vince Vaughn as a serial killer and Kathryn Newton as a low-profile high schooler who inadvertently switch bodies on Friday the 13th. “Freaky” has taken in $5.6 million in it first 10 days amid reluctance among many moviegoers to return to multiplexes until a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

Universal noted Sunday that the theatrical box office continues to be impaired due to a notable reduction in the number of theaters in North America, as the domestic theatrical footprint has shrunk to roughly 2,800 open locations from 3,400 last weekend.

FILE PHOTO: 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards – Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 19, 2020 – Kathryn Newton. REUTERS/Monica Almeida

The performance of “Freaky” contrasts sharply with the same weekend a year ago when Disney launched “Frozen II” with $130 million and overall North American business totaled $206 million, according to Comscore.

“With the continuing surge of the virus this fall, another round of lockdowns and curfews are impacting theaters on a regional basis,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro. “Business is down sharply from last weekend as a result of temporary closures, even for films that had proven to hold quite well over the past few months. While the encouraging news of vaccines on the horizon remains a light at the end of the tunnel for the industry, this weekend’s dip at the box office is an expected reminder of the endurance that will be required to push through a very challenging holiday and winter season.”

The seventh weekend of 101 Studios’ comedy “The War With Grandpa” finished in a distant second place with $737,067 at 1,688 sites. The Robert De Niro vehicle has earned $16.2 million after 45 days in theaters.

Focus Features’ thriller “Let Him Go,” starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, followed in third with $710,000 at 1,907 locations. The film, set in Montana in the 1960s, has pulled in $7.9 million in its first 17 days.

Focus’s fourth weekend of the horror movie “Come Play” came in fourth place with $510,000 at 1,364 screens. After three weeks in theaters, the film has made $8 million.

Disney’s re-release of its 1994 holiday comedy-drama “The Santa Clause” pulled in $481,000 at 1,581 sites. The Tim Allen vehicle originally generated $190 million in worldwide box office.

Romantic comedy, veteran actress win big at Chinese-language ‘Oscars’

 A veteran actress and a romantic comedy stole the limelight at this year’s Golden Horse Awards, the Chinese-speaking world’s version of the Oscars, in Taiwan on Saturday, with China largely absent for a second year following a dispute over politics.

“My Missing Valentine”, a Taiwanese movie about a post office worker who wakes up to discover Valentine’s Day has passed without her knowing, won five awards, including best film and best director.

Director Chen Yu-hsun and others pose with the Best Narrative Feature award for “My Missing Valentine” at the 57th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei, Taiwan November 21, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang

But it was veteran Taiwan actress Chen Shu-fang, 81 and in the business for more than six decades, who got possibly the warmest reception.

She won for two different films, getting the best supporting actress for “Dear Tenant” and best leading actress for “Little Big Women”, both complex family dramas.

Not only had she never won before, she had never been nominated for the prize previously.

“Even if I can no longer walk, I want the director to write a wheelchair role for me,” Chen said.

Politics was not entirely absent, with Jill Li’s “Lost Course”, about the Chinese “democracy village” of Wukan which rose up against corruption, taking the award for best documentary, a prize unlikely to further endear China to the event.

China’s film regulator last year blocked the country’s movie industry from participating in the Taiwan-hosted awards, which were founded in 1962 and take place every year.

This move came after the event caused uproar in 2018 in China and amongst Chinese stars at the ceremony when Taiwanese director Fu Yue made comments in support of Taiwan’s formal independence.

China considers democratic Taiwan its own territory and routinely denounces any moves Beijing views as suggesting the island is separate from China or not part of its territory.

This year’s Golden Horse awards were held in front of a full, mask-wearing audience, testimony to Taiwan’s success at controlling the coronavirus pandemic.

Several high profile stars, including Taiwan-born Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, had to first complete mandatory 14-day quarantines, having flown into Taiwan for the ceremony.