Entertainment – International

Blockbuster: Disney to expand empire with Fox tie-up

by Luc Olinga with Rob Lever in Washington Agence France-Presse NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Walt Disney Co. agreed Thursday to buy key film and television assets of 21st Century Fox, in a $52.4 billion deal that bolsters the media-entertainment powerhouse’s challenge to Netflix and emerging rivals in the streaming wars. The blockbuster stock transaction also vastly reduces the Fox media empire built by Rupert Murdoch, leaving the 86-year-old tycoon and his two sons […]

Four jailed in Singapore over forged Ed Sheeran tickets

SINGAPORE (AFP) — An Australian, a Briton and two New Zealanders have been jailed for four weeks each in Singapore for selling forged tickets to an Ed Sheeran concert. The Australian, 56-year-old Paul Cosgrove, was sentenced Wednesday after admitting that he abetted Briton Martin Keane in a scheme to sneak fans into the British singer-songwriter’s sold-out concert in the city-state using the fake tickets. Keane, 60, was jailed last month after pleading guilty to his […]

Hayek details harrowing ordeal by ‘monster’ Weinstein

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — A-lister Salma Hayek on Wednesday joined the scores of actresses to accuse Harvey Weinstein, alleging that the fallen Hollywood mogul sexually harassed her, subjected her to escalating rage and once threatened to kill her. “For years, he was my monster,” the Mexican-born star wrote in an essay published in The New York Times, detailing the torturous production of the 2002 movie “Frida” that eventually earned Hayek an Oscar nomination […]

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson honored with Hollywood star

by Frankie Taggart Agence France-Presse LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — He’s been named “sexiest man alive” and the “world’s highest paid film star” — now Dwayne Johnson can celebrate being accepted into the Hollywood establishment with a Walk of Fame star. The 45-year-old football player turned wrestling pro and then actor sported a sharp black suit and was joined by longtime partner Lauren Hashian and their almost two-year-old daughter Jasmine at the ceremony on […]

Weird but cute: Japan’s capsule toys play big in Internet age

by Natsuko Fukue Agence France-Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — A tiny replica of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and a plastic cat squatting on sushi: just two of the weird-and-wonderful capsule toys that have become a multi-million-dollar craze in cute-obsessed Japan. The industry is now worth an estimated 30 billion yen ($265 million), with the fastidious attention to detail in the toys appealing to the Japanese sense of precision along with a well-documented love of all […]

Gwyneth Paltrow brings The Go-Gos to Broadway

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The Go-Gos, the pioneering all-woman rock band, are heading to Broadway, with an assist by Gwyneth Paltrow. The Hollywood star was announced Tuesday as a producer for “Head Over Heels,” an upcoming musical that will trace the story of the rockers known for infectious pop-rock songs such as “Vacation.” “If you told us 30 years ago that our songs were going to be in a musical, we’d have said, […]

Princes William and Harry attend ‘Star Wars’ London premiere

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Princes William and Harry attended the European premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Tuesday, joining the all-star cast in London for the latest instalment of the sci-fi saga. The British royals walked the red carpet dressed in tuxedos for the screening at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where they were greeted by the rolling droid character BB-8 who dutifully bowed to the princes. The two reportedly have cameo roles […]

Keaton Jones’ anti-bullying video sparks outpouring of support

by W.G. Dunlop Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) –A video of a boy tearfully talking about being bullied at school has gone viral and prompted an outpouring of support from Hollywood celebrities, music stars, athletes and others. Keaton Jones’ mother posted the video Friday on Facebook, writing that her son asked to make it after he had her pick him up from school because he was afraid to go to lunch. It has […]

After near decade, Beyonce back on top of US song chart

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Beyonce, with little argument one of the top stars in pop music, Monday ended an unlikely drought — nine years since she had a number-one US song. Beyonce hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for her new duet with Ed Sheeran on a remix of the English songwriter’s “Perfect,” a tender guitar ballad. The song sold 181,000 digital downloads in the week through Thursday on the […]

‘Coco,’ a charmer from the Land of the Dead, lives on

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The Disney-Pixar animated comedy “Coco” showed serious staying power this weekend in North American theaters, holding to the top spot for its third week running while taking in an estimated $18.3 million, industry website Exhibitor Relations reported. The colorful film tells the story of Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a young Mexican who longs to become a musician despite his family’s unrelenting ban on music. He stumbles into the Land of […]

The hype reawakens: ‘Star Wars’ stages ‘Last Jedi’ premiere

by Frankie Taggart Agence France-Presse LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The trailers have dropped, the frantic media tours have concluded and the phony war is over: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” finally begins the real battle Saturday at its glittering world premiere. Hotter than one of Yoda’s root leaf curries, the movie is expected to cash in on 12 months of relentless hype with one of the biggest domestic opening weekends ever. A galaxy […]

HBO announces second season of hit drama ‘Big Little Lies’

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — American cable network HBO has announced a second season of the series “Big Little Lies,” with A-listers Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon both set to return to executive produce and star in the Emmy-winning show. Based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel, “Big Little Lies” was initially broadcast as a mini-series, and was not intended to run beyond seven episodes shown at the start of 2017. It was a major […]