Entertainment – International

Oscars ratings bounce back as Will Smith hooks viewers

  LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The Oscars were in desperate need of a ratings boost — and, on a night when Will Smith stunned viewers by slapping Chris Rock on stage, some 15.36 million Americans tuned in. Preliminary audience figures, revealed by broadcaster ABC on Monday, represent a significant recovery from last year’s record-low 9.85 million live viewers, although they are still the second-lowest in televised Academy Awards history. The moment when Smith […]

Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock over Oscars slap

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) – Actor Will Smith apologized Monday to Chris Rock for hitting the comedian during the live broadcast of the glitzy Oscar ceremony in Hollywood. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be,” the winner of the best actor Oscar wrote on Instagram.   View this […]

Will Smith wins best actor Oscar for ‘King Richard’

HOLLYWOOD, United States (AFP) – Will Smith on Sunday won the Oscar for best actor for portraying Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard in the tennis biopic “King Richard,” taking home the trophy minutes after he went viral for slapping presenter Chris Rock onstage. “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said through tears. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said, just like they said about […]

Will Smith strikes Chris Rock in viral Oscars moment

HOLLYWOOD, United States (AFP) – Will Smith stormed the Oscars stage and struck comedian Chris Rock across the face for joking about his wife, in a moment at Sunday’s gala that immediately went viral and left stunned viewers questioning if it had been scripted or genuine. Rock, presenting the best documentary prize with a short comedy routine, had cracked a joke comparing Jada Pinkett Smith’s tightly cropped hair to Demi Moore’s appearance in the film […]

Netflix tests charging a fee to share accounts

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) – Netflix on Wednesday said it is testing charging a fee to subscribers who share their accounts with people who don’t live in their homes. The US-based steaming service has long taken a relaxed approach to users sharing passwords with family or friends, but recently saw stock dive on quarterly results that showed cooling subscriber growth. Competition in the streaming television market meanwhile has been ramping up, particularly from Disney+, […]

K-Pop’s BTS back for first Seoul show after thriving in pandemic

by Sunghee Hwang SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — South Korean supergroup BTS return to the stage in Seoul to play for their adoring home-grown fans for the first time since 2019 on Thursday, after tickets for the three-night stadium concerts sold out in minutes. While Covid-19 emptied arenas and shut clubs worldwide, the K-Pop septet thrived during the pandemic — scoring a string of number one hits, expanding their global fanbase, and reaping record profits. […]

Oscar nominees ‘grateful’ to be back in the ballroom

by Andrew MARSZAL LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Oscar nominees from Steven Spielberg and Will Smith to first-time Bhutanese director Pawo Choyning Dorji gathered at a Los Angeles ballroom Monday, as Hollywood’s award season enters its final stretch. The Academy’s glitzy annual luncheon for nominated A-listers and indie auteurs did not take place last year because of the pandemic, but returned with a starry in-person crowd of those who made the best films released […]

‘Spider-Man’ swings into sixth place on all-time box office list

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — “Spider-Man: No Way Home” powered its way into sixth place on the all-time global box office list, as it returned to the top spot in North American theaters at the weekend, industry data showed Sunday. In its sixth week out, the Sony superhero yarn with Tom Holland in the title role took in an estimated $14.1 million in the United States and Canada after slipping briefly from the top […]

Baldwin says complying with ‘Rust’ shooting investigation

US actor Alec Baldwin insisted Saturday that he was complying with the investigation into the fatal on-set shooting of a cinematographer nearly a month after detectives obtained a warrant for his phone. “Any suggestion that I am not complying with requests or orders or demands or search warrants about my phone, that’s b……t, that’s a lie,” the US actor said in a video message posted on Instagram. He said that authorities in New Mexico, where […]

Pioneering movie star Sidney Poitier dies at 94

Sidney Poitier, Hollywood’s first major Black movie star and the first Black man to win the best actor Oscar, has died at 94, prompting an outpouring of grief from the entertainment industry and beyond. Stars including Denzel Washington along with current and past US presidents Joe Biden and Barack Obama led emotional tributes as news broke Friday of the death of the celebrated thespian. “He was a gentle man and opened doors for all of […]

Bowie estate sells songwriting rights to Warner

by Maggy DONALDSON Agence France-Presse NEW YORK, United States (AFP) – David Bowie’s estate has sold the publishing rights to his “entire body of work” to Warner Chappell Music, the company said Monday, the latest massive deal in a roaring song rights purchasing boom. Warner Chappell did not reveal financial terms of the agreement, but according to trade publications the price tag is estimated at upwards of $250 million. Recent years have seen a series […]

‘Spider-Man’ stays strong, again topping N.America box office

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — “Spider-Man: No Way Home” again dominated in North American theaters with an estimated $52.7 million weekend take, while topping the $600 million mark domestically in its third week out, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday. The strong results for Sony’s superhero sequel — last weekend it surpassed the $1 billion mark globally — have breathed welcome life into the movie industry as it battles to recover from the Covid-19 […]