Entertainment – International

China fans desert K-pop star for ‘liking’ Hong Kong tweet

BEIJING, China (AFP) — A South Korean pop star has become the latest celebrity to spark anger on the Chinese internet after he “liked” a tweet about the divisive issue of pro-democracy unrest in Hong Kong. Choi Siwon, a member of popular K-pop boy band Super Junior, was forced to apologize twice after liking a post on Twitter by South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo about the Hong Kong protests. Twitter is blocked in China, […]

‘Frozen 2’ ices out competition at N. American box office

  LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Disney’s new release “Frozen 2” iced out competitors to top North American box offices over the weekend, taking in $130.2 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Monday. The film follows the beloved characters from 2013 hit “Frozen,” as they travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest in search of the origin of Queen Elsa’s (voiced by Idina Menzel) magical ice powers. “Frozen 2,” which has come out just in […]

Disney bets streaming launch on new ‘Star Wars’, past classics

by Andrew MARSZAL LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The star of Disney’s hugely ambitious new Star Wars television series remembers the moment he first stepped into a galaxy far, far away. Pedro Pascal was trying on his character’s helmet for “The Mandalorian” — the mega-budget, live-action show which launches the Disney+ streaming platform this Tuesday — when he caught a glimpse in the mirror. “If you grow up playing with Star Wars toys, and […]

‘Terminator’ takes top spot but underwhelms N.America box office

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Terminator: Dark Fate” opened atop the North American box office this weekend with a take of $29 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Monday, but analysts said that figure fell far below expectations. After all, the sixth and latest installment in the franchise — reuniting stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton with series creator James Cameron — cost $185 million to make. “A storied Hollywood film franchise has been […]

Depressed and suicidal? Fighting the feeling, Guerrero style

By CAESAR VALLEJOS, Open for Business “Galit sa mundo.” That could be one of the feelings of Filipinos, over 3 million of them, who suffer from depression.  According to the World Health Organization, 800,000 people die each year due to suicide. What is more alarming is that suicide cases and students with mental illnesses have “risen drastically in the last two years with at least one suicide referral made each day.” “There remains to be […]

Abominable’ won’t be screened in Malaysia over S. China Sea map

  KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Animated film “Abominable” will not be shown in Malaysia after its distributor Sunday said it could not comply with censors’ demands to cut a controversial scene showing Beijing’s disputed claims in the South China Sea. The decision comes after Vietnam pulled the Universal Pictures movie from theatres days ago and the Philippines’ foreign secretary called for the segment to be excised. “Universal has decided not to make the censor […]

Fans, celebrities mourn death of K-pop star Sulli; celebrity had long been a target of online bullying

  SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Fans and fellow performers on Tuesday mourned the death of a K-pop star who had long been the target of online bullying, some calling for greater mental health support for those working in the country’s notoriously competitive show business industry. The body of Sulli, a former member of top girl group f(x), was discovered Monday by her manager at her home on the outskirts of Seoul. “There has been […]

‘Joker’ tops N. American box office for second week

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Warner Bros.’ “Joker” laughed best again this weekend as it took in an estimated $55 million in North American movie theaters, an industry group reported Sunday. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” provides the backstory for the rise of Batman’s maniacal nemesis, painting a dark and disturbing portrayal of a would-be stand-up comedian’s descent into madness. Last week, the film directed by Todd Phillips — maker of “The Hangover” trilogy — set […]

K-Pop’s BTS rocks out in ultra-conservative Saudi

by Aziz EL MASSASSI RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — The Saudi capital burst into life with the cheers of young fans of Korean pop group BTS as they performed in the kingdom seeking to transform its ultra-conservative image. The seven members of the wildly popular K-pop band were sweating it out as they danced and sang Friday night in front of thousands of Saudis and expatriates in Riyadh’s 70,000-capacity King Fahd International Stadium. “I am […]

‘Joker’ gets last laugh, setting record on N. American screens

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Warner Bros.’ “Joker” survived the intense controversy over its violent themes to take in $96.2 million in North American theaters at the weekend, setting a record for an October release, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Monday. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” provides the backstory for the rise of Batman’s maniacal nemesis, painting a dark and disturbing portrayal of a would-be stand-up comedian’s descent into madness. Amid fears that it might […]

Beyonce’s dad reveals his battle with breast cancer

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Mathew Knowles, the father of pop diva Beyonce, has revealed his battle with breast cancer and urged other men to get tested for the disease. The 67-year-old music executive discussed his illness in an interview on “Good Morning America” Wednesday, saying he was diagnosed earlier this summer after he and his wife noticed recurring dots of blood on his shirts and on their bedsheets. “Of all the things I […]

‘Abominable’ rules N.American box office

  LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) —  “Abominable” froze out “Downton Abbey” to take the top spot in the North American box office on its first weekend in theaters, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Monday. The story of a teenager and her friends working to help a young Yeti — whom they nickname Everest — reunite with his family and avoid the clutches of a wealthy man intent on capturing one of the magical creatures […]