‘Lucy,’ ‘Hercules’ beat expectations at weekend box offices

By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:29pm EDT (Reuters) – “Lucy,” starring Scarlett Johansson as a woman with a super-powered brain, collected $44 million to win the domestic box office race, outmuscling “Hercules” which took in $29 million for second place. Both new films exceeded expectations, pumping some much-needed life into a lackluster summer at U.S. and Canadian theaters. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which topped […]

Brain power outwits Asian mobsters in sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’

By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:05pm EDT (Reuters) – Gun-toting thugs and a vicious Asian mob boss are no match for the brawn and brain of French director Luc Besson’s super-powered heroine in his sci-fi, action thriller “Lucy.” Besson is known for creating strong female characters in “La Femme Nikita” and “The Fifth Element.” But he goes a step further in “Lucy,” which opens in theaters in the United States on […]

‘Iron Man’ Robert Downey Jr highest-earning actor: Forbes

NEW YORK Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:04pm EDT (Reuters) – Robert Downey Jr, the star of Disney’s Marvel superhero film franchises “Iron Man,” and “The Avengers,” is Hollywood’s highest paid actor for the second consecutive year, with estimated earnings of $75 million, according to Forbes.com. The 49-year-old star made most of his money from June 2013 to June 2014 from “Iron Man 3,” which made $1.2 billion at the box office and assured him the […]

Stevie Wonder blends hits at Montreux for Quincy Jones

By Stephanie Nebehay MONTREUX Switzerland Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:25pm EDT (Reuters) – Motown legend Stevie Wonder gave a soulful two-hour concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival on Wednesday night, blending his hits with covers of the Beatles and Michael Jackson for an audience that included producer Quincy Jones. The African-American singer and songwriter, wearing lime green sunglasses and braids down to his waist, headlined the 48th edition of the prestigious Swiss festival, fulfilling a […]

‘Planet of the Apes’ climbs to top of U.S. box office charts

(Reuters) – “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” a sequel about highly intelligent apes that battle with humans for dominance, has knocked the giant “Transformers” robots out of the top spot on U.S. and Canadian movie charts. The 3D “Apes” movie collected $73 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from Rentrak. “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” a sequel that ruled the box office the two previous weekends, dropped to second […]

The top films at the North American box office

Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:23pm EDT LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK – Following are the top 10 movies at North American box offices for the three days starting July 11, led by “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters. 1 (*) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes………$ 75.0 million 2 (1) Transformers: Age of Extinction …….$ 16.5 million 3 (2) Tammy…………………………….$ 12.9 million 4 (4) 22 Jump Street…………………….$ 6.7 […]

Conductor Lorin Maazel dies at 84, led New York Philharmonic

By Brendan O’Brien Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:27pm EDT (Reuters) – Conductor Lorin Maazel, a child prodigy who later directed the New York Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Munich Philharmonic, died on Sunday at the age of 84, according to music festival he founded. Maazel died in Virginia from complications following pneumonia, the Castleton Festival said in a statement on its website. Maazel was born in Paris in 1930 to American parents and spent […]

Garth Brooks announces country music comeback, digital downloads

Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:09pm EDT (Reuters) – Country music star Garth Brooks said on Thursday he was coming out of recording retirement and will release new music for the first time in more than decade. Brooks, who in recent years has been playing concerts in Las Vegas, said at a Nashville news conference he would also make his music available for purchase on his website. The “Friends in Low Places” singer, who has sold […]

SoundCloud close to deal with major record labels: Bloomberg

Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:46pm EDT (Reuters) – Online music sharing service SoundCloud Ltd is close to a deal with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group for licenses to continue playing their songs and avoid potential legal disputes, Bloomberg reported citing people with knowledge of the matter. SoundCloud is in return negotiating offering a 3 percent to 5 percent stake to the companies as well as a percentage of future revenue, […]

Stolen Matisse painting worth around $3 mln returned to Venezuela

CARACAS Mon Jul 7, 2014 8:08pm EDT (Reuters) – A painting believed to be a 1925 work by French artist Henri Matisse worth around $3 million was returned to Venezuela from the United States on Monday more than a decade after it was stolen from a museum in Caracas, Venezuela’s government said. The “Odalisque in Red Pants” (Odalisque a la culotte rouge)is thought to have been stolen from the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in […]

Harrison Ford injury to halt ‘Star Wars’ production for two weeks

NEW YORK Mon Jul 7, 2014 1:57pm EDT (Reuters) – Actor Harrison Ford is recuperating from surgery after breaking his leg, but the injury on the set of “Star Wars: Episode VII” will force a two-week hiatus in filming, the Walt Disney Studios said. News of the stoppage comes after Disney initially said filming would continue on schedule while Ford recovered. But shooting is on track to wrap up in the fall, the studio said, […]

‘Transformers’ producers face new dispute from Chinese location rep

SHANGHAI Sun Jul 6, 2014 11:48pm EDT (Reuters) – A scenic Chinese location where scenes in Paramount Pictures’ “Transformers: Age of Extinction” were filmed, has threatened to sue the film’s producers for failing to display its logo on-screen, the China Daily newspaper reported. The product placement complaint was made by the Chongqing Wulong Karst Tourism Group, which operates the Wulong Scenic Area in southwest China. It marks the second dispute the movie has faced in […]