ELLEN DeGENERES APOLOGIZES TO STAFF ON HER TALK SHOW
LOS ANGELES (AP) – When she’s hosting her daytime show, Ellen DeGeneres tries to project a folksy, friendly air to her TV audience. But lately, there’s been a lot of talk about how that cozy atmosphere doesn’t exist behind the scenes. And now that the company that produces the show says there may be something to all that talk, DeGeneres is apologizing. She has sent a memo to her staff saying she designed the show to be “a place of happiness” – but something along the way has “changed.” Word of the memo comes as Warner Bros. TV released a statement saying the “primary findings” of its investigation reveal what it calls flaws in the way the show is being run on a day-to-day basis.
MOVIE OLDIES TOP BOX OFFICE LISTS
NEW YORK (AP) – Prince may have talked about partying like it’s 1999 – but for moviegoers, the offerings at most theaters hearken back to the 1970s or 80s. A look at the list of recent box office favorites reads more like a list of movies you might have in a dusty VHS tape collection. For example, during the second week in July, “Empire Strikes Back” was the top movie, 40 years after its release. On the July 4th weekend, the top movie was “Ghostbusters,” returning after a 36-year break. And in late June, the top movie was “Jurassic Park,” originally released in 1993. Why all of the oldies? Only about a-thousand U.S. theaters are open – including 300 drive-ins. With the coronavirus pandemic keeping theaters closed – and Hollywood spiking any major new releases until at least Labor Day – theaters owners are resorting to classics to help stay afloat.
“INTO THE WILD” BUS TO GET NEW HOME
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – An infamous bus is close to getting a new home. The bus, popularized by the book and movie “Into the Wild,” will be put in a museum in Fairbanks, Alaska. It had already been moved out of Alaska’s back country to keep people from making dangerous – and sometimes deadly – journeys. People have been trying to retrace the steps of Christopher McCandless, who hiked to the bus in 1992. The 24-year-old Virginia man died of starvation after he couldn’t make it out of the area. Since “Into the Wild” came out, people around the world have made pilgrimages to the bus to honor McCandless. Two women have drowned on such visits; others had to be rescued when they ventured into the rugged.
LAWSUIT CLAIMS MULTIPLE INJURIES AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO’S VOLCANO BAY
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – How safe is the Punga Racers water slide at Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay? The owners say it’s very safe. But that’s being challenged by a lawsuit in which a tourist says he was left paralyzed by ride. Attorneys for the plaintiff have filed documents saying there have been at least 115 injury reports on the water slide. The Orlando Sentinel newspaper says the injuries include scrapes, nose bleeds, a concussion and whiplash. A rep for Universal says the injury suffered by James Bowen was the only one serious enough to require being reported to state officials. Bowen is suing Universal and the ride maker, saying his neck snapped back as he went through a wave of water at the end of the ride last year.