NICK CANNON SEES IRONY IN THE WAY OSCARS HANDLED KEVIN HART
NEW YORK (AP) – Nick Cannon isn’t just defending his friend and fellow comedian Kevin Hart over the Oscars hosting controversy. He’s also going after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself. Cannon was one of many cheering the decision to appoint Hart as host of the Feb. 24 telecast but then with dismay watched as his friend voluntarily stepped down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets. Cannon told The Associated Press on Monday he talked with Hart during the controversy, and said organizers should have done their research before offering Hart the gig. He also said there’s an irony to this situation because he believes the Academy has its own skeletons when it comes to both racism and a lack of diversity.
STUDY FINDS FEMALE-LED FILMS OUTPERFORM MALE ONES
NEW YORK (AP) – A new study finds that female-led films outperform male-led movies at the box office. The study analyzed the 350 top-grossing films worldwide released between January 2014 and December 2017. It found that in films with small, medium and large budgets, all averaged better global grosses when a woman was listed as the lead star. The study found that films that passed the Bechdel test do better, too. The Bechdel test requires a movie to feature two female characters having a conversation about something other than a man. Movies produced with a male lead easily outnumber those led by a woman. In movies with a budget greater than $100 million, there were 75 male-led films and 19 female-led films.
KIRK DOUGLAS HONORED IN NY BIRTHPLACE WITH HISTORIC MARKER
AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (AP) – Public officials and relatives of Kirk Douglas have unveiled a new historic marker in his upstate New York birthplace to honor the Hollywood legend on his birthday. The blue and yellow New York state historic marker was presented in Amsterdam on Sunday, the actor’s 102nd birthday. The sign will be erected near the home where he was born as Issur Danielovitch to Russian Jewish parents on Dec. 9, 1916. The marker says Douglas “Rose From Poverty To Appear In Over 90 Films In Hollywood.” Douglas was raised in Amsterdam, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Albany. He graduated from St. Lawrence University in northern New York and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His lengthy film career included starring roles in “Lust for Life,” “Spartacus” and “Seven Days In May.”
AARON SORKIN HITS BROADWAY WITH AN ICONIC COURTROOM DRAMA
NEW YORK (AP) – Aaron Sorkin is a huge fan of courtroom dramas but when he returned to Broadway with a legal thriller this winter, he had to shake off a real courtroom drama. A lawsuit earlier threatened to delay or even derail Sorkin’s adaptation of the beloved Harper Lee 1960 novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” before the Oscar- and Emmy-winning writer made a few minor changes to his script to keep the show on track. Sorkin expects no lingering bitterness, with many of Lee’s heirs expected to be at opening night. Sorkin’s adaptation crackles with energy and his trademark soaring language that made hits of “The Newsroom” and “The West Wing.”
SOME OLD FAVORITES – VERY OLD – REAPPEAR ON TELEVISION
NEW YORK (AP) – Some of last week’s most popular television programs are much older than most of the people watching them. The Nielsen company said that ABC’s showing of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was the most-watched of a handful of holiday specials that aired in prime-time last week, reaching 5.3 million viewers. The show is a tradition in many households that was first on television in December 1965. Two other old favorites, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman,” were both seen by more than 4 million people on CBS Saturday night. “Rudolph” dates to 1964, while “Frosty” made his debut in 1969. Another venerable cartoon, Fox’s “The Simpsons,” impressively hit Nielsen’s top 20 last week.