NEW YORK (AP) – While the last of the presents are being tucked under trees, Hollywood is looking to gift itself a stellar final two weeks of the year. Three major releases came out this past the weekend – all looking to capitalize on a time when people tend to flock to the movies. The top film over the weekend is “Aquaman” taking in an estimated $67.4 million to lead the pack. Number two is “Mary Poppins Returns” with $22.2 million, followed by “Bumblebee” with $21 million. Dropping into fourth place is “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” with “$16.7 million.
NETFLIX NAMED “AP ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR”
NEW YORK (AP) – What began as a way for people to rent DVDs through the mail has become a top player in the entertainment world. And for that reason, Netflix has been named The Associated Press entertainer of the year. The honor caps a dominant year for the video streaming service. It began the 2018 leading all video streaming sites with nearly 118 million subscribers – and it’s expected to bump that up to 146 million by year’s end. And those numbers are only expected to rise, now that Netflix has lured some huge names under its corporate umbrella. Among the production titans brought into the Netflix fold are Shonda Rhimes, Kenya Barris and Ryan Murphy – not to mention Barack and Michelle Obama. Artistically, Netflix has thrived, too. It won its first feature-film Oscar – and is expected to score another Oscar nomination next month with “Roma.”
DARYL SABARA MARRIES SINGER MEGHAN TRAINOR
NEW YORK (AP) – One of the stars of “Spy Kids” has gotten hitched to a top recording star. Daryl Sabara has exchanged vows with Meghan Trainor. The wedding was Saturday at the couple’s Los Angeles home. A rep for Trainor is confirming the union took place – after People magazine reported the wedding. It says about 100 guests attended the private backyard ceremony, which also took place on Trainor’s 25th birthday. Sabara is a year older.
DEBBY RYAN WEDS MUSICIAN
NEW YORK (AP) -Actress Debby Ryan and Twenty One Pilots drummer Josh Dun are engaged. They announced on social media that they plan to be married over the weekend. Dun proposed to Ryan in a treehouse in New Zealand. In the post, Dun put up a photo of himself proposing on one knee to a shocked bride-to-be. Dun declared he’d be Ryan’s “dude for life.”
SENTENCING IN DAVID LETTERMAN EXTORTION CASE
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) – Remember the case more than a decade ago when a man was arrested in a plot to kidnap David Letterman’s son? The suspect in the case is now out of prison. Kelly Allen Frank was released to parole last month. He was a painter on Letterman’s Montana ranch when he was busted in 2005 on charges of solicitation to kidnap. Investigators say he told an acquaintance of a plan to kidnap Letterman’s one-year-old son and the nanny for a $5 million ransom. Under a deal with prosecutors, Frank pleaded guilty to overcharging Letterman for painting, and to charges of obstruction and lying to investigators. In return, prosecutors dropped the kidnap-related charge. Frank was sentenced to 10 years in prison but escaped in 2007. He was recaptured and given another 10-year sentence. He was released in 2014 but re-arrested in 2015 for violating the terms of his parole.
DR. SEUSS’ WIDOW DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The woman who was married to the creator of Dr. Seuss and who kept his legacy alive after he died in 1991 – has died herself. Audrey Geisel took up the mantle of safeguarding her late husband’s creations for more than a quarter century. And she helped expand the business as characters like the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch became a fixture in additional books as well as movies, theme park rides – and a Broadway musical. Audrey Geisel died last week at her home San Diego. She was 97.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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