TOM “CRUISES” TO BOX OFFICE WIN
LOS ANGELES (AP) – First, he broke his ankle shooting the latest “Mission: Impossible” movie. And now, Tom Cruise has broken a record for the franchise. The latest installment in the series was the top movie over the weekend. And the $61.5 million taken in for “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” shatters the mark for an opening weekend for the movie series. Cruise has done Mission: Impossible for more than two decades, during which he has churned out six movies. The current one got attention almost a year ago – when Cruise broke his ankle performing a stunt for it in London.
MAMMA MIA – BOX OFFICE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Some distressing news for ABBA fans at the box office. The Mamma Mia remake is showing signs of slowing down, even as the movie held its box office ranking. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” finished second for the second straight weekend, this time trailing “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.” No shame there. But the second weekend’s box office take of $15 million is nearly 60 percent lower than the week before. That’s a much steeper drop than the original “Mamma Mia,” which bled off only 36 percent of its audience between its first and second weekends. Last weekend’s top movie, Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer 2” drops to third, taking in $14 million.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN – INSURANCE
NEW YORK (AP) – Harvey Weinstein is in a battle with his insurance companies. And, as you might guess, the issue in question is the batch of sexual misconduct allegations made against him. The former Hollywood movie-making icon has been passing his legal bills on to his insurance carriers. But now the companies are balking. They’ve gone to court saying they shouldn’t have to pick up the tab to defend what they call “such blatantly egregious and intentionally harmful acts” like sexual harassment claims and sexual assault allegations. Lawyers for Weinstein say the insurance companies are just trying to weasel out of their responsibility to pay.
AZIZ ANSARI – SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CLAIM
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – Netflix is standing by Aziz Ansari after a sexual misconduct claim against the comedian earlier this year. The network says it’s willing to do another season of Ansari’s vehicle “Master of None.” In January, a website ran an allegation that Ansari acted improperly on a date. Ansari says he thought he had consensual sex with a woman at his place, but apologized to her after she later told him she felt uncomfortable about what went down. The post sparked a public debate; some called the episode on example of aggressive sexual behavior – while others said it was a bad date that shouldn’t have been made public.
“ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT” – FUTURE
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – TV fans wondering whether “Arrested Development” will return – will have to wonder a bit longer. A top Netflix official was asked about the future of the show, which was dogged by sexual misconduct allegations against its star Jeffrey Tambor. The official, speaking at a TV critics’ meeting in California, said “there’s been no discussion” about another season – or whether Tambor would be involved if there was one. The sex allegations stem from Tambor’s tenure on the Amazon show, “Transparent.” But “Arrested Development” co-star Jessica Walter said in an interview that Tambor verbally harassed her.
“BLACK-ISH” CREATOR LEAVING ABC
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The man who brought “black-ish” to TV is leaving the network that’s been airing the show. Kenya Barris has announced he’s leaving ABC when his contract expires next month. In an Instagram post announcing his departure, Barris didn’t say where he’d be headed, adding that he’s “nervous but ready” for new adventures. Several have speculated those “adventures” will involve a lucrative deal with Netflix. But so far, that hasn’t been confirmed.
KENDRIC LAMAR – “POWER”
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – So, what did you think of Kendrick Lamar’s guest performance on the series “Power?” last night? Many those involved with the Starz show were impressed. Series creator and producer Courtney Kemp thought Lamar was “chill, like very cool, very humble” as he worked on the show. She also says Lamar was well prepared. Kemp says Lamar’s friendship with fellow rapper 50 Cent that got the “Power” ball rolling. She says the two were hanging out when Kendrick said he’d like to be on the show – and as she put it, it just went on from there.
CHICAGO MUSIC FESTIVAL TO GET ADDITIONAL SECURITY
CHICAGO (AP) – Authorities in Chicago say there will be additional security at the Lollapalooza festival, a four-day event expected to draw tens of thousands of people – and lots of big stars – starting Thursday. It’s the first Lollapalooza since the massacre at a country music festival in Las Vegas last fall. And authorities say the Vegas shooter had booked rooms overlooking last year’s event in Grant Park – but never showed up. The Chicago Tribune reports this year’s event will feature more police officers, upgraded security – and restrictions on bags. Bruno Mars, Jack White and the Arctic Monkeys are among the headliners.
TRUMP – MEDIA
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) – Ever have a beef with someone and you sit down to hash things out – only to find out that afterward, the beef starts all over again? That’s the situation the publisher of The New York Times is in. This month, A.G. Sulzberger met with President Donald Trump. The meeting was to remain private, as requested by the White House. But yesterday, Trump tweeted about it and said the meeting dealt with how – quoting here – “Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People.” Once that happened, the Times put out its own statement, saying the meeting was to ask Trump to stop his constant bashing of journalists. Sulzberger says he told Trump his anti-press rants are “not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.” Meanwhile, hours after his tweet about the Times meeting, Trump doubled down on the media. He accused reporters of disclosing “internal deliberations of government” and said that can endanger “the lives of many.”
MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYERS GET BURNED BY OLD ONLINE POSTS
UNDATED (AP) – Yesterday would have been a great day for Sean Newcomb; he nearly pitched a no-hitter for the Atlanta Braves. After his win, he was mobbed with reporters in the clubhouse – but few wanted to talk about his pitching. Instead, he apologized for a series of tweets sent when he was 18. He isn’t the only one paying the price for past online posts. Washington Nationals’ shortstop Trea (TRAY) Turner has issued an apology through the team after racially insensitive and homophobic tweets surfaced last night. And pitcher Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers is still in apology mode after tweets from his past surfaced during the All-Star Game this month. He got a standing ovation in his first game back in Milwaukee – but was booed when the team traveled to San Francisco.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2