“LION KING” TOPS BOX OFFICE RACE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The “Circle of Cash” continues for “The Lion King.” The live-action remake of the animated Disney classic took in a lion’s share of the box office total over the weekend. The movie grossed $185 million in its first weekend in theaters. Most industry insiders had pegged the Lion King’s opening at $150 million – but those guesses proved overly modest. Despite getting mixed reviews, enough moviegoers were drawn to hear the A-list cast reprise the original, including Beyonce and Donald Glover to put it solidly at the top of the weekend list. And Lion King ended up posting records for most ticket sales for a July opening and for the biggest take for a PG-13 movie.
“AVENGERS; ENDGAME” TAKES OVER AS TOP-GROSSING MOVIE EVER
LOS ANGELES (AP) – As if the success of the “Lion King” remake wasn’t enough of a weekend to celebrate for Disney, there’s yet more box office news for the studio. As the numbers rolled in, they showed that “Avengers: Endgame” had become the highest-grossing movie of all time. The movie didn’t make the top ten this weekend – but that didn’t matter in the race for number-one overall. It added another $1.5 million globally – and in doing so, it surpasses “Avatar” at just over $2.79 billion. One Hollywood insider calls “Endgame’s” eclipse of the Avatar record “a huge achievement.”
MAHERSHALA ALI – “BLADE”
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Wesley Snipes is out – and Mahershala Ali is in – as the star of the upcoming “Blade” movie. The head of Marvel Studios announced the Oscar winning actor will be playing Blade in a reboot of the movie series. Snipes had played the half-vampire character in three movies for New Line Cinema. And while there was talk over the years that he would return, it proved to be just that – talk. Marvel has regained rights to the movie and now the studio is planning a reboot.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S LAWYERS WANT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR SIDELINED
CHICAGO (AP) – Lawyers for Jussie Smollett are insisting the fired “Empire” actor was the victim of an attack – despite having been charged with faking his own hate crime. And Smollett’s team is demanding that a judge reverse his decision to appoint a special prosecutor in the case. Cook County judge Michael Toomin has named a special prosecutor to investigate why state’s attorney Kim Foxx dropped all criminal charges against Smollett. In motions filed last week, Smollett’s attorneys say the actor’s denial of the charges filed against him – and the subsequent dismissal of those charges – should have ended matters.
HONG KONG ACTOR STABBED IN CHINA
BEIJING (AP) – Police in southern China say the man who stabbed veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam at an event suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. The suspect in the case was detained after the attack over the weekend. Yam is 64 and is also known by his Chinese name Tam Tat-wah. He has appeared in more than 125 movies and dozens of TV series. He is best known in the states for playing the villain Chen Lo in the 2003 the “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.”
JESSE JAMES – DOG MISSING
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) – Reality TV star Jesse James is offering a $5,000 reward for the return of one of his beloved dogs. James says in an Instagram post that his 6-year-old French bulldog named Coco went missing in the Newport, Rhode Island area last week. In a previous post, James offered a $2,000 reward for the dog’s return, “no questions asked.” He says there have been reported sightings of Coco since it disappeared, but none have panned out. James says his dog “only has eyes for me and won’t want to stay with anyone else.” James is the founder of West Coast Choppers, a motorcycle customizing business. He has starred in “Jesse James is a Dead Man” on Spike TV and “Monster Garage” on the Discovery Channel.
CBS BLACKED OUT ON SATELLITE COMPANIES
NEW YORK (AP) – It’s another one of those disputes between a satellite or cable company and a network. And as is often the case, it’s the customers who come out the losers. Millions looking for CBS on DirecTV and AT&T U-verse will have to look elsewhere. The network has been grounded because of the scrap between CBS and AT&T, which owns both satellite outfits. At issue is the amount networks are paid for their programs
MISS WORLD AMERICA’S MICHIGAN WINNER DETHRONED OVER TWEETS
DETROIT (AP) – It was to have been a yearlong reign. But Miss World America has snatched back its crown from the winner of its Michigan pageant over some racist tweets. Kathy Zhu was crowned last week. She’s a conservative who’s active with a group called Chinese Americans for Trump. Her Twitter history features posts in which she criticized Muslims and complained that blacks are always “blaming others” for crime. The tweets have been deleted – and now, so have her Miss World America title and crown. Zhu defends her tweets and says she’s being discriminated against.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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