NEW MOVIE HAS STRONG PANDEMIC OPENING
NEW YORK (AP) – Usually a Thanksgiving-weekend movie that took in $14.2 million wouldn’t get much attention. But in this, the pandemic era, a movie with such a modest box office opening is being hailed. Universal Pictures’ animated sequel “The Croods: A New Age” has produced one of the strongest opening weekends of the pandemic. It took in $9.7 million between Friday and Sunday, which is close to what “Tenet” did in September. The movie was released under a new deal Universal struck with theater chains AMC and Cinemark in response to the pandemic. The deal shortens the traditional 90-day theatrical run to as few as 17 days. After that, Universal can offer The Croods for rent in time for Christmas.
ACTOR WHO PLAYED BODY OF DARTH VADER IN ORIGINAL “STAR WARS” HAS DIED
LONDON (AP) – Even people who aren’t fans of “Star Wars” know that James Earl Jones provided the voice of villain Darth Vader. But few know the name of the actor whose body was in the Darth Vader suit. His name: Dave Prowse, and he died over the weekend at age 85. Prowse was a weightlifter who stood 6-foot-6 before breaking into movies with roles that took advantage of his commanding size. After George Lucas saw Prowse in “A Clockwork Orange,” he asked him to audition for either Vader or Chewbacca. Prowse later told the BBC he chose Vader because “you always remember the bad guys.” Prowse’s lilting English West Country accent kept him from being used as Vader’s voice – so his lines were done by Jones.
“PANDEMIC” NAMED WORD OF THE YEAR
NEW YORK (AP) – It’s been on the lips of just about everyone during 2020. So if you had to guess what the Merriam-Webster dictionary word of the year is, you’d probably say “pandemic” – and you’d be right. The editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster acknowledges the choice “probably isn’t a big shock.” Peter Sokolowski says because it’s a technical term that has gone into everyday use, pandemic is an obvious choice. Pandemic, with roots in Latin and Greek, is a combination of “pan,” for all, and “demos,” for people or population.
GEORGE CLOONEY CUTS HIS OWN HAIR
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Are you one of those people who thinks Hollywood stars have people waiting on them hand and foot doing things like making sure their face and hair are done just so? Think again – at least when it comes to George Clooney. He says when he needs his hair cut, he doesn’t head to some swanky salon. In fact, he says he has been cutting his own hair for more than two decades with a device you usually see in ads – or maybe in those “as seen on TV” sections in stores. He tells “CBS Sunday Morning” he has faithfully been using a Flowbee – yes “the thing with the vacuum cleaner and clippers,” as he describes it. Clooney says his haircuts “take literally, two minutes.” The maker of Flowbee, based in Texas, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment yesterday on the unexpected, unsolicited celebrity endorsement.