WONDER WOMAN OPENS STRONG INTERNATIONALLY
UNDATED (AP) – It won’t hit U.S. theaters until Christmas Day. But it’s already clear that “Wonder Woman 1984” has some box office clout. The movie, starring Gal Gadot, has hauled in an estimated $38.5 million in ticket sales from international theaters. Warner Brothers says the movie rolled out in 32 markets including China – and appeared on more than 30,000 screens. Most of Wonder Woman’s haul came from Chinese theaters, where it earned an estimated $18.8 million. When Wonder Woman hits U.S. theaters Christmas Day, its biggest competition will be from itself. The movie will also be released on HBO Max, as studios like Warner Brothers try to squeeze every bit of profit from their big movies at a time when people are still leery about going into theaters because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“FIRST COW” WINS BEST FILM AT N.Y. FILM CRITICS GROUP AWARDS
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Film Critics Circle is out with its pick for best film of this year. And in a virtual meeting Friday, it picked Kelly Reichardt’s Western fable “First Cow” as best in class. The movie is a story of friendship and capitalism set in the mid-1800s Oregon Territory. The film was released in theaters in March, just days before the coronavirus shut down theaters nationwide. Though it hasn’t been seen widely, it is considered one of the year’s top films.
BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL POSTPONED
BERLIN (AP) – The annual Berlin International Film Festival is being put off this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the event will be split into two parts and held next year. The festival had been set for February in Berlin – but with coronavirus restrictions on large gatherings still in place, organizers concluded that it couldn’t go forward. Plans now call for an event to be held online in March, with another set for June. Organizers hope that by then, restrictions will have eased enough to hold both open-air and in-theater screenings.
KOBE BRYANT’S WIDOW DENOUNCES LAWSUIT FILED BY HER MOM
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Kobe Bryant’s widow is accusing her own mom of trying to “extort a financial windfall” from the late NBA legend’s estate. Vanessa Bryant has issued a statement denouncing the lawsuit from her mother, Sofia Urbieta Laine. In the suit, Laine says she is owed years of back pay for working as an unpaid assistant – and financial support going forward. In the filing, she claims Kobe Bryant “promised to take care” of her for life – but her daughter won’t abide by those purported wishes. The Los Angeles Times reports financial experts estimate that Vanessa Bryant inherited control of an estate worth up to $600 million.