Cast members Rufus Sewell, Renee Zellweger, Jessie Buckley and director Rupert Goold attend the premiere for the film “Judy” in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) – “Abominable” towered over the box office this weekend as Universal and DreamWorks’ animated adventure debuted to $20.85 million in North America and $29.7 million worldwide.
The PG movie benefited as one of the few offerings at multiplexes catering to family crowds and marked the best opening of the year for an original animated film.
Jill Culton wrote and directed “Abominable,” becoming the first female to independently make an animated film for a major studio. Universal’s DreamWorks co-produced the movie with China’s Pearl Studios. With a softer $8.8 million start at the international box office, the two companies will rely on Chinese audiences to turn out in force (where it debuts on Tuesday) to help justify its $75 million budget.
“Abominable” follows a young girl named Yi (voiced by Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actress Chloe Bennet) who embarks on an epic journey to reunite a yeti named Everest with his family.
As awards season kicks off, Roadside Attractions’ “Judy” hit a high note at the specialty box office. The Renee Zellweger-led Judy Garland biopic amassed $3 million, enough to crack the top 10 despite opening on just 461 screens. The movie, which is already generating Oscar buzz for Zellweger’s transformation into the troubled star, appealed mostly to older females. Among inaugural crowds, 60% were women and nearly 80% were over the age of 35.
Though “Abominable” was the only new nationwide offering this weekend, a number of holdovers enjoyed solid receipts. Last weekend’s box office champion, Focus Features’ “Downton Abbey” slid to second place on domestic charts. The big-screen adaptation of the popular British TV series collected $14.5 million from 3,390 theaters, declining 53% from its inaugural outing. After two weeks of release, “Downton Abbey” has earned $58.5 million in North America.
In third place, STX’s “Hustlers” declined just 32% in its third frame, added another $11.47 million to its domestic haul. The $20 million film — directed by Lorene Scafaria and starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu — has generated a strong $80 million at the domestic box office and $95.4 million globally.
In a race that’s currently too close to call, Warner Bros.’ “It: Chapter Two” and Disney’s “Ad Astra” will battle it out for fourth and fifth rankings on box office charts. Based on Sunday’s estimates, both films pocketed roughly $10 million over the three-day frame. “It: Chapter Two,” now in its fourth weekend of release, has made $193 million in North America. Brad Pitt’s “Ad Astra” has picked up $34 million at the domestic box office.
In box office milestones, Universal’s “Good Boys” crossed $100 million in global ticket sales, becoming the first original R-rated comedy to surpass that benchmark since last February’s “Game Night.”
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Teddi Mellencamp is baring it all in her pregnancy.
The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star, 38, took to Instagram on Friday with a topless mirror selfie and got candid about body confidence.
“I am loving the skin I am in and feeling damn proud about it,” she wrote of the photo where she donned just heels and nude underwear. “Proud to be unapologetically me; a woman who works hard and believes the best is always yet to come, for my mind, soul and yes, body.”
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The reality star and wellness guru announced her pregnancy earlier this month and has been documenting every step of the way as this is the first time she is eating healthy and exercising while expecting. She explained in the caption of the revealing photo that she “spent many years fixated on the stretch marks that run down my inner thighs or the loose skin on my arms,” but “not now.”
Mellencamp’s dedication to wellness was sparked by committing to a healthy lifestyle following her previous pregnancy with her son, Cruz. The change eventually launched her accountability coaching career and business, ALL IN By Teddi Mellencamp.
In addition to 5-year-old Cruz, she is also mom to Slate, 6. Mellencamp also has a 10-year-old stepdaughter, Isabella, whom her husband, Edwin Arroyave, has from a previous marriage.
This article originally appeared in Page Six.
Mexican crooner José José, the elegant dresser who moved audiences to tears with melancholic love ballads and was known as the “Prince of Song,” has died at the age of 71.
Mexican artists’ association ANDI confirmed the death in a Twitter post on Saturday. Multiple media outlets said the singer had died of pancreatic cancer at a hospital in South Florida.
José José, whose real name is José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz, climbed to the top of the Latin charts in the 1970s with slow songs such as “El Triste” or “The Sad Man,” and “Amar y querer” or “Love and want.” The power of his voice and ability to sing technically difficult tunes in a wide register made him a treasured cultural icon in Latin America.
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José José’s music also became popular in countries including Japan and Russia.
The artist’s voice, a combination of baritone and lyric tenor, captivated audiences while his dress style of suits accented with bow ties, pocket handkerchiefs and silk scarves was copied at nightclubs across Latin America.
“He squeezed our hearts with his unmistakable voice and left an indelible mark on the world of music,” Latin music star Gloria Estefan said on Twitter.
José José was born to a family of musicians on Feb. 17, 1948 in Mexico City. His mother, Margarita Ortiz Pensado, was a concert pianist and his father was a tenor in the National Opera of Mexico.
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The singer added a second José to his artist’s name in honor of his father, who died when José José was 17. The father had abandoned the family when José José was young.
“I wanted to honor the memory of my father, who was a great opera singer and died very young, without knowledge of my success,” José José told The Associated Press in a 2005 interview. “Since I inherited his voice, this is recognition of that inheritance.”
José José got started in music singing in cafes before founding a rock group called the Heart Breakers that launched an unsuccessful album in the mid-60s. His solo career took off with a single called “La nave del olvido” or “The ship of the forgotten” and peaked in the 1980s with albums like “Secrets,” his best-selling collaboration with Spanish love song composer and producer Manuel Alejandro.
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He struggled with Lyme disease, facial paralysis, substance abuse and depression. His problems with alcohol and drugs led to the 1993 dissolution of his 18-year marriage with model Anel Noreña, with whom he had two children: José Joel y Marisol. He hit bottom following the separation and began sleeping in a taxi on the outskirts of the Mexican capital. Friends intervened and took him to an addiction treatment center in the U.S.
The artist married again in 1995, to a Cuban-American named Sarita Salazar who he met while in rehab. The couple had a daughter, Sara, the following year.
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José José was nominated on multiple occasions for a Grammy, but never obtained the prize. The Latin Recording Academy recognized the singer with a Musical Excellence Prize at the 2004 Latin Grammy awards. That same year, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
His voice troubles made it very difficult for him to sing in his later years. For a 2008 concert with Greek composer and pianist Yanni, it took the by-then scratchy-voiced Mexican singer seven days to prepare “just to attempt to sing,” recounted Yanni in a video posted to Twitter. “That was an act of bravery on his part,” he added.
“He fought really hard for every word, for every sound,” said Yanni.
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The icon had confirmed via a video message to fans in March 2017 that he was battling pancreatic cancer. “I’m ready to face this new adventure in my life hand-in-hand with God and hand-in-hand with you all,” he told followers.
The death of José José hit hard in Mexico, which endured the 2016 death of another cherished crooner from the same era: Juan Gabriel.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he was sad to hear of José José’s death. “He was an extraordinary singer from an era that, with his songs and his romanticism, made a lot of people from my generation cry and be happy,” he told reporters.
José José counted on the unrelenting adoration of fans who turned out to see him as recently as 2017 for concerts in Puerto Rico and the U.S., despite his failing vocals.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The forthcoming HBO Max streaming service needs the reach of its parent company AT&T Inc (T.N) to compete in the streaming video wars, a senior WarnerMedia executive said in an interview, as the company faces pressure from an activist investor to explain its media strategy.
FILE PHOTO: HBO logo is on display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
HBO Max, scheduled to be launched next year, will combine the network’s acclaimed programming such as “Game of Thrones” with Warner Bros movies, classic TV shows including “Friends,” and original programming. The goal is to compete with companies such as Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for a broad audience.
WarnerMedia will be able to market the service to the tens of millions of customers of AT&T’s wireless, DirecTV and television services and introduce them to the programming, Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, said late on Tuesday.
“In this new world we live in, I think unless you can get the scale, and unless you can reach millions and millions of people, I don’t think you really have a chance,” Greenblatt said.
“We need a company of this size and scale and this enormous customer base,” Greenblatt said. “The whole thing is just a big advantage to us.”
Netflix reported nearly 152 million paid memberships as of the end of June. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) plans to offer its TV service, Apple TV+, for free for one year to anyone who buys a new Apple device, putting the programming in front of potentially 130 million or more iPhone users alone, according to Wall Street estimates.
HBO boasts 140 million subscribers globally, mostly through pay television services such as DirecTV and Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), the company has said. At least 5 million of its subscribers are digital customers in the United States.
Greenblatt said AT&T would offer “incentives for customers that will bring them into HBO Max, hopefully right away.” He said details would be announced later.
AT&T has said it has more than 170 million direct customer relationships through TV, phone and broadband services. It also operates 5,500 retail stores.
WarnerMedia is the company previously known as Time Warner, the owner of HBO, CNN, the Warner Bros TV and movie studios, and other entertainment properties. AT&T purchased Time Warner last year.
Elliott Management Corp, which disclosed a large stake in AT&T earlier this month, has argued that AT&T has “failed to articulate a clear strategic rationale” for the purchase.
AT&T executives remain committed to a big push into entertainment under Chief Operating Officer John Stankey, Greenblatt said.
“I have nothing but 100% confidence from my management and AT&T that this is the direction to go,” he said.
“The company used to be very siloed,” he added. “Now with John Stankey running the whole show, now that we are all one company, there is an enormous amount of collaboration.”
FILE PHOTO: The company logo for AT&T is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
HBO Max will debut in the United States. The company has plans to expand to international markets over the next few years, Greenblatt said.
WarnerMedia plans to unveil more details about its strategy at an Oct. 29 event for investors.
“You will see at that point the real depths to which this company has gone and committed to this,” Greenblatt said. “They’re really in it to win it.”
Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Kenneth Li and Lisa Shumaker
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(Reuters) – How do you play a Hollywood icon like Judy Garland? For Renee Zellweger, getting under her skin was like falling in love.
Zellweger, 50, has won rave reviews for her heartbreaking portrait of Garland in “Judy,” out in U.S. movie theaters on Friday, and awards pundits are already predicting a fourth Oscar nomination.
“Judy” focuses on the period when Garland struggled with alcohol, prescription drug use and her broken finances on a trip to London in late 1968 for a series of concerts. The “Wizard of Oz” star died at age 47 of an accidental drug overdose in June 1969.
Zellweger took voice lessons for a year before filming started and worked with a choreographer to capture Garland’s mannerisms in the final year of her life.
“I put the music on and then I started digging for the books and I ordered the books and then I dug around on the Internet every day and I just took in very greedily everything I could find. I was just in love and I got more and more greedy,” Zellweger told Reuters Television.
“I didn’t want to be away from it,” she added.
Zellweger’s transformation from the blond actress who played British singleton “Bridget Jones,” sang in movie musical “Chicago” and won a supporting actress Oscar for drama “Cold Mountain” has been called a career best performance by critics.
While the actress “hardly seems like a natural doppelganger for Garland, she subsumes herself completely in the role, without ever tipping over into some kind of gestural Judy drag,” wrote Entertainment Weekly.
Zellweger’s co-stars were also amazed.
FILE PHOTO: Cast member Renee Zellweger attends the premiere for the film “Judy” in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
“She was rarely not Judy. She had so much to do. She was often working before I got there and she was still working after I left. I rarely saw her outside of the character and so I kind of forgot who Renee was,” said Finn Wittrock, who plays Garland’s fifth and last husband Mickey Deans.
While Garland’s children – Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft – were not involved in the making of the film, Zellweger hopes they will see that “our intention to celebrate her is evident.”
“When you understand what it is that she was able to overcome in order to continue to deliver and continue to perform for her audiences, and connect with people and move them in the way that she did, is to then really understand how extraordinary she was,” she said.
Writing by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Marguerita Choy
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Despite major family controversy, Aaron Carter debuted a massive face tattoo on Saturday.
In one of two pics of the tat, Carter, 31, admired his new facial ink in the mirror while sporting some new bling.
ADAM LEVINE STUNS FANS WITH NEW LOOK
“@johnnydangandco you’re the greatest in the game everyone needs to know and they will after THIS PIECE,” he wrote, thanking the jeweler.
In another photo, Carter removed his shirt while declaring himself, “THE BIGGEST THING IN MUSIC RIGHT NOW. I CANT BE DENIED. FACT CHECK ME.”
The new ink and bling come amid family drama for the performer, as he recently claimed his deceased sister molested him as a child. His older brother, Nick Carter, 39, and twin sister Angel have also taken a restraining order out against him after claiming the “Sooner Or Later” artist confessed to harboring intentions of killing his pregnant wife and unborn child.
On Friday, Aaron tweeted, “I WILL be showing up to court for my sister, Angel’s case against me. But I will not be going for my brother, Nick. I don’t care if he has a restraining order against me, I will never see or speak to him again or the rest of my family.”
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On a lighter note for the Carter family, the Backstreet Boy shared an adorable photo with son Oden on Saturday, hinting that his wife, Lauren Kitt, may have given birth to their second child.
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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican singer Jose Jose, whose powerful, romantic ballads captivated Latin America for more than half a century, died on Saturday.
FILE PHOTO: Mexican balladeer Jose Jose holds his plaque after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, U.S. February 10, 2004. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
Mexico’s Culture Ministry expressed its condolences in a statement, calling Jose Jose, whose real name was Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz, “one of Mexico’s most loved voices.”
Jose Jose received several Grammy nominations, sold more than 250 million albums and was once courted by music legend Frank Sinatra, who wanted to win him for his own label.
He is often considered Mexico’s most successful singer and was also an occasional actor.
“It is sad, his passing,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters. Mexico City residents gathered for an impromptu tribute at a statue of the singer, laying wreaths, and singing his songs. Some were in tears.
“The Prince of Song,” as the Mexican was affectionately called by his fans, was born into a family of musicians and raised in Mexico City.
Son of tenor Jose Sosa Esquivel and pianist Margarita Ortiz Pensado, Jose Jose began his musical career as a child: he debuted in school choir and in 1963 formed a musical trio formally starting his career at age 15.
Initially, he appeared in nightclubs and even formed a jazz and bossa nova group in which he played the double bass; later, he scored a contract with the Mexican subsidiary of the international label RCA Victor.
In 1969, he released his first album under the pseudonym of “Jose Jose.” The singer said later that his artistic name was inspired by the name of his father, who died in 1968 of alcoholism.
Jose Jose conquered the Spanish-speaking world with the interpretation of “El Triste” at the 1970 Latin Song Festival that took place in the Mexican capital. It became the performance that catapulted him to stardom.
The sudden fame also brought negative consequences. Like his father, he fell into alcoholism and had to take some time out. He returned to the stage in 1971, but continued to suffer from alcoholism for 30 more years.
The 1980s became the most successful decade of his career, during which he sold two million copies of his album “Secrets” in just a few weeks while also making his debut in the cinema.
But his dipsomania and lack of rest irreparably damaged his vocal cords, forcing him to undergo several operations that failed to restore them. In 2007, he also suffered a facial paralysis.
As a result of his alcohol addiction, Jose Jose’s health deteriorated rapidly since the 1990s. Even so, supported by his wife, Cuban Sarita Salazar, Jose Jose recovered and continued his career. In recent years he gained a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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Mexican broadcaster Televisa reported the singer died in Miami at 71 after complications following treatment for pancreatic cancer. Two years ago he announced that he had a tumor in the pancreas that was being treated with chemotherapy.
Many of his works inspired a younger generation of artists and musicians, including Latin pop star Julio Iglesias, who interpreted Jose Jose’s first big hit “The Ship of Oblivion.”
His son Jose Francisco, known as Jose Joel, who is also a musician, changed his profile picture on Twitter to a black ribbon. His daughters Marysol and Sara have also followed the family tradition into music.
Reporting by Diego Ore, Stefanie Eschenbacher and Adriana Barrera Espinosa; Editing by Leslie Adler and Dan Grebler
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Months after sustaining serious injuries that could’ve left her paralyzed, actress Ruby Rose has shared explicit footage of her emergency surgery via Instagram.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
“To everyone asking about my new Pez dispenser scar on my neck… A couple of months ago I was told I needed an emergency surgery or I was risking becoming paralyzed,” the actress, 33, explained. “I had herniated two discs doing stunts, and they were close to severing my spinal chord [sic]. I was in chronic pain and yet couldn’t feel my arms.”
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Rose went on to thank her doctor for, “allowing me to keep working and doing what I love. I am forever in your debt,” adding, “to anyone asking why I let them video it.. Did you not watch that Greys anatomy [sic] episode where they left a towel in a patient?? Also I wanted to see what happens when we go under.”
This isn’t the first time the “Batwoman” star has gone under the knife. She underwent spinal surgery back in January of 2018.
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“So…For the past few years (decade) I’ve been dealing with a spine issue,” Rose revealed in a tweet at the time that has since been deleted. “I am now recovering from a back procedure, but I do need to stay active, so before I get seen with my cane and wheelchair in public, I’d rather put it out there that I’m fine and going to be fine.”
“Batwoman” premieres on Oct. 6 on CW.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is celebrating his new life outside of prison in more ways than one.
The “Jersey Shore” star, 37, has reunited with his wife, Lauren, and close friends from the reality TV show, and also is 35 pounds lighter after spending eight months behind bars for tax evasion in federal prison in upstate Otisville, N.Y.
“This is what it looks like when you turn a negative Situation into a Positive Situation #clapbackseason,” the entertainer said on Instagram, posting a photo of himself at the gym on Friday.
Earlier this week in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” Sorrentino revealed how he dropped so much weight while serving his sentence.
He said he worked out several times a day, starting at 7 a.m., and practiced intermittent fasting.
“I had to continually challenge myself, whether it was in the gym and/or diet,” the MTV star said. “I worked out between two to three times per day.”
Sorrentino said his fierce exercise regimen helped pass the time and stay positive. He especially hit the gym on holidays when he was alone and said he wanted to “do something to make my future self proud.”
Sorrentino was released from prison on Sept. 12 and celebrated the next phase of his life with a pizza party.
“We are elated to finally close this chapter of our life. Thank you to our family, friends and fans for the continuous love and support during this time, it brought us so much peace and comfort,” he said in a statement at the time.
“We look forward to continuing our life as husband and wife and working on baby situations! We truly believe that the comeback is ALWAYS greater than the setback, and we can’t wait to show the world ours,” Sorrentino added.
PARIS (Reuters) – French cosmetics maker L’Oreal hosted its annual runway show on Saturday featuring an all-star cast of movie stars, singers and supermodels who embodied self-empowerment on the sidelines of Paris Fashion Week.
Celebrities including Britain’s Naomi Campbell looked on from the audience of the show, held in the inner courtyard of the neoclassical Monnaie de Paris building.
Actress Amber Heard and pop star Camilla Cabello strutted the circular catwalk in their first-ever appearances at the show, alongside long-time brand ambassador Eva Longoria, actress Andie McDowell, model Doutzen Kroes, and former Spice Girl Geri Horner.
A barefoot and smiling Helen Mirren closed the show in a floral dress, running joyfully on stage.
L’Oreal, an official sponsor of fashion week, collaborated with fashion houses such as Balmain, Elie Saab, Karl Lagerfeld and Giambattista Valli to dress its high-profile models.
The world’s biggest beauty manufacturer, behind labels such as Maybelline and Armani, aimed to promote female empowerment and diversity in the third edition of the show.
“It is great to work with a brand that understands women, self-worth is very important, it is more than a lipstick or a hair color,” Longoria told Reuters Television.
“We have a rainbow of diversity on the catwalk today with Korea, Brazil, India and me from Mexico. Definition of beauty is different all over the world and to have one stage celebrating all of that difference is really remarkable.”
Paris Fashion Week runs until Oct. 1.
Reporting by Laetitia Volga; Editing by David Holmes
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