Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Disney+ Hotstar to premiere Bollywood films, bypassing theatres
Walt Disney Co’s streaming service Disney+ Hotstar plans to premiere seven big ticket Bollywood films originally meant for theatrical release this year, as it seeks to expand its lead in subscribers over rivals Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video. Monday’s announcement follows similar moves in India by Netflix and Prime and deals a fresh blow to movie theatre operators like PVR and Inox Leisure, which have seen a raft of likely box office hits opt for digital releases due to theatre shutdowns in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Black lives celebrated and mourned at emotional BET Awards
Black power, suffering and the fight for justice took center stage at the BET awards on Sunday, the first Black celebrity event in the United States since nationwide mass protests broke out this month over systemic racism. The show, which celebrates Black excellence in music, film, sports and philanthropy, was filled with speeches, songs, images of protests and the names of dozens of Black men and women who have died at the hands of police in recent years.
Los Angeles delays movie theater reopenings after rise in coronavirus cases
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday announced he was taking a “hard pause” on when movie theaters in the city can reopen, citing an increase in coronavirus cases. Los Angeles County is the biggest movie theater market in the United States.
Cineworld delays U.S., UK cinema reopenings to end of July
Cineworld on Tuesday delayed the reopening of its cinemas in the United States and Britain until the end of July, citing changes to the release schedules for some of the big summer movies. The UK-based company had previously expected to start reopening theatres, which include Regal Cinemas in the United States, on July 10, but a number of important markets, such as Los Angeles and New York, have not yet given the go-ahead.
AMC delays reopening date by two weeks to July 30
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc said on Monday it has delayed the reopening of its theaters in the United States by two weeks to July 30. The world’s largest movie theater operator said that the date aligns with the release of Disney’s “Mulan” and Christopher Nolan’s thriller, “Tenet” , that have been pushed to August.
In central Kinshasa, freshly painted murals show traditional idols wearing medical masks or applying hand sanitizer, part of an art initiative to counter public disbelief in the face of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the Democratic Republic of Congo. The number of confirmed cases in Congo has doubled in less than a month to almost 7,000, piling pressure on the poorly equipped health system. Some hospitals have started turning patients away even as many across the central African nation remain unaware or skeptical of COVID-19’s dangers.
Broadway theaters to remain closed through early January 2021
Broadway theaters will remain closed through Jan. 3, 2021, industry group the Broadway League said on Monday, extending their coronavirus-related shutdown for another four months. The New York City theaters, which went dark in mid-March, had previously set a tentative reopening date of Sept. 6, but social-distancing requirements for audiences, actors, and production staff have made it impossible for plays and musicals to resume.
Netflix, DuVernay to make series on Kaepernick’s high school years
Netflix is teaming up with Emmy Award-winning director Ava DuVernay to bring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s adolescent life to the television screen. Entitled ‘Colin in Black & White’, Netflix said on Monday the six-episode series would focus on Kaepernick’s early years as a Black child growing up with a white adopted family and his formative high school years.
Soundtracks from Italian cinema’s golden age get new lease of life
Soundtracks from the golden age of Italian cinema are to be made available to a new generation of music and film lovers under a new partnership between Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sugar, Italy’s leading independent label. More than 2,000 historic soundtracks from films including Federico Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ and ‘Amarcord’ and Luchino Visconti’s ‘Il Gattopardo’ (The Leopard) and scores from composers such as Ennio Morricone will be reintroduced and distributed via Decca Records.
MTV Video Music Awards to be held in physical New York venue on August 30
The MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) show will take place in New York at the end of August, MTV and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday, marking the first major awards show since the coronavirus pandemic that will occur in a physical venue. MTV and Cuomo said the Aug. 30 VMA show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn would follow safety guidelines and would have “limited capacity or no audience.”