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'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' tops box office as 'The Mule,' 'Mortal Engines' land among top five

LOS ANGELES -- After a slow two weeks for new movies, fresh wide releases dominated the top five at the box office.

Sony's "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" premiered in first place with $35.4 million, in the range of analyst predictions of $32 million to $39 million, according to figures from measurement firm Comscore.

"I'm extremely ...Read more

LA Philharmonic violinist is leaving the orchestra to take his song to the streets

LOS ANGELES -- When Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Vijay Gupta won a MacArthur fellowship this year for his social justice work, an award that came with a $625,000 no-strings-attached stipend, the obvious question was: What next?

The answer: Gupta said that he will give up his seat as one of the orchestra's first violins to focus on his ...Read more

Time's Up launches mentorship program to diversify Hollywood's pool of producers and executives

To make a lasting impact on gender parity in Hollywood, women need to be in the room where it happens.

Time's Up Entertainment announced Friday that the group is launching "Who's in the Room," a new mentorship program designed to increase the presence of people of color and people from other underrepresented groups in the producing and ...Read more

Ariana Grande and NYPD reach out to 'SNL's' Pete Davidson after his alarming Instagram post

Ariana Grande is at the center of a mental-health discussion that began when she light-heartedly commented on Kanye West's latest Drake fracas, and continued as concerns mounted over the well-being of her ex-fiance, "Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson.

Davidson, who last year revealed he had been diagnosed with borderline personality ...Read more

The film Roma stirs audience in director's hometown, Mexico City

MEXICO CITY -- They lined up for hours in the woody grounds of the former presidential compound to see a movie -- not just any film, but "Roma," Alfonso Cuaron's autobiographical reverie, named after the shabby-chic Mexico City neighborhood where the director was reared.

With some breathless reviewers already declaring it a "masterpiece," the ...Read more

Movie review: 'Mary Poppins' returns, but the sequel doesn't quite achieve liftoff

There's no one right way to reboot a beloved property. For "Mary Poppins Returns," director Rob Marshall and writers David Magee and John DeLuca have taken the "ain't broke, don't fix it" approach when it comes to creating a sequel to the beloved multiple-Oscar-winning 1964 film "Mary Poppins." Beloved nanny Mary Poppins does indeed return, this...Read more

Apple strikes deal to develop and produce Charlie Brown and Peanuts content

Good grief! Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang are heading to Apple.

DHX Media will develop and produce exclusive content for the tech giant, including original programs such as series, specials and shorts based on Charles M. Schulz's beloved cartoon characters, The Times confirmed Friday.

Under the deal, the ever-expanding Cupertino ...Read more

10 worst movies of 2018

Most years, I come to the end of our 12 months together in filmdom and end up picking a smallish, nearly flawless picture for my No.1 slot. Then there's a larger, more expansive, more obviously imperfect No. 2. This year, "The Rider," #1; "Roma," #2." See?

"Worst" lists are different. I don't seem to veer in a particular direction for those, ...Read more

Shakira charged with tax evasion in Spain

Grammy-winning Colombian singer Shakira was charged with tax evasion on Friday by Spanish prosecutors alleging that the artist failed to pay more than $16 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014, according to the Associated Press.

The charges come after a yearlong investigation into the singer's taxes, focusing on the three years before she ...Read more

Review: Netflix's supernatural sea thriller 'Tidelands' is B-picture TV with random acts of nudity

"Tidelands," a supernatural seaside crime thriller that gets underway Friday, has the distinction of being the first original production by Australian Netflix, and that is the most distinctive thing about it.

Still, notwithstanding that it begins with an epigram from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("My soul is full of longing for the secret of the ...Read more

'To Kill a Mockingbird' on Broadway: Harper Lee's story is dragged into the present by Aaron Sorkin

Ever since Gregory Peck, the Tom Hanks of his moment, starred in the film version of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 1962, the small-town lawyer Atticus Finch has been a symbol of American decency. Not unlike Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey, he's been an emblem of how ignorance can only be banished through empathy. If you wanted to ...Read more

Peak TV hits another peak with 495 original scripted shows; streaming services produce more than broadcast and basic cable

Once again, so-called "peak TV" has reached a new peak.

The entertainment industry this year produced a record 495 original scripted TV shows, fueled by a surge in programming from Netflix and other streaming services that for the first time made up the largest category of programming, according to an industry report.

There were 160 original ...Read more

Unplugged after mass shooting, Route 91 Harvest festival may return to Vegas Strip next year

LAS VEGAS -- The country music festival that became the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history could be returning to Las Vegas next fall -- though probably far from the site of the 2017 shooting, according to a key promoter of the event.

Julie Matway, chief operating officer for Country Nation -- a division of Live ...Read more

Frank Oz, Paul Williams and David Goelz remember 'Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas,' the Jim Henson-directed Muppet musical

Emmet Otter is not the most famous Muppet in Jim Henson's universe of characters. But Hollywood will still embrace the occasional second act, and the leader of the Frogtown Hollow Jubilee Jug Band in 1977 TV special "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" is now a part of the revival circuit.

Four decades after the show originally aired on a then-...Read more

Review: Sandra Bullock makes the creepy, derivative 'Bird Box' worth a look

In Susanne Bier's "Bird Box," an end-of-days freakout starring Sandra Bullock, the world is overrun by an inexplicable menace with a clever plan for wiping out humanity. To those of us in the audience, the creatures (or whatever they are) remain entirely invisible, represented by a sudden rush of wind, which makes them about as scary as a leaf ...Read more

Review: Clint Eastwood's deeply personal 'The Mule' considers what's important in life

Acting in a movie at 88 is not out of the question, and neither is directing one. But both directing yourself and acting in a major studio release at that advanced age is next door to unheard of. Until Clint Eastwood decided to give it a try.

In "The Mule" Eastwood plays a character based on a man roughly his age, a real-life drug mule named ...Read more

Review: In 'To Kill a Mockingbird' on Broadway, the words of Harper Lee but the voice of Aaron Sorkin

NEW YORK -- The marquee at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre blasts in big block letters "Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird." But all it takes is some slingshot dialogue to reveal that the new blockbuster Broadway adaptation belongs to Aaron Sorkin.

The program spells out that this top-flight production, which had its official opening Thursday under ...Read more

Review: 'Mortal Engines,' a visual marvel, is half wonderful, half monotonous

"Mortal Engines" is such a visual marvel, such a dazzling, pictorially involving imagining of the future, it's a shame it's not completely worth seeing.

For though it's based on the first volume of Philip Reeve's highly regarded young adult series and adapted by the same trio who won an Oscar for "Lord of the Rings," from a dramatic point of ...Read more

Cybill Shepherd says Les Moonves thwarted her hit '90s sitcom after she rejected his advances

Actress Cybill Shepherd said that her 1990s hit TV comedy "Cybill" was thwarted after she rejected inappropriate advances by CBS Chairman Les Moonves back then.

She's now one of the highest-profile stars to denounce the disgraced mogul, who has been accused by multiple women of decades of sexual misconduct and was ousted from CBS in September. ...Read more

'Mary Queen of Scots' couldn't rule England and won't rule the box office

There are multiple murders, illicit affairs, international intrigue and extremely problematic noses in "Mary Queen of Scots," and yet, somehow, it's dull, dull, dull.

Josie Rourke's stiff direction, Beau Willimon's humorless screenplay and a clunky structure that shifts between the stories of Mary in Scotland and Elizabeth in England (the two ...Read more

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