Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Will Martin Shkreli have to hand over his Wu-Tang Clan album?
A news conference announcing federal securities fraud charges against former hedge fund boss Martin Shkreli took an unusual turn on Thursday with a question about a $2 million copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album he bought in May. Shkreli, 32, had bragged to Bloomberg Businessweek about buying the only copy of the popular New York-based hip-hop collective’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” drawing ire from music fans around the world when he said he had no plans to listen to it. He spent the $2 million to “keep it from people,” he said.
‘Star Wars’ smashes opening night record with $57 million domestic haul
Long-awaited film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” set a record for opening night ticket sales in the United States and Canada with an estimated $57 million in box office receipts on Thursday evening, Walt Disney Co said on Friday. The previous record was $43.5 million in 2011 for the final “Harry Potter” movie. Global sales for “Force Awakens” through two days neared $130 million, Disney said.
North Korea girl band concert canceled over ‘anti-American lyrics’: source
A North Korean all-female pop group canceled their Beijing concert last week when Chinese authorities objected to “anti-American” lyrics in the show, a source with ties to North Korea and China told Reuters on Friday. The Moranbong Band was visiting China along with North Korea’s State Merited Chorus and was due to perform at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts on Dec. 12.
Sky, U.S. studios to fight antitrust charges at January hearing: sources
Sky UK, NBCUniversal and five other U.S. studios will try to convince EU antitrust regulators at a hearing next month that their movie-licensing deals are not anti-competitive, three people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The European Commission in July accused the group of blocking consumers outside the UK and Ireland access to films and other content broadcasted by the British TV station. Other clauses in the deals prevent other broadcasters from making their pay-TV services available in the UK and Ireland.
Disney CEO on ‘Star Wars’: ‘We struck more than gold’
Walt Disney Co has “struck more than gold” with the “Star Wars” franchise and it wants to expand plans to build attractions for the sci-fi saga in its theme parks, Chief Executive Bob Iger said. Some three years after Disney bought George Lucas’ Lucasfilm Ltd for $4 billion, it is bringing its first “Star Wars” picture to cinemas this week in what has been billed as the movie release of the year.
Going, going, gone; Adele U.S. concert tickets sell in minutes
Tickets for Adele’s first concert tour of North America in five years sold out within minutes for venues on the U.S. East Coast on Thursday, leaving thousands of fans empty-handed and venting their frustration on social media. The British singer’s 56-date tour, announced earlier this week, follows record-breaking sales of 5.2 million units in the United States alone of her new album, “25.”
Jingle Cats go animated for holiday song
As Christmas nears, the Jingle Cats are purring holiday anthems once again, this time in animated “claymation” form. Creator Mike Spalla has been working with the festive felines for more than 20 years and the project has garnered quite a following.
Louisa Johnson reflects on winning The X Factor UK
After winning “X Factor” last week and fans over with her powerful voice, Louisa Johnson is hoping to carve out a successful music career with an album and tour in sight. “I would love to sell out arenas, make albums that people can connect with and just go on tour and just do my thing and that would be the dream for me,” she told Reuters.
Wal-Mart driver in Tracy Morgan crash to seek dismissal: lawyer
A lawyer for the Wal-Mart truck driver involved in a 2014 crash that severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed his friend said on Friday he would ask a New Jersey judge next week to dismiss all criminal charges against his client. Kevin Roper’s rights were violated, his attorney David Glassman said, because a federal court refused to allow him to ask for a stay in a civil suit that the “Saturday Night Live” entertainer brought against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Such stays are routinely granted while related criminal matters are pending, Glassman said.
Rock singer Weiland died from accidental mixed drug toxicity: official
Rock singer Scott Weiland’s death earlier in December in a tour bus in a Minneapolis suburb was due to mixed drug toxicity including cocaine, alcohol and ecstasy, and determined to be an accident, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said on Friday. Weiland, 48, the former front man for the band Stone Temple Pilots, was touring with his new band, the Wildabouts, when he died in his sleep on Dec. 3, while in Bloomington, Minnesota.”