Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

December 26, 2015

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Beatles stream music catalogue via Spotify, Apple Music for the first time.

Starting at 12:01am Christmas eve (local time, in each country around the world), all 13 of The Beatles’ original albums will finally be available on some of the most popular streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify.

Given the star power of on-screen couple Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in Dilwale, the action-comedy-musical was always destined to open bigger in cinemas around the world than its Bollywood rival Bajirao Mastani.

So it proved last weekend in the US, the UK, Australia, India, Pakistan, the UAE and Malaysia, but the size of the winning margins may be surprising, particularly given the barrage of negative reviews in India for Dilwale.

Eros International, which released Bajirao Mastani worldwide, is confident its film will narrow the gap in the UK and Australia,  while noting that Khan’s film is not generating the kind of fan mania which usually greets his canon.

Protests marred the opening of both films in India, resulting in the cancellation of some screenings. The agitators were roiled by statements last month by Shah Rukh Khan referring to religious intolerance in the country while the other film was targeted by Bharatiya Janata Party  in Pune because it allegedly distorts history to show Maratha general Bajirao Ballal Bhat in a bad light.  Khan later said his comments were taken out of context.

The Bollywood movies did not have to compete with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in India and Pakistan, where the Walt Disney Co. took evasive action by dating J.J. Abrams’ juggernaut on December 25.

Directed by Rohit Shetty and produced and distributed by Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt. Ltd,  Dilwaleearned $US9.8 million in its first three days  on more than 3,000 screens in India.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani, an historical romantic drama starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Milind Soman and Tanvi Azmi, raked in $7.05 million. Arguably both titles suffered to an extent from going head-to-head, a situation which had not happened in India since Gadar Ek Prem Katha and Lagaan squared off on the same day in June 2001.

In an astounding display of cultural and commercial domination on a global scale — one with little precedent in the history of Hollywood — the Walt Disney Company’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” earned roughly $517 million in worldwide ticket sales, smashing multiple box office records, even after accounting for inflation.

It was the largest opening weekend in North America, with $238 million in ticket sales. To put that figure into perspective, consider that “Avatar” (2009), which analysts consider to be the highest-grossing film in history, with $3.1 billion in global ticket sales, took in $85 million over its first three days in domestic release; the previous record-holder for a December opening was “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012) with $87.5 million.

Wedding bells are not far anymore as Asin is reportedly getting married to Micromax founder Rahul Sharma on January 23 next year, reports Mumbai Mirror.

Advocartsy, a visual Ryd platform in Los Angelrs, debuted its inaugural installation, “Art Brief: Iranian Contemporary Los Angeles,” a show featuring 12 local Iranian and Iranian American contemporary artists last week. The exhibition of painting, sculpture and photography, co-curated by Rahnama and art critic Peter Frank, consists of artists from a variety of backgrounds.

Johnny Depp has been named the most overpaid actor of 2015 by Forbes. He’s had a bad year. — Compiled by Mariam Nihal

December 26, 2015
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