Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
While accepting her award for a best-supporting actress at Sunday’s Academy Awards, South Korean film icon Youn Yuh-jung joked that her win may have been the result of American hospitality for a Korean actor. If so, it was the hospitality that had never been extended before. Youn’s Oscar win for her role in «Minari» was a historic first for any Korean performer, a year after the South Korean-produced «Parasite» was lauded for «breaking the language barrier» when it became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture.
Pandemic-constrained Oscars feature more oratory, less music, comedy
The Oscars telecast on Sunday, stripped to its bare essentials by constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, exhibited a look and feel like no others – devoid of the usual comedy and musical performances but chock full of lengthy oratory from the winners. As the producers had promised, the 93rd annual Academy Awards ceremony marked a dramatic departure from televised Oscar presentations of the past, with no opening monologue, no live orchestra or any of the glitzy song-and-dance numbers that typically fill the show.
Amanda Seyfried, James Norton face ghosts and marriage crisis in new horror
Amanda Seyfried and James Norton play a young couple whose marriage and life unravel when they move to a haunted house in upstate New York in the supernatural thriller «Things Heard & Seen». Based on Elizabeth Brundage’s novel «All Things Cease to Appear», the Netflix film tells the story of Catherine and George Claire, who leave Manhattan for the tiny town of Chosen with their 4-year-old daughter after George is offered a teaching job at a nearby college.
Downtown Music sells a catalog of 145,000 songs to Concord for $400 million, sources say
New York-based Downtown Music Holdings is selling a 145,000-song catalog to music rights company Concord Music for about $400 million, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday. The talks to acquire the music copyright to songs including some performed by the likes of Adele, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, David Bowie, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, and Marvin Gaye, began in January, the sources added.
Spotify launches podcast subscription platform to challenge Apple
Spotify launched on Tuesday a paid subscription platform for podcasters in the United States and plans to expand in other regions in the coming months, a week after Apple unveiled a similar service. A podcaster could mark episodes as subscriber-only and publish them on Spotify and other podcast listening platforms, the company said in a statement.
Final TV ratings for Oscars inch up to 10.4 million viewers
The Oscars telecast on Walt Disney Co’s ABC broadcast network averaged 10.4 million viewers, less than half of the audience for last year’s ceremony, according to final Nielsen data released on Tuesday. The figure marks a record low for the film industry’s highest honors, falling 56% from the 23.6 million who tuned in last year. It follows a trend for pandemic-era live awards shows after audiences for the most recent Emmys and Grammys also slumped to new lows.
Netflix joins virtual YouTuber boom
Netflix has joined Japan’s booming virtual Youtuber – or VTuber – scene with the launch of an animated character to promote its growing anime streaming offering. N-ko, a «sheep-human lifeform», is Netflix’s attempt to tap into the appeal of VTubers – characters animated by motion capture that has built a loyal audience on YouTube in Japan by singing, dancing, and interacting with fans.
Britney Spears to speak directly to LA court on her conservatorship
Popstar Britney Spears will personally address the Los Angeles court dealing with her long-running conservatorship in June, a judge agreed on Tuesday. Spears, 39, has been under conservatorship since 2008, but rarely takes part in court hearings and has not publicly commented on the legal arrangement where a court-appointed adviser controls her personal and financial affairs, including her medical treatment, security and career.
MultiChoice’s Showmax invests in African content for growth
MultiChoice’s online streaming platform Showmax is investing in producing its own local content for African audiences as it competes for their attention against Netflix on the continent, a senior executive told Reuters. MultiChoice is Africa’s largest pay-TV group, available in 50 African countries. Its streaming service Showmax, launched in 2015, is available in 46 African countries and also in several Western countries, including Britain and France, which have sizeable African diaspora populations.
Reinvented Oscars hands ‘Nomadland’ win on diversity-packed night
«Nomadland,» the story of van dwellers in America, won the best picture Oscar and two other Academy Awards on a triumphant night for women that also saw a return to Hollywood glamour after a long pandemic shutdown. In a major upset, Britain’s Anthony Hopkins won the best actor trophy for his role as a man battling dementia in «The Father.» The Oscar had been widely expected to go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his final film, «Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.»
(With inputs from agencies.)