Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
AT&T set to end media voyage with $43 billion Discovery deal
AT&T, owner of HBO and Warner Bros studios, and Discovery, home to lifestyle TV networks such as HGTV and TLC, said they will combine their content to form a standalone global entertainment and media business. Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav will lead the proposed new company, which will comprise one of Hollywood’s most powerful studios, including the Harry Potter and Batman franchises, news network Fintech Zoom, sports programming and Discovery’s unscripted home, cooking and nature and science shows.
Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc will let users stream high-quality lossless audio at no extra charge, as they explore new ways to keep subscribers tuned in to their services amid intense competition. Amazon Music, which so far charged a premium for lossless audio, became the first major music service on Monday to upgrade its subscribers to the format.
Eurovision song contest prepares for slimmed down COVID version
The Dutch port city of Rotterdam is preparing for a slimmed down version of the Eurovision song contest this weekend with a limited live audience, amid falling but still significant COVID-19 infection rates in the Netherlands. “When we made the decision to try and unite everyone here in Rotterdam we knew the pandemic unfortunately would still be around. We’re doing everything we can to minimise the impact of it,” Martin Osterdahl, the contest’s executive supervisor, told Reuters on Monday.
Box Office: Angelina Jolie’s ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ DOA as ‘Spiral’ Claims No. 1
Angelina Jolie’s survival action thriller “Those Who Wish Me Dead” didn’t do much to revive the North American box office. The Warner Bros. film, which debuted simultaneously on the streaming service HBO Max, took in a paltry $2.8 million in its opening weekend. The movie’s hybrid release on HBO Max likely isn’t the reason “Those Who Wish Me Dead” sold hardly any tickets; “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Mortal Kombat” were both recent Warner Bros. films that were able to generate decent box office revenues despite being released concurrently on a streaming service.
Analysis: AT&T, Discovery deal highlights media’s thirst to be like Netflix
Since AT&T bought Time Warner in 2018 to compete with Netflix and Disney, the world of streaming video has only gotten more cutthroat. The telecom giant’s deal with Discovery Inc, announced Monday, marks the latest shift in the remaking of the media industry and the potential beginning of another round of consolidation. An earlier wave three years ago resulted in media mogul Rupert Murdoch leaving Hollywood and Viacom and CBS recombining.
Ariana Grande marries real estate agent boyfriend
Pop star Ariana Grande married her real estate agent boyfriend in California over the weekend, some five months after the couple got engaged, the singer’s representatives and TMZ.com said on Monday. Grande, 27, tied the knot with Dalton Gomez, 25, whom she started dating in January 2020.
Thrill of the silver screen returns to England as lockdown eases
Londoner Sam Poch was anticipating the thrill of the big screen lighting up as he waited on Monday to enter a cinema on Leicester Square – a once routine experience that has not been possible for months because of COVID-19 restrictions. The 31-year-old content producer was among the first arriving to watch a film the old-fashioned way as cinemas in England reopened their doors as part of the latest stage in the government’s phased lockdown relaxation plan.
Disneyland Paris to re-open on June 17
Disneyland Paris said on Monday that it would re-open on June 17, as French bars, restaurants and tourism sites gradually resume their operations after having been shut due to COVID-19 sanitary restrictions.
‘WandaVision’ rules at MTV Movie and TV Awards
Marvel comics spinoff “WandaVision” dominated the MTV Movie and TV Awards on Sunday, while Scarlett Johansson and Sacha Baron Cohen got special awards for their contributions to the film industry. Chadwick Boseman received a posthumous award, for best performance in a movie, for his final film, the jazz period drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The “Black Panther” actor, 43, died in August 2020 of colon cancer.
(With inputs from agencies.)