Hundreds gather for PEN America gala, hosted by Awkwafina
PEN America held one of New York’s first major indoor literary gatherings since the pandemic began last year, as hundreds met Tuesday night for the organization’s annual gala to honor writers, community servants, political dissidents and such prominent public figures as Walt Disney executive chair Robert A.
Audiences hold back, even as more movie theaters open
Animated character Raya, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, left, appears with Sisu the dragon in a scene from "Raya and the Last Dragon." (Disney+ via AP)Theaters reopening in New York City this weekend did not set the box office on fire. Walt Disney Animation's “ Raya and the Last Dragon ” earned an estimated $8.6 million from 2,045 locations in North America. AdWarner Bros. “Tom & Jerry,” which is available to stream free for HBO Max subscribers, brought in $6.6 million from 2,563 North American theaters in its second available weekend. Many areas in North America are not yet fully open, including Los Angeles, and most California counties, Washington D.C., and much of Canada.
New this week: 'Coming 2 America,' Camilo and a dragon movie
(ABC/Paramount+/Amazon via AP)Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES— Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are back in Queens as Prince Akeem and Semmi in “Coming 2 America,” the sequel to the 1988 film, which is now coming straight to your living room Friday on Amazon Prime Video. Set to becoming the King of Zamunda, Murphy’s character returns to the U.S. to find a son he’s never met. Ad— A more family friendly streaming option this week is the Walt Disney Co.’s computer animated “Raya and the Last Dragon,” featuring the voices of “Star Wars’” Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as a dragon. The big-voiced Grammy-winning singer self-produced “Baby, I’m Hollywood!” – which is a mix of soul music, piano ballads and funk sounds.
'Nomadland,' 'Borat' win at a socially distant Golden Globes
She’s only the second woman in the history of the Globes to win, and the first since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl” in 1984. Its star, guerilla comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, also won best actor in a comedy. “The Queen's Gambit” won best limited series, and best actress in the category for Anya Taylor-Joy. “Schitt's Creek,” the Pop TV series that found a wider audience on Netflix, won best comedy series for its final season. Catherine O'Hara also took best actress in a comedy series.
Phoenix, Erivo and ‘Barb and Star’ among Globes presenters
This combination photo shows, from left, Awkwafina, Cynthia Erivo, Joaquin Phoenix, Kristen Wiig and Renee Zellweger, who are among the first presenters announced for the Golden Globes awards ceremony. (AP Photo)LOS ANGELES – “Barb and Star” are headed to the Golden Globes — actors Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo will be among the presenters at the upcoming ceremony. Wiig and Mumolo's latest film, “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” was released last week and some are already calling the campy film a cult classic. She’s won Golden Globes for her acting “Klute,” “Julia” and “Coming Home.”Norman Lear will be honored with the Carol Burnett Award, a counterpart to the DeMille Award that focuses on life achievement in television. Netflix dominated the nominations earlier this month, with its film “Mank” and its television series “The Crown” the leading nominees.
MTA brings celebrity voices to NYC transit announcements
FILE - This photo from Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, show riders exit and enter a bus at the Fordham Metro-North in New York. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Friday launched a campaign that has celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Whoopi Goldberg, and Awkwafina making the announcements heard at subway stations, on trains, and buses. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)NEW YORK – Riders on New York City subways and buses are getting an earful, thanks to some famous hometown voices. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Friday launched a campaign that has celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Whoopi Goldberg and Awkwafina making the announcements heard at subway stations, on trains and buses. The MTA said the announcements will run for at least a month, and highlight the importance of mask-wearing and other coronavirus pandemic safety measures.
Amazon, Cadillac score with Super Bowl ads
NEW YORK – During this year's Super Bowl, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reigned supreme on the field. Overall, this year's crop of Super Bowl ads focused on light humor that strove to entertain and connect. Bud Light Seltzer LemonadeBud Light used lemons as a metaphor for everything that went wrong in 2020 to introduce its new Seltzer Lemonade. Michelob was likely hoping to drive people to repeat views online with the celebrity lookalikes, but during the fast-moving Super Bowl the conceit was confusing. With its first-ever Super Bowl ad, Scott's was looking to keep that momentum going, but the overstuffed ad ended up being distracting.
The Latest: Robinhood's ad emerges from the time capsule
The latest news on Super Bowl commercials. ___10 p.m.Smartphone-based stock market investment service Robinhood bought its Super Bowl spot in December after a successful year, unaware that it was about to make global headlines. Ad___9:45 p.m.Jeep starred iconic singer Bruce Springsteen in his first ever ad promoting the idea of unity. Most brands that have money to spend on Super Bowl ads are already household names, but the big game is also a chance for upstarts to make a big splash. ___7:15 p.m.General Motors used humor in a Super Bowl ad to promote its ambitious push to get more Americans to buy electric vehicles.
Super Bowl ads went for light humor. Not all succeeded
This photo provided by Cadillac shows a scene from Cadillac's 2021 Super Bowl NFL football spot. They aimed to connect to the estimated 100 million viewers who tune in to the Super Bowl broadcast each year. Perhaps the most striking effect: Virtually none of the ads featured people in masks, a public-health priority but also a grim reminder of the ongoing pandemic. AIMING TO ENTERTAINIn an effort to be light, advertisers stuffed -- and sometimes overstuffed — their ads with celebrities. “I like Springsteen and heartwarming ads like this generally, but this one feels too forced given the current political climate,” he said.
A sexy Alexa, Dan Levy's M&M habit: Super Bowl ads to watch
It might not have seemed likely early in the pandemic, but the 55th Super Bowl Sunday is upon us yet again. Amazon shows off a sexy new body for its Alexa assistant, Dan Levy apologizes for eating M&M's and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade makes a downpour of lemons a metaphor for 2020's troubles. AdInspiration4 “ Join Us "In what is surely a first in Super Bowl history, an ad for Inspiration4, a SpaceX supported all-civilian space mission touts a chance for viewers to join the mission. Dan Levy of “Schitt’s Creek” apologizes to the M&M anthropomorphic characters that are Super Bowl mainstays and says he promises not to “eat any more of their friends." And E-Trade, famous for the talking baby ads it ran in the Super Bowl from 2008 until they “retired" in 2014, is back in the big game with an undisclosed ad.
Super Bowl ads aim to comfort and connect
NEW YORK – Super Bowl ads each year offer a snapshot of the American psyche. The chance to break into the psyche and (virtual) watercooler talk of an estimated 100 million viewers who will be watching the CBS broadcast of Super Bowl LV on Sunday. This year’s Super Bowl will showcase more than 20 first-time advertisers — more than double the 8 from last year if you exclude campaign ads, according to a tally by research firm iSpot. It’s a bellwether when a brand can afford the estimated $5.5 million cost-of-entry for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. In stark contrast to last year's Super Bowl, which featured campaign ads from both Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg, politics is out of sight this year.
Zendaya, Yalitza Aparicio, Constance Wu and More Stars Invited to Join the Academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is embracing and championing diversity in a bigger way than ever before. The organization sent out a slew of invitations to potential voting members, including Zendaya, Awkwafina, Constance Wu, and John David Washington, to name a few. Notably, Booksmart director Olivia Wilde, as well as the film's stars, Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein, were invited as well. "The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travelers in the motion picture arts and sciences," Academy President David Rubin said in a statement released Wednesday. The Academy announced last month that the 93rd Academy Awards will be postponed until April 25 -- two months later than originally planned -- due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Awkwafina, Zendaya among 819 invited to join film academy
Cynthia Erivo, John David Washington, Eva Longoria, Zendaya and Awkwafina are among the 819 people who have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. If they accept, which most do, those in the new class will have voting privileges at this years Oscars. A handful of actors from this years best picture winner Parasite, including Jang Hye-Jin, Jo Yeo-Jeong, Park So-Dam and Lee Jung-Eun, were also invited to join. The Academy said that 49% of the new invitees are international and represent some 68 countries. It has since surpassed those goals and continues to infuse membership classes with both women and people from underrepresented communities.