Disney's next installment in the "Star Wars" saga has become Fandango's top advance ticket-seller of the year, the online ticket site reported on Tuesday. The film, which doesn't officially open in North America until Friday with previews beginning Thursday night, toppled another Disney production, "Beauty and the Beast," which came out in March, for the top spot. "The Last Jedi" is the biggest ticket pre-seller for Fandango since the series' last film, 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which went on to become the biggest opening in film history. "The Last Jedi" debuts in more than 4,100 theaters domestically and is on track for an opening weekend in the $200 million range. However, some
(CNN)Once considered an Oscar bellwether, the Golden Globe nominations announced Monday have done more to muddy than clarify an Academy Award race that appears extremely wide open, while highlighting the lingering tension between recognizing small films and the sort of popular blockbusters that would bring name recognition and possibly more viewers to the broadcast. Presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, an organization with just 89 members, the Globes have long exhibited a preference for big-name stars and projects with European talent, and that has persisted. A few smaller movies, including the coming-of-age tales "Lady Bird" and "Call Me By Your Name," have enjoyed acceptance from an array of groups, and both secured Globe bids.
Apprentice winner Alana Spencer's cake company has had to recall almost all of its range because of health risks. Food Standards Agency investigators said Ridiculously Rich by Alana inaccurately labelled its products. Some allergens were not listed and others were "not correctly declared", the agency said. A spokesman for the Aberystwyth company insisted only products sold online - less than 10% of its business - had been inaccurately labelled. But the FSA's advice to the public does not distinguish between products the company sells online or through retail and wholesale outlets. It warned that people with an allergy to soya, egg, peanuts, wheat, barley, oats or sulphites were at risk. The FSA
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been made a Companion of Honour by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace. The 52-year-old said she felt "deeply honoured and proud" to get the award. "To be included in the distinguished and diversely talented company of the other Companions of Honour, especially as a female writer, is a particular privilege," she said in a statement. Membership of the Order of the Companions of Honour is a special award held by only 65 people at any one time. Established in 1917 by George V, it recognises services of national importance. Rowling, whose first name is Joanne, was awarded an OBE in 2001. The best-selling writer was accompanied by her doctor husband Neil Murray
In January 1973, George Lucas wrote his first treatment for "Star Wars." Words did not come easily to the director, who always considered himself more a filmmaker than a screenwriter, but the universe in his mind was already bulging at the seams. Having failed to secure the rights to science fiction serial "Flash Gordon," Lucas set out to create his own galaxy, far, far away. Even then, it featured a spacefaring princess, dog fights, warrior monks, and a Manichean battle between good and evil. But movie bosses were skeptical. "How could he realize this universe?" was the question asked by financers. The answer lay close to home. "From the beginning, George and production illustrator Ralph McQuarrie
(CNN)The following contains spoilers about the "The Walking Dead" midseason finale. "The Walking Dead" has described this season as "All Out War," but it has often felt immersed in tactics, as if several episodes were simply setting up pieces on a chessboard. The final sequence featured Rick (Andrew Lincoln) coming upon his son Carl (Chandler Riggs), who reveals that he had suffered a bite from one of the "walkers" -- a wound that's invariably fatal. Lest there be any doubt, on companion show "The Talking Dead" showrunner Scott M. Gimple -- who has been coy about such matters at times -- confirmed that the character had been bitten, and that it would play out as zombie bites had in the past.
A 29-year-old woman is to go on trial in the New Year charged with the ill-treatment of three mental health patients in a residential care home. Tracey Balantine, from the Garden Village, Antrim, faces six counts of ill-treating "or wilfully neglecting" a man and two women at Broadacres, Templepatrick. She is also accused of common assault against the man. The three people were under her care. The charges relate to a period between 31 December 2016 and 1 April 2017. A prosecuting lawyer told Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday that the contest "could take some considerable time". Four civilian witnesses as well as police officers are expected to testify. The case is scheduled for 23 January 2018.