Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
BTS score a first for Korean band on Billboard chart with ‘Dynamite’
K-Pop band BTS roared to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts in the United States on Monday, becoming the first Korean pop act to debut at No. 1. « Dynamite, » the first all-English language single from the seven-member boy band, notched 33.9 million U.S. streams and 300,000 sales in its first week, according to Nielsen Music data. The band also scored the biggest digital sales week in nearly three years since Taylor Swift’s « Look What You Made Me Do » in September 2017.
Japan’s Toshimaen amusement park closes after 94 years, to make way for Harry Potter
A popular Tokyo amusement park on Monday closed its doors for the last time after being in business for more than nine decades, with part of the site set to make way for a « Harry Potter » theme park. Toshimaen amusement park, which opened in 1926 in northern Tokyo, caught the imagination of locals such as Junko and Hikari Abe, a mother and daughter who work at the park and met their partners there.
MTV dedicates VMA show to ‘true hero’ Chadwick Boseman
Youth channel MTV dedicated its Video Music Awards show on Sunday to Chadwick Boseman, calling the « Black Panther » star, whose death last week at age 43 shocked fans around the world, a « true hero. » Opening the annual ceremony dedicated to the best in pop music, host Keke Palmer called Boseman « an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched, and everyone he encountered. »
Box Office: ‘New Mutants’ Lands $7 Million Debut
Superhero thriller « The New Mutants, » one of the first major movies to open since coronavirus caused theaters to close in March, launched to $7 million over the weekend. Though ticket sales were on the lower end of expectations, the Disney and 20th Century Studios release marks the biggest debut yet for a new release during the pandemic. Around 60-70% of theaters have reopened across the U.S. and Canada, according to Disney. However, some of the biggest moviegoing markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, New Jersey and New York, still remain closed. In parts of the country where theaters have resumed business, venues are capping capacity and keeping space between seats to comply with social distancing measures.
Heads of Hungary’s top arts university quit amid fears of state control
The management of Hungary’s prestigious University of Theatre and Film Arts resigned on Monday in protest over the imposition of a government-appointed board which they say will undermine the school’s autonomy. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s supporters and pro-government journalists have long argued that after he won a third strong mandate in 2018, it was time for a shift in culture towards conservative values to end what they call the domination of the arts in Hungary by liberals and left-wingers.
‘Rave on’: Irish president helps celebrate Van Morrison’s 75th birthday
Irish President Michael D. Higgins joined a virtual celebration of Van Morrison’s 75th birthday on Monday, namechecking U.S. civil rights champion John Lewis and author James Baldwin in a spoken-word rendition of one of the Northern Irishman’s songs. Higgins, a part-time poet and onetime culture minister, is one of 75 Irish artists and musicians to record cover versions of the « Brown Eyed Girl » singer’s extensive back catalogue to mark the milestone in a weeks-long online series.
A digital dance-off spreads from Argentina to the world
With theaters closed around the world, three South American dancers have created a digital dance-off for aspiring twirlers, with Instagram the new stage where competitors from Argentina and Brazil to Israel and Italy post clips of their moves. The competition, open to all, has attracted hundreds of applicants – some professionals, others youngsters dancing from lockdown in their homes. A panel of renowned expert judges assess each dance, and viewers can also vote with « likes. »
Lone revellers brighten Notting Hill’s empty streets on carnival day
Notting Hill Carnival, a highlight of the British summer, may have been cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a couple of colourful individuals on Monday were determined to bring some festival spirit to west London’s quiet streets. The carnival, seen as a symbol of interracial tolerance, dates back to the 1960s and celebrates Britain’s Afro-Caribbean community. It usually attracts more than a million visitors over the August Bank Holiday weekend, but its parade has been replaced this year by a virtual festival.
Custom masks, coronavirus and Black lives dominate VMA show
Lady Gaga dominated the MTV Video Music Awards show on Sunday, with a series of visually arresting outfits, masked performances and four wins, including artist of the year. Gaga, who went into the show sharing a leading nine nominations with Ariana Grande, stormed the ceremony with multiple costume changes ranging from an exotic bird to a bright green ball gown – all accompanied by exaggerated custom-made face masks and muzzles.
Indonesia drive-in concert delivers live music as coronavirus rages
As night fell in the Indonesian capital, pop ensemble Kahitna took to the stage for a drive-in concert nearly two hours long that attracted eager listeners in rows of hundreds of parked cars. The eight performers played yearning, sentimental tunes, capitalising on patrons’ nostalgia for the group’s 1990s heyday, with listeners honking and flashing their lights as the band launched into its hit tune, « Cerita Cinta » or « Love Story ».