Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson honored with Hollywood star

Actor Dwayne Johnson with his wife Lauren Hashian. (AFP)
Updated 15 December 2017
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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson honored with Hollywood star

LOS ANGELES: He has been named “sexiest man alive” and “world’s highest paid film star” — now Dwayne Johnson can celebrate being accepted into the Hollywood establishment with a Walk of Fame star.
The 45-year-old football player turned wrestling pro and then actor sported a sharp black suit and was joined by longtime partner Lauren Hashian and their almost two-year-old daughter Jasmine at the ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard.
“I didn’t want to write anything down. I figured this is such a monumental moment and significant time for me it’s probably best I just speak from the heart and from my gut,” the Herculean father-of-two said.
He told cheering fans the 2,624th star on the Walk was the result of years of hard work, voicing gratitude for the opportunities he’d been afforded and the friends and family who’d helped him along the way.
“This moment is so significant because it’s full circle. 2018 will mark 18 years in Hollywood and that is a very long time of blood, sweat and earning respect,” he added.
Johnson announced Monday on Instagram that he and Hashian were expecting a second child, hours before they stepped out for the premiere of his latest movie “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”
Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, paid tribute to the actor, who has entertained the possibility that he might run for president in 2020.
“Dwayne said he would use me as a bar bell if I didn’t show up,” Rothman joked, before describing his friend as a “global superstar with hundreds of millions of fans and billions of dollars in box office.”
Johnson’s recent work includes “Baywatch,” “The Fate of The Furious,” “Central Intelligence” and “San Andreas,” as well as the HBO comedy “Ballers.”
Reputed to be one of the hardest-working stars in Hollywood, he has been in 14 movies in just four years, including previous installments of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, “Hercules,” “Snitch,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Empire State,” “Pain and Gain,” and “Moana.”
Born on May 2, 1972, in the San Francisco Bay Area and raised in Hawaii and Pennsylvania, Johnson grew to 196 centimeters and weighs 111 kg.
He played defensive tackle at the University of Miami and went on to a stint on the practice roster of the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League in 1995.
Johnson became a professional wrestler in 1996, following his father, Rocky Johnson, and grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia. He would become an eight-time World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment champion.
Nicknamed “The Rock” due to his strength in the ring and roughhewn features, he was declared “sexiest man alive” by People magazine in November 2016.
It was a good year for the actor, who was also named the world’s highest paid film star by Forbes magazine.
 


Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

Saudi Arabia is expected to become a significant box office market. (AFP)
Updated 23 September 2018
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Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

  • Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion)

DUBAI: The big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be a billion-dollar industry by 2030, according to experts, as regional and global movie operators queue up for a ticket into the Kingdom’s hugely profitable movie market.
Saudi Arabia is expected to amass the largest share of the cinema business in the Arabian Gulf region by 2030, with hundred of cinemas and thousands of screens set to open across the Kingdom over the next 12 years.
Within months of Saudi Arabia formally ending a 35-year-long ban on cinemas, three cinema operation licenses were awarded to operate in the Kingdom, the first was to AMC Theaters, an American chain owned and operated by Wanda Group. It opened the Kingdom’s first modern cinema on April 18 and plans to open around 40 cinemas in 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, and between 50 to 100 cinemas in about 25 cities by 2030.
Shortly after, the second license was awarded to VOX Cinemas, now one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest movie operators. It plans to open 600 screens in Saudi Arabia in the next five years, the same number of screens as the company’s regional footprint combined.
In July, it was announced the the third license had been awarded to the Al-Rashed United Group — Empire Cinema — which plans to build 30 theaters in the country over the next three years. And last month, a fourth license was awarded to Lux Entertainment Co., which plans to open 300 cinemas across the Kingdom within five years.
VOX, which plans to open 80 new screens over the next 12 months, says the Kingdom will form half of its overall revenues in the Middle East over the next five years.
“Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion),” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas, of which VOX Cinemas is a subsidiary.
He said the Kingdom’s box-office market is expected to become “one of the largest” in the world, with a majority of its 32-million population under the age of 30. “The market is massive and full of opportunities as the population is young and enthusiastic about cinema.”
Will Saudi Arabia ever host the world premiere of a Hollywood movie? No one’s saying right now, but with such a covetable box-office market, it may only be a matter of time.