#MeToo movement sends Hollywood elite into exile

In this file photo taken on June 05, 2018 Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein enters Manhattan criminal court in New York. (AFP)
Updated 07 October 2018
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#MeToo movement sends Hollywood elite into exile

LOS ANGELES: The #MeToo movement has sent dozens of once-powerful Hollywood players into exile, but few have been placed in handcuffs. And it’s increasingly apparent that this lack of criminal charges may remain the norm, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby being notable exceptions.

A task force launched last November to handle the surge in allegations against entertainment figures has so far charged none.

The lack of prosecutions stems from a clash between the #MeToo ethos, which encourages victims to come forward years after abuse that they’ve kept private, and a legal system that demands fast reporting of crimes and hard evidence.

The task force has considered charges against 22 suspects, including Kevin Spacey and director James Toback, all of whom have denied engaging in any sexual relations that were not consensual.


Disney’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ smashes China opening day record

Updated 43 min 1 sec ago
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Disney’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ smashes China opening day record

  • Sets opening-day record with estimated $107.2 million in ticket sales
  • Premiere tickets selling for hefty premium on gray market

LOS ANGELES/BEIJING: Marvel superhero movie “Avengers: Endgame” set an opening-day record in China with an estimated $107.2 million in ticket sales, distributor Walt Disney Co. said.
The movie, the final chapter of a story told across 22 Marvel films featuring popular characters such as Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow, smashed many records to become China’s highest grossing foreign movie on first day when it was released on Wednesday, two days before its US screening.
The movie, also the fastest to hit the 500 million-yuan mark in ticket sales, dominated cinemas across China on Wednesday, totaling more than 80 percent of all screenings.
Some premiere tickets were so coveted that they were being sold on the gray market for more than 500 yuan ($74.14), versus an average of 60 yuan across cinemas nationwide.
“Ticket sales in China are estimated to reach 3 billion yuan,” said Wu Jian, an analyst with Alibaba Pictures
“The success can be attributable to the nearly 20 Marvel movies over the past 11 years. From that, the Marvel franchise has built up and retained a lot of Chinese fans.”
Brokerage Great Wall Securities said in a research note that the final ticketing sales of “Avengers: Endgame” could be as high as 4.8 billion yuan, which would make it the second best-performing movie in China after Wolf Warrior 2.
It would also be double of what its last sequel, “Avengers: Infinity War,” made in the country — 2.4 billion yuan in 2018.
In addition, the movie could be a boost to China’s motion pictures market amid Chinese consumers’ waning interest in going to cinemas this year, analysts said.
Total first-quarter box office takings in China is currently down 8 percent on year, despite strong performance from Chinese-made sci-fi movie “The Wandering Earth” and help from the recent Chinese New Year holiday.
Movie box office revenue in China rose 9 percent last year to 61 billion yuan, slower versus the previous year, as the government cracked down on tax evasion in the industry and tightened rules on content.
The early screening has also created a lot of buzz on Chinese social media, which some fans cautioning others against posting spoilers.
“But with people paying more than 200 yuan to watch the movie at midnight, what do you expect them to do if they don’t post spoilers to show off?” joked one commentator on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.