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Entertainment News Roundup: Warner Bros Discovery squeezed by studio slump, weak ad spending; Spanish court dismisses second tax case against singer Shakira and more | Entertainment


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Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.

US Supreme Court rules against Warner Music in copyright damages case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of a Miami music producer in a legal fight with Warner Music over a song by rapper Flo Rida, finding that there is no time limit for recovering monetary damages in copyright cases that have been filed before the expiration of a statue of limitations. The 6-3 ruling, authored by liberal Justice Elena Kagan, affirmed a lower court’s decision that favored producer Sherman Nealy, who sued a Warner subsidiary and others in Florida federal court in 2018.

‘Dead Poets Society’ film director Peter Weir to receive Venice career prize

Peter Weir, the Australian director of “Dead Poets Society” and “The Truman Show”, will be honoured for his career at this year’s Venice Film Festival, organisers said on Thursday. Weir, 79, had his international breakthrough with 1975’s arthouse classic “Picnic at Hanging Rock”, moving on to work in Hollywood in the 1980s.

Two new ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies heading to theaters

A fresh installment in the “Lord of the Rings” movie series, one of the biggest film franchises of all time, is scheduled to debut in theaters in 2026. It is one of two new “Lord of the Rings” films announced by Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav on Thursday.

Comic book gives the lowdown on Janet Jackson’s life and career

A new comic book will chart the highs and lows of American pop star Janet Jackson’s career – from her upbringing in the Jackson superstar family, to “that” Super Bowl incident, to her return to the road and successful concerts. The publication by TidalWave Comics is part of its “Female Force” series and will be released on Jackson’s birthday, May 15.

Eurovision semi-final kicks off with focus on Israeli contestant

The second semi-final of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest kicked off in Sweden late on Thursday, with much of the focus expected to be on Israel’s performance after thousands joined a pro-Palestinian protest earlier in the day. Some 100,000 visitors have gathered in the southern Swedish city of Malmo for the annual kitsch-fest, which is taking place amid protests and boycotts over the Israeli military campaign in Gaza that was triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa says new series feels like ‘a fresh era’

Ncuti Gatwa, the first Black actor to play the lead role in “Doctor Who”, says its new series feels like “a fresh era” as the British sci-fi television show goes global. The much-loved BBC cult show will now also be streamed to audiences outside the United Kingdom in a new collaboration between the British broadcaster and Walt Disney Co’s streaming service Disney+.

‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ cast harnessed their inner apes

When Freya Allan arrived on set for the first day of filming “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” she was in for a surprise. “I walked into this basement and Owen just came towards me as an ape, and there were just a bunch of them running around,” said Allan, who plays a human named Mae.

Warner Bros Discovery squeezed by studio slump, weak ad spending

Warner Bros Discovery posted a quarterly loss that was larger than expected as advertising sales slumped at its cable TV unit and the studio segment contended with the fallout of last year’s Hollywood strikes and poor demand for a “Suicide Squad” game. The results amplified the media companies’ struggles with subdued advertising in the U.S. and certain international markets as businesses responded to the possibility of higher-for-longer interest rates with a tight leash on costs.

Spanish court dismisses second tax case against singer Shakira

A Spanish court on Thursday dismissed a tax investigation against Colombian pop star Shakira, after the offices of the prosecutor and state attorney opted not to bring charges against the singer. Shakira, who last year reached a settlement to avoid a trial in Barcelona over charges she failed to pay 14.5 million euros ($15.7 million) in Spanish income tax between 2012 and 2014, had a second investigation pending for alleged fraud on income and wealth tax in 2018.

Blackstone set to clinch Hipgnosis Songs as Concord sticks with lower bid

Blackstone looked set to clinch its $1.57 billion deal for Hipgnosis Songs Fund after Apollo-backed Concord said on Thursday it would stick with its lower bid for the music rights owner of artists such as Shakira and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Shares in Hipgnosis, which also owns rights to songs by The Chainsmokers, were down 2.1% at 1.024 pounds ($1.28) in morning trade. They have soared 48% since Concord’s first offer on April 18.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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