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Barbie movie wins box office battle in US

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The Barbie film has become the US and Canada’s biggest film of the year so far, said distributor Warner Bros.

An estimated $155m (£120m) was made in its opening weekend, the company said.

Meanwhile, new release Oppenheimer – also out on Friday – made $93.7m (£72m) in the US, said Universal Pictures.

The features come at a time when cinemas in general are struggling as they lose out to competition from streaming.

Meanwhile, in the UK, Vue said both films had led to the cinema chain seeing its busiest weekend in four years.

Vue, which has 91 cinemas throughout the UK and Ireland, said it saw its biggest weekend in four years and second biggest weekend in history by admissions, with director Greta Gerwig’s Barbie on track to become the biggest film of 2023, ahead of Super Mario Bros.

The two films brought in half a million people to Vue screens, with 4,000 sold out viewings for Barbie across the UK and Ireland, the company said.

Vue added that its most popular sites for Barbie include Cambridge, Glasgow St Enoch, Leeds Kirkstall, Bolton, Islington in London and Bolton.

Oppenheimer’s plot is centred on the development of the first atomic bomb, starring Cillian Murphy and directed by Christopher Nolan.

Meanwhile, Barbie tells a coming-of-age story of the children’s character where she explores her identity and encourages friend Ken to establish individuality.

The two films were both released on Friday and the competition between them both was referred to on social media as “Barbenheimer”.

The opening weekend for Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, has seen its ticket sales overtake that for the opening weekend of blockbuster Super Mario Bros, making Barbie the biggest film of 2023 so far.

Worldwide, Barbie’s debut took in $337m (£293m).

On Twitter, one user said that it had been years since she had felt like going to the theatres to re-watch a movie, but Barbie had achieved that for her. She said it would “remain a timeless masterpiece over the years – ideas really are forever”.

Before the films’ release, Odeon in the UK said more than 200,000 advance tickets had been bought and some 10,000 filmgoers were expected to see both the Barbie and Oppenheimer films during the opening weekend.

Meanwhile, Vue cinema in the UK reported on Friday that Barbie’s pre-sale purchases were “higher than any other blockbuster released this year”. Admissions on Friday were the highest for any Friday since the pandemic – and the chain’s third biggest Friday ever.

Universal Pictures said Oppenheimer had made £8.05m in the UK and Ireland since Friday.

It added that Oppenheimer was forecast to have a better opening three days than Christopher Nolan’s other blockbusters – space-themed Interstellar, war thriller Dunkirk and sci-fi hit Inception.

Earlier in July, stars left the premiere of Oppenheimer early because of strike action over grievances including the encroachment of artificial intelligence in the making and writing of Hollywood films.

The film made $93.7m (£75m) in international markets, bringing its global total to $174.2m (£135m), Universal Pictures said.

(BBC News)

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Alka Yagnik diagnosed with “rare sensory hearing loss

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Veteran Bollywood singer Alka Yagnik, who revealed that she has been diagnosed with a “rare sensory hearing loss” due to a viral attack, has suffered a type of hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways that transmit sound from the ear to the brain.

According to Dr Manish Munjal, Vice Chairman, ENT, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, sudden sensory hearing loss is a medical emergency as it can become irreversible if not aggressively treated in 48-72 hours.

“The centre of the problem is the inner ear organ called Cochlea, where it happens due to damage to the hair cells,” Munjal told IANS on Tuesday.

The causes may range from simple viruses like Herpes, Varicella, and Mumps or sudden loud exposure to noise levels above 85 decibel (dB).

Munjal also mentioned that this disorder may also result from more serious causes like painkiller overdose, chemotherapy, tumour compression, meningitis and stroke.

“The need of the hour is usually to rush to an ENT specialist to get the necessary ear examination done as well as get an audiometry test. Once diagnosed, the treatment may require a cocktail of antivirals, oral and intratympanic steroids, as well as rest from noisy environments,” he stated.

According to the doctor, once the treatment is initiated, the chances of recovery are usually 70 per cent and above.

The disorder affects only 1 per cent in bilateral ears as compared to single ear, Munjal noted.

(IANS)

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Senaka Batagoda further restrained from singing 7 songs

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The Colombo Commercial High Court has further extended a court order preventing popular singer – Senaka Batagoda from singing 07 songs.

The order was issued after the relevant case was taken up again yesterday (June 18).

The seven songs which was restrained under the enjoining order are “Api Kavuruda”, “Api Senasille”, “Alu Yata Gini”, “Rastha”, “Heena Walata Panak Thiyenawa”, “Senasuma” and “Hodama de”.

The case is over a complaint filed under the Intellectual Property Act by musician Janath Kulathilake who was the combined lyrics, melody and music composer of those seven songs sung by Senaka Batagoda.

The case will be taken up again on August 23.

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Court restrains Senaka Batagoda from singing 7 songs

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Pixar’s Inside Out 2 sees record opening weekend

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Pixar’s Inside Out 2 has broken box office records over the weekend as it brought in an estimated $295m (£232.6m) around the world.

That makes it the strongest global opening by an animated film of all time, parent company Disney said.

In North America, ticket sales hit about $155m, dethroning Dune: Part Two as the holder of this year’s top box office opening weekend.

It marks a big win for cinemas, which have seen lacklustre box office takings for some new movies this year.

Inside Out 2’s first weekend was much stronger than the original movie, which brought in $90m in its opening weekend before going on to gross $858m worldwide.

It was the second-best opening for the company in the North American market, just behind the 2018 release of The Incredibles 2.

The blockbuster opening weekend is a boost for Pixar after relatively weak opening performances from some of its recent releases.

Inside Out 2 is the first sequel of the 2015 Oscar-winning hit, which focused on the emotions of a young girl called Riley.

While the original was about feelings like joy, fear and anger the latest instalment tackles issues such as envy and anxiety.

Inside Out 2’s successful opening is a bright spot in what has so far been a slow start to summer for film companies.

A large part of annual ticket sales usually take place in the period from the first weekend in May to the start of September.

However, strikes by actors and screenwriters last year has meant that fewer films were ready for release this year.

The industry has also had to contend with streaming services for both content and customers.

The number of cinema tickets sold in North America so far this year is down by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2023, according to media market research company Comscore.

(BBC News)

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