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Entertainment News Roundup: Movie-mad India could overtake U.S. as top user-base; Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta stars in own biopic


Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.

U.S. auctioneer withdraws 'Star Wars' lightsaber on authenticity issue

A California auction house on Monday withdrew from sale a lightsaber described as having been used by Luke Skywalker in the first "Star Wars" movie after fans raised concerns about its authenticity. The lightsaber was due to be sold by Profiles in History at a Los Angeles auction on Thursday with an estimated sale price of up to $200,000.

Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta stars in own biopic

For Carlos Acosta, the son of a black truck driver in Communist-run Cuba, overcoming poverty, prejudice and politics to become a global ballet legend, write a best-selling memoir and create his own dance company was not enough. The 45-year-old, who won fame as a teen for his athleticism and virtuosity, this week presented a movie about his rags-to-riches life at Havana's annual film fest that moved audiences to laugh, weep and thunderously applaud.

Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' puts new spin on racial injustice

Almost 60 years after it was first published as a book, "To Kill a Mockingbird" opens this week in a first Broadway theater adaptation whose themes of racial injustice are just as relevant today. Yet writer Aaron Sorkin says despite the book's familiarity as a beloved classic of American literature and movies, audiences are in for something different.

Movie-mad India could overtake U.S. as top user-base - IMDb

Movie-mad Indians and the cheap data packs on their smartphones could make India the biggest user-base market for IMDb over the next five years, the Amazon-owned movie rating website said on Wednesday. India is currently the site's second-highest user base worldwide, but that is likely to change, IMDb founder and Chief Executive Col Needham told Reuters.

'Bohemian Rhapsody' now most-streamed 20th century song

They said it would never sell, with its six-minute playing time, operatic passages and lyrics about Galileo and Scaramouche, but the Queen song "Bohemian Rhapsody" on Monday became the most streamed song from the 20th century. Boosted by the new movie "Bohemian Rhapsody," the 1975 single and music video surpassed 1.6 billion streams globally, record company Universal Music Group said in a statement.

Cosby's lawyers cite grounds for appealing sexual assault conviction

Attorneys for Bill Cosby outlined their grounds on Tuesday for appealing his sexual assault conviction, citing what they called errors in legal procedure that may have biased the jury and warrant a new trial for the once-beloved comedian. The 81-year-old performer, best known for his role as the lovable family man and physician on the hit television sitcom "The Cosby Show," was found guilty by a Pennsylvania jury in April of drugging and sexually assaulting a onetime friend in 2004.

Beauty meets despair in racial injustice movie 'Beale Street'

Some films about race in America are angry, many are passionate, or terrifying or heartbreaking, and a few are funny. "If Beale Street Could Talk," opening in U.S. theaters in major cities on Friday is marked by a quiet beauty and dignity, despite the despair that runs through it.

'Mary Poppins' return brings world some magic, cast say

The return of Mary Poppins to the big screen brings some much-needed magic to the world in uncertain times, the cast of the new film about the beloved nanny said on Wednesday as they premiered the highly anticipated movie in London. More than 50 years since Julie Andrews won over children - and adults - around the world with her portrayal of the strict but kind nanny, Disney's "Mary Poppins Returns" sees her doing just that, visiting the now-grown-up Michael and Jane Banks in their time of need.

Musical 'A Star is Born' leads film contenders for SAG awards

Musical drama remake "A Star is Born" led a wide range of contenders for the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday, landing four nominations, including best movie ensemble. The film will compete for SAG's top movie prize in a diverse group that includes superhero movie "Black Panther," romantic comedy "Crazy Rich Asians," rock biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" and director Spike Lee's historical drama "BlacKkKlansman."

(With inputs from Reuters)

(With inputs from agencies.)


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