'Hercules' no match for 'Lucy' in U.S. weekend box office race

“Lucy,” starring Scarlett Johansson as a woman with a super-powered brain, collected $44 million to win at domestic box offices, outmuscling “Hercules,” but both releases helped pump life into a lackluster summer at U.S. and Canadian theaters. “Hercules” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the title role, took in $29 ...

Elaine Stritch, brash stage legend, dies at 89

Jul 18, 2014

Elaine Stritch, brash stage legend, dies at 89

Elaine Stritch, the brash theater performer whose gravelly, gin-laced voice and impeccable comic timing made her a Broadway legend, has died. She was 89. Joseph Rosenthal, Stritch’s longtime attorney, said the actress died Thursday of natural causes at her home in Birmingham, Michigan. Although ...

1937 'Snow White' billboard offered at auction

Jul 18, 2014

1937 'Snow White' billboard offered at auction

A large, colorful billboard from the 1937 release of the animated film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is up for auction. Heritage Auctions said the rare billboard is expected to sell for at least $10,000 on Saturday in Dallas. The 20-by-9-foot billboard was ...

Ramones punk band co-founder Tommy Ramone dies at 65

Jul 12, 2014

Ramones punk band co-founder Tommy Ramone dies at 65

Tommy Ramone, the drummer and last surviving original member of the American punk band the Ramones, whose aggressive and fast-driving songs spearheaded the punk-rock movement, has died at the age of 65, an associate said on Saturday. The death was confirmed by Dave Frey, ...

'Game of Thrones' earns a leading 19 Emmy nods

Jul 10, 2014

'Game of Thrones' earns a leading 19 Emmy nods

The fantasy saga “Game of Thrones,” defying the Emmy Awards’ grudging respect for genre fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced Thursday with 19 bids, including best drama series. Other top nominees included a pair of ambitious miniseries, “Fargo,” with 18 bids, ...

Full-size Thomas the Tank Engine hits Japan

Jul 4, 2014

Full-size Thomas the Tank Engine hits Japan

A full-size Thomas the Tank Engine will steam through Japanese tea fields this summer in the first service of its kind in East Asia, according to a railway official. The Oigawa Railway in Shizuoka Prefecture has converted a steam locomotive into the anthropomorphized British ...

Batman celebrates 75th birthday

Jul 4, 2014

Batman celebrates 75th birthday

Ker-pow! Batman is celebrating his 75th birthday this month with a series of comic-book, video-game and other events putting Gotham City’s famed caped crusader firmly back in the spotlight. July 23 is officially Batman Day, and to mark the occasion in Hollywood, Warner Bros. ...

Ailing conductor Ozawa returns to podium in Europe

Jun 27, 2014

Ailing conductor Ozawa returns to podium in Europe

Conductor Seiji Ozawa took the baton Thursday before an ensemble of 25 or so young string players from the academy he founded in Rolle, Switzerland. The performance for local residents at the courtyard of an ancient castle on Lake Geneva was the first outside ...

AKB48 rebounds from saw assault to crown new queen bee

Jun 7, 2014

AKB48 rebounds from saw assault to crown new queen bee

Mayu Watanabe was voted the top AKB48 idol in a popularity contest Saturday amid tight security after two members of the all-girl pop group were attacked by a saw-wielding man last month. Thousands of fans congregated at Ajinomoto Stadium in Chofu, western Tokyo, for ...

May 23, 2014

Aska admits to using illegal stimulants

Singer-songwriter Aska, half of the well-known musical duo Chage and Aska, has admitted using illegal stimulants, investigative sources said Friday, almost a week after he was arrested on suspicion of possessing the drugs. Aska, 56, could receive a fresh arrest warrant over the drugs ...

May 23, 2014

Fans welcome news of McCartney's recovery prospects

Japanese fans on Friday welcomed news that former Beatle Paul McCartney is expected to make a full recovery from the viral infection that landed him in a Tokyo hospital for treatment. McCartney, 71, called off his sold-out Japan tour this week after postponing several ...

May 23, 2014

Director Hirayanagi bags student award at Cannes

Atsuko Hirayanagi’s graduation film from the Singapore branch of a New York school was selected for second prize in the Cinefondation student film division of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival on Thursday. It was the first time a Japanese has won an award in ...