‘West Side Story’ falls flat at box office… TIME Magazine Person of the Year… Chicago police chief talks evidence… Jeff Bezos is getting slammed… and Megan Thee Stallion has officially graduated
Musical movies are tricky things. On the one hand, you’ve got “The Greatest Showman,” which earned less than $10M on its opening weekend until word of mouth pushed sales up to $174M here in the US and $437M around the world. Then you have “Cats,” which opened with $6.5M in ticket sales and never recovered. So Steven Spielberg decided to give us an updated, slightly reimagined version of “West Side Story.” It flopped on its opening weekend, earning only $10.5M. However, audiences are loving it so maybe that word-of-mouth magic will kick in over the next few weeks. Meantime, John Legend is set to produce a reimagined “Phantom of the Opera” for the big screen. His will be set in present day New Orleans. Universal Studios loved the spec script and bought the rights to the movie. No word on when it will make it to theaters.
For almost 100 years, “Time” magazine has named a “Person of the Year,” recognizing a person — or sometimes a group of people — who has had “the greatest influence on the events of the year—for better or worse.” You don’t have to like them, but you have to acknowledge that they made an impact. Back in 1927, Charles Lindbergh was named the very first “Person of the Year.” And this year, “Time” has picked SNL host and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk. Time’s editor-in-chief wrote, “Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth, too. In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society.”
According to Chicago’s former police superintendent Eddie Johnson, all Jussie Smollett had to do was admit he made the whole thing up and apologize. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Now Jussie has been found guilty of lying to police after claiming he was the victim of a hate crime back in 2019. Johnson is now speaking about the case, saying Jussie’s Subway sandwich was a key piece of evidence in the case against him. Remember, Jussie claimed to have left his home around 2AM to buy the sandwich. Johnson said that morning was one of the coldest in Chicago that year, so hardly anyone was on the street. Johnson said, “He comes back and gets attacked in a hate crime and during all this scuffle – they poured bleach on him and all of this – when he got up and went into his apartment building he still had that Subway sandwich with him. That doesn’t happen.” Johnson explained that victims usually abandon whatever they have with them when they’re attacked “because they’re afraid.” But he said, “This guy had the sandwich in his hand, never been touched. So that was a real tip and a clue to us that something was amiss.” Johnson also said Jussie was suspiciously “nonchalant” about removing a noose the supposed attackers had placed around his neck once he got back to his apartment. He said, “I don’t think there are many Black people in America that would have a noose around their neck, and wouldn’t immediately take it off.” By the way, Johnson is a Black man, so he’s speaking from his personal experience. He said he would’ve never pursued a prosecution against Jussie or even charged him if he had just admitted to lying and said he was sorry.
You’ve heard of a smoking gun, how about a smoking Subway sandwich?
After being delayed by high winds, Michael Strahan finally got to go up into space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket on Saturday. Michael had a grand ol’ time, but when he landed back on earth, he faced some backlash online. A lot of people are upset with how these launches are affecting the environment. As one tweeted, “You’ve wasted millions to feel a few minutes of 0 gravity. Did you know that 75 tonnes of carbon is emitted for each passenger on your joy ride & exacerbating climate change?” Another tweeted, “I’m so happy you got to go and experience the thrill of a lifetime. But how can we justify this while we are having F-5 tornadoes in December which is clearly due to climate change.” Jeff Bezos is also coming under fire for his response to an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, collapsing and killing six people during one of those awful tornadoes. Jeff had all day to say something, but focused on the rocket launch, instead. Finally, around 9pm Saturday, he tweeted that he was heartbroken over the loss of his Amazon employees and sent thoughts and prayers. Jeff promised, “All of Edwardsville should know that the Amazon team is committed to supporting them and will be by their side through this crisis. We extend our fullest gratitude to all the incredible first responders who have worked so tirelessly at the site.” One person tweeted, “Wow. Heartfelt. What template was that in Office365?” Another asked, “Why did it take so long for all the PR firms to approve this tweet. Too little. Too late.” And yet another tweeted, “Jeffy you should be stating something like: On Monday I’ll sell 1 billion(or more) worth of stock to help all the people affected by this tragedy.”
Congratulations to Megan Thee Stallion on receiving her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration! She documented Saturday morning’s ceremony on social media, showing off her bedazzled “Real Hot Girl Sh*t” graduation cap. Megan first enrolled at Prairie View A&M back in 2013. When her music career took off, she could’ve quit, but as she told “Rolling Stone” in 2020, “My grandmother would be very pissed off at me if I just stopped college right now. I got to get this degree. I already started it, and I’m interested in what I’m doing because I want to open up assisted-living facilities in (Houston).” On her graduation day, Megan tweeted, “My college experience has been a roller coaster! I started at (Prairie View) went to some community colleges in between and I’m ending at (Texas Southern University). Don’t get discouraged! You can chase your dreams and your education at the same time.”
Grammy-winning artists Megan Thee Stallion received her bachelor’s degree in health administration from Texas Southern University on Saturday. https://t.co/Zr7mk8XVvC pic.twitter.com/CsQTcuxgya— ABC News (@ABC) December 12, 2021
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