"Jumanji: The Next Level" Tops The Box Office Rankings

It was a battle at the box fice this weekend with Jumanji: The Next Level beating out reigning champ Frozen 2 for the top spot in the earnings rankings, according to Variety.

The film debuted with $60.1 million domestically, conquering Frozen 2‘s $19.2 million in its fourth weekend release. 

$60.1 million is a happy figure for Sony, as it’s a vast improvement over the last Jumanji film, 2017’s Jumanji:Welcome to the Jungle, which brought in $36 million. 

Critically, the film is being received fairly well with a 66% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; however, audiences seem to be enjoying it more. For an audience score, the film is sitting at 87%. 

Jumanji: The Next Level stars Dwayne Johnson, Nick Jonas, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black as the same group friends who must return to the fantastical world Jumanji.

Other films are not fairing as well. Clint Eastwood’s newest film, Richard Jewell, about an Atlanta, security guard who stops a terrorist attack during the 1996 Summer Olympics, only brought in $5 million. With a budget $45 million, they were certainly hoping for a higher figure. Reviews here are slightly higher than Jumanji: The Next Level, but not by much. It has a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Check out more the films that released this weekend here.

Scarlett Johansson Hosts An Avengers-Themed "SNL" Opening Monologue

For Scarlett Johansson’s sixth time hosting Saturday Night Live, the show went all out for the actress’s Avengers-themed opening monologue. 

The night seems to start f normal enough, but soon, Elf on the Shelf disintegrates before our very eyes: Thanos is back. Kenan Thompson shows up to play Nick Fury and warns ScarJo that, “It’s not Thanos this time. Someone else has his glove.”

“Yo man, this thing is insane. I got to stop getting high and buying stuff on eBay,” Pete Davidson says with Thanos’s glove in hand.

The monologue ends with an emotional moment from ScarJo who concludes, “This place means so much to me. I have so many friends here. And I met the love my life here.”

She is currently engaged to comedian Colin Jost who co-hosts the Weekend Update part the show. The two began dating in 2017 and have been engaged since May 2019.

Scarlett Johansson’s newest movie, Marriage Story, is available on Netflix now. The film is a realistic depiction divorce inspired by director Noah Baumbach’s relationship with his ex-wife. It’s been nominated for a handful Golden Globes, including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Motion Picture – Drama and more.

Geffen Records President Exits to Pursue Indie Management

It is being reported that Neil Jacobson, who is the president of Geffen Records, will be leaving the company to launch his own venture.

Jacobson will leave Geffen at the end of the year, and he is expected to be involved in the transition to a new president.

Billboard obtained a letter that Jacobson sent to his employees, in which he said that he was starting Crescent Drive Productions, which will offer a full gamut of music services, including recording, publishing and management.

Jacobson said in the letter: “As our industry continues to grow and evolve through technology, music consumption, and artists’ direct relationships with their fans, I am excited about my new venture’s contributions to serve artists and fans worldwide.”

John Janick, who is the chairman and CEO of Geffen’s parent Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) Records, also wrote a letter to employees relating to Jacobson’s departure.

He said that he felt “compelled to support [Jacobson’s] decision and not stand in his way” based on his own past. He was referring to how he once ran the independent record label Fueled by Ramen.

Janick added, “We have an incredible team at Geffen who will be integral to the company moving forward. Over the next several months we will be announcing exciting new things for Geffen, a label which remains vital to the continued success of IGA.”

While Jacobson has been the president of Geffen Records for three years, he has been employed by its parent for the past 17 . He began his career as an assistant in the company’s international marketing department before moving on to its management and A&R division. There he signed artists such as LMFAO and DJ Snake while managing will.i.am, Robin Thicke and Emile Haynie.

In 2017, he helped relaunch Geffen Records as a separate label. Its artists include:

  • DJ Snake
  • Lil Jon
  • Mura Masa
  • Yungblud
  • AlunaGeorge
  • Avicii
  • Ren
  • Gryffin
  • Billie Eilish

Kobe Bryant To Battle Pharma Company Over "Black Mamba" Trademark

Kobe Bryant went through most his NBA career with the nickname “Black Mamba” thanks to his competitive spirit and ability to demoralize opponents seemingly at will. Bryant appears to be quite protective this nickname as recently, he went to war with Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals who are currently applying for a trademark to the name “Black Mamba HYPERRUSH.” Bryant believes the company is leeching f his infamous nickname although for now, the United States Patent and Trademark Office is ruling against him.

According to The Blast, the board made three cases as to why they would let Hi-Tech continue with their request. “There is evidence in the record that: (1) Opposer admits that there is a species snake known as BLACK MAMBA; (2) Bryant derived his nickname BLACK MAMBA from the Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill and (3) BLACK MAMBA is also the nickname the boxer Roger Mayweather.”

It appears as though these two have been battling it out since 2017 and now, they will be going to court where a judge will handle the case. Hi-Tech has called Bryant a bully for what his tactics in battling this case although Kobe maintains the use the “Black Mamba” name could confuse people.

Stay tuned for updates on this case as we will be sure to bring them to you.

Nicki Minaj Suffers Setback In Court; Judge Refuses To Keep Her Deposition Sealed

If you’re unaware, Nicki Minaj is in the middle a nasty legal battle with her ex-stylist, Maher Jridi. Maher sued the Bronx rapper accusing her refusing to return expensive clothes he borrowed from a third-party company. He claims to have rented a bunch designer garments from a wardrobe company back in 2017 when he worked for Nicki as her stylist. He says it cost him thousands to rent the clothes, but he was never reimbursed. As a result, Maher was sued for the unreturned clothes by the 3rd party company. They won a $74,000 judgment against him which he says Nicki should pay for, along with damages for emotional distress.

With the lawsuit ongoing, Nicki had to participate in a taped deposition by her ex-stylist on September 20. After the deposition, Nicki went to court pleading for the judge to issue a protective order. She wanted the order to prohibit Jridi from using the deposition or releasing it to the media.

She claimed he refused to agree to seal the video. Her motion read, “Given Maraj’s fame as a world- renowned rapper and entertainer, she fears Plaintiff intends to publicly disseminate confidential document discovery and pre-trial testimony in order to embarrass or otherwise damage her.” Jridi argued Minaj should not been given special treatment because she’s famous. He said, “Rather than provide the appropriate factual showing for entitlement to the relief she seeks, Defendant simply asks for special treatment by virtue her celebrity status.”

The judge recently came back with his decision siding with Jridi. The judge’s order says Minaj failed to provide evidence that release the video would cause her harm. He says “Defendant has not identified any more specific reason beyond her own (undisputed) celebrity to believe that plaintiff is at risk disseminating the deposition.” The case is ongoing. We’ll continue to keep you posted on this legal battle moving forward.

Widow of Chris Cornell Suing Soundgarden Over Unpaid Royalties

The widow of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell is both the band and its business manager over unpaid royalties while accusing them of trying to force her to turn over some of Cornell’s unreleased recordings.

Vicky Cornell filed the suit in the Miami Division of the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Florida. It names as defendants Soundgarden’s surviving members: Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Hunter Benedict Shepherd. It also names Rit Venerus, who is the band’s business manager.

In essence, Cornell is accusing the defendants of extortion, while asserting that they are withholding royalty payments owed to her through her late husband’s estate. The withholdings are described as an attempt to get Vicky to deliver seven unreleased recordings that Chris Cornell made prior to his suicide in May of 2017.

Ms. Cornell further asserts in the complaint that Soundgarden has no legal rights to the recordings, which she insists were made by Chris Cornell alone.

The complaint goes into great detail about the history of this dispute. According to it, a few months after Cornell’s death, the band contacted Ms. Cornell and asked her if they could use the unreleased recordings for a new Soundgarden studio album. She acceded to their request on the conditions that her late husband’s producer be involved in the project and that the band keep her apprised of the marketing strategy that they would employ in regards to the new album.

Ms. Cornell alleges that, while the band originally agreed to her terms, they have since reneged. She further says that they told her that the recordings belong to them and them alone and that they alone would decide how to exploit them.

Because of this, according to Cornell, the band has withheld hundreds of thousands of dollars of royalties.

So far, neither Soundgarden nor their legal representatives have commented on the lawsuit, which is not the only that they are currently involved in.

TikTok Settles Its Child Privacy Class Action for $1.1 Million

As expected, TikTok has quickly settled a class-action lawsuit brought against it by parents of users who felt that the company had child privacy laws.

Just a few days earlier, the plaintiffs in the case filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. They did so not just against TikTok but also against TikTok’s parent ByteDance and Musical.ly, which was the app that ByteDance bought in 2017 and rebranded as TikTok.

The suit accused the three companies of letting young minors create accounts for the app and use it without getting permission from parents. It further claimed that the companies collected sensitive data from these children, again without permission, and that they ignored their complaints about these practices.

According to a new motion filed in the case, which Billboard has reviewed, the parties agreed to a $1.1 million settlement, all of which was in cash.

The quick resolution of the matter was due to the fact that the parties had been negotiating a settlement for months prior to the lawsuit actually being filed. Once the suit was filed, a single all-day mediation session between the two parties was all that was required to settle the case.

In response to the settlement, a spokesperson for TikTok issued the following statement:

“TikTok is firmly committed to safeguarding the data of its users, especially our younger users. We were made aware of the allegations in the complaint some time ago and, although we disagree with much of what is alleged in the complaint, we have been working with the parties involved and are pleased to have come to a resolution of the issues.”

In February of this year, TikTok charges from the FTC, which had accused the company of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The company reportedly paid $5.7 million, which was said to have been the largest civil penalty the FTC had ever levied for child privacy violations.

SZA Flexes Gym Body In Progress Photo

Just a couple days after showing f an enbly slim figure, SZA  has doubled down to flex on her fitness growth. Taking to Instagram, the TDE siren’s most recent upload was helmed by a very toned physique, alluding to a successful routine as she decorated the selfie with fruit and vegetable emojis.

“Felt growth might delete,” she penned.

Naturally, the upload drew its fair share praise with one Taylor Bennet adding, “I SEE DA GROWTH PROUD OF YOU SIS! LETS GYM SOON.”

It adds to the ongoing documentation her fitness journey as she most recently conceded to being a “gym hoe” in a tweet.

“Me googling “is one spoonful banana pudding gonna kill my abs”.. I’m ficially a gym hoe .. damn,” she tweeted.

She would use a similar tweet about her abs to allude to the impending arrival new solo material from the singer. Lately, SZA’s vocals have been sliding in a handful prominently featured spots. In addition, the singer casually revealed that she was in the studio with Stevie Wonder, hinting at the fruition the duo’s collaboration in time for her next project.

New York Knicks Fire Coach David Fizdale: Twitter Reacts

David Fizdale’s run as head coach the New York Knicks has come to an end.

The Knicks’ decision to fire Fizdale on Friday (after allowing him to run Friday’s practice!) comes less than 24 hours after the Knicks suffered a 37-point drubbing at the hands the Denver Nuggets. The brutal loss marked New York’s eighth straight defeat and their second consecutive loss by 30+ points.

In his 104 games as head coach the Knicks, Fizdale led the team to a 21-83 record which, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, is the lowest winning percentage the 29 coaches in the franchise’s history. That said, there is plenty blame to go around here and Fizdale is in no way, shape or form the sole reason for the Knicks’ issues.

For instance, team president Steve Mills, who served as the Knicks’ general manager from 2013-17 before somehow being promoted to president. He is responsible for the current construction the roster and if there’s anybody who has worn out his welcome it’s Mills. Since he took over as president in 2017, the Knicks have won a grand total 50 games. And let’s not even get started on team owner, James Dolan.

According to Woj, Knicks assistants Mike Miller and Pat Sullivan are candidates to become interim head coach. Whoever is unfortunate enough to be given that title will be the Knicks’ 13th head coach in the last 18 season.

Check out some the reactions to Fizdale’s firing in the tweets embedded below.

North Korea Warns U.S. Of Ominous "Christmas Gift" Of Its Choosing

Despite Dennis Rodman’s attempts to make peace between the U.S. and North Korea, Kim Jong Un appears to be imposing a deadline on the diplomatic discussions between the two countries regarding nuclear weapons. Earlier this year, Kim Jong Un informed the US that they need to put a halt to “its current way calculation” in terms negotiations regarding the denuclearization weapons. However, it seems like they’re applying pressure and the US has a Christmas deadline.

North Korea Warns U.S. Of Ominous "Christmas Gift" Of Its Choosing
Handout/Dong-A Ilbo Getty s

According to CNN, a top ficial from North Korea has revealed they will send a “Christmas gift” to the US, although they didn’t clarify what exactly this gift will be. The comments have prompted speculation that North Korea might continue testing long-distance nuclear missiles. “The dialogue touted by the US is, in essence, nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the DPRK bound to dialogue and use it in favor the political situation and election in the US,” Ri Thae Song, North Korean Foreign Ministry vice minister, said in a statement. “It is entirely up to the US what Christmas gift it will select to get.”

Of course, the gift itself is unclear but in 2017, an intercontinental ballistic missile was referred to as a “gift” to the US for the 4th July. Although that hasn’t been confirmed, this seems like a better time than any to quote Danny Brown. “I ain’t underestimatin’ them n***as, they got nuclears, cuz. They gon’ fuck us all up,” he said during Pitchfork Over/Under in 2013. 

Avicii Tribute Concert Will Be Streamed to Raise Mental Health Awareness

The Avicii tribute concert happening today will be live-streamed on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Tickets to the concert sold out instantly, and proceeds will go to raising mental health awareness.

The concert is happening later today in the Stockholm Friends Arena. It is produced by the Tim Bergling Foundation and will feature 19 singers featured on Avicii’s biggest hits.

Artists participating in the tribute concert include Rita Ora, Adam Lambert, Dan Tyminski, Aloe Blacc, and other surprise guests. Live audience members will also see non-streamed DJ sets from David Guetta, Kygo, Laidback Luke, Nicky Romero, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike.

Avicii fans who want to watch the concert can do so by watching on YouTube below. The stream will also be available on Facebook and Instagram.

Bergling’s father thanked all the artists who are participating in the Avicii tribute concert.

“We are grateful that his friends, producers, artists, and colleagues are coming to Stockholm to help. They have all expressed sincere interest and desire to engage in efforts to stem the tide of mental illness and lend their support to our work with the Tim Bergling Foundation.

We are very much looking forward to this evening, which will be a starting point for the foundation’s work going forward.”

Avicii’s father created the Tim Bergling Foundation after his son committed suicide last year. Avicii for health reasons, with his last release coming in 2017. Avicii regularly ranked on Forbes’ list of highest-paid DJs before his retirement.

The foundation aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention. All net profits of the tribute concert will benefit the foundation. The 55,000 seats in the arena sold out in less than 30 minutes of availability. Several local channels in Sweden, Finland, France, and Japan will broadcast the concert. Evolution Radio iHeartRadio in the US will carry the concert.

GEMA Acquires a Majority Stake In Digital Distributor Zebralution

In an unusual move, the German rights collection agency GEMA has acquired a majority interest in Zebralution, which is a digital distribution company.

Currently, GEMA has nearly 75,000 members, which includes composers, lyricists and publishers. It further represents over two million copyright holders across the world. In 2018, the organization generated revenues in excess of €1 billion ($1.1 billion), which was down slightly from the prior year. From this revenue, they distributed €859.5 million ($951.9 million) to its members.

Zebralution was founded in Berlin back in 2004. It acts as a digital distributor for over 1,000 independent labels across Europe as well as audio book publishers and podcast providers. The company, which had once been part of Warner Music before it was sold in 2017, is expected to operate as an independent business after the completion of the acquisition.

Kurt Thielen and Sascha Lazimbat, who are not only the managing directors of the company but also significant shareholders, will continue in their current positions.

The other owners of the company, which include Christof Ellinghaus and Konrad von Löhneysen, will continue to be involved in the company as well.

GEMA said that it believes that the acquisition will strengthen its position in the growing digital market for music, podcasts and audio books.

Dr. Harald Heker, who is the CEO of GEMA, said of the acquisition: “By taking a stake in Zebralution, GEMA has made a targeted investment that secures its future bility. Through Zebralution, we will also be able to support our members in the digital distribution of their musical works. GEMA’s relevance in the digital music market will thus be significantly increased.”

Thielen also commented on the acquisition. He said, “We are very pleased to have found an ideal and extremely strong partner in GEMA. This also bridges a gap for musicians and performers, with the joint objective of achieving fair remuneration for creatives.”

The terms of the deal were not announced.

Russell Wilson Gets Turned Into Baby Yoda And Fans Are Loving It

Russell Wilson is having himself a pretty phenomenal season. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback is consistently mentioned in the MVP conversation and has led his team to a 10-2 record. Last night, the Seahawks defeated the Minnesota Vikings by a score 37-30 and, course, Wilson was a huge reason for that. While Wilson was playing great, a meme surrounding the QB was beginning to gain traction online. T

Baby Yoda has been all the rage these past couple weeks and has been starting to own a monopoly in the meme economy. Almost all memes being made these days are based on the cute Star Wars character and now Wilson himself is getting the Baby Yoda treatment. In the tweet below, you can see Wilson’s features placed directly onto the green creature and somehow, it became a huge trend with numerous Seahawks fans making it their prile photo.

The meme was able to acquire so much traction that even the Seattle Seahawks Twitter account changed their AVI to the image. Wilson was recently made aware the meme and apparently, he thinks it’s pretty cute. The power the internet can be overwhelming sometimes but when it gets behind some harmless fun, you can’t help but smile.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Posterizes Julius Randle: NBA Twitter Reacts

Being posterized is every basketball player’s worst nightmare. The last thing you want to do is be on the receiving end a huge dunk from one the league’s best players. On Monday night, Julius Randle the New York Knicks was subjected to the worst it as he was mercilessly dunked on by the likes Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis is nicknamed the Greek Freak and on Monday, he lived up to his name by delivering one the best dunks the year.

As you can see in the video below, Giannis goes one-on-one with Randle and does a spin move where he extends his arm and throws the ball down with ease. The Bucks bench immediately went f as soon as the play was made and the whole scene was pretty spectacular. Eventually, the Bucks won the game by a score 132-88.

NBA Twitter immediately had a field day with this one and it’s easy to understand why. Giannis is one the most exciting and explosive players in basketball right now while the Knicks have been awful for numerous years. When you combine these two things together, you get some pretty incredible results.

Check out some the best reactions to the dunk, below.

Recording Academy Settles Lawsuit Over Harassment and Other Charges

Dana Tomarken, who is a former vice president of MusiCares and the Grammy Foundation, has settled her against the Recording Academy.

While Tomarken dismissed the suit, which charged the Academy with wrongful termination and discrimination among many other things, no details of the settlement will be released. Though her legal team of Christine Adams and Jennifer Clingo issued an official statement.

“With the assistance of a retired judge acting as a mediator,” they said, “Dana Tomarken and the Recording Academy have resolved their employment dispute. All parties have agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential. The Recording Academy and Ms. Tomarken care deeply about MusiCares’ mission of providing critical assistance to music creators in times of need.”

Her legal team added: “Despite their differences, Ms. Tomarken and the Recording Academy were motivated to put this dispute behind them in order to allow the Recording Academy and the MusiCares Foundation to continue to focus on that mission.”

The Academy itself, though, issued no statement in regards to the settlement.

In 2017, the Academy fired Tomarken after 25 years of service while telling her that her termination was due to an unpaid auction item that she purchased. Then, in February of this year, she filed the suit, charging the Academy with a slew of charges, including:

  • Labor code violations
  • Wrongful termination
  • Discrimination based on her age and gender
  • Unlawful retaliation
  • Failure to prevent retaliation
  • Discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress

She further accused the Academy of being a ist “boys club” that repeatedly “stymied” her career, which she insisted only got worse as she got older. She further accused Neil Portnow, who was then the Academy president and CEO, of abusing his position of trust and violating his fiduciary responsibilities.  Portnow has since departed the Recording Academy following a surge of demands for his resignation over charges of ism.

In response to the lawsuit, the Academy had issued the following statement: “[T]he accusations have no merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves.”