‘Spider-Man’ comes back swinging, takes No. 1 from ‘Scream'

After spending one weekend in second place, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” proved it still had some fight left. Sony’s superhero juggernaut swung back to first place in its sixth weekend in theaters and became the sixth highest grossing film of all time, globally. Studio estimates on Sunday say the film topped the North American charts with $14.1 million. Globally, it’s now grossed nearly $1.7 billion, passing the total earnings of both “Jurassic World” and “The Lion King.” In second place was "Scream," which fell about 59% in its second weekend with an estimated $12.4 million in ticket sales.

Netflix upping US, Canada prices with competition growing

Netflix is raising prices for customers in the U.S. and Canada. The boost comes less than a year and a half since its last price increase, as competition from other streaming services increases. The Los Gatos, California, company said Friday that prices are going up by $1 to $2, depending on the plan. Price increases are becoming more of a regular feature at Netflix, which is facing saturation in the U.S. market. It got an influx of global subscribers during the pandemic, but is investing in video games as it looks beyond movies and TV for growth. 

Final valuation of Prince's estate pegged at $156.4 million

The six-year legal battle over Prince’s estate has ended. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that parties to the pop superstar's estate have pegged the value at $156.4 million. That dwarfs the $82.3 million appraisal by the estate’s administrator, Comerica Bank & Trust. The Internal Revenue Service in 2020 had valued the estate at $163.2 million. The process of distributing the star musician’s wealth could begin in February. Prince died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016. He did not leave a will. The estate will be almost evenly divided between a New York music company and the three oldest of the music icon’s six heirs or their families.

Betty White, TV’s Golden Girl, dies at 99

Actress Betty White, whose saucy, up-for-anything charm made her a television mainstay for more than 60 years, has died. She was 99. People and the Washington Post reported White's death. Her witty style gave life to a roster of quirky characters over more than a half-century. They included the oddball Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls” and the outspoken caretaker on “Hot In Cleveland.” She also drew laughs in the 2009 comedy “The Proposal” and the horror spoof “Lake Placid.” By popular demand, she hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2011. White once said her character Sue Ann Nivens in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” could be “icky-sweet” but was “really a piranha type.” That role brought her two Emmys.

‘Spider-Man’ surpasses $1B globally in second weekend

Even with some mighty competition from new Matrix and Sing movies and rising concerns over the omicron variant, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” stayed in the No. 1 spot, with $81.5 million according to studio estimates Sunday. It also became 2021's top-grossing film and crossed the $1 billion mark globally in just 12 days. Universal’s “Sing 2” came in second place with an estimated $23.8 million, while “The Matrix Resurrections” grossed $12 million to take third place. The Kurt Warner biopic “American Underdog” opened on Christmas and made an estimated $6.2 million in its first two days.

3 members of K-pop sensation BTS diagnosed with COVID-19

Three members of the K-pop superstar group BTS have been infected with the coronavirus after returning from abroad. The group’s management agency says RM and Jin were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday evening, and another member, Suga, tested positive on Friday. All three took their second jabs in August. BTS is a seven-member boyband. According to the agency, Big Hit Music, RM has exhibited no particular symptoms while Jin is showing mild symptoms including light fever and is undergoing self-treatment at home. Suga isn't exhibiting symptoms and is administering self-care at home. All three had traveled abroad on their personal schedule during the band's official time off.  

‘Spidey’ nets 3rd best opening of all time with $253 million

Never underestimate your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, even with a mutating virus afoot. Despite rising concerns over the omicron variant, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” not only shattered pandemic-era box office records; it became the third best opening of all time behind “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” Studio estimates on Sunday show the Sony and Marvel blockbuster grossed a stunning $253 million in ticket sales from 4,325 North American locations. The web-slinger’s success couldn’t have come sooner for a movie business that has had a rollercoaster 2021 and could be headed for a difficult start to 2022 as omicron variant of the coronavirus forces more and more event cancellations.

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