Royal gala for Marigold Hotel sequel

Also, Chris Rock files for divorce; son number two for Alicia Keys; Farah Khan to host new BIGG BOSS spin-off; and he Interview is online smash hit for Sony.
A scene from Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Courtesy Blueprint Pictures
A scene from Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Courtesy Blueprint Pictures

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will be screened for Britain’s royal family at a charity royal film performance in London on February 17. The main cast is expected to attend, including Dev Patel, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Tina Desai. The Hollywood star Richard Gere also joins the cast for the sequel to the 2012 surprise hit, which was co-produced by Image Nation (a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, which also owns The National). “It is fantastic to know that the Royal Family liked the first part, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, enough to host the premiere of the sequel,” said Desai. “I am deeply honoured and ecstatic, and looking forward to meeting them and hope that they like the sequel as much. It showcases the big, fat Indian wedding and Indian culture, and the stellar cast has thrown themselves into it with an exuberance that the audience will love.” The film, by the British director John Madden, opens in the United Kingdom on February 26. A UAE release date has yet to be announced. – The National staff

Chris Rock files for divorce

The comedian and actor Chris Rock has filed for divorce from his wife Malaak Compton-Rock. A spokesman for Rock said the split was a personal matter for the family and that they requested privacy. Rock and his philanthropist wife had been married for 19 years and have two daughters, Lola Simone, 12, and Zahra Savannah, 10. – AP

Son number two for Alicia Keys

The singer Alicia Keys gave birth to a son, Genesis Ali Dean, early on Saturday morning. It’s a second son for the Grammy Award-winner and her husband, the producer and rapper Swizz Beatz, after 4-year-old Egypt Daoud. The 33-year-old singer announced the news on her Instagram account on Sunday night, posting a photo of Genesis’s footprints. The picture also revealed that the baby was born at 1.52am and weighed 2.86 kilograms. Keys wrote in the caption: “It’s a boy. We are so grateful.” – AP

Farah Khan to host new BIGG BOSS spin-off

The filmmaker Farah Khan will host a new reality-television spin-off Bigg Boss Halla Bol. After a 15-week run hosted by the superstar Salman Khan, Bigg Boss 8 will announce its five champions on Saturday. The following day, Bigg Boss Halla Bol will begin, featuring those five champions and five challengers – Rahul Mahajan, Sambhavna Seth, Ajaz Khan, Mahek Chahal and one from a previous Bigg Boss season. Khan said: “The Bigg Boss Halla Bol series is unlike anything that regular viewers of the show could have ever perceived. I am looking forward to building a unique experience for the viewers.” – IANS

The Interview is online smash hit for Sony

The controversial comedy movie The Interview earned US$15million (Dh55.09m) from online rentals over the four-day holiday weekend, making it studio Sony’s biggest online film of all time. The lowbrow comedy – which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco and revolves around a fictional assassination plot against the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – was pulled from its cinema release at Christmas after threats of violence from the hackers behind the cyberattack on Sony. The Whitehouse has blamed the online attack on North Korea. The film did eventually get a limited North American release, in 331 independent cinemas, earning $1.8million at the weekend, on top of $1m on its Christmas Day opening. At the box office, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies reigned supreme for a second week running, raking in $41.4 million at the weekend for a total of $168.5 million since its release. Second place went to Unbroken, with $31.7m. Directed by Angelina Jolie and due to be released here on Thursday, Unbroken tells the true story of the Olympic athlete and American soldier Louis Zamperini, who was taken captive by the Japanese during the Second World War. Disney’s fairy-tale musical Into the Woods took third spot with $31m. - AP

Published: December 29, 2014 04:00 AM

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