This week’s entertainment news

1417604322-Home-Teaser-QuadHome storms to the top of UK Box Office charts
DreamWorks Animation’s latest offering ‘Home’, a road-trip comedy featuring a teenage girl (voiced by Rihanna) and a cute Alien has topped the UK Box office charts on the weekend of its release earning just over £6m. This is the biggest opening for an animated film since The Lego Movie.
Divergent sequel Insurgent secured the second spot earning £2.9m on its first weekend, which is 44% ahead of the first instalment.
The results are not surprising as the second films in both the Hunger Games and Twilight series saw big increases on their predecessors in the UK as more people caught on to the books in between the films.

Smartwatch – Newest gaming
Games are a very agile medium, they can squeeze in anywhere. Whenever a new digital platform emerges, games are never far behind.
However with the gradual rise of the smartwatch, games have so far played a limited role.
So far, the devices are mainly filled with fitness apps due to the fact that they are small, attached to you & track movement.
The obvious challenge for designing games for the smartwatch
is that as they are high frequency, short session devices,  the interfaces have to be very simple. This is possibly the main reason why the existing games for the smartwatch are simplified additions of classics like Pac-man or Tetris.
Another idea is that smartwatch games could evolve into social experiences allowing friends to quickly & seamlessly swap data. For persistent games, that you are playing all the time, the watch allows you to check your progress
whenever you have a nanosecond, without starting an app.
As with smartphones, smartwatches sense movement & have Wi-Fi connectivity to allow multiplayer connection but with the added bonus that you cant accidently drop / throw them across the room. This adds to great potential for physical group-based games similar to Wii Sport games.
Another obvious use for the smartwatch is as a second / third screen for a console/ tablet, connecting out of the main screen into the real world onto social media or allowing the player to take the game with them on the move.

Sam Taylor-Johnson Quits Fifty Shades Films
Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson has announced she will not be making the next two movies in the franchise.
The British film-maker has spoken publicly of her arguments with the author EL James over the script for the first part of the trilogy.
The film starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson left many
critics underwhelmed but has been a box office smash.
Taylor-Johnson, who won acclaim for the 2009 film Nowhere Boy spoke of her ‘on-set barneys’ with the author and admitted that working on the movie left her ‘going out of her mind’.

Penny Dreadful leads Bafta Craft Award Nominations
Sky’s horror series Penny Dreadful has scored five nominations at this year’s Bafta Craft Awards which honour television’s behind-the-scenes talent.
The programme starring Josh Hartnett and Eva Green, was recognised in categories including costume, make-up, hair & production design.
Other shows nominated in multiple categories include Strictly Come Dancing, Peaky Blinders and The Honourable Woman.

The X-Files Are Officially Re-Opening
After 13 years hiatus, Fox has confirmed that the show
will return to investigate more mysteries in a six-episode “event series” along the same lines as 24: Live Another Day.
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny will reprise their roles as FBI agents Mulder & Scully. Production is scheduled to start in the summer.


Move over, Kim: Kendall and Kylie are working on a mobile game, too
Kylie and Kendall Jenner are following in big sister Kim Kardashian’s mobile game success by working on an app of their own.
The sisters, who rose to fame on the popular reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, are working with Glu Mobile, the company behind both Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and the recently announced Katy Perry game.

While Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game focused on becoming famous in a virtual world (and even character cameos from Kendall and Kylie), the Jenner sisters’ game will center on interactions with others & mentors as they grow their careers.
Kim’s gaming app, which launched in June 2014, continues to dominate the most-downloaded charts even months after its release.
It embraces a freemium model: It’s free to download and play, but in-app purchases are needed to unlock new features and gain status.


UK Produced Cinderella performs strongly at global box office
Disney’s latest fairytale epic Cinderella has performed strongly
following its box office topping opening weekend.
The elaborate adaptation of the classic story is the latest of several UK-shot Disney projects to enjoy major success with audiences; Into the Woods released in December which had the highest grossing opening weekend of all time for a Broadway adaptation, while Maleficent was Walt Disney’s most successful film of 2014.
Cinderella benefitted from a host of British production talent
including Director Kenneth Branagh (Thor) and Producer David Barron (Harry Potter). The stunning costumes on display
thoughout are also a result of British ingenuity by Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell. In front of the camera, there are British talents  Lily James (Downton Abbey) , the fabulous Helena Bonham Carter as Fairy Godmother and Richard Madden (Game of Throne’s Robb Stark).
Beyond cast & crew, Cinderella took full advantage of the UK’s
renowned production infrastructure at Pinewood Studios where it took over 5 of the 16 stages.


UK Retail Industry gears up for ‘strongest movie line-up in years’
Growing consumer confidence & the strongest movie line-up in years will help the toy industry surpass the success of previous years.
With the likes of Cinderella, Minions, Avengers and Star Wars: The Force Awakens scheduled to hit the big screens this year, sales in memorabilia are expected to hit record numbers