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Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Best Picture contenders produce $2 billion box office bounty
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The movie studios behind this year's Best Picture nominees already have brought home a treasured prize: big box-office sales that placed the Oscar contenders among the most-watched films of 2012. The nine competitors for Hollywood's top film award sold a combined $2 billion in tickets worldwide heading into Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony. Six of them, including frontrunners "Argo" and "Lincoln," hauled in at least $100 million apiece at U.S. and Canadian theaters.
Jennifer Hudson, Zeta-Jones to sing in Oscars musical tribute
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar winners Russell Crowe, Jennifer Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones will perform at the Academy Awards in a tribute to the resurgence of big-screen musicals, organizers said on Wednesday. The performance, which will also feature Oscar nominees Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman from "Les Miserables," is part of the several musical acts at the annual Hollywood awards on Sunday.
Singer Emeli Sande wins big at predictable BRIT awards
LONDON (Reuters) - Scottish singer Emeli Sande won the coveted best album honor at the BRIT Awards on Wednesday for "Our Version of Events", confirming her status as favorite going into British pop's big night of the year. The 25-year-old, who received a major boost by appearing at the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies last summer, also picked up the best British female artist on a night of few surprises in terms of winners and on-stage antics.
Afghan teens of 'Buzkashi Boys' stargazing in Hollywood
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The teenage stars of an Oscar-nominated short film from Afghanistan arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday for the Academy Awards after an Internet campaign raised enough money to pay for their trip. "Buzkashi Boys" actors Fawad Mohammadi and Jawanmard Paiz will walk the red carpet and rub shoulders with Hollywood's biggest stars at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Actresses walking Oscar's red carpet to exude sophistication, not sex
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When actresses sashay down the red carpet before the Oscars ceremony on Sunday, they are expected to be wearing gowns exuding glamour and sophistication, not flesh-exposing jaw-droppers. Performers at this month's Grammys were issued a "wardrobe advisory" ahead of the big music awards show, telling them to cover up and keep buttocks, nipples and genitals under wraps. The advisory appeared to work, as no one bared too much skin.
Palestinian filmmaker briefly detained in Los Angeles on way to Oscars
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Palestinian filmmaker on his way to the Academy Awards said on Wednesday he was held at Los Angeles International Airport and threatened with deportation before being allowed into the United States. Emad Burnat, whose "5 Broken Cameras" is competing for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Feature category, said U.S. immigration officials took him, his wife and 8-year-old son aside when they arrived in Los Angeles from Turkey on Tuesday evening.
Israel's Oscar bid discomforts Netanyahu government
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Oscar-nominated Israeli documentary has brought little joy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, the focus of the film's criticism of Israel's policy toward the Palestinians. Featuring searingly confessional interviews with six former chiefs of the shadowy security service Shin Bet, "The Gatekeepers" portrays the 46-year-old West Bank occupation and Jewish ultranationalism as threats to Israel's survival.
Oscars in Hollywood cliffhanger over Best Picture, Director
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sunday's Oscar ceremony is set for a cliffhanger ending after a topsy-turvy awards season that has left the two top prizes - Best Picture and Best Director - too close to call. With just days to go before the movie industry's highest honors are handed out on February 24, awards watchers are keyed up for one of the most exciting nights in recent Academy Awards history.