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Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

nferno,” the lat­est big screen in­stall­ment of Dan Brown’s con­spir­acy nov­els, fiz­zled out in its open­ing week­end in North Amer­ica, in­dus­try data showed Mon­day, earn­ing $10 mil­lion less than ex­pected. The third film in the series that stars Tom Hanks took a frosty $14.9 mil­lion in North Amer­ica, a frac­tion of the $77.1 mil­lion de­but of “The Da Vinci Code,” which kicked off the fran­chise in 2006.

“At this point, it could truly flame out and strug­gle to reach $40 mil­lion,” wrote Brad Brevet of film fi­nance web­site Box Of­fice Mojo, not­ing that it been ex­pected to make closer to $25 mil­lion. But he added that Sony had kept the bud­get at a rel­a­tively low $75 mil­lion, mean­ing that, com­bined with over­seas ticket sales, the stu­dio wasn’t “look­ing at a com­plete blood bath on the bal­ance sheet.”

Based on Dan Brown’s best­selling book series, the film stars Felic­ity Jones along­side Hanks, who re­turns to the role of Har­vard pro­fes­sor Robert Lang­don, this time seek­ing to stop an evil bil­lion­aire from killing off the world’s pop­u­la­tion by re­leas­ing a deadly virus. Sony’s poor show­ing with “Inferno” cleared the way for Lion­s­gate’s “Boo! A Madea Hal­loween”-the lat­est in­stall­ment in Tyler Perry’s Madea fran­chise-to re­tain the num­ber one spot in its sec­ond week.

The com­edy, in which Perry reprises his role as a toughtalk­ing ma­tri­arch, took in $17.2 mil­lion for a to­tal of $52.6 mil­lion, box of­fice tracker Ex­hibitor Re­la­tions said. “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” slipped a spot from last week to take third place with $9.6 mil­lion. The se­quel to the 2012 film “Jack Reacher” stars Tom Cruise as a for­mer sol­dier now go­ing it alone, based on the book series by Bri­tish au­thor Lee Child. The fi­nan­cial thriller “The Ac­countant,” star­ring Ben Af­fleck, held on to its num­ber four spot from last week with $8.5 mil­lion.

The film fol­lows an autis­tic math­e­mat­ics sa­vant who cap­i­tal­izes on his fond­ness for num­bers by be­com­ing an un­der­cover foren­sic ac­countant for crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tions. Hor­ror pre­quel “Ouija: Ori­gin of Evil”-about home seances gone wrong-dropped two spots to take fifth place dur­ing its sec­ond week­end with $7.1 mil­lion. Round­ing out the top 10 films were: “The Girl on the Train” ($4.4 mil­lion), “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Pe­cu­liar Chil­dren” ($4.1 mil­lion), “Keep­ing Up with the Joneses” ($3.4 mil­lion), “Storks” ($2.9 mil­lion) and “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” ($2.2 mil­lion) — AFP

One of the world’s most re­stric­tive coun­tries on ac­cess to mu­sic videos opened up yes­ter­day as YouTube an­nounced a deal with mu­si­cians’ body GEMA to pay when peo­ple stream mu­sic in Ger­many. YouTube users in the coun­try had for years been con­fronted with a red sad-face emoti­con and mes­sages an­nounc­ing “this video is not avail­able in Ger­many” when try­ing to view videos rang­ing from the lat­est pop clips to films with GEMA-con­trolled back­ground mu­sic. Now the block­ages should largely be a thing of the past.

“Hell has frozen over!” wrote one Twit­ter user in re­sponse to the news. “Lis­ten to all the mu­sic!” said an­other. Yes­ter­day’s deal will see YouTube pay an undis­closed amount for mu­sic be­long­ing to the roughly 70,000 Ger­man artists rep­re­sented by GEMAas well as many for­eign artists-each time their songs are played. “Au­thors, com­posers and mu­sic pub­lish­ers will be paid fairly,” YouTube ex­ec­u­tive Christophe Muller said in a state­ment.

GEMA and the Google sub­sidiary had been wran­gling since 2009 — at times in court-over how mu­si­cians should be paid for their work be­ing streamed af­ter a pre­vi­ous li­cens­ing agree­ment ex­pired. A court ruled in 2012 that YouTube should in­stall fil­ters pre­vent­ing users up­load­ing copy­righted mu­sic with­out per­mis­sion-on pain of a 250,000-euro ($275,000) fine per in­frac­tion. But the lat­est court case launched by the mu­sic li­cens­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion, in which it claimed 0.375 euro cents from the video site for each time a song was played, failed in Jan­uary this year.

Ten months later, the two sides have reached an agree­ment, al­though nei­ther re­leased de­tails of the amount artists would re­ceive per play. “There was an ap­pro­pri­ate, good of­fer,” GEMA spokes­woman Ur­sula Goebel told AFP. Cit­ing in­dus­try sources, news agency DPA re­ported that the com­pro­mise would see YouTube send some ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue to GEMA, as well as a fee for videos not pre­ceded by ads. GEMA said Tues­day’s deal cov­ers past as well as fu­ture us­age of its mem­bers’ mu­sic. The two sides have how­ever not agreed whether YouTube or the in­di­vid­ual up­loader should be re­spon­si­ble for li­cens­ing, it added.

‘Clear sig­nal’

Among the 1,000 most pop­u­lar YouTube videos in the world in 2013, no fewer than 61.5 per­cent of them were blocked in Ger­many, ac­cord­ing to data jour­nal­ism agency OpenDataCity-com­pared with just one per­cent in neigh­bor­ing France. But just 8.4 per­cent of that list were blocked be­cause of def­i­nite le­gal prob­lems, while the rest were made un­avail­able as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure.

Blocks on free mu­sic videos dis­mayed newl­yarrived expats and prompted peo­ple to trade tips on get­ting around them to the lat­est clips from Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber. Now GEMA says it has sent “a clear sig­nal to all on­line plat­forms... au­thors must be fairly re­mu­ner­ated for the ex­ploita­tion of their mu­si­cal works,” the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s head of broad­cast and on­line Thomas The­une said in a state­ment.

“We in Ger­many think we can hold up for a while things that are al­ready nor­mal in other coun­tries” in cases like GEMA’s, Pro­fes­sor Kle­mens Sk­ibicki, a dig­i­tal econ­omy ex­pert at Cologne Busi­ness School, told AFP. But “it’s clear to the rest of the world that prof­it­mak­ing in the mu­sic busi­ness just works dif­fer­ently nowa­days,” com­pared with when record sales were the big earner, he said. — AFP

This photo taken on JAN 01, 2016 in Mu­nich, south Ger­many, shows a mes­sage dis­played on a smart­phone af­ter a video could not be shown on the video por­tal YouTube, pic­tured in front of the logo of the Ger­man rights re­cov­ery com­pany GEMA. — AFP

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