“GAME OF THRONES” FINALE
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The last of the heads has rolled _ and the final bit of dragon fire has been belched out _ as “Game of Thrones” has come to an end. The 73rd and final episode of the HBO series aired last night. Among the highlights of the finale: Jon Snow vowed his love and loyalty to Queen Daenerys Targaryen _ this, even as he stabbed her to death out of fear she’s become a mad tyrant. That, in turn, led to King Brandon Stark becoming King Bran the Broken. However, Bran won’t sit on the Iron Throne _ because a dragon melted it. And Bran won’t rule the Seven Kingdoms, because his Sister Sansa bolted with one of them, becoming queen of a now-independent Winterfell.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s taken three weeks. But someone has ended the box office reign of “Avengers: Endgame.” And that someone is John Wick. Studio estimates say “John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum” took in $57 million in its opening weekend. That’s more than was expected for the violence-driven Keanu Reeves franchise. In fact, the $57 million opening weekend total is nearly double that of the second “John Wick,” which in turn doubled the original, which came out in 2014. Meanwhile, though it’s no longer number one, “Avengers: Endgame” continues its march toward box office history. Domestically it’s now second only to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” _ and globally it’s just shy of “Avatar’s” $2.8 billion total, best of any movie ever.
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COLIN JOST, SCARLETT JOHANSSON ENGAGED
UNDATED (AP) _ Some real-life romance news for “Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost. He and Scarlett Johansson are getting married. A rep for the actress tells The Associated Press the couple is officially engaged after two years of dating pretty much on the sly. No word on a wedding date. It will be Jost’s first marriage while Johansson will be making her third trip down the aisle. Jost is 36 and Johansson is 34.
ELTON JOHN - MOVIE
CANNES, France (AP) _ Elton John says he is “blown away” by the fat that someone is making a movie about him. He says he was “very moved” and shed tears to see “Rocketman” the first time _ and “cried a lot” when he saw it again at the Cannes Film Festival. His co-writing partner Bernie Taupin also had the tissues nearby. He says watching their lives unfold on the big screen “was very emotional” _ and that he found himself “quietly sobbing.” John says he’s also impressed with Taron Egerton, who plays him in “Rocketman.” John says when he looks at Egerton on screen, it’s as though he is looking at himself.
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JAMES GUNN DISCUSSES HIS CHANGES
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s no stretch to say it’s been a pretty interesting year for James Gunn. The Hollywood writer and director was fired from _ then rehired to _ the Disney movie “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” His ouster was triggered by old tweets in which he joked about subjects like rape and pedophilia. Gunn says he’s a better person than he was a year ago. He says the year’s events made him more creative _ and made him focus more on things that matter to him, like friends, relationships and filmmaking.
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY GETS HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
LONGVIEW, Texas (AP) — Matthew McConaughey graduated from high school more than 30 years ago. Now, he has proof that he did. He received his original diploma Friday night when he returned to his Texas alma mater to address the class of 2019. A rep for Longview High School says when McConaughey graduated in 1988, those who walked the stage got only diploma holders _ and had to pick up the actual document later. McConaughey hadn’t done that until now. McConaughey is now 48 and lives in Austin, Texas.
COMEDIAN SAMMY SHORE, PAULY’S DAD, DIES
LAS VEGAS (AP) — To old-school fans of comedy, he was one of the greats. But today’s fans might better know of Sammy Shore as the father of actor-comedian Pauly Shore. Sammy Shore has died. He was 92. And before his son became famous, the elder Shore was a big name in his own right as an actor and standup comedian. He co-founded the legendary Comedy Store. And during the heyday of his nearly seven-decade career, Shore opened for musical acts like Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones, Tony Orlando, Bobby Darin and Glen Campbell.
SCHWARZENEGGER KICKED DURING APPEARANCE IN SOUTH AFRICA
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — After years of doing action films, you’d figure it would take a lot to knock Arnold Schwarzenegger off his feet _ or off his game. And he stayed on both when he was assaulted during a public appearance in South Africa. It happened Saturday when the actor and former California governor was filming children at a sporting event in Johannesburg. A man executed a flying kick into his back, causing Schwarzenegger to stumble forward. The man was grabbed by security and the actor continued his taping. The man apparently didn’t fare as well. Off camera someone is heard shouting “Help me!” several times. Schwarzenegger doesn’t intend to press charges.
PETE BUTTIGIEG JABS AT TRUMP _ ON FOX
CLAREMONT, N.H. (AP) — Not only is Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) going after President Donald Trump, he’s doing it on the president’s favorite network. He appeared on a Fox News town hall meeting yesterday. When asked about Trump’s use of Twitter, Buttigieg responded with a burn. He says he understands why people are mesmerized by Trump’s tweets because, “it is the nature of grotesque things that you can’t look away.” Speaking of Trump’s tweets, before the town hall aired, Trump criticized Fox News for “wasting airtime” on Buttigieg and repeated his belief that the mayor of South Bend, Indiana will never be president.
PEPE THE FROG - ALEX JONES
UNDATED (AP) _ A legal dispute over Pepe the Frog is a little closer to making its way to trial. A federal judge says a jury can decide whether conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars website has the legal right to sell a poster featuring Pepe, a cartoon character that’s been hijacked by far-right extremists. The judge ruled last week that he wouldn’t throw out a copyright infringement lawsuit Pepe’s creator filed against Infowars. That clears the way for a jury trial this summer in Los Angeles. Memes featuring Pepe the Frog spread during the 2016 presidential election, as he became an online mascot for white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other right-wing types.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2