MORNING ROUNDUP: Helena Bonham Carter to Receive Richard Harris Award for British Film Contribution
PLUS: Hulu Plus launches with lower $7.99 price, Bristol Palin booed after being voted into 'Dancing With the Stars" finale, Dan Rather writing a memoir.
- Helena Bonham Carter will receive the Richard Harris Award for her contribution to British film at the British Independent Film Awards on Dec. 5. The Oscar-nominated, London-born actress, who appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's actress roundtable series (watch here), stars in The King's Speech, which received 8 nods at the British Independent Film Awards. She also plays Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, due in theaters Friday. John Hurt and Daniel Day-Lewis have won the award in the past. PHOTOS: Harry Potter London premiere.
- The video game industry got some positive news ahead of the key holiday sales season as research firm NPD Group said game software sales grew 6% in October. It was the first software sales gain since May and comes on the heels of this month's release of Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: Black Ops, which set an industry record for first-day sales. Many analysts had expected a decline or flat sales for October at best. October software sales were up to $605 million (Take Two Interactive's NBA 2K11 was the best-selling title), but when including hardware, the gaming industry sales were down 4% to $1.1 billion for the month amid weakness at Nintendo's Wii console and handheld devices. In some more positive news for the sector, Microsoft sold more than 1 million Kinect game control sensors in just 10 days for its Xbox 360.
- Online video joint venture Hulu on Wednesday officially launched its Hulu Plus subscription service, and the surprise is its monthly price of $7.99, down from the original $9.99 charged during a preview phase. Observers had been discussing the price, and some had suggested it could come down a bit to draw more subscribers. Hulu, a venture of Walt Disney, NBC Universal and News Corp., also said Wednesday that consumers can test Hulu Plus via a free trial week. The service makes full seasons of hit TV shows available until after they would usually be available on free sites.
- Bristol Palin was booed after it was announced Tuesday she'll compete on the finale of Dancing With the Stars next week. Watch video on Gawker. Singer Brandy was eliminated. "I'm in a lot of shock," she told E!. RELATED: Why Bristol Palin has lasted so long on the ABC show.
- Dan Rather is writing a memoir called Summing Up, detailing his 50 years as a broadcast journalist. It will be released by Grand Central Publishing in the spring 2012. “The time had come for me to sum up my career in a candid memoir, and now I feel the time is right. Plus, with the changing climate -- and attitude -- about news and journalists, I feel I can give readers an honest perspective on the present, and, more important, on the future of news," said Rather, who left CBS in 2006 after an investigation into George W. Bush was called into question.
- The director of Michael Jackson's posthumous duet with Akon, "Hold My Hand," is looking for people without hands to star in its music video, TMZ.com reports. A casting notice went out Tuesday seeking "a disabled person with no hands." Director Mark Pellington explains, "The video is a spiritual collage of MJ's legacy told through a visual mosaic exploring the themes of life -- but based on the name of the song, we can only guess why they'd need someone without the requisite appendages." Akon reportedly shot his appearance in the video Monday. LISTEN to the song.