Workers installed 192 glittering Waterford crystal triangles on Times Square's New Year's Eve ball Sunday in preparation for a pandemic-limited celebration that will lack the usual tightly packed crowds of revelers.

The ball is a 12-foot geodesic sphere covered with 2,688 crystal triangles of various sizes. Some new crystals are swapped in every year. This year's addition features a new "Gift of Happiness" design represented by a sunburst of bright cuts radiating outward.

The ball blazing with 32,256 LED lights will be dropped at 11:59 p.m. on New Year's Eve to ring in 2021. Performances at the event will be designed for TV audiences watching from home.

Spacey has hopeful holiday message

Kevin Spacey took a more serious approach to his annual Christmas video this year, shying away from the bizarre "House of Cards"-like speeches he has given for several years since being accused of sexual assault. The disgraced actor, who has been run out of Hollywood since Anthony Rapp accused him of sexual assault in 2017, shared a two-minute video last week in which he promised hope for anyone considering suicide. "If you're standing in a place that you can no longer remain standing, if you're suffering and need help, if you feel guilt or shame, if you're struggling with your identity, if your back's up against the wall or if you feel that there is no path for you, whatever your situation, I promise you there is a path and that at this time, during this holiday and beyond, even if you don't feel it, there are people out there who understand and who can help. You are not alone." Spacey said that "a lot" of people have reached out to him in 2020 and told him about their struggles. "My ability to be there for them has really only been possible because of my own difficulties," he said. "It does get better."

'Wonder Woman' has best debut

Despite premiering simultaneously by streaming service, "Wonder Woman 1984" managed the best box office debut of the pandemic, opening with $16.7 million over the Christmas weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. That's only a faint glimmer of typical business during the holiday season, when cinemas are usually packed and box office receipts are among the best of the year. Last year, "Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker" exceeded $32 million on Christmas Day alone. According to data firm comScore, 35% of all North American theaters are currently open. But Warner Bros. could still celebrate the performance of "Wonder Woman 1984," which landed in 2,150 theaters the same time it did on HBO Max. The film grossed an additional $19.4 million in international markets where it began playing a week earlier. The Patty Jenkins-directed sequel, starring Gal Gadot, has made $85 million globally to date.

News Services