December 25, 2007 8:49am EST
Well if the title doesn’t say it all…Picking up where Alien vs. Predator left off those pesky aliens cause the Predator ship to crash on Earth setting them free near a Colorado town. A lone Predator (Ian Whyte encoring from AvP) comes to Earth to clean up the mess and what the hell maybe pick up a few human trophies too. Needless to say the town’s human residents are completely unprepared for this sort of inter-galactic free-for-all on their streets. This is after all the sort of town where everybody knows everybody but no one seems to notice when a spaceship crashes in the woods outside of town or when the self-same spaceship blows up the next day. In short you could say that they get what’s coming to them--and they sure do. Pretty dreadful all around. Then again Shane Salerno’s script is pointless to begin with. Steven Pasquale (TV’s Rescue Me) plays the ex-con hero Dallas (a nod to the original Alien). Reiko Aylesworth (TV’s 24) plays a veteran of the Gulf War who returns stateside just in time to engage in another one--a pretty pale homage to Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley character. John Ortiz plays the local sheriff one of the dullest (and dumbest) screen lawmen in recent memory. Veteran Robert Joy drops in briefly as a weasely U.S. Army colonel who would just as soon nuke the town as try to save it. Every time this film focuses on the (one-dimensional) human characters it stops cold. Unfortunately this happens a lot. There’s no reason to root for them because you simply don’t care. True to form most of them are sliced diced chopped lasered exploded from within and otherwise treated in a shabby fashion. They are simply fodder. Just for the record this is the sixth Alien film and the fourth Predator film and it holds the dubious distinction of being the worst of any of them. The special effects are just dandy but not much else is. This also marks the inauspicious feature directorial debut of noted visual effects artists Colin and Greg Strause (billed as “The Brothers Strause”). They clearly have an affinity for this sort of thing--and for the Alien and Predator franchises--but are just as clearly content to simply let the special effects run away with the story. The first Alien vs. Predator movie was no great shakes but it was better than it had any right to be. This one is not. Responding to the fans who wanted this film to be R-rated the Brothers Strause have delivered on that--and absolutely nothing more. It’s a pointless exercise.
January 27, 2007 6:33am EST
Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick have been approached to reprise their roles in The Producers on Broadway before the curtain comes down on the production.
According to the New York Post, the two actors, who recreated their roles for the movie adaptation of the Mel Brooks comedy musical, are in negotiations for a swansong performance this summer.
Producers have reportedly asked the pair to close the show's run in June 2007, when the production will make way for another Brooks classic, Young Frankenstein.
With Lane and Broderick as the leads, The Producers became the recipient of the most Tony Awards in New York theater history.
Tony Danza and Hunter Foster currently play the leads, Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, on Broadway.
An abridged Las Vegas production of The Producers, starring David Hasselhoff, will begin next week.
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
January 16, 2006 5:58pm EST
Here's your complete list of the 63rd Annual Golden Globes nominations and winners.
Best Motion Picture--Drama
Brokeback Mountain Winner!
The Constant Gardener
Good Night, and Good Luck
A History of Violence
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture--Drama
Maria Bello, A History of Violence
Felicity Huffman, Transamerica Winner!
Gwyneth Paltrow, Proof
Charlize Theron, North Country
Ziyi Zhang, Memoirs of a Geisha
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture--Drama
Russell Crowe, Cinderella Man
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote Winner!
Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck
Best Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Pride & Prejudice
The Squid and the Whale
Walk The Line Winner!
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy
Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
Laura Linney, The Squid and the Whale
Sarah Jessica Parker, The Family Stone
Reese Witherspoon, Walk The Line Winner!
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy
Pierce Brosnan, The Matador
Jeff Daniels, The Squid and the Whale
Johnny Depp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Nathan Lane, The Producers
Cillian Murphy, Breakfast on Pluto
Joaquin Phoenix, Walk The Line Winner!
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Scarlett Johansson, Match Point
Shirley MacLaine, In Her Shoes
Frances McDormand, North Country
Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener Winner!
Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
George Clooney, Syriana Winner!
Matt Dillon, Crash
Will Ferrell, The Producers
Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man
Bob Hoskins, Mrs. Henderson Presents
Best Director--Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Match Point
George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck
Peter Jackson, King Kong
Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain Winner!
Fernando Meirelles, The Constant Gardener
Steven Spielberg, Munich
Best Foreign Language Film
Kung Fu Hustle (China)
Master of the Crimson Armor aka The Promise (China)
Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noel) (France)
Paradise Now (Palestine) Winner!
Tsotsi (South Africa)
Best Screenplay--Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Match Point
George Clooney & Grant Heslov, Good Night, and Good Luck
Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, Crash
Tony Kushner & Eric Roth, Munich
Larry McMurty & Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain Winner!
Best Original Score--Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat, Syriana
James Newton Howard, King Kong
Gustavo Santaolalla, Brokeback Mountain
Harry Gregson-Williams, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
John Williams, Memoirs of a Geisha Winner!
Best Original Song--Motion Picture
“A Love That Will Never Grow Old,” Brokeback Mountain Winner!
“Christmas in Love,” Christmas in Love
“There’s Nothing Like a Show on Broadway,” The Producers
“Travelin’ Thru,” Transamerica
“Wunderkind,” The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Best Television Series--Drama
Commander in Chief (ABC)
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
Lost (ABC) Winner!
Prison Break (Fox)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series--Drama
Patricia Arquette, Medium
Glenn Close, The Shield
Geena Davis, Commander in Chief Winner!
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Polly Walker, Rome
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series--Drama
Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy
Matthew Fox, Lost
Hugh Laurie, House Winner!
Wentworth Miller, Prison Break
Kiefer Sutherland, 24
Best Television Series--Musical or Comedy
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Desperate Housewives (ABC) Winner!
Everybody Hates Chris (UPN)
My Name is Earl (NBC)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series--Musical or Comedy
Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives
Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives
Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds Winner!
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series--Musical or Comedy
Zach Braff, Scrubs
Steve Carell, The Office Winner!
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jason Lee, My Name is Earl
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Empire Falls (HBO) Winner!
Into the West (TNT)
Lackawanna Blues (HBO)
Sleeper Cell (Showtime)
Viva Blackpool (BBC America)
Warm Springs (HBO)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Halle Berry, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Kelly MacDonald, The Girl in the Café
S. Epatha Merkerson, Lackawanna Blues Winner!
Cynthia Nixon, Warm Springs
Mira Sorvino, Human Trafficking
Best Performance by an Actor In a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Kenneth Branagh, Warm Springs
Ed Harris, Empire Falls
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Elvis Winner!
Bill Nighy, The Girl in the Café
Donald Sutherland, Human Trafficking
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
Camryn Manheim, Elvis
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy Winner!
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Joanne Woodward, Empire Falls
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Naveen Andrews, Lost
Paul Newman, Empire Falls Winner!
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Randy Quaid, Elvis
Donald Sutherland, Commander in Chief
December 16, 2005 9:21am EST
From his side-splitting 1968 original film writer/director Mel Brooks created one of the funnier comedy duos. Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) is a washed-up Broadway producer who has to shtup little old ladies in order to get investments for his shows. Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) is a hypersensitive nerdy accountant who gives Max a brilliant idea: producing a flop could procure more money than a hit. Max then suckers Leo into joining him in the perfect plan of embezzling money and skipping town with the cash after finding the most god-awful musical to produce. That would be “Springtime for Hitler” by former Nazi Franz Liebkind (Will Ferrell). They also hire talentless director Roger DeBris (Gary Beach) and employ a blonde Swedish bombshell named Ulla (Uma Thurman) just for the heck of it. But what they think is a sure-fire dud turns out to be a smash success instead. D’oh! The Producers definitely has the advantage of using the original stars from the Broadway hit. Lane and Broderick are like a well-oiled comedy machine having played Bialystock and Bloom off and on since the musical opened on stage in April 2001. Lane simply slays you. As does Beach as the spirited DeBris and the gut-bustingly hysterical Roger Bart as DeBris’ common-law assistant Carmen Ghia. But there are some disadvantages as well. There is at times a fresh quality lacking in the performances especially from Broderick who looks he’s on auto pilot. Thankfully the two newcomers to the fray--Ferrell and Thurman--give The Producers that extra sparkle. Ferrell just pours it on as the crazy German while the luminous Thurman well shakes and shimmies like she was born for the stage. You realize of course Mel Brooks is really just a frustrated musical theater guy at heart. Getting the chance to turn his 1968 cult classic into a full-blown Broadway extravaganza must have been a dream come true. Even though he wrote all of the music and lyrics including two original songs for the movie he wisely hands over the directing reins to Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Susan Stroman. In her capable hands The Producers goes from stage musical to big-screen spectacle with relative ease. It could have perhaps shed a few of the musical interludes especially towards the end for the sake of making it a tighter film but all in all a truly worthy effort. I guess maybe the only problem is those of us nostalgic for the original film. It was just so exquisitely priceless in so many ways seeing it turned into a campy musical somehow just doesn’t do it justice.
August 09, 2005 7:47am EST
Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane are frantically preparing for the launch of
their new Broadway show The Odd Couple.
The pair admit they are a little too relaxed about the show, which goes live
at New York's Brooks Atkinson Theatre in less than two months time
and is fiercely anticipated by a frenzied theater audience that snapped up
tickets worth $7 million when the box office opened in June.
Broderick says, "I haven't even learned my lines yet and we've almost sold
out on the run."
Meanwhile, Lane is unrepentant about reteaming with Broderick, after their
ultra-successful partnership on Broadway in The Producers.
He says, "Will it be too much of a good thing? Who cares. We enjoy each other
too much to stop."
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
June 08, 2005 8:01am EST
“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?
As The Graduate’s Benjamin Braddock, played by the neurotic Dustin Hoffman, utters this line, it instantly defines the Oscar-winning dark comedy. But the reaction by Ben’s seductress makes the moment one of the most memorable in cinematic history. She tosses her head back and just laughs. Classic.
And that’s just what the Oscar-winning Anne Bancroft, who brought the manipulative Mrs. Robinson to life, was: Classy. She unfortunately succumbed to uterine cancer June 6 at the age of 73 but left a long line of memorable film and stage performances in her wake.
Yet, even as the most lauded actresses of the 1960s and 1970s--earning five Academy Award nominations and one Oscar for playing Annie Sullivan, the teacher of a young Helen Keller (played by Patty Duke) in The Miracle Worker--everyone remembers Mrs. Robinson the most. And it was a part she almost didn't take.
She told The Associated Press in 2003 nearly everyone discouraged her from playing the role of Dustin Hoffman's middle-aged seductress "because it was all about sex with a younger man." Yet Bancroft saw something deeper, viewing the character as having unfulfilled dreams and having been relegated to a conventional life with a conventional husband.
"Film critics said I gave a voice to the fear we all have: that we'll reach a certain point in our lives, look around and realize that all the things we said we'd do and become will never come to be--and that we're ordinary."
Still, all the talk about the controversial part continued to astonish Bancroft. "I am quite surprised that with all my work, and some of it is very, very good, that nobody talks about The Miracle Worker. We're talking about Mrs. Robinson. I understand the world," she said in 2003. "I'm just a little dismayed that people aren't beyond it yet."
"Her combination of brains, humor, frankness and sense were unlike any other artist," Mike Nichols, who directed her in The Graduate, said in a statement. "Her beauty was constantly shifting with her roles, and because she was a consummate actress she changed radically for every part."
Bancroft's beginnings in Hollywood were fairly uneventful. She started doing live television and then went under contract at 20th Century Fox in 1952, starring in a series of B-movies. Although her real name was Anna Maria Louise Italiano, she eventually changed it because it sounded too ethnic for movies. The studio gave her a choice of names; she picked Bancroft "because it sounded dignified,” AP reports.
In 1958, she decided to had had enough of film and headed to Broadway, winning her first Tony opposite Henry Fonda in Two for the Seesaw. The stage and movie versions of The Miracle Worker followed. Her other Academy Award nominations were for The Pumpkin Eater (1964); The Graduate (1967); The Turning Point (1977); and Agnes of God (1985).
Besides her own distinguished career, Bancroft was also known for being the other half of a powerhouse entertainment duo--having been married to Mel Brooks for nearly 41 years. According to the AP, Bancroft said in a 1984 interview she told her psychiatrist the day after meeting Brooks: "Let's speed this process up--I've met the right man. See, I'd never had so much pleasure being with another human being. I wanted him to enjoy me too. It was that simple." A son, Maximilian, was born in 1972.
Bancroft appeared in three of Brooks' comedies: Silent Movie, a remake of To Be or Not to Be and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. She was also the one who suggested that he make a stage musical of his movie The Producers. She explained that when he was afraid of writing a full-blown musical, including the music, "I sent him to an analyst."
When Bancroft watched Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick rehearse The Producers, she realized how much she had missed the theater. In 2002 she returned to Broadway for the first time since 1981, appearing in Edward Albee's Occupant.
Along with Brooks and her son, Bancroft is survived by her mother, two sisters, a daughter-in-law and a grandson.
April 27, 2005 9:16am EST
Film legend Mel Brooks has hit out at reports of a crisis on the set of the
movie remake of his hit musical The Producers, insisting rumors he is unhappy
with director Susan Stroman are nonsense.
Sources claimed Brooks had stepped in to re-shoot comedy scenes because he was
dissatisfied with the efforts of Stroman, who directed and choreographed the
Broadway smash hit version of The Producers, but is making her first movie.
An insider told Pagesix.com, "Stroman hasn't quite yet mastered the art of
directing comedy in a feature film - at least not to Mel's liking.
"So Mel had to step in and re-shoot a number of non-dancing scenes. But there
have been no problems with the dance numbers. Mel is apparently very happy with
But Brooks' spokesman Peter Graves refutes the claims, maintaining all is
well on the set of the film, which stars Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell.
He says, "Mel is the producer of the film. He's there almost every day, as
good producers are. They've worked collaboratively over the years but the idea
that he is out there redirecting or re-shooting anything is absolute nonsense.
She is doing a terrific job, and the dailies are fantastic.
"It's spectacular and funny. It's on-time and on-budget.
"When I got your message and I called them (Universal studios) about it,
people fell on the floor. They said, 'What are you talking about? Are you
kidding?' Every frame is hers. The idea that Mel is re-shooting stuff is
ludicrous. It's just not true."
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
December 22, 2004 1:35pm EST
Thurman to take Kidman's place in Producers
Uma Thurman will take Nicole Kidman's place in the forthcoming movie version of The Producers. Kidman was forced to pull out of the role of busty Swedish secretary Ulla in the film - which is due to begin shooting in February (05) - because of scheduling difficulties. South African beauty Charlize Theron was reportedly considered for the role, but producers have opted for fellow blonde Thurman, according to PageSix.com. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick will reprise the roles they took to great critical acclaim in the Broadway, New York stage version of Mel Brooks' tale of crooked theatre producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom.
Johansson begins weapons training
Scarlett Johansson is already undergoing intensive weapons training ahead of her role in action sequel Mission: Impossible III - even though shooting has been postponed until September (05). Cameras were due to start rolling on the movie this year (04), but Tom Cruise's commitment to Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds remake and script alterations have forced film chiefs to push back the start date. But sexy Johansson is delighted the delay means she has more time to practice with firearms. She says, "It's been postponed 'til September while it's rewritten. But I'm doing weapons training for it! Just pulling the trigger is easy enough, but when you're loading your magazine and you have a machine gun and a handgun and a shotgun, and you're trying to figure out how to use them all. "I'm being trained by someone who was in the special forces, so I get to know interesting stuff like how they train the Iraqi army."
Olsen twin signs up for acting lessons
Teen screen star Ashley Olsen is using university to expand her acting knowledge too - she has signed up for drama classes. Olsen, 18, has been acting with twin sister Mary-Kate since she was a baby and they have both
accumulated fortunes totalling $300 million from TV and movie careers. But Ashley, currently studying at New York University, accepts she still has much to learn. A source tells Star magazine, "(She) has secretly been attending a drama class two days a week at the prestigious William Esper Studio on New York's
West Side. The class, which costs $295 a month, teaches the Meisner Acting Technique, which centres around students' exploration of spontaneity and improvisation."
Scorsese facing legal action
Martin Scorsese is being sued by a movie producer who claims he's owed money stemming from a film the director agreed to make in 1990. The Aviator moviemaker has been cited in legal papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court by Gianni Nunnari, who wants over $42,000 in legal fees from litigation over Silence-a project that never went ahead. Nunnari's lawyer, Richard Golub, insists the producer stacked up the fees trying to get Scorsese, 62, to take a medical exam required for an insurance policy. Golub also alleges that Scorsese's own lawyer, James Janowitz, confessed the celebrated director "is difficult to deal with and doesn't care about contractual obligations."
Connery to keep ladies out of book
Sean Connery has warned fans hoping to learn sordid details about his romantic past that he'll take "those secrets to the grave". The former James Bond star is currently on a hiatus from his movie career to focus on penning his memoirs. However, Connery--who's been married to French artist Michelene for 30 years--has left hordes of scandal-hungry gossips disappointed by vowing not to drag his previous conquests into the limelight. He says of the forthcoming challenge, "It's rather scary, but utterly exhilarating and I'm looking forward to it. "I know everyone's expecting me to list all the women in my life and make torrid revelations about them. But I never will. I'll take those secrets to the grave."
Farrell cried for son
Colin Farrell frequently broke down in tears while shooting historic epic Alexander, because he missed his baby son. Colin Farrell missed the September (04) birth of baby James, his son with model ex-lover Kim Bordenave, because he was filming in Morocco - and he found it hard. The Irish star tells The Scoop, "I was in tears, in the desert in Morocco but I don't know which that was. It was happiness but it was also sadness and I wanted to be with James and there was disgust that I wasn't there. "Happiness is a strange idea. It's a dream. It's something that when we experience it, it's very acute but it's fleeting, I think. I'm sure there are people that live in happiness and are completely content all the time - I'm not one of them."
Houston's Oscar confusion
Singing sensation Whitney Houston infuriated Burt Bacharach at rehearsals for the 2000 Academy Awards--by singing the wrong song. The "My Love Is Your Love" singer is currently clean after spending March (04) in rehabilitation for drug addiction, but four years ago (00) she was reportedly not so sober. In Steve Pond's forthcoming book, The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at The Academy Awards, which exposes a host of Oscar secrets, Pond reveals Houston's performance technique angered Bacharach. In the tome, Pond writes, "Houston's voice was shaky, she seemed distracted and jittery, and her attitude was casual, almost defiant." Despite Bacharach, the musical director of the 2000 Oscars, playing "Over the Rainbow" on the piano, Houston began singing "The Way We Were." Pond continues, "Finally, Bacharach (at wit's end) slumped over the piano, (putting) his head down on the keys." Producer Lili Zanuck cancelled Houston's appearance at theceremony, explaining, "We didn't want to work for six months for this to be a show about how f**ked-up Whitney Houston was."
Articles Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
December 14, 2004 9:35am EST
N.Y. Film Critics honor Sideways
The indie comedy Sideways, which received seven Golden Globe nominations Monday, continued raking in accolades yesterday as the New York Film Critics Circle named it the best picture of 2004. The film stars Paul Giamattiand Thomas Haden Church as two middle-aged best friends who go on a wine-tasting road trip outside Santa Barbara, Calif. Thelma Adams, a critic for Us Weekly magazine, told The Associated Press the film's appeal was a generational thing. "I don't think this is a twentysomething movie. I think it's a movie that works for the over-30 crowd," she said. "This is an indie movie. It has Virginia Madsen--it doesn't have Julia Roberts. It has Sandra Oh--it doesn't have Natalie Portman. It hinges on Paul who? Giamatti, a guy with hair on his shoulders--and a great, great actor. And these are the people who are overlooked." Sideways also earned acting honors for Giamatti and Madsen, and for its screenplay, which director Alexander Payne co-wrote with Jim Taylor. The N.Y Film Critics also honored Clint Eastwood as best director for Million Dollar Baby; Christopher Doyle as best cinematographer for the martial-arts epic Hero; and writer-director Joshua Marston as best first film for Maria Full of Grace. In the film categories, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 was named best nonfiction film; Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education was awarded best foreign-language film; and Pixar's The Incredibles won best animated film. Acting nods also went to Imelda Staunton in best-actress category for Vera Drake and Clive Owen was named best supporting-actor for Closer.
Jackson's lawyers want charges dismissed
Lawyers for Michael Jackson have filed a motion Dec. 10 to dismiss the child molestation charges against the pop star on grounds of "vindictive prosecution and outrageous government conduct," the AP reports. Jackson's legal team also filed a motion to push back the Jan. 31 trial date set by Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville. The motions stem from an unexpected search of Jackson's Neverland ranch on Dec. 3 and 4--the eve of a deadline for turning over all discovery materials--during which authorities also took a DNA sample from Jackson. The motions are scheduled for argument in hearings to begin Dec. 20. Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent, alcohol, to his alleged victim.
Clark bows out of New Year's Eve celebration
After suffering a minor stroke last week, Dick Clark will not be able to host his annual Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve--the first time he's had to miss the festivities in more than three decades, Reuters reports. Citing the fact he needs more time to recover, the 75-year-old Clark has arranged for morning talk show host Regis Philbin to take his place. "I'm so glad that Regis hadn't yet made any New Year's plans," Clark said in a statement. "It'll feel strange watching it on TV, but my doctors felt it was too soon. I'm sure Regis will do a great job and I'm thankful that he was able to step in on such short notice." Said Philbin: "It's the greatest 'temp job' in the world. I just hope I can uphold the standards Dick Clark has set for this annual event, and I look forward to his return next year."
Madonna's tour tops the year's most profitable
Madonna's blockbuster Re-Invention concert tour was named tour of the year, bringing in $125 million in total box office gross, Reuters reports. According to Billboard Boxscore, Madonna sold out 55 of 56 performances worldwide, with an average nightly take of $2.23 million. "My Re-Invention tour was by far the most creatively satisfying experience I have ever had," Madonna told Billboard. "I was able to put everything I love into one entertaining event: film, music and dance." Prince's Musicology tour came in second, drawing nearly 1.5 million people and grossing $90.2 million. Shania Twain was third, reporting grosses totaling $62.5 million and playing to nearly 950,000 fans. The rest of the top 10 included Simon & Garfunkel ($59 million), Metallica ($53.8 million), Bette Midler ($53.3 million), Sting ($52.4 million), Kenny Chesney ($49.3 million), David Bowie ($46 million) and Toby Keith ($44.3 million).
Dench honored for contribution to theater
Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench received a standing ovation Monday as she accepted a special honor given to her to mark the 50th anniversary of the Evening Standard Theater Awards, the AP reports. "I've only been given this award for 47 years of doing a job that I absolutely adore," Dench said. "I didn't set out to be an actress but I changed my mind and I couldn't be more pleased that I did." Nathan Lane and Lee Evans, who star in the West End version of The Producers, accepted the best musical award for the Mel Brooks' musical. Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall, who will appear in the West End starting next month in Whose Life Is It Anyway?, attended the ceremony, as did Christian Slater, who is currently starring in a stage version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
U2, Pretenders tagged for Hall of Fame
Irish rockers U2, along with The Pretenders, soul veterans Percy Sledge and the O'Jays, and blues guitarist Buddy Guy will be inducted into the 20th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, Mar. 14, Reuters reports. U2's induction will come shortly after they begin a world tour in Florida on Mar. 1, promoting their recently released new album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, which topped the charts around the world and garnered three Grammy nominations last week.
December 10, 2004 11:00am EST
Shrek 3 bumped another year
DreamWorks Animation Studios announced it was pushing the release date for its highly anticipated feature Shrek 3 from November 2006 to May 2007. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the move follows a trend that allows studios to capitalize on the hefty summer audience and the lucrative holiday DVD market that follows. DreamWorks' first two Shrek movies, both released in early May of 2001 and 2004, went on to a combined domestic gross of more than $708 million. "The sheer magnitude of the Shrek franchise has led us to conclude that a May release date, with a DVD release around the holiday season, will enable us to best maximize performance and increase profitability, thereby generating enhanced asset value and better returns for our shareholders," DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement.
James Brown has prostate cancer
James Brown announced he has prostate cancer and will undergo surgery for the ailment Dec. 15. The 71-year-old funk legend said in a statement released to The Associated Press Friday: "I have overcome a lot of things in my life. I will overcome this as well." Brown, dubbed "Godfather of Soul," is best known for hits including "I Feel Good," "Please, Please, Please," and "Cold Sweat." The singer, who is also a diabetic, is expected to spend three weeks recovering from the procedure. But the illness hasn't slowed him down. Brown just wrapped a two-week Canadian tour Thursday night and is due to release an autobiography next month.
Kidman drops out of Producers
Nicole Kidman has dropped out of Mel Brooks' big-screen adaptation of The Producers because she wouldn't have enough time to rehearse the intricate song and dance routines before she heads into her next film, Eucalyptus. A rep for the actress told Variety Brooks' team was very understanding of Kidman's packed schedule, and the parting of ways was amicable. Kidman was slated to take the role of Ulla, the Swedish bombshell who works as a secretary for Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) and Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick). The film is scheduled to start shooting in February at Brooklyn's new Steiner Studios.
Warner Bros. hits $2 billion mark overseas
Bolstered by hits such as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Last Samurai and Troy, Warner Bros. garner $2 billion in overseas grosses, Variety reports. The studio is the first to hit that benchmark, breaking industry records for any single year. "We see this as the result of a series of successful strategies and meticulous positioning of our films as well as tremendous teamwork and cooperation from everyone involved in our organization," Warner Bros. Pictures Intl. prexy of distribution Veronika Kwan-Rubinek and marketing prexy Sue Kroll said in a joint statement. Warner was also the first studio to hit the $1 billion mark at overseas wickets, back in 1993; its closest international rival, Disney, performed the same feat in 1995.
Willis donates land for airport
Bruce Willis offered to donate a portion of land he owns in Camas County, Idaho so that officials could build a new airport, the AP reports. The offer was unexpected, airport authority Chairwoman Mary Ann Mix said. "Bruce is a fabulously decent man--always very concerned about what's good for his community." Willis' property along Highway 20 is part of one of three sites being considered.