Top Story: Ashton and Demi Visit Iowa
Hollywood's hottest couple escaped Tinseltown and spent some quality time in Homestead, Iowa, over the weekend. According to The Associated Press, Ashton Kutcher, who grew up in Iowa and briefly attended the University of Iowa, took ladylove Demi Moore to meet his mother, Diane Portwood. Portwood had only kind words to say about Moore, 40. "What I've found is when you meet many of these so-called celebrities in person, they are really down to earth," she said. "We sat and talked about her kids and my kids and we had a great time." The couple flew in Friday and was going to attend the Hawkeyes' homecoming game against the University of Michigan Wolverines Saturday, but nixed the plans when paparazzi began swarming. "When the paparazzi came to the door, I told them to leave, and if they didn't abide by my wishes, I told them I'd call the law on them," Portwood said.
NBC Wants Maria Shriver Back
NBC is expecting Maria Shriver to return to work on Dateline NBC-- whether her husband, actor-turned-California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, wins or loses today's recall vote. NBC News spokeswoman Allison Gollust told AP Monday the network will talk to Shriver about how her assignments will change if Schwarzenegger is elected governor. But Gollust noted that topics such as California politics or stories covering decisions her husband might have to make would be off limits for Shriver.
Horn Critical but Stable
Las Vegas magician Roy Horn, who remains in critical but stable condition at University Medical Center in Las Vegas after being mauled by a 600-pound white tiger during a performance Friday at the MGM Mirage hotel-casino, signaled a thumbs up after a second surgery Sunday to relieve pressure on his brain, Reuters reports. A spokesman for Roy, one half of Sin City's legendary German-born illusionists Siegfried & Roy, said that although doctors are encouraged that he will recover, it will be several days until the full extent of his injuries is known. Their show has been canceled indefinitely.
MTV Renews Newlyweds
MTV announced Monday it is bringing back the reality series Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, which follows pop singers Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson as they navigate through married life, for a second season. According to the AP, the new episodes will begin in 2004. Viewers, meanwhile, can catch the season finale of Newlyweds on Tuesday, Oct 21 at 10:30 p.m. EDT--five days before the couple's one-year anniversary.
Shannen Doherty Ventures Into Comedy Arena
Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Shannen Doherty is looking to make her first venture into comedy. According to Reuters, Doherty has signed a deal to star in a show about a young woman who is stuck with a reputation of being headstrong and nasty but is sweet and fragile at heart. The role might prove perfect for Doherty, who has been dogged by her "bad girl" image, highly publicized offscreen antics and reports of clashes on the 90210 set. Doherty also hastily exited the WB's supernatural drama Charmed in 2001 amid reports of difficulties with her co-stars. She will also return as host of Sci Fi Channel's hidden-camera series Scare Tactics.
No FCC Action Over Bono's F-Word
The Federal Communications Commission decided Monday that U2 frontman Bono's use of a curse word during the 2003 Golden Globe telecast did not constitute a violation of the nation's broadcast indecency rules, Reuters reports. The Parents Television Council and others claimed that Bono's quote "this is really, really f---ing brilliant" failed to meet the test for indecency, but federal bureau disagreed. "The word 'f---ing' my be crude and offensive, but, in the context presented here, did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities," the bureau wrote. "Rather, the performer used the word 'f---ing' as an adjective or expletive to emphasize an exclamation."
David Cronenberg Takes Top Honors at DGA Canada
Director David Cronenberg and his psychological thriller Spider took top honors Saturday at the second annual Directors Guild of Canada Awards in Toronto, Variety reports, beating out Atom Egoyan's Ararat and Deepa Mehta's Bollywood/Hollywood. The Showtime series Queer as Folk, meanwhile, snagged the TV drama spot, beating out Da Vinci's Inquest and Eleventh Hour. A lifetime achievement award was presented to veteran film and TV director Daryl Duke (Payday, The Thorn Birds, Tai-Pan. The awards ceremony was hosted by former NewsRadio and Kids in the Hall star Dave Foley.
AMAs Announce Performers
Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, Ricky Martin, OutKast, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken will join previously confirmed performers Ashanti, Hilary Duff, Alan Jackson, Metallica and Britney Spears for the 31st annual American Music Awards. The Nov. 16 ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will take place at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium and will be broadcast live on ABC.
Role Call: Fox Replaces Latifah in Beauty Shop, Kilmer To Appear on Friends
Queen Latifah has been replaced in the upcoming Barbershop spin-off Beauty Shop by Vivica A. Fox, the Weekly Entertainment News Network reports. In Barbershop 2, the character is the owner of a beauty salon located next door to Calvin Palm
Two movies opened nationwide and battled for box office booty this weekend, but in the end, as the pirates sharpened their swords, the gentlemen walked the plank.
The swashbuckling tale Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl sailed away with a $46.4 million* booty over the weekend. Since its release July 9, Pirates has tallied $70.4 million.
But not even Allan Quartemain and his legion of historic superheroes could help Fox's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen muster up a defense against Disney's gang of mutinous pirates. The literary action thriller traipsed away with a rather ordinary $23.2 million.
Pirates, which is based on a popular Disneyland attraction, took in an estimated $23.8 million in its first two days in theaters and didn't lose momentum through the weekend.
"It amazes us," Disney Film distribution chief Chuck Viane told Reuters Friday. "Johnny (Depp) is so fabulous. This movie plays great, and that is why you jump out on a Wednesday and go see it."
Last week's box office topper, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, dropped to third place with $19.6 million, followed by Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, which settled in fourth position with $12 million. The summer season's mainstay movie, the animated fish tale Finding Nemo, rounded out the Top Five with $8.2 million.
Lead by Pirates, this weekend was the first up weekend after four down weekends in a row. The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an estimated $135.9 million, up 3.4 percent from the same weekend last year.
THE TOP TEN
Buena Vista Pictures' PG-13 rated fantasy actioner Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl bowed in first place at the box office this weekend with an ESTIMATED $46.4 million at 3,269 theaters. Its $14,194 per theater average was the highest of any film playing this weekend. Its five-day cume is $70.4 million.
The film, based on a Disney theme park attraction, centers on the roguish yet charming pirate who comes to the rescue of a young woman and teams up with the blacksmith who loves her to exact revenge on his mutinous shipmates.
Directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, it stars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.
Twentieth Century Fox's PG-13 rated period thriller The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen debuted in second place with an ESTIMATED $23.2 million at 3,002 theaters with a $7,745 per theater average.
Set at the start of the Industrial Age, a league of extraordinary gentlemen, a collection of literary figures with superpowers, must come together to stop an evil force from starting a war between the world's nations.
Directed by Stephen Norrington, it stars Sean Connery, Naseeruddin Shah, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Stuart Townsend, Shane West and Jason Flemyng.
Warner Bros.' R rated Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines dropped two notches to third place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $19.6 million (-55%) at 3,504 theaters (unchanged; $5,598 per theater). Its cume is approximately $110.4 million.
Directed by Jonathan Mostow, it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken.
MGM's PG-13 rated Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde fell two rungs to fourth spot in its second week with an ESTIMATED $12 million (-46%) at 3,375 theaters (+25 theaters; $3,556 per theater). Its cume is approximately $62.8 million.
Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, it stars Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Regina King, Bob Newhart and Jennifer Coolidge.
Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' G rated computer-animated feature Finding Nemo fell only one spot in its seventh week to round out the Top Five with an ESTIMATED $8.2 million (-29%) at 2,643 theaters (-259 theaters; $3,103 per theater). Its cume is approximately $290.8 million and is on the way to surpassing the $300 million mark.
Directed and co-written by Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton, it features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe and Brad Garrett.
Sony Picture's PG-13 rated Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle dropped three places to sixth in its third week with an ESTIMATED $7.3 million (-48%) at 3,202 theaters (-283 theaters; $2,280 per theater). Its cume is approximately $81.6 million.
Directed by McG, it stars Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Bernie Mac.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
DreamWorks' PG rated animated feature Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas jumped a notch to sixth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $4.6 million at 3,086 theaters (unchanged; $1,491 per theater). Its cume is approximately $19.1 million.
Directed by Patrick Gilmore and Tim Johnson, it features the voices of Brad Pitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Joseph Fiennes.
Fox Searchlight's R rated sci-fi thriller 28 Days Later dropped one place to eighth in its third week with an ESTIMATED $4.2 million (-29%) at 1,396 theaters (+78 theaters; $3,044 per theater). Its cume is approximately $28.4 million.
Directed by Danny Boyle, it stars Cillian Murphy, Naomi Harris, Brendan Gleeson and Megan Burns.
Universal Pictures' PG-13 rated The Hulk plummeted four places to No. 9 in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $3.7 million (-55%) at 2,575 theaters (-716 theaters, $1,437 per theater). Its cume is approximately $124.7million.
Directed by Ang Lee, it stars Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott and Nick Nolte.
Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated actioner The Italian Job moved two places to tenth in its seventh week with an ESTIMATED $2.7 million (-34%) at 1,364 theaters (-220 theaters; $1,364 per theater). Its cume is approximately $88.8 million.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def and Edward Norton.
Paramount Classics' PG-13 rated drama Northfork opened in five theaters with an ESTIMATED $61,364 with a strong $12,273 per theater average.
Set in 1955, the film centers on the town of Northfork, which is about to be flooded to make way for a new hydroelectric project. A team of six trenchcoated men has been assigned to remove the last few stragglers before its Heartland houses will be swept away.
Directed by Michael Polish, it stars James Woods, Nick Nolte, Daryl Hannah and Anthony Edwards.
Sony Picture Classics' PG-13 rated romantic drama Cuckoo opened in six theaters with an ESTIMATED $17,209 and a $2,868 per theater average.
The film revolves around a Russian idealist, a Finish college student and a Swedish peasant woman who find themselves confined to a tiny backwoods hut near the end of WWII. Unable to speak each other's language, the two men begin to fall in love with the woman and are forced to let their body language speak for them.
Directed by Alexander Rogozhkin, it stars Anni-Kristina Juuso, Wille Happsalo and Viktor Bychkov.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $135.9 million, up 7.28 percent from last week's take of $126 million. The Top 12 films were also up from the same weekend last year they grossed $131.5 million.
Last year, Sony's PG-13 rated Men in Black II was No. 1 at the box office in its second week with $24.4 million at 3,611 theaters (+54 theaters; $6,760 per theater); Dreamwork's R rated Road to Perdition bowed to No. 2 with $22 million at 1,797 theaters ($12,287 per theater), while Buena Vista's PG-13 rated fantasy actioner Reign of Fire debuted in third place with $15.6 million at 2,629 theaters ($5,946 per theater).
Yoko Ono unveiled a seven-foot bronze statue of John Lennon on Friday commemorating the renaming of Liverpool's airport to "Liverpool John Lennon Airport," Reuters reports. Under the statue of the late Beatle are the words "Above us only sky" from the song "Imagine." Sculpted by local artist Tom Murphy, the statue overlooks the check-in hall in the newly remodeled terminal. Ono recently purchased Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool and donated it to the National Trust, which already owns Paul McCartney's childhood home.
The case brought against 20th Century Fox accusing the studio of damaging a tropical island in Thailand while shooting The Beach will be re-opened in a Thai court in May. In order to create an idyllic tropical setting for the film, the studio planted dozens of coconut trees at Maya Beach on Phi Phi Lek island in 1999. According to Ananova.com, the Krabi Provincial Administration and island residents filed a lawsuit demanding that the ecosystem be restored, claiming the beach has since been destroyed by monsoon rains because the studio destroyed the natural vegetation that once protected the beach.
Fox's Celebrity Boxing on Wednesday night scored some of the season's highest ratings for an entertainment special. The hour-long show, which featured boxing matches between Tonya Harding and Paula Jones, Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams and Vanilla Ice and Todd Bridges, won its 9 p.m. time slot with 15.48 million viewers, reports Variety. A second installment of Celebrity Boxing is under consideration but no decision has been made yet.
Rumor has it that Paul McCartney and Heather Mills will tie the knot in the Hamptons on June 6, Sky News reports. The two met in 1999 and announced last summer that they would get married some time next year, but gave no further details.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to revive two action franchises from Warner Bros., including a remake of Michael Crichton's Westworld and a third installment of the Conan the Barbarian series, reports Entertainment Weekly. Schwarzenegger is also starring in Warner Bros.' Terminator 3, which is slated for release in July 2003.
The Screen Actors Guild has told its members not to sign non-union contracts for Russell Crowe's Master and Commander, which begins filming in Baja, California, this summer. According to Variety, SAG is enforcing its "Global Rule One" which disciplines members who work non-union outside the United States.
Ethiopian officials have complained that the film Beyond Borders starring Angelina Jolie only shows the country's drought and starvation in 1984 and none of the progress made since, the Associated Press reports. A spokesman for the Ethiopian embassy in South Africa said that the media should "strive to include [a] positive image of our continent" and that "negative images about Ethiopia [do] not help the whole of Africa."
Daryl Hannah has joined the ensemble cast of Quentin Tarantino's next project Kill Bill. The film stars Uma Thurman and Warren Beatty. Lucy Liu is also in final talks to come on board. Shooting is set to begin in June in California, China, Japan and Mexico, reports Variety.
Singer Lauren Hill and magician David Blaine will join performers at the live auction benefit People and Places With No Name on Tuesday at the Ace Gallery in Los Angeles. The auction will feature fine art, photography and jewelry, with proceeds going to providing awareness and aid in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Angola, Launch.com reports.
U2 frontman Bono says he has a new name around the White House: "The Pest." Bono met with President Bush on Thursday to discuss AIDS and the administration's new initiative on U.S. aid to poor countries, AP reports. He told reporters, "I am a pest; I am a stone in the shoe of a lot of people living here in this town; a squeaky wheel."