A lawyer for rocker Liam Gallagher has applied for a gagging order to silence the New York-based reporter he's accused of fathering a child with. The former Oasis frontman is alleged to have had a fling with showbusiness writer Liza Ghorbani after she allegedly filed suit in the Big Apple earlier this month (Jul13), demanding $3 million (£2 million) in child support for her seven-month-old daughter Gemma.
Gallagher, who is married to singer Nicole Appleton, has vowed to fight the claims, but he sent legal eagle Raoul Felder to Manhattan Family Court on Friday (26Jul13) to demand Ghorbani sign a confidentiality agreement before they even start proceedings.
Her lawyer, William Beslow, insisted his client would have been willing to do so without the judge's order, although the court official has yet to rule on the motion.
The appeal for the gagging order was filed a day after Gallagher was photographed in London without his wedding ring, fuelling speculation over the state of his five-year marriage.
Appleton, the mother of Gallagher's 12-year-old son Gene, has also been snapped on vacation in Florida without her ring.
Mooseport is an idyllic little Maine town populated with equally idyllic folk including Handy Harrison (Romano) who owns the local hardware store and his veterinarian girlfriend of six years Sally (Maura Tierney). But Mooseport is also the vacation home of the former president of the United States Monroe "Eagle" Cole (Gene Hackman) who after two successful terms in office decides the sleepy community would be a great place to quietly live out the rest of his days. But the people of Mooseport delay the president's retirement when they convince him to run for Mayor which doesn't sit well with Handy. Unbeknownst to the town council he's also put in a bid for mayoral candidacy. Certain he could never beat the former president in an election Handy nearly backs down--but when the ex-prez makes a move on Sally unaware she is Handy's significant other he decides to stay in the races for both mayor and boyfriend. Regrettably it might be too late for the latter since Sally resents Handy's commitment phobia and has accepted a date with the president in retribution. Oh but who will she choose? The campaign gets thorny when Eagle's ex-wife Charlotte (Christine Baranski) arrives in town to help with Handy's campaign and the president's chief advisor of 15 years Grace (Marcia Gay Harden) discloses she has feelings for him.
All eyes are on Romano known to TV viewers since 1996 for his portrayal of New York City sportswriter and father of three Ray Barone on the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Welcome to Mooseport is Romano's big-screen acting debut and he does a fine job shedding his popular television persona for that of a small-town handyman. But while Romano successfully crafts a character devoid of any Barone family attributes that character Handy is as one-dimensional as a blank script sheet. His love interest in the film played by Tierney (ER's nurse Abby Lockhart) gets fleshed out a little more and--unlike Handy--her character actually shows thoughts and feelings. A dedicated veterinarian Sally is a tough and outspoken woman with a heart of gold and she's impossible to dislike. More engaging is the relationship between Hackman and Harden two veteran actors who make the most of their cookie-cutter roles. As the charismatic onetime leader of the free world Hackman does his best Bill Clinton while Harden seemed more inspired by Condoleezza Rice a consummate professional and the president's indispensable right-hand woman. Welcome to Mooseport doesn't tap into its supporting talents as well: Baranski as the president's ex-wife and Fred Savage as his fresh-faced PR director deliver the film's rare laugh-out-loud moments but they're brought in for a couple of zingers and then left out to dry.
Donald Petrie who made his directorial debut in 1988 with the Julia Roberts starrer Mystic Pizza has a flair for helming fluffy comedies that succeed because of their star power rather than their stories (read: 1993's Grumpy Old Men starring Jack Lemmon Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret; Sandra Bullock's 2000 comedy Miss Congeniality; and last year's How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days with Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey). Now Petrie can add Welcome to Mooseport to the list. Although scribe Tom Schulman's (Dead Poets Society) screenplay is pretty imaginative his characters are unexciting and too goody-goody. Unfortunately the clever dialogue has been reserved for the supporting characters rather than its stars Romano and Hackman. Thus there are no bad guys to loathe (Eagle a career politician refuses to fight a dirty campaign) and Handy the underdog is too uninteresting to root for. Then there are all the unanswered questions: Where and how does Handy live? We only see him stacking shelves in the store and driving around in his truck. And why he hasn't made a commitment to Sally after so many years? While we find out somewhat at the end of the film why Handy has never proposed the revelation comes too late for us to care and until then the most personal thing we know about him is that he has a dog named Plunger.
Tommy (Donnie Montemarano) has yet again been released from prison. The night he gets out he hooks up with his old buddy and onetime partner in crime Mic (Vinny Argiro) who wants to go legit. Mic's been working at a seedy adult porn shop to save money for the two of them to get to Vegas and become casino dealers; he even bought two one-way tickets on a Greyhound departing the next morning. Tommy is having none of it--he'd rather pull off a couple more jobs and quadruple what little money Mic's hoarded. The men start the evening off in Mic's little room at the Golden Eagle hotel a filthy decrepit flophouse on Los Angeles' skid row whose seemingly permanent tenants include Mr. Maynard a 1930s tap dancing star (real-life tap dancer Fayard Nicholas) and an old bum named Sylvester (Sam Moore of '60s soul singing duo Sam & Dave fame). There's also an assortment of whores ("hoo-ers " as Tommy calls them) Sally (Ann Magnuson) Amber (Natasha Lyonne) and junior high schooler Ruby (Nicole Jacobs) and their repellent pimp Rodan (Vinnie Jones). Everyone's paths cross as the hours pass on this sweltering summer night and the course of events turns as depressing and piteous as the wretched place where they live.
Montemarano (who looks vaguely like a worn-out Gene Hackman) has never acted a day in his life but you wouldn't believe it the way he comes off as the archetypal small-time con. Could be that's because he is--as an Italian growing up in Brooklyn he became a capo for the Colombo family and served 10 years in the big house for racketeering. He was cast in this movie thanks to childhood friend and co-star Argiro who left Brooklyn early on and fell into his own acting career quite by accident. It stands to reason then that their chemistry in these roles is pure true and honest. While they may only be acting their pasts completely influence their performances. Magnuson overacts the "hoo-er" thing (plus she's a little too classy a broad to be hanging out in skid row even given her age). Lyonne appears all too briefly (luuv her white platforms) but her role is pivotal and she plays it scarily real. Natividad is a revelation--pubescently alluring she balances the high wire between adult sexual awareness and the childlike innocence she loses forever after the night at the Golden Eagle. Jones strikes just the right gritty note as a malevolent dispicable pimp. Other supporting characters are well cast especially the young front desk clerk who provides a scant bit of comic relief. (James Caan who also has known the lead actors for years makes a quick cameo as a prison guard.)
If he set out to make the darkest most depressing most disquieting movie he could director Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City) accomplished just that. Night at the Golden Eagle comes off more like a play set in one location (with a few exceptions every scene takes place in or outside the hotel) and this plus the tight shots of the actors and the hotel rooms gives the movie a claustrophobic feel. You certainly want to get the hell away from the place (sometimes away from the movie itself) but you can't and neither can (or will) the unfortunate characters. Rifkin actually filmed the movie in a real skid row crack hotel which gives it a brownish aged dirty realism that Hollywood set directors can't ever seem to re-create. While one can't say this movie is enjoyable it definitely leaves a mark on the psyche that makes it far more memorable than the typical expendable big studio flick.
Hobbits continued to stand tall at the box office as Lord of the Rings ruled with $23 million and a cume of $205.5 million.
Also helping Hollywood avoid a New Year's hangover were A Beautiful Mind's mind-boggling $17 million expansion, Ocean's Eleven's new winnings of $11.8 million, Jimmy Neutron's good hold with $9.2 million and The Royal Tenenbaums' $8.8 million royal expansion.
Key films--those grossing at least $500,000--took in a sparkling total of nearly $125 million, up about 7.3 percent from $116 million this time last year.
THE TOP TEN
New Line Cinema's PG-13 rated epic The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was still commanding the center ring for the third consecutive week, holding solidly with an ESTIMATED $23.0 million (-41%) at 3,381 theaters (+22 theaters; $6,803 per theater). Its cume is approximately $205.5 million, heading for $300 million.
Rings was honored Saturday night as the year's best picture in the AFI's first annual awards telecast live on CBS. Regardless of how meaningful the AFI endorsement may be in terms of Rings' Oscar prospects, New Line will have something new to trumpet in the film's ads. The most significant bellwether for the Oscars should be the Golden Globes, to be telecast Jan. 20 live on NBC.
Directed by Peter Jackson, Rings' ensemble cast is led by Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen.
"When you think about crapshoots [risking about $300 million to make three Rings films at once was a big one]," New Line distribution president David Tuckerman said Sunday morning, noting the film's tremendous success. "Everybody was betting that it was going to be a disaster. The whole industry was betting on it."
Universal, DreamWorks and Imagine Entertainment's PG-
13 rated drama A Beautiful Mind went very wide in its third week, rising six pegs to second place with a noble ESTIMATED $17.03 million at 1,853 theaters (+1,328 theaters; $9,190 per theater). Its cume is approximately $38.2 million.
Directed by Ron Howard, the Brian Grazer production stars Russell Crowe and Ed Harris.
Mind's average per theater was the highest for any film playing in over 1,000 theaters this weekend.
"The strategy is working fabulously," Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said Sunday morning. "The best selling tool for the film is the film. This entire strategy beginning on Dec. 21 [with the film's platform release] is successful.
"What's most interesting this weekend is the fact that the head-to-heads from the 525 theaters that were open last week are actually up. Friday the head-to-heads were up three percent. For Saturday, they were up 17 percent, according to the EDI tracking. And that's phenomenal. That's something you don't see that often. The per screen average of nearly $9,200 is indicative enough of success, but it's when you look at theaters in markets that had additional runs [start this weekend], to see head-to-heads like that is really phenomenal. By the end of the week, we'll be past $40 million and that's quite a success story."
Focusing on the film's exit polls, Rocco noted, "The exit polls [this weekend] were as strong as they were originally. The only difference in the exit polls--with 95 percent in the Top Two Boxes [excellent and very good] --is that the audience is a bit younger. From the first exit polls, 75 percent of the audience was over the age of 30. It dropped down to 70 percent [this weekend]. So it's a little bit younger--not enough to make a huge difference, but what it tells us is that younger people are beginning to sample it. They're liking what they see because the exit polls are still huge.
"I don't remember the last time I've seen polls this strong and across the country. They're as strong in Dallas as they are in New York. Dallas is 99 percent in the Top Two. It suggests that it not only has life for quite some time to come, but that people really really are liking what they see. They're liking Russell Crowe. They're feeling the talent of Ron Howard. They like the idea of the storytelling. That's what happens--it all comes together."
Warner Bros. PG-13 rated casino heist dramatic comedy Ocean's Eleven slid one notch to third place in its fourth week, showing great legs with an ESTIMATED $11.77 million (-30%) at 2,770 theaters (-305 theaters; $4,247 per theater). Its cume is approximately $152.7 million, heading for $200 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Ocean's extensive cast includes George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.
"It's a great hold," Warner Bros. distribution president Dan Fellman said Sunday morning. "Ocean's is strong. It's a movie that people just want to see. It's going to have good legs. The casting is sensational. It's a fun movie. It's very entertaining. We'll be around for a while."
Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies' G rated animated feature Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius fell one rung to fourth place in its third week with a still lively ESTIMATED $9.2 million (-39%) at 3,151 theaters (theater count unchanged; $2,920 per theater). Its cume is approximately $62.5 million.
Directed by John A Davis, it was produced by Steve Oedekerk, Davis and Albie Hecht.
"I think [it will get to] between $80 and $90 million," Paramount distribution president Wayne Lewellen said Sunday morning. "I looked back at what these kind of pictures have brought in after the holidays and it's $15 to $25 million additional."
Buena Vista/Touchstone's R rated drama The Royal Tenenbaums expanded in its fourth week, placing fifth with a very promising ESTIMATED $8.78 million at 751 theaters (+460 theaters; $11,686 per theater). Its cume is approximately $21.0 million.
Directed by Wes Anderson, it stars Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson.
"It's always fun to handle a film like this when you have the opportunity to nurture a film and watch it grow and expand," Buena Vista Distribution president Chuck Viane said Sunday morning. "We're going to go to 900 runs this Friday [Jan. 11].
"I think what you have is a really smart movie and obviously a comedy that has exceptional word of mouth in the community. And it just seems to grow. It's playing extremely well week after week, so it's got its legs. Each week we broaden it to different cities in America. This Friday we'll move to 900 runs and all of that expansion is in new markets rather than more theaters in existing markets."
Pointing to Tenenbaums and last year's O Brother, Where Art Thou? , Viane noted, "If you have the time and patience and a terrific marketing campaign you can take these movies a long way. And I will say, our marketing group has done great. When you have films like this it seems everything comes together."
Columbia Pictures and Initial Entertainment Group's R rated drama Ali dropped two pegs to sixth place in its second week with a quiet ESTIMATED $7.6 million (-48%) at 2,446 theaters (theater count unchanged; $3,107 per theater). Its cume is approximately $50.1 million.
Directed by Michael Mann, it stars Will Smith.
Ali's production cost was reportedly $105 million. Columbia has the picture domestically and Initial Entertainment is releasing it internationally.
Asked where Ali is going domestically, Sony Pictures Entertainment worldwide marketing & distribution president Jeff Blake said Sunday morning, "I think we're heading for at least $80 million. We're one of the top holiday films and still hope to get a second life in the awards season."
There was, however, much better news for Columbia in connection with its platform release of Revolution Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' R rated drama Black Hawk Down. Hawk, which reportedly cost $90 million, continued to soar like an eagle in its second week with a sensational ESTIMATED $0.2 million (+11%) at 4 theaters (theater count unchanged; $50,000 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.57 million.
Directed by Ridley Scott, it stars Josh Hartnett.
"It's wonderful news on Black Hawk Down," Sony's Blake said. "We actually were up 11 percent. [We'll add] a few runs Jan. 11 in New York and L.A. and go wide with as many as 3,000 [theaters] on Jan. 18. We're at capacity where we are and feeling great. And certainly to be up this weekend, we're heading in a great direction."
Paramount's R rated romantic thriller Vanilla Sky tumbled two slots to seventh place in its fourth week with a dull ESTIMATED $7.4 million (-36%) at 2,842 theaters (+98 theaters; $2,604 per theater). Its cume is approximately $81.4 million.
Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, it stars Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Kurt Russell, Jason Lee, Noah Taylor and Cameron Diaz.
"It's [going to be] over $90 million certainly," Paramount's Wayne Lewellen said Sunday morning. "I don't know if it gets to $100 million or not, but it's a possibility. You never know. Frankly, this weekend I expected to take a bigger hit because of A Beautiful Mind's expansion. It's certainly the same audience." What may have worked in favor of Sky is that two other adult appeal films, The Majestic and Joe Somebody, did not turn out to be strong competition.
Miramax's PG-13 rated romantic comedy Kate & Leopold slipped one spot to eighth place in its second week with an unengaging ESTIMATED $6.7 million (-31%) at 2,467 theaters (+15 theaters; $2,715 per theater). Its cume is approximately $31.1 million.
Directed by James Mangold, it stars Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman.
Warner Bros.' mega-blockbuster Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone fell three rungs to ninth place in its eighth week with a less magical ESTIMATED $6.1 million (-44%) at 2,681 theaters (-505 theaters; $2,275 per theater). Its cume is approximately $300.6 million, heading for $330 million or more in domestic theaters.
Directed by Chris Columbus, Harry stars Daniel Radcliffe in its title role.
"That's Warner Bros.' first $300 million movie," Warner Bros. Distribution's Dan Fellman said Sunday morning.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' G rated computer animated feature Monsters, Inc. , down one notch in its tenth week with an okay ESTIMATED $4.0 million (-34%) at 1,425 theaters (-276 theaters; $2,824 per theater). Its cume is approximately $244.8 million, heading for $260-270 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Pete Docter, it was co-directed by Lee Unkrich and David Silverman and written by Andrew Stanton and Daniel Gerson.
"Somewhere in the $260 millions," Buena Vista Distribution president Chuck Viane said Sunday morning about where Monsters could wind up domestically. "We've got holidays ahead of us still and everything looks pretty good to me."
This weekend also saw Miramax's Dimension Films open its PG-13 rated sci-fi thriller Impostor to a slow ESTIMATED $3.2 million at 1,870 theaters ($1,711 per theater).
Directed by Gary Fleder, it stars Gary Sinise.
This weekend saw Buena Vista/Disney hold 960 national sneak previews Saturday night of its PG rated family comedy Snow Dogs.
Directed by Brian Levant, it stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Coburn.
"We had an exceptional turnout last night. We sold out about 85 percent of the theaters we were in," Buena Vista Distribution president Chuck Viane said Sunday morning. "It was just a really great night at the movies. We were selling out like crazy.
"The audience loved it. We got a 90 percent audience reaction, which is the excellent category [in BV's research polls conducted for it by its network of college students across the country]. Two weeks from now we open over the Martin Luther King weekend [Jan. 18-21]. We look forward to some great success on that one. I would think will be up around 2,000 theaters."
On the expansion front this weekend Miramax's R rated Oscar contender drama In the Bedroom widened in its seventh week with a still encouraging ESTIMATED $1.7 million at 207 theaters (+104 theaters; $8,200 per theater. Its cume is approximately $4.3 million.
Directed by Todd Field, it stars Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl and Marisa Tomei.
USA Films' R rated whodunit Gosford Park expanded in its second week with a tremendous ESTIMATED $1.53 million at 131 theaters (+122 theaters; $11,687 per theater]. Its cume is approximately $2.2 million.
Directed by Robert Altman and starring an extensive ensemble cast, it was written by Julian Fellowes and produced by Altman, Bob Balaban and David Levy.
"It worked splendidly everywhere," USA Films distribution president Jack Foley said Sunday morning. "The new markets [were great]. The suburbs rocked. The regular runs that we had last week continued to hold beautifully. Some of them were up over last week and some of them were [only] down one percent from last week. It's just doing wonderfully with the [potential] of important recognition at the Golden Globes and with Academy nominations, if that happens, God knows where this will go!"
Audiences are liking the film very much, Foley explained: "We did some more [exit polls] yesterday out in the suburbs and in some of the new markets. They were very strong. It's consistent with people over 35 and males and females liking it a lot with very high scores. But the fact is that aside from those statistics, the way the film has continued to do business--to see the jumps from Friday to Saturday--[indicates there is] really good word of mouth on the film, which should carry it for a while [and that] is the best news."
Foley said USA will expand Gosford Park's U.S. release to a total of about 500 theaters this Friday [Jan. 11]. "We'll see how that goes and if it's as good as this weekend I would plan to do something [in the way of additional expansion] as early as Jan. 18 for the Golden Globe weekend, which is also the Martin Luther King holiday [on Monday, Jan. 21] or no later than the following weekend, particularly depending on how well we do with the Golden Globes. It's very exciting."
Miramax's R rated drama The Shipping News went wider in its second week with an uneventful ESTIMATED $1.2 million at 213 theaters (+27 theaters; $5,600 per theater). Its cume is approximately $4.3 million.
Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, it stars Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.
Universal's R rated drama Mulholland Drive expanded in its 13th week with an unlucky ESTIMATED $0.15 million at 77 theaters (+34 theaters; $2,005 per theater). Its cume is approximately $5.8 million.
Written and directed by David Lynch, it stars Justin Theroux and Naomi Watts.
Lions Gate Films' R rated drama Monster's Ball added a theater in its second week of platform release with a hopeful ESTIMATED $0.14 million (+27%) at 8 theaters (+1 theater; $17,500 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.4 million.
Directed by Marc Foster, it stars Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Heath Ledger and Peter Boyle.
"We open San Francisco Jan. 25, Chicago on Feb. 1 and then go nationwide Feb. 8, the weekend before the Oscar nominations," Lions Gate president Tom Ortenberg said Sunday morning.
Universal's international division reported that its total gross for the year 2001 was $1.06 billion, putting the studio in second place to Warner Bros. with an international total of $1.2 billion. Buena Vista International ranks third with $1.04 billion for the year.
Universal noted that only those three studios reached the $1 billion mark in 2001. Universal was the first to do so, crossing $1 billion in November, benefiting from five films that grossed over $100 million. Included were The Mummy Returns with $228 million, Bridget Jones's Diary with $208.5 million, Jurassic Park III with $183 million, Hannibal with $135 million [excluding about $50 million more from Japan and Eastern Europe, where Universal did not have rights to the film] and American Pie 2 with $125 million.
Pie 2 continued to do strong business in Brazil in its third weekend with a Friday through Saturday gross of approximately $0.3 million on 160 screens. It ranked second to the opening of Lord of the Rings. Pie 2's cume in Brazil is now $2.1 million, an increase of 62 percent over the total there for the first American Pie.
In Australia, Pie 2 grossed $0.29 million with 160 playdates this weekend, ranking seventh in its fifth week. Its 32 day cume Down Under is $6.5 million.
In Spain, Pie 2 in its fifth week grossed $0.2 million on 255 screens for Friday and Saturday. It ranked sixth and has a 32 day cume of $7.0 million, an increase of 19 percent over than original film's gross there.
Universal said it still has five 5 countries in which to open Pie 2, including Argentina Jan. 10 and Mexico Jan. 11.
Key films--those grossing more than $500,000--took in approximately $124.56 million, up about 7.31 per cent from the comparable weekend last year when key films grossed $116.07 million.
This weekend's key film gross was down about 23.75 percent from $163.34 million for the previous weekend.
Last year, Fox's third week of Cast Away was first with $22.22 million at 2,948 theaters ($7,538 per theater); and Paramount's fourth week of What Women Want was second with $15.56 million at 3,052 theaters ($5,097 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $37.8 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $40.0 million.