Top Story: Gandolfini Spreading Sopranos Wealth
Even though The Sopranos star James Gandolfini raked HBO over the coals earlier this year in a salary renegotiation, he is apparently a generous guy to his colleagues. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gandolfini handed over much of his first advance from his share of Sopranos profits to his fellow castmates, including Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperioli, who are all now in production for The Sopranos' fifth season. Sources told The Reporter Gandolfini divvied up about $500,000 of his own cash as a way of recognizing that the show's success is due to the strength of its ensemble cast. "It was always part of his plan [during the renegotiations] to share some of the wealth with the other actors," a source close to Gandolfini said. "He has always called this show an ensemble, from Day 1." Meanwhile, Sopranos creator/executive producer David Chase is currently in negotiations with HBO for a possible sixth season.
Newscaster David Brinkley Dies
David Brinkley, one of news journalism's enduring legends, died Wednesday from unspecified complications after an earlier fall, Reuters reports. He was 82. Brinkley was co-anchor of NBC television's evening news program and later hosted of the Sunday current affairs program on ABC, This Week With David Brinkley,
Chicago Gets More Screen Time
Miramax Films is planning to re-release their Oscar-winning Chicago in theaters to help boost sales for the home video release. Variety reports the Chicago run, slated to start July 18, will feature a new version of the movie that includes an additional song-and-dance number cut from the original theatrical release. The DVD version, which hits retail shelves Aug. 19, also will feature the additional scene.
Director Fuqua Ordered To Settle Lawsuit
A judge Thursday ordered attorneys for Antoine Fuqua and a woman who claims she had an affair with the Training Day director to try to settle their legal dispute before it "spirals into the abyss,'' City News Service reports. Personal trainer Tanya Evans filed a malicious prosecution suit against Fuqua, who denies ever knowing Evans, in March, claiming the director and his wife, actress Lela Rochon, made false accusations of harassment that led to Evans' arrest last May.
For Love or Drink?
Rob Campos, the bachelor star of NBC's For Love or Money, has been let go from his job as an independent contractor at a Dallas law firm due to reports that he was expelled from military service in 1999 for drunkenly groping a female officer, The Associated Press reports, as well as for his behavior during the show's second episode where Campos made drunken romantic overtures to several women during an alcohol-soaked party in a hot tub. The 33-year-old Campos is the star of the romantic fantasy game, where he must choose a potential mate from among 15 women. The woman will be asked to choose between Campos and a $1 million prize. Hmmm.
Woman Sues Rosie's Defunct Show
Lucille DeBellis of Hartsdale, N.Y. has sued the producers of the now defunct The Rosie O'Donnell Show for injuring her with a hard rubber ball, AP reports. DeBellis, who was an audience member during a taping in November 2001, claims she was hit in the mouth when a show staffer flung a ball into the audience. AP reports the court papers say her physical discomfort and embarrassment about her appearance caused her to turn down holiday parties and other social events during the 2001 Christmas season as well as adversely affecting her relationship with her boyfriend.
Linkin Park Singer Bolts From Hospital
Chester Bennington, lead singer of the metal band Linkin Park, was released from a Los Angeles hospital after suffering from severe back and abdominal pains due to a virus, Billboard magazine reports. The group, which had to cancel 12 European dates, plans to reschedule the tour soon.
A Stripped Down Adam Ant
British pop singer Adam Ant, aka Stuart Goddard, was arrested Wednesday after he went "berserk" in a café near his London home and stripped off his pants, Reuters reports. This latest fracas follows an incident last summer when Goddard threatened customers at a local pub for laughing at his cowboy attire. He was freed in October after judges ruled he was suffering from temporary mental illness.
Luhrmann's La Boheme Closes Curtain
Australian director Baz Luhrmann's opulent version of the Puccini opera La Boheme, which recently lost out to Nine at the Tony Awards for best musical revival, will fold June 29 after a disappointing seven-month run and losses of about $6 million, AP reports. "We just didn't reach the suburban, traditional musical theatergoing audience," producer Jeffrey Seller told AP Wednesday. "We reached the cognoscenti, we reached the kids, we reached the Baz fans, we reached art lovers in New York City, particularly Manhattan."
Role Call: Spader Joins The Practice, Fall Guy Goes Big Screen
Secretary star James Spader is in final negotiations to join ABC's legal drama The Practice in wake of the recent exit of six cast members including Dylan McDermott and Lara Flynn Boyle. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Spader will play Alan Shore, a complicated and ethically challenged lawyer…Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is developing a feature film around the popular '80s series The Fall Guy, which starred Lee Majors as a stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter. Oh, why not?
New Line Cinema's epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring made a noble debut at the box office this weekend, taking in $45.2 million in its opening weekend, bringing its four day domestic theatrical release total to $73.1 million. Hitting 3,359 theaters, The Fellowship of the Ring averaged $13,471 per theater.
While the PG-13-rated The Fellowship of the Ring did not surpass last month's $90.3 million take for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, it did eclipse the $60 million mark predicted by the studio.
The Fellowship of the Ring pulled in $18.2 million at the domestic box office on its first day, the biggest take ever for a single day in December, and the third biggest Wednesday opening for any film in North America. It did not, however, surpass records set by Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, which grossed $28.5 million on May 19, 1999, and Jurassic Park III, which made $19 million on July 18, 2001.
Directed by Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring stars Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Liv Tyler.
Warner Bros.' PG-13 crime remake Ocean's Eleven kept its runner-up title for the second week in a row, earning $14.5 million in 3,075 theaters ($4,745 per theater). Its cume is approximately $95.2 million.
The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, and Don Cheadle.
Armed and ready, Paramount's G-rated animated feature Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius comfortably slid into third place with an estimated $14 million in 3,139 theaters ($4,460 per theater), easily beating out Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Last week's box office topper, Paramount's Vanilla Sky, dropped to fourth place this weekend. The romantic thriller earned $12.1 million, a 52 percent drop from last week, at 2,744 theaters ($4,410 per theater). Sky has a cume of approximately $45.1 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Cameron Crowe, Vanilla Sky star Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz.
Universal's R-rated pot comedy How High smoked its way to a fifth place with an estimated $7.6 million at 1,266 theaters (an impressive $6,003 per theater).
It's directed by Jesse Dylan and stars rappers Method Man and Redman.
Slowly losing steam, Warner Bros.' Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone dropped two spots to finish sixth, making $6.7 million-a 38 percent drop from last week, at 3,311 theaters (-111 theaters; $1,863 per theater). Its cume is approximately $236.1 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Chris Columbus, it stars Daniel Radcliffe in its title role.
Sony's R-rated youth flick Not Another Teen Movie fell four notches to place seventh with an estimated $5.5 million (-56%) at 2,365 theaters ($2,326 per theater). Its cume is approximately $21.6 million.
Directed by Joel Gallen, the film stars Jaime Pressly, Mia Kirshner, Chyler Leigh, Chris Evans and Cody McMains.
Warner Bros.' The Majestic made a weak debut in eighth place with a dull estimated $5 million at 2,361 theaters, with an average of $2,128 per theater.
The PG-rated drama directed by Frank Darabont stars a subdued Jim Carrey.
Fox's Joe Somebody eked by in ninth spot. The PG-rated comedy opened with an estimated $3.6 million at 2,503 theaters ($1,458per theater).
Directed by John Pasquin, the film stars Tim Allen, Julie Brown, Hayden Panettiere and Greg Germann.
Rounding out the top ten was Buena Vista's Monsters, Inc., down four rungs in its eighth week with an estimated $3.5 million at 2,097 theaters (-585 with an average of $2,530 per theater). Its cume is approximately $224.1 million.