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On a recent episode of Person of Interest, we saw a terrorist, whose plan was thwarted by Harold Finch, promise that he would get vengeance on the ingenious gero. Finch might as well have told him to "join the club," since an ever growing number of bad people want to end his life. As such, we wonder if the show is piling on too many of them to the point of it becoming way too convoluted.
The most recent episode was actually a flashback that showed how the bespectacled billionaire operated before he recruited John Reese. It was a fascinating hour that actually had ties to many of the current people on the show, and didn't add a new bad guy to the list of people that would like to see the two vigilantes dead. In this way, it was a rarity among Person of Interest episodes of late.
Who are all the nefarious scoundrels who want Finch and Reese out of the picture? Well, there are the privacy zealots, Vigilance, members of the shadow government, and another reclusive rich man that seeks to destroy Finch and gain control of the Machine. While Jonathan Nolan has done a fantastic job of writing a fascinating world for his characters, it's not unfounded to wonder if too many balls may have been tossed in the air. A couple may break if they land too soon.
Instead of weaving in new bad guys on top of new bad guys, Person of Interest needs to pay more focus to the ones already in play. Most fascinating among them: Root. Let's not forget, out of this whole rogues gallery, Root is the biggest wildcard of them all. Sure, she's been a huge asset to the team of late, rescuing them a couple of times with her dual-pistol-wielding entrances, but it's also very clear she has her own agenda. Her first interaction with them involved kidnapping Finch and subjecting him to watching her kill at least one person. She could very well switch back to being on the side of the devils.
If Person of Interest can set aside its fixation on building up Finch's enemies list, it might be able to give better and more thorough stories to its existing baddies.
Fans of Penn Badgley were already well aware of his musical inclinations, but fans of the iconic singer Jeff Buckley were less enthused when they heard the news that the Gossip Girl star (otherwise known as Dan Humphrey) would be playing their man in one of the 922 three movies about the tragic singer. Fans of Buckley are still hyper-protective of him and his image, even 15 years after his unfortunate death-by-drowning.
RELATED:'Gossip Girl' Actor to Play Jeff Buckley in New Film
So naturally, there was a lot of skepticism and criticism bandied about regarding whether or not Badgley had the chops to take on the musical hero in Greetings from Tim Buckley. Well, Badgley attempted to put those fears and skeptic thoughts somewhat to rest with a performance this weekend in Brooklyn, New York. Badgley strode up to the stage at the Cameo Gallery in the Williamsburg neighborhood (naturally) to take on a classic song Buckley was known for covering, "Lilac Wine."
According to the audience member who snapped up the video of our very own Lonely Boy strumming away was surprised by how well he performed the tune. He explainined on his blog that he "was in awe with this guy’s vocal[s]. It was something very unexpected," which is certainly a great thing to hear when you consider Badgley's upcoming role (the film is currently in post-production, having already shot last fall).
RELATED: Reeve Carney to Play Jeff Buckley in New Biopic
As fans of Buckley ourselves, we have to give credit where its due here: Badgley does have a very similar vocal style to Buckley, and we're pleased (and relieved!) to see him taking the role so seriously.
Do you think Badgley has what it takes to emulate the rocker on screen? Check out the video below (we've also included the Buckley cover from his seminal album, Grace), and let us know what you think in the comments!
RELATED: Patricia Arquette Cast As Jeff Buckley's Mom in Biopic
[Photo Credit: WENN]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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J.Lo and J.Fo are back in the game!
The new comedy Monster-in-Law, in which Jennifer Lopez squares off against villainous future mother-in-law Jane Fonda, debuted at No.1 at the weekend box office with a monstrous $24 million. Will Ferrell's newest laugh-fest Kicking & Screaming, in which he battles his competitive father played by Robert Duvall, opened in second place with a sporty $20.9, while Jet Li's actioner Unleashed premiered at No. 3 with butt-kicking $10.5 million.
Overall box office numbers were still down from last year, making it the 12th consecutive weekend to be in this slump. But insiders are pretty confident that will changed when Star Wars third installment, Revenge of the Sith, opens on May 19.
"I'm encouraged by these numbers," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations told The Associated Press. "This shows there is an audience out there. As we head into the week of Star Wars, this is definitely a positive-looking marketplace."
None of the major studios are planning any wide releases to go up against Episode III, figuring that any new movie will be crushed by the sixth and final episode of George Lucas' influential sci-fi saga. "Because it's the final installment, it's going to go beyond the typical sci-fi audience. It's a cultural phenomenon. Virtually everyone has a vested interest in this movie," Dergarabedian said.
This weekend, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $95.4 million, up 21.65 percent from last weekend's $78.4 million take but down 6.70 percent from this time last year's draw of $102.3 million.
The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Warner Bros. R-rated Troy, which debuted at No. 1 with $46.8 million in 3,411 theaters, averaging $13,739 per theater; Universal Pictures' PG-13 rated Van Helsing, which dropped to second place in its second week with $20.7 million in 3,580 theaters, averaging $5,790 per theater; and Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated Mean Girls, which dropped to third place in its third week with $10.1 million in 3,015 theaters, averaging $3,377 per theater.
(This week's box office Top 10 below...)
BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES:
(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)
No. 1: Monster-in-Law (New Line Cinema, PG-13)
Gross: $24 million
Weeks opened: NEW!
Per-theater average: $7,017
No. 2: Kicking & Screaming (Universal Pictures, PG)
Gross: $20.9 million
Weeks opened: NEW!
Per-theater average: $6,049
No. 3: Unleashed (Focus Features, R)
Gross: $10.5 million
Weeks opened: NEW!
Per-theater average: $5,415
No. 4: Kingdom of Heaven (20th Century Fox, R)
Gross: $9.6 million (-51%)
Weeks opened: 2
Theaters: 3,219 (+3)
Per-theater average: $2,990
Cume to date: $35 million
No. 5: Crash (Lions Gate, R)
Gross: $7.2 million (-21%)
Weeks opened: 2
Theaters: 1,876 (+12)
Per-theater average: $3,838
Cume to date: $19.7 million
No. 6: House of Wax (Warner Bros., R)
Gross: $6.2 million (-48%)
Weeks opened: 2
Theaters: 3,111 (unchanged)
Per-theater average: $2,014
Cume to date: $21.6 million
No. 7: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Buena Vista, PG)
Gross: $4.7 million (-51%)
Weeks opened: 3
Theaters: 2,770 (-363)
Per-theater average: $1,729
Cume to date: $43.2 million
No. 8: The Interpreter (Universal, PG-13)
Gross: $4.4 million (-44%)
Weeks opened: 4
Theaters: 2,602 (-213)
Per-theater average: $1,691
Cume to date: $61 million
No. 9: XXX: State of the Union (Sony Pictures, PG-13)
Gross: $2.2 million (-60%)
Weeks opened: 3
Theaters: 2,387 (-1,093)
Per-theater average: $922
Cume to date: $24.4 million
No. 10: Mindhunters (Dimension, R)
Gross: $2 million
Weeks opened: NEW!
Per-theater average: $1,926
Layer Cake (Sony Pictures Classics, R)
Weeks opened: NEW!
Per-theater average: $7,900
Mad Hot Ballroom (Paramount Classics)
Gross: $22,500 million
Weeks opened: NEW!
Per-theater average: $11,250
Macaulay Culkin pleads not guilty to drug charges
Former child star Macaulay Culkin pleaded not guilty to charges of illegally possessing marijuana and prescription medicine at an Oklahoma City court Wednesday, The Associated Press reports. With his attorney present, the Home Alone star made a brief court appearance to enter pleas on two misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance. The actor remains free on $4,000 bond posted at the time of his arrest. Culkin, 24, was arrested Sept. 17 while driving through Oklahoma City en route to California from New York. Oklahoma police stopped the vehicle for speeding and improper lane changing, but found 17.3 grams of marijuana and prescription drugs during a search. Police charge Culkin obtained the anti-anxiety medication Xanax without a prescription. Although Culkin could face up to one year in prison if convicted, officials said the actor was not likely to face any prison time. The AP reports Oklahoma prosecutors are seeking drug treatment as part of a plea agreement that will not include prison time. Oklahoma prosecutors are seeking a plea agreement that would include drug treatment rather than prison time. An appearance in the case has been set for Dec. 2.
Nicky Hilton seeks marriage annulment
Socialite Nicky Hilton, meanwhile, is seeking to annul her 2-month-old marriage to money manager Todd Meister, Reuters reports. Hilton, the 21-year-old heiress to the Hilton hotel fortune with elder sister Paris, and Meister, 33, wed at a Las Vegas wedding ceremony on Aug. 15. But Us Weekly magazine reported Wednesday that Hilton was seen at a political fund-raiser and a nightclub earlier this month without her wedding band and that the couple actually split several weeks ago. "They're working on an annulment," Us quoted an unnamed source as saying. "Nicky and Todd remain the best of friends, but she is 21, and it's just not the right time in her life for her to be married. He lives in New York; she's in L.A."
Fox's Bill O'Reilly in lawsuit mess
Conservative Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday against one of his associate producers and her lawyer, alleging they threatened him with a high profile sexual harassment case unless he and the network shelled out $60 million in "hush money." O'Reilly said his reputation was damaged and he suffered "great mental strain, anguish and severe emotional distress." He is seeking unspecified damages. But Benedict Morelli, the lawyer named as a defendant in O'Reilly's case, turned around and filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News and O'Reilly on behalf of the associate producer Andrea Mackris. Her complaint states O'Reilly's behavior included talk of vibrators and phone sex, references to a ménage-a-trois and stories of his sexual experiences.
Eric Clapton's driver's license revoked
Police in France suspended Eric Clapton's driver's license Thursday after they clocked the rock star speeding down a highway at 134 mph--53 mph above the speed limit, the AP reports. French officials said police stopped Clapton's Porsche 911 Turbo near the town of Dijon, about 190 miles east of Paris and confiscated the singer's British driver's license, automatically suspending his right to drive in France. But Clapton, 59, reportedly took the news well and even agreed to a photo session with gendarmes. The 16-time Grammy Award winner paid a $922 fine and then rolled away in the Porsche's passenger seat--with his secretary behind the wheel. Police said Clapton can still drive in Britain but will have to recover his license through a court hearing.
Judge refuses to lower bail for Zeta-Jones' stalker
A judge Wednesday refused to reduce the $1 million bail for a woman accused of stalking actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. Superior Court Judge David Mintz cited Dawnette Knight's "threatening conduct" and the severity of her charges for declining a defense request to lower her bail or release her, the AP reports. Knight, 33, is charged with one count of stalking and 24 counts of making criminal threats for sending threatening and violent letters to Zeta-Jones' husband, actor Michael Douglas. She was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills, Calif., home. A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Mintz also scheduled a pretrial hearing Oct. 27 and set a Nov. 15 trial date in the case.
Jim Carrey becomes a U.S. citizen
Canadian-born comedian Jim Carrey has become a U.S. citizen, Reuters reports. Carrey, 42, said in statement his decision to pursue dual citizenship was based on his love for the country that helped him achieve his dream. "This country has helped define me and make my dreams come true," the Bruce Almighty star said. But the actor professed his pride at being born a Canadian. "I have no intention of giving up my Canadian heritage, and all those who loved and supported me," said Carrey. "My upbringing in Canada made me the person I am. I will always be proud to be a Canadian." Carrey, who got his start on the early 1990s television series In Living Color, became an official U.S. citizen on Oct. 7.
Julia Roberts was worth her weight in box office gold this weekend as Universal's opening of "Erin Brockovich" topped the chart with more than $28 million. The R-rated dramatic comedy, co-financed by Universal and Columbia (which is releasing it internationally), kicked off to a perky estimated $28.21 million at 2,847 theaters ($9,910 per theater).
Its per-theater average was the highest for any film playing in wide release this weekend.
"Steven Soderbergh and our filmmaking partners Jersey Films made a terrifically entertaining film that both critics and audiences have embraced," Universal Distribution President Nikki Rocco said Sunday morning.
"The combination of Julia Roberts, the No. 1 female star working in movies today, with this amazing story about a plain-speaking, working-class woman who takes on the big guys is absolutely irresistible.
"It's Julia's second-biggest film (opening) of all time after 'Runaway Bride,' which was a summer opening ($35.1 million via Paramount). It is March's second-biggest opening ever, behind 'Liar Liar' with Jim Carrey ($31.4 million via Universal). It's the second-biggest opening for the year, behind 'Scream 3' ($34.7 million via Dimension Films)."
Asked about the effect of last weekend's well-attended and well-liked sneak previews of "Erin," Rocco said, "I think the sneaks reinforced the fact that this is a very, very entertaining film. It helped the word of mouth. People buy into the fact that it's so entertaining. There's nothing better to sell a film than the film itself."
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, "Erin" stars Julia Roberts, Albert Finney and Aaron Eckart.
Buena Vista/Touchstone's "Mission to Mars" was drifting in a lower orbit in its second week, tumbling one light-year to second place with an arid estimated $10.74 million (-53%) at 3,060 theaters (+6 theaters, $3,510 per theater). Its total is approximately $40 million.
New Line's R-rated suspense thriller "Final Destination" opened with a third-place destination and an OK estimated $10.20 million at 2,587 theaters ($3,943 per theater).
Directed by James Wong, it stars Devon Sawa, Ali Larter and Kerr Smith.
"We're thrilled with this number," New Line distribution head David Tuckerman said Sunday morning. "Research (based on tracking scores) had us at $4 million. The original 'Scream' only opened to $6 million. This is a really solid picture. I don't think it's going to be 'Scream,' but it's solid."
Warner Bros. PG-rated family drama "My Dog Skip" from Alcon Entertainment slipped one post to fourth place in its 10th week, still holding impressively with a frisky estimated $5.53 million (-8%) at 2,331 theaters (theater count unchanged, $2,372 per theater). Its total is approximately $21.8 million.
Directed by Jay Russell, "Skip" stars Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson and Kevin Bacon.
"This movie's going to definitely break $40 million now (in domestic theaters)," Warner Bros. Distribution President Dan Fellman said Sunday morning.
Artisan Entertainment's R-rated thriller "The Ninth Gate" plunged three slots to fifth place in its second week with a soft estimated $3.50 million (-47%) at 1,657 theaters (+71 theaters, $2,112 per theater). Its total is approximately $12.5 million.
Sixth place went to Warner Bros.' "The Whole Nine Yards," the R-rated hit man comedy from Morgan Creek and Franchise Pictures, down two rungs in its fifth weekend with an OK estimated $3.20 million (-42%) at 2,503 theaters (-169 theatres, $1,278 per theater). Its gross to date is approximately $51 million.
Directed by Jonathan Lynn, "Yards" stars Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry.
"We'll do a little over $60 million (in domestic theaters)," Warners' Fellman said Sunday morning.
DreamWorks' R-rated drama "American Beauty," the front-running Best Picture Oscar contender, fell two slots to seventh place in its 27th week with a still solid estimated $2.90 million (-21%) at 1,661 theaters (+139 theaters, $1,746 per theater). Its total gross is approximately $102.7 million.
Directed by Sam Mendes, it stars Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.
Miramax's PG-13-rated Best Picture Oscar contender "The Cider House Rules" fell two notches to eighth in its 15th week with an OK estimated $2.40 million (-31%) at 1,738 theaters (+34 theaters, $1,380 per theater). Its total gross is approximately $45.7 million.
Directed by Lasse Hallström, it stars Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo, Paul Rudd and Oscar nominee Michael Caine.
"By today, we've more than doubled our gross since the nominations, so that in and of itself is a victory," David Kaminow, Miramax senior vice president of marketing, said Sunday morning.
Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies' PG-rated comedy "Snow Day" held on to ninth place in its sixth week with a still solid estimated $2.20 million (-31%) at 2,387 theaters (-285 theaters, $922 per theater). Its total gross is approximately $56.4 million.
Directed by Chris Koch, it stars Chevy Chase.
Rounding out the Top 10 was Buena Vista/Disney's G-rated "The Tigger Movie, up three slots in its sixth weekend with a still bouncy estimated $1.90 million (-24%) at 1,701 theaters (-392 theaters, $1,117 per theater). Its total gross is approximately $41.7 million.
Last weekend also saw the arrival of Lions Gate Films' R-rated wrestling documentary "Beyond the Mat," placing 19th with an OK estimated $0.95 million at 298 theaters ($3,188 per theater). Its total gross, including some prior runs, is approximately $0.987 million.
Written and directed by Barry Blaustein, it goes behind the scenes of the lives of three members of the World Wrestling Federation.
"I think it's phenomenal. People have to remember that it's a documentary," Lions Gate Co-President Tom Ortenberg said Sunday morning. "It's playing very broadly. We're having some great numbers out of Middle America. We're going to be grossing $9,000 to $10,000 in Providence, Rhode Island, and Nashville, Tennessee, and San Antonio, Texas.
Will it add theaters next week?
"It's going to stay about the same," he said. "There were a number of runs among (the opening theaters) that didn't really work very well. So rather than making more prints, we'll just let those play for a couple of weeks, take them off and start bicycling them around. We'll try to do it in as timely a fashion as possible, but we're not in a huge rush."
Fox Searchlight Pictures' R-rated dark comedy "Soft Fruit" opened at one theater in New York, placing 31st with a soft estimated $0.006 million ($5,815 per theater).
Directed by Christina Adreef, it won the International Critics Prize at the 1999 San Sebastian Film Festival.
Last weekend saw no national sneak previews.
On the expansion front, last weekend saw Fox Searchlight's "Boys Don't Cry" widen in its 24th week, placing 23rd with an estimated $0.497 million at 254 theaters (+68 theaters, $1,917 per theater). Its total gross is approximately $6.8 million.
Directed by Kimberly Peirce, it stars Hilary Swank, a leading contender in the Best Actress Oscar race, and Chloë Sevigny, a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee.
USA Films' PG-rated suspense drama reissue "Rear Window" widened in its ninth week, placing 28th with a calm estimated $0.089 million (-16%) at 37 theaters (+10 theaters, $2,395 per theater). Its total gross is approximately $1.3 million.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it stars James Stewart and Grace Kelly. The 1954 film classic was restored by Robert Harris and James Katz.
Paramount Classics' R-rated drama "Deterrence" expanded in its second week, placing 29th with a dull estimated $0.021 million (-9 ) at 17 theaters (+10 theaters, $1,248 per theater). Its total gross is approximately $0.056 million.
Written and directed by Rod Lurie, it stars Kevin Pollak and Timothy Hutton.
Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 for the weekend -- took in approximately $85.27 million, up about 19.69% from the comparable weekend last year when key films grossed $71.24 million.
This weekend's key film gross was up about 4.74% from last weekend, when key films grossed $81.41 million.
Last year, DreamWorks' opening week of "Forces of Nature" was first with $13.51 million at 2,058 theaters and Warner Bros.' third week of "Analyze This" was second with $11.71 million at 2,537 theaters. The top two films one year ago grossed $25.2 million. This year, the top two films grossed an estimated $39.1 million.
STUDIO MARKET SHARES
Based on business by key films, last weekend's top six distributors were the following:
Universal was first with one film ("Erin Brockovich") grossing an estimated $28.21 million or 33.1% of the market.
Buena Vista (Disney, Touchstone) was second with four films ("Mission to Mars," "The Tigger Movie," "The Sixth Sense" and "Fantasia 2000") grossing an estimated $15.60 million or 18.3% of the market.
New Line was third with one film ("Final Destination")grossing an estimated $10.20 million or 12% of the market.
Warner Bros. was fourth with three films ("My Dog Skip," "The Green Mile" and "The Whole Nine Yards")grossing an estimated $9.28 million or 10.9% of the market.
Paramount was fifth with three films ("The Next Best Thing," "Snow Day" and "Wonder Boys") grossing an estimated $5.05 million or 5.9% of the market.
Miramax (Miramax, Dimension) was sixth with three films ("Reindeer Games," "Scream 3" and "The Cider House Rules") grossing an estimated $4.60 million or 5.4% of the market.
(11) "Drowning Mona"/Destination Theaters: 1,704 (-277) Gross: $1.78 million (-48%) Average per theater: $1,046 To date: $13.6 million
(12) "The Next Best Thing"/Paramount Theaters: 2,035 (+1) Gross: $1.70 million (-48%) Average per theater: $835 To date: $13.4 million
(13) "Fantasia 2000"/BV/Disney Theaters: 54 (0) (all IMAX) Gross: $1.60 million (domestic) (+7%) Average per theater: $29,201 To date: $33.7 million (domestic)
(14) "Pitch Black"/USA Films Theaters: 1,384 (-346) Gross: $1.55 million (-47%) Average per theater: $1,105 To date: $36.6 million
(15) "Reindeer Games"/Dimension Theaters: 1,701 (-412) Gross: $1.30 million (-54%) Average per theater: $764 To date: $21.8 million
(16) "The Sixth Sense"/BV/Touchstone Theaters: 878 (+206) Gross: $1.20 million (-19%) Average per theater: $1,318 To date: $288.3 million
(17) "Wonder Boys"/Paramount Theaters: 1,458 (-51) Gross: $1.15 million (-56%) Average per theater: $789 To date: $16.9 million
(18) "3 Strikes"/MGM Theaters: 678 (0) Gross: $1 million (-47%) Average per theater: $1,465 To date: $8.8 million
(19) "Beyond the Mat"/Lions Gate Films (see OTHER OPENINGS above)
(20) "Scream 3"/Dimension Theaters: 1,316 (-131) Gross: $0.90 million (-42%) Average per theater: $683 To date: $85.9 million
(21) "Hanging Up"/Columbia Theaters: 1,048 (-929) Gross: $0.64 million (-62%) Average per theater: $610 To date: $35.4 million
(22) "The Green Mile"/Castle Rock/Warner Bros. Theaters: 773 (-75) Gross: $0.55 million (-16%) Average per theater: $715 To date: $134.4 million
(23) "Boys Don't Cry"/Fox Searchlight (see EXPANSIONS above)
(24) "Boiler Room"/New Line Theaters: 380 (-227) Gross: $0.44 million (-55%) Average per theater: $1,165 To date: $16.1 million
(25) "The Beach"/20th Century Fox Theaters: 485 (-228) Gross: $0.31 million (-54%) Average per theater: $640 To date: $38.8 million
(26) "The Hurricane"/Universal Theaters: 336 (-70) Gross: $0.20 million (-39%) Average per theater: $595 To date: $49.8 million
(27) "Topsy-Turvy"/USA Films Theatres Theaters: 109 (-2) Gross: $0.14 million (-28%) Average per theater: $1,285 To date: $5.4 million
(28) "Rear Window"/USA Films (see EXPANSIONS above)
(29) "Deterrence"/Paramount Classics (see EXPANSIONS above)
(30) "Agnes Browne"/USA Films Theaters: 15 (+1) Gross: $0.018 million (-30%) Average per theater: $1,185 To date: $0.1 million
(31) "Soft Fruit"/Fox Searchlight (see OTHER OPENINGS above)