I don't know what it is, but somehow, whenever you plop yourself down on the couch, in a mood fouler than milk left out on the counter for a month, and are looking for something to watch, there is always a Nora Ephron movie on TBS (or TNT or HBO or even some of those channels with more than three letters). And no matter what the mood is, that is always the exact movie you want to watch at that moment.
In honor of Nora Ephron, who passed away yesterday from cancer, and those moments when we all need to fall into the bosom of a great movie for warmth and comfort, here is what Nora Ephron movie you should tune into in your time of need.
When You Break Up With Your Partner: Heartburn
There is something to be said for that strange sort of heartbreak that comes after ending a long romance, even one where you pulled the plug on yourself. Nora knows, honey, and let her sooth you with this comedic drama where Meryl Streep plays a woman whose husband (Jack Nicholson) won't stop cheating on her, and she has to leave him. Even if you just got kicked to the curb, watching some other people suffer is a sure way to dry your eyes.
When There's Nothing to Eat in the House: Julie and Julia
You know when you're lounging in your sweats and dying for a snack but you're on a diet and don't want to have to put on jeans just so you can go to the store and get some Oreos? Well, let Julia child whisk you into a calorie-free heaven of delicious delicacies. Warning: this may cause overconfidence in your ability to cook complicated French dishes.
When You've Lost Your Job: You've Got Mail
There's nothing harder than trying to move on when you're collecting unemployment and finding the next thing while still mourning a place where you worked so hard for so long. Meg Ryan knows your pain as she has to struggle with her bookstore being put out of business by a big bad tycoon. In the end, she gets to marry the tycoon (and it's Tom Hanks, no less), so even if this isn't going to help you rewrite your resume, it might inspire you to find a rich boyfriend.
When You're Folding the Laundry: Bewitched
You don't really want to give this Nicole Kidman confection your undivided attention, do you?
It's Christmas: Mixed Nuts
Why load up on holiday cable movie insanity like Holiday in Handcuffs when you can hang out with some real crazies who work at a suicide hotline on Christmas Eve? And you can't ask for more of a gift than this cast, including Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, Garry Shandling, Madeline Khan, Rob Reiner, Parker Posey, and Jon Stewart.
When You Feel Like You're Going to Be Alone Forever: Sleepless in Seattle
Every single person out there (or even the ones in unhappy relationships) sometimes feels like it's time to give up on finding the one person who will make you happy and just get a house full of cats and prepare to care for them in your old age. But no! There is hope! You can hear about a man you love on the radio and track him down and with the help of his son (and some relaxed stalker laws) he can be yours too! Yes, yes he can! A million exclamation points that look like the Empire State Building!
When You Miss Your Best Friend: When Harry Met Sally
Everyone thinks this Meg Ryan/Billy Crystal classic is about faking orgasms in a deli and falling in love. And it is. But even more importantly it's about the bonds that you can forge with your closest nearest and dearest friend. Sure, sometimes those bonds go all the way into doing it, but sometimes they don't. Either way, this will fill that little hole in your heart that your BFF (which stands for Best Freaking Friend) leaves when absent.
When You Need a Little Rick Moranis: My Blue Heaven
Seriously, where has this guy been?
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Nora Ephron, Writer and Director, Dies of Cancer
Nora Ephron Dies: Famous Friends and Fans React
Notes on Nora Ephron
The Emmy Award-winning star passed away on Wednesday (15Jun11) at the Motion Picture and Television Fund home in Woodland Hills, California, where he lived.
Banner began his career in children's TV before taking directorial duties on pioneering talk show Garroway at Large, which ran from 1949 to 1951.
The star won an Emmy Award in 1958 as director of The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, and went on to oversee The Garry Moore Show, before working on The Carol Burnett Show in the 1970s.
Banner also used his talent to work on several charity shows, including 1964's Freedom Spectacular, featuring Bill Cosby and Sammy Davis Jr. and a 1988 AIDS benefit concert hosted by Dionne Warwick. He worked on 1980s talent show Star Search and his last project was the 1990s series Real Kids, Real Adventures.
John Shaffner, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, has paid tribute to Banner in a statement: "Bob was a true television legend. Over a long and elegant career he produced much memorable programming. He mentored so many of us, educating and encouraging young people to enter the television profession, including myself so many years ago. The television community has lost one its founders, and it is a deep personal loss for many of us. We will remember him with fondness and gratitude."
Banner is survived by his wife, Alice, three sons and two grandchildren.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced nominations for the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards today from the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, Calif.
As expected, the unusual suspects received the most nominations. HBO's mob drama The Sopranos led the pack with 20 nods, including a nomination for best drama. HBO's now-defunct series Sex and the City, meanwhile, was the most-nominated sitcom, with nods in 11 categories, including best comedy series.
The late John Ritter, who died Sept. 11, 2003, received a nomination for best comedy actor for 8 Simple Rules.
New shows and exclusions, however, added some excitement to an otherwise predictable slate of nominees. Most notably, NBC heavy hitters Friends and Frasier failed to receive nods for best comedy series, despite it being each show's final season. Fox's Arrested Development, however, beat out the two powerhouse sitcoms to grab a best comedy nomination.
The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Garry Shandling, will be broadcast live on ABC from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sept. 19. For a complete list of nominees, please visit Emmys.com. Nominees in the top categories follow:
Outstanding Drama Series
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Joan of Arcadia
The West Wing
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
James Spader as Alan Shore, The Practice
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, 24
Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing
Anthony LaPaglia as Jack Malone, Without a Trace
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow, Alias
Amber Tamblyn as Joan Girardi, Joan of Arcadia
Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano, The Sopranos
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg, The West Wing
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Victor Garber as Agent Jack Bristow, Alias
Brad Dourif as Doc Cochran, Deadwood
Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, The Sopranos
Steve Buscemi as Tony Blundett, The Sopranos
John Spencer as Leo McGarry, The West Wing
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Robin Weigert as Calamity Jane, Deadwood
Tyne Daly as Maxine Gray, Judging Amy
Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva, The Sopranos
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss, The West Wing
Stockard Channing as Dr. Abigail Bartlet, The West Wing
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Everybody Loves Raymond
Sex and the City
Will & Grace
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Larry David as Himself, Curb Your Enthusiasm
John Ritter as Paul Hennessy, 8 Simple Rules
Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane, Frasier
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Friends
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, Monk
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Patricia Heaton as Debra Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Friends
Bonnie Hunt as Bonnie Malloy, Life with Bonnie
Jane Kaczmarek as Lois, Malcolm in the Middle
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth, Sr., Arrested Development
Brad Garrett as Robert Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Peter Boyle as Frank Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane, Frasier
Sean Hayes as Jack, Will & Grace
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Doris Roberts as Marie Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones, Sex and the City
Kristin Davis as Charlotte York, Sex and the City
Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes, Sex and the City
Megan Mullally as Karen, Will & Grace
Despite all the hype, Madonna came in second best at the weekend box office.
Studio tracking studies predicting a first-place opening for Paramount's "The Next Best Thing," the romantic comedy/drama teaming the Material Girl with Rupert Everett, were wrong. Instead, top honors went for the third consecutive weekend to Warner Bros.' "The Whole Nine Yards."
Bruce Willis "Yards," the R-rated hit comedy from Warners, Morgan Creek and Franchise Pictures, held strongly in its third weekend with an estimated $7.31 million (-24%) at 2,793 theaters (-117 theaters, $2,617 per theater). Its total is approximately $38.5 million.
Directed by Jonathan Lynn, "Yards" stars Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry.
"Unbelievable," Warner Bros. distribution executive Jeff Goldstein said Sunday morning, delighted with how well "Yards" was holding. "We're heading into the $60 millions with the movie.
"Thing," the PG-13-rated film produced by Lakeshore Entertainment and released by Paramount, had to settle for second place with a disappointing estimated $6 million at 2,007 theaters ($2,990 per theater).
Rupert Everett & Madonna Its per-theater average was the highest for any film playing in wide release (more than 1,000 theaters) during the weekend, although it was only a few dollars more than the estimated average for "Drowning Mona."
John Schlesinger ("Midnight Cowboy") directed "The Next Best Thing."
Where "Thing" actually will wind up when the final grosses are announced Monday, however, is anyone's guess. Some distribution sources were speculating Sunday morning that it would come in lower.
"By the end of this weekend, 'My Dog Skip' or 'Drowning Mona' may outgross it," said one insider. "They ('Thing') only went up 18% Friday to Saturday. That's the way these pop star movies play. They get a much hotter crush on Friday in relation to anything else. On Sunday, it's not going to play as well as 'Skip' or 'Mona.'"
Another studio distribution executive, who observed, "They only had an 18% increase between Friday and Saturday," made the same point. "I think, clearly, the public isn't rushing out to see the movie."
Warner Bros. PG-rated family drama "My Dog Skip," from Alcon Entertainment, went wide last weekend, barking loudly in third place with an encouraging estimated $5.94 million at 2,331 theaters (+2,310 theaters, $2,548 per theater). Its total, including its first seven weeks in limited release, is approximately $6.7 million.
As is typically the case with family films, "Skip" did not look strong in studio tracking studies, which don't tend to reflect what youngsters are going to see.
Directed by Jay Russell, "Skip" stars "Malcolm in the Middle's" Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson and Kevin Bacon.
"Talk about a real success story," Warner Bros. distribution executive
Jeff Goldstein said Sunday morning. "This is a movie we've really worked hard on and, it looks like we'll have a big payoff for it. It was a fairly inexpensive film to make -- I think they spent under $7 million. So it's a real success story, no question about it."
Destination Films' PG-13-rated comedy "Drowning Mona" was swimming strongly in fourth place, opening to a happy estimated $5.91 million at 1,981 theaters ($2,982 per theater).
Directed by Nick Gomez, "Mona" stars Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Neve Campbell and Jamie Lee Curtis.
"We're proving we can compete," Destination President Barry London said Sunday morning, very pleased with "Mona's" performance. Destination went into business last fall with the horror genre pick-up "Bats." Earlier this year, it opened its psychological thriller pick-up "Eye of the Beholder," starring Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd, in first place.
Destination became involved in "Mona" at the script stage, working closely on the film with Neverland Films and Jersey Shore.
Asked who the film's audience was, London replied, "It was pretty even -- male, female, older and younger, which is a surprise to me. I thought it would play slightly older. Neve Campbell probably had something to do with it [bringing in a younger audience]."
USA Films' R-rated sci-fi thriller "Pitch Black" continued flying in its fifth-place orbit in its third week, holding decently with an estimated $5.02 million (-29%) at 1,903 theaters (-27 theaters, $2,637 per theater). Its total is approximately $29.7 million.
Directed by David Twohy, it stars Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser and Keith David.
The weekend's other high-profile wide opening, Columbia's R-rated comedy "What Planet Are You From?" failed to land in the Top 10. It placed 14th with a weak estimated $3 million (see OTHER OPENINGS below).
Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies' PG-rated comedy "Snow Day" started to melt in its fourth week, falling four slots to sixth place with an estimated $5 million (-40%) at 2,717 theaters (+8 theaters, $1,840 per theater). Its total is approximately $49.2 million.
Coming in very close to "Pitch Black's" $5.02 million estimate, "Snow" has the potential to finish fifth when the box office dust settles Monday.
Dimension Films' R-rated thriller "Reindeer Games" tumbled four slots to seventh place in its second week with an unhappy estimated $4.80 million (-41%) at 2,204 theaters (theater count unchanged, $2,177 per theater). Its total is approximately $15.1 million.
Paramount's R-rated comedy-drama "Wonder Boys" added theaters in its second week but still fell one slot to eighth place with a dull estimated $4.15 million (-29%) at 1,504 theaters (+251 theaters, $2,759 per theater). Its total is approximately $11.5 million.
There was a close race for ninth place between the two leading Oscar nominees for Best Picture. Odds makers in Las Vegas and Mexico last week were calling Miramax's "The Cider House Rules" and DreamWorks' "American Beauty" both even-money bets.
DreamWorks' R-rated drama "American Beauty," a major Oscar contender with eight nominations, including Best Picture, held on to ninth place in its 25th week with a still-solid estimated $4.10 million (-11%) at 1,339 theaters (+16 theaters, $3,062 per theater). Its total is approximately $93.1 million.
"Beauty" was honored with five major awards by the Association of London Film Critics on Thursday. Its wins included best film, actor, actress, director and screenplay. The same evening, the film received a record 14 BAFTA nominations (from the British Academy of Film & Television Arts).
Miramax's PG-13-rated drama "The Cider House Rules," also a leading Oscar contender with seven nominations, including Best Picture, came in 10th in its 12th week, holding strongly with an estimated $4.05 million (even) at 1,496 theaters (+150 theaters, $2,707 per theater). Its total is approximately $37.2 million.
"It's amazing," Miramax Senior Vice President, Marketing, David Kaminow said Sunday morning. "By the time the (Oscars are announced) on Mar. 26, we'll have more than doubled our box office from between nominations and the actual Oscars. I think it's fantastic."
Last weekend also saw MGM's opening of the urban appeal R-rated comedy "3 Strikes" from Absolute Entertainment and Motion Picture Corp. of America, in a tie for 12th place (with Buena Vista/Disney's "The Tigger Movie") with an OK estimated $3.60 million at 678 theaters ($5,310 per theater). Its total after five days is approximately $4.5 million.
Written and directed by D.J. Pooh, it stars Brian Hooks.
"It's an MGM Distribution Co. release," an MGM official said Sunday morning. "It's not a negative pick-up, it's a distribution deal. Brad Krevoy's MPCA and Absolute Entertainment made it."
Unlike a negative pick-up, where studios put up money in return for distribution rights, the "3 Strikes" deal is a rent-a-system distribution arrangement. MGM reportedly is receiving 15% of the film-rental fee for its expertise in putting the film in theaters. The studio did not pay anything to get the film and did not pay for its prints and advertising costs.
Columbia's launch of its R-rated comedy "What Planet Are You From?" crashed in 14th place with an estimated $3 million at 2,248 theaters ($1,335 per theater).
Directed by Mike Nichols, it stars Garry Shandling, Annette Bening, Greg Kinnear, Ben Kingsley, Linda Fiorentino and John Goodman.
Artisan Entertainment's R-rated dark "Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai" opened in 27th place with an OK estimated $0.18 million at 15 theaters ($11,930 per theater).
Directed by Jim Jarmusch, it stars Forest Whitaker.
USA Films R-rated drama "Agnes Browne" went into limited release, placing 32nd with an unexciting estimated $0.050 million at 21 theaters ($2,387 per theater).
Directed by Anjelica Huston, it stars Huston and Marion O'Dwyer.
Last weekend saw no national sneak previews.
On the expansion front, last weekend saw Fox Searchlight go wider with its Oscar contender "Boys Don't Cry," a nominee for Best Actress (Hilary Swank) and Best Supporting Actress (Chloe Sevigny), placing 23rd in its 22nd week with a solid estimated $0.50 million at 183 theaters (+81 theaters, $2,732 per theater). Its total is approximately $5.5 million.
USA Films PG-rated suspense drama reissue "Rear Window" widened in its seventh week, placing 28th with an OK estimated $0.15 million at 24 theaters (+2 theaters, $6,025 per theatre). Its total is approximately $1 million.
Fox Searchlight Pictures' PG-13-rated dramatic comedy "The Closer You Get" widened in its second week, placing 33rd with a quiet estimated $0.040 million (-7%) at 14 theaters (+4 theaters, $2,857 per theater). Its total is approximately $0.1 million.
Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 for the weekend - took in approximately $77.92 million, up about 4.06% from the comparable weekend last year when key films grossed $74.88 million.
This weekend's key film gross was down about 6.82% from last weekend, when key films grossed $83.62 million.
Last year, Warner Bros.' opening week of "Analyze This" was first with $18.38 million at 2,518 theaters ($7,301 per theater), and Sony's opening week of "Cruel Intentions" was second with $13.02 million at 2,312 theaters ($5,632 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $31.4 million. This year, the top two films grossed an estimated $13.3 million.
STUDIO MARKET SHARES
Based on business by key films, last weekend's top six distributors were the following:
Paramount was first with three films ("The Next Best Thing," "Snow Day" and "Wonder Boys") grossing an estimated $15.15 million or 19.4% of the market.
Warner Bros. was second with three films ("My Dog Skip," "The Green Mile" and "The Whole Nine Yards") grossing an estimated $14.33 million or 18.4% of the market.
Miramax (Miramax, Dimension) was third with three films ("Reindeer Games," "Scream 3" and "The Cider House Rules") grossing an estimated $11.75 million or 15.1% of the market.
Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia, TriStar) was fourth with two films ("Hanging Up" and "What Planet Are You From?") grossing an estimated $6.80 million or 8.7% of the market.
Destination Films was fifth with one film ("Drowning Mona") grossing an estimated $5.91 million or 7.6% of the market.
USA Films was sixth with one film ("Pitch Black") grossing an estimated $5.02 million or 6.4% of the market.
(11) "Hanging Up"/Columbia Theaters: 2,618 (0) Gross: $3.80 million (-49%) Average per theater: $1,451 Total: $31.6 million
(12) "The Tigger Movie"/Buena Vista/Disney Theaters: 2,646 (-172) Gross: $3.60 million (-43%) (tie) Average per theater: $1,355 Total: $35.5 million
(12) "3 Strikes"/MGM (see OTHER OPENINGS above)
(14) "What Planet Are You From?"/Columbia (see OTHER OPENINGS above)
(15) "Scream 3"/Dimension Theaters: 1,826 (-1,273) Gross: $2.90 million (-42%) Average per theater: $1,588 Total: $82.2 million
(16) "Boiler Room"/New Line Theaters: 1,004 (-331) Gross: $1.80 million (-42%) Average per theater: $1,793 Total: $13.8 million
(17) "The Beach"/20th Century Fox Theaters: 1,493 (-1,031) Gross: $1.60 million (-51%) Average per theater: $1,072 Total: $37.9 million
(18) "Fantasia 2000"/BV/Disney Theaters: 54 (0) (all IMAX) Gross: $1.50 million (domestic) (-8%) Average per theater: $27,079 Total: $28.9 million (domestic)
(19) "The Sixth Sense"/BV/Touchstone Theaters: 759 (-233) Gross: $1.19 million (-23%) Average per theater: $1,570 Total: $285.5 million
(20) "The Green Mile"/Castle Rock/Warner Bros. Theaters: 1,097 (-649) Gross: $1.09 million (-44%) Average per theater: $989 Total: $133 million
(21) "Next Friday"/New Line Theaters: 547 (-491) Gross: $0.55 million (-54%) Average per theater: $1,005 Total: $55 million
(22) "The Hurricane"/Universal Theaters: 589 (-757) Gross: $0.52 million (-59%) Average per theater: $885 Total: $49 million
(23) "Boys Don't Cry"/Fox Searchlight (see EXPANSIONS above)
(24) "Stuart Little"/Columbia Theaters: 733 (-567) Gross: $0.45 million (-58%) Average per theater: $614 Total: $136.9 million
(25) "Galaxy Quest"/DreamWorks Theaters: 525 (-292) Gross: $0.38 million (-48%) Average per theater: $730 Total: $69.6 million
(26) "Topsy-Turvy"/USA Films Theatres: 137 (-66) Gross: $0.28 million (-27%) Average per theatre: $2,020 Total: $5.0 million
(27) "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai"/Artisan (see OTHER OPENINGS above)
(28) "Rear Window"/USA Films (see EXPANSIONS above)
(29) "Being John Malkovich"/USA Films Theaters: 95 (-40) Gross: $0.12 million (-26%) Average per theater: $1,245 Total: $22.2 million
(30) "Snow Falling on Cedars"/Universal Theaters: 187 (-112) Gross: $0.10 million (-34%) Average per theater: $535 Total: $14.2 million
(31) "End of Days"/Universal Theaters: 137 (-60) Gross: $0.085 million (-25%) Average per theater: $620 Total: $66.9 million
(32) "Agnes Browne"/USA Films (see OTHER OPENINGS above)
(33) "The Closer You Get"/Fox Searchlight (see EXPANSIONS above)