Blockbuster movie Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes proved to be a roaring success on its opening weekend (18-20Jul14) in the U.K., topping the box office chart with takings of $14.8 million (£8.7 million). The sequel, starring Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis, fought off competition from its nearest rival How To Train Your Dragon 2, which limped home in second place with $3 million (£1.8 million).
Last weekend's (11-13Jul14) chart-topper Transformers: Age of Extinction, slumped to third place, with ticket sales of $2.9 million (£1.7 million), but the stars of comedy troupe Monty Python were laughing all the way to the bank when the live cinema broadcast of their reunion stage show netted $2 million (£1.2 million) and landed them in fourth place.
The top five was rounded out by Andre Rieu's 2014 Maastricht Concert, with $1.4 million (£830,500).
Nikki Nelson / WENN
Actor Ben Stein has compared his alleged 'sexting' scandal to "an episode of Monty Python" after a woman accused him of pestering her for saucy snaps.
The Ferris Bueller's Day Off star admits he met Tanya Ma, 24, at an airport in California earlier this year (14) and stayed in touch with her, but he has dismissed her claims that he took the relationship too far.
Ma, who is a performance artist, told the New York Post, "He said he'd read my blog, and I gave him my contact information. We texted for about four months, then he asked me to send him pictures... After a while, he started asking for more racy photos... (Then) he wanted to place me in a hotel near where he lives... It just started to get weird."
However, the married actor is adamant Ma's allegations are not true. He compares the story to an episode of comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus, and adds, "She is a person I have only met for less than five minutes at an airport. I have never touched her, I have never had any sexual contact with her."
"I should get a medal for helping this woman. This is a person who appealed to me for money. She said she would send me some examples of her performance art. Some of those examples were racy, and some were not. I just don't get what I have done wrong. She is mad at me because she wanted more money... I didn't expect anything from her."
Hollywood comedian Mike Myers became an honorary member of Monty Python on Sunday night (20Jul14) as the veteran funnymen closed their reunion shows in London. The comedy troupe bowed out at the city's O2 Arena after a run of 10 comeback shows, and Austin Powers star Myers made a surprise appearance onstage during the last performance, which was broadcast live on TV and in cinemas.
Myers joined in a sketch with Michael Palin, while British funnyman Eddie Izzard also made a guest appearance.
Other stars in attendance at the final show included Martin Freeman, Harry Shearer and David Walliams.
Funnyman John Cleese reached out to Monty Python fans all over the world on Sunday (20Jul14) by tweeting the message "Hello to all our very silly fans. Enjoy the show tonight!" in several languages. The comedy troupe's final live show at the O2 Arena in London will be beamed to cinemas around the globe.
A huge sculpture depicting Monty Python's iconic dead parrot has been erected in central London. The comedy quartet's famous sketch, in which John Cleese attempts to return a deceased bird to a pet store, has inspired an artwork which was unveiled on the banks of the Thames River close to Tower Bridge on Monday (14Jul14).
The 50-foot (15-metre) long dead parrot, which is made from fibreglass, was suspended from a crane before it was laid to rest on its back at Potters Fields.
The parrot was created as a tribute to the comedy troupe and to celebrate the current reunion run at London's O2 Arena, which will be broadcast on TV in the U.K. on Sunday (20Jul14).
"Much tighter show tonight. With a great crowd. Terry J cut his face open in the first sketch. Just a flesh wound. We may keep it in..." Eric Idle reveals Terry Jones was injured during Monty Python's second show of their comeback residency at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday (02Jul14). The run opened on Tuesday night (01Jul14) to mixed reviews.
Monty Python star Eric Idle has shrugged off negative reviews of the comedy troupe's reunion shows, insisting they had "15,000 happy customers" on opening night. The veteran funnymen have reunited for their first stage shows in more than 30 years, and they kicked off the first of 10 comeback gigs at the O2 Arena in London on Tuesday (01Jul14).
The comedy troupe was subsequently battered by a raft of bad reviews from critics, who accused the stars of relying too heavily on old jokes, well-worn routines and tried-and-tested sketches, but Idle shrugged off the criticism in a series of posts on his Twitter.com page.
The comedian is adamant the audience loved the show, even if the critics didn't, writing, "Say no more... We surprised 'em. 15,000 happy customers. Get in if you can. It's quite good fun..."
Idle went on to re-post a slew of positive messages from fans who attended the gig.
Legendary comedy troupe Monty Python sealed their live comeback in front of 16,000 fans in London on Tuesday night (01Jul14). John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin kicked off their Monty Python Live (mostly) residency at the O2 Arena in front of a sellout crowd, marking their first public performance together since 1980.
They tackled classic sketches including the famous Dead Parrot gag, their I'm A Lumberjack song, and a rousing rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
The show also featured a live cameo from Stephen Fry, while TV star Professor Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking appeared in a taped segment, which included the revered physicist being pushed into a river.
However, the first gig sparked lacklustre reviews from critics, with many suggesting the act relied too much on old jokes and video sequences.
Peter Bradshaw of Britain's The Guardian writes, "Monty Python Live (mostly) isn't bad: it gives the crowd exactly what they want but relies pretty heavily on the fan love and makes a hefty withdrawal from the reputation bank... This live show won't make any converts. But it sends the faithful away happy."
The Independent's John Walsh writes, "I was a fan of the Monty Ps from the start, and it pains me to criticise them. But this is desperately lazy production, resting on its laurels, uninterested in showcasing new material, relying on TV footage and the whooping adulation of an audience who know all the words," but adds, "Elderly, much-loved and much-seen sketches are revivified in their mid-70s glory."
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts writes, "Once they were the sharpest thing in satire. Last night, quite often, they looked and sounded like a dodgy tribute band."
Hugh Grant, Christoph Waltz, David Walliams, and Emma Thompson were among the celebrity guests who caught the show, which runs through until 20 July (14).
"Dear @EricIdle and Pythons, have a great run in London, you influenced my life and comedy." Funnyman Steve Martin sends his best wishes to Eric Idle and his Monty Python comedy troupe ahead of their London reunion shows, which kick off on Tuesday (01Jul14).