News, July 7: Sharon Stone and Hubby Phil Bronstein Split, Oscars Invite 87 Countries for Foreign-Language Consideration, Theater Bans Young Kids, More…

Top Story: Sharon Stone and Hubby Phil Bronstein Split

Sharon Stone and her husband, San Francisco Chronicle Executive Editor Phil Bronstein, are headed for divorce court. According to The Associated Press, Bronstein filed his petition for divorce Thursday in San Francisco County Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. Stone, 45, and Bronstein, 52, were married Feb. 14, 1998, and have a 3-year-old son, Roan. They said in the joint statement that they were committed to being great parents and having a friendship, as parents, going forward. Bronstein made headlines two years ago when a 7-foot-long Komodo dragon bit his left foot at the Los Angeles Zoo during a private visit arranged by Stone. The Basic Instinct star, meanwhile, was also in the news in 2001 when she was treated for a brain hemorrhage at the University of California.

Oscars Invite 87 Countries for Foreign-Language Consideration

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has asked 87 countries to submit films for foreign-language Oscar consideration, Variety reports. In order to qualify, a film must have a predominantly non-English dialogue track in the submitting country’s official language and is also required to have had a minimum run of a week at a public theater in the home country between November 2002 and September 2003. Nominees will be announced Jan. 27. The 76th Academy Awards are scheduled for Feb. 29 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

Theater Bans Young Children

A movie theater in Kansas City, Mo., has banned children under six in a bid to accommodate its adult clientele. According to Reuters, the Cinemark Palace is no longer showing movies rated G or PG and fliers posted in the lobby announce that as of July 4, the theater will show “adult films, independent films and films geared toward adult audiences.” The Palace also has a VIP room where adults can sit in recliners and drink alcohol while watching a movie. A spokeswoman for Dallas-based Cinemark USA said they are not trying to exclude children but reinforcing a more adult-oriented film menu.

Kutcher Sticks With That ’70s Show

It’s nice to see that all that fame hasn’t gone to Ashton Kutcher‘s head. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor has struck a new deal with That ’70s Show production company Carsey-Werner-Mandabach that will keep him on the Fox sitcom through the 2004-05 season. The ’04-’05 pact will reportedly bump Kutcher‘s per-episode salary to the low six-figure range, which means he will make somewhere between $5 million-$7 million for each 25-episode season. Kutcher, who is already under contract for the upcoming 2003-04 ’70s Show season, is also creator/executive producer/star of MTV’s hidden-camera prankster series Punk’d.

NBC Leads Key Demo, CBS Nabs Total Viewers

NBC leads the pack in the adults 18-49 demographic five weeks into the summer ratings period but CBS is the most-watched network in total viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Fox, meanwhile, is running second to NBC in adults 18-49, and ABC is fighting to stay tied with CBS for third place in the key demo. The Big Four networks are taking significantly different approaches with their summer scheduling strategies, with NBC running a steady stream of reality shows, while CBS has so far relied on reruns of its regular schedule. ABC has run its crop of new sitcoms while Fox is sticking to a new slate that includes American Idol Jr., American Juniors.

Lollapalooza Opens Saturday

Lollapalooza, the concert that toured summer stages from 1991 to 1997, opens Saturday in Indianapolis after a six-year hiatus. Audioslave, Incubus and Jurassic 5 are set to headline along with Jane’s Addiction, who are promoting their first new album since 1990’s Ritual De Lo Habitual. In addition to enjoying the music, concertgoers will be able to use cell phones to interact with giant plasma screens set up on the grounds, and visit the X-Box tent to play any of 140 X-Box video game consoles, the AP reports.

SoundScan Compiles Sales of Music Download

Nielsen SoundScan has begun compiling sales of permanent music downloads, which will be included in Billboard’s new download tracks chart. Sales data will initially come from the digital-music services run by Apple Computer, Liquid Audio, MusicNet, RealNetworks and Roxio, but streams and other non-permanent digital-music sales will not be included. This week’s top three digital track sales are “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce featuring Jay-Z, followed by Kelly Clarkson‘s “Miss Independent” and Coldplay’s “Clocks.”

Role Call: McConaughey To Star in Don Cheadle’s Directorial Debut

Matthew McConaughey is in negotiations to star in Tishomingo Blues, which will mark the feature directorial debut of actor Don Cheadle. The pic, an adaptation of the Elmore Leonard bestseller, is set in Mississippi and centers on a circus high diver staying at the Tishomingo Lodge & Casino who witnesses a murder by local members of the Dixie Mafia. The project is expected to begin production Sept. 2.