News, Nov. 6: “Nemo” Swims to DVD Sales Record, More Film Groups Protest Screener Ban, Cash Wins Posthumous CMA Awards, More…

Top Story: The Little Fish That Did

As if it comes as a surprise, the blockbuster Finding Nemo has broken more records, as the DVD and video sales for the animated film have totaled 8 million its first day on the shelves, Reuters reports, beating the previous single-day record of 5 million DVD and video sales for the Disney/Pixar classic Monsters, Inc.. The demand is so high for Nemo, Disney may be looking at the possibility of shortages. Bob Chapek, head of Buena Vista Home Entertainment, told Reuters the company shipped 25 million units to retailers, but underestimated demand. “Some of our customers have told us they sold three times what they projected on day one,” he said. “We’re aggressively making as many (copies) as possible, but it is likely that some of our major accounts may go out of stock,” he said. Finding Nemo was released in May and has been 2003’s biggest box office hit with just under $340 million in movie ticket sales in the United States and Canada, Reuters reports.

Chicago Critics Join Ban Protest

The Chicago Film Critics Association has joined the protest against banning screeners by announcing they are suspending their 2003 awards, The Associated Press reports. This follows last month’s decision by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association to cancel their awards. The Motion Picture Association of America originally made a deal with studios in September to stop sending out screeners in an effort to curb piracy, but changed the terms last month to allow videotapes to be sent to the approximately 5,600 Academy Awards voters. No other groups, however, are allowed screeners. The CFCA president Dann Gire said Wednesday that his group approved the suspension pending further action by the MPAA.

Brit Indie Awards Get Dirty

Stephen Frears‘ gritty drama Dirty Pretty Things swept Tuesday’s British Independent Film Awards, Reuters reports. The film, about an illegal Nigerian immigrant (Chiwetel Ejiofor) working as a night porter in a London hotel, took home four awards, including best film, director and actor (Ejiofor). Olivia Williams won the best actress award for her turn in The Heart of Me.

Producer Winkler Honored

The American Society of Cinematographers will honor producer-director Irwin Winkler with the prestigious Board of Governors Award, AP reports. The Oscar-winning Winkler, 72, best known for producing the 1976 Rocky, 1980’s Raging Bull and 1990’s GoodFellas, will receive his award in February at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Past award recipients include Gregory Peck, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Warren Beatty, Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola and Jodie Foster. It is the only award the group reserves for non-cinematographers.

Talk Show Host Williams Caught With Drug Paraphernalia

Brash talk show host Montel Williams was fined $100 after authorities at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport found marijuana paraphernalia in his possession, AP reports. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the 47-year-old Williams said in a statement that he has been prescribed medicinal marijuana to treat his chronic pain.

Righteous Brothers Member Dies

Bobby Hatfield, one half of The Righteous Brothers singing duo, was found dead a western Michigan hotel Wednesday, Reuters reports. Hatfield, 63, was found about 6:45 p.m. by hotel workers in Kalamazoo, Michigan, after he did not respond to a wake-up call before a show. Reuters reports Kalamazoo police said there were no signs of foul play and that, while an autopsy would be conducted, Hatfield apparently died of natural causes. The duo is best known for its 1964 song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.”

The Late Cash Wins CMA Awards

The Country Music Association awarded the late Johnny Cash the top three awards Wednesday at their 37th Annual Country Music Awards, including album of the year, single of the year and video of the year, AP reports. “It’s amazing my father had such a life that he could expose himself and still never lose his dignity and his charm,” said Cash’s son John Carter Cash, who accepted the awards with Cash’s daughter, Kathy Cash. Cash died Sept. 12 of complications from diabetes. Other winners of the evening included Alan Jackson and Martina McBride.

Academy To Unveil 76th Oscar Poster

Pop artist Burton Morris and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences executive director Bruce Davis will unveil Morris’ design for the 76th Academy Awards commemorative poster on Nov. 13. “Oscar is a uniquely recognizable symbol, not only in American culture but throughout the world, and I’m both honored and excited to create a design around such an icon,” said Morris in an AMPAS press release. The commemorative poster will be available for purchase after the unveiling on the Academy’s Web site, The Academy Awards airs live from the Kodak Theater Feb. 29 on ABC.

Role Call: Tyrese Wins Verdict

Tyrese Gibson, star of the summer hit 2 Fast 2 Furious, will star in MGM’s DA Verdict, a dramatic thriller based on a treatment scripted with the actor. Variety reports the film is about a man (Tyrese) rising in the ranks at an urban district attorney’s office who is torn between his job and those he must prosecute from his neighborhood. Tyrese will also act as executive producer.