Shares of Marvel Enterprises fell sharply Monday because of what analysts called a disappointing opening weekend for The Hulk--the feature based on one of Marvel's comic-book characters. According to The Associated Press, Marvel shares fell $2.45 to close at $18.75 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. Although The Hulk set a June record with its $62.6 million box-office take during its opening weekend, it fell short of expectations. The Marvel adaptation X2: X-Men United, for example, debuted last month with a hefty $85.6 million opening weekend take. But Marvel Chief Executive and President Allen Lipson told the AP that while X2 had a strong box office take on its opening weekend, sequels normally do better than the original when it comes to Marvel character movies. Lipson added that the company was "happy" with the The Hulk's box office numbers and said a sequel is already in the works.
TNN Files Spike Jones Affidavit
Lawyers for TNN filed court papers Monday by Spike Jones Jr., claiming filmmaker Spike Lee is trying to claim exclusive ownership of the name "Spike," the AP reports. On June 13, Lee won a court injunction stopping Viacom from changing TNN's name to Spike TV, alleging the rebranding was an attempt to hijack his name and reputation. According to court papers, Jones said he and his family own the rights to the name, likeness, recorded performances and television shows that belonged to his father, a 1940s and '50s bandleader. Jones sold an option for film and television rights for a biopic about his father, tentatively titled Spike, and is concerned the injunction against Viacom would hinder the pic's production.
Diana Ross in Court on DUI Charges
Diana Ross told a municipal court judge in Tucson, Ariz., Monday that she felt forced into taking a breath test during a traffic stop last year and is seeking to have the results thrown out, the AP reports. "I felt a threatening tone from him. You know, like a command, a demand," Ross said, referring to Tucson police Officer Scott Sullivan. Ross was arrested Dec. 30 on suspicion of drunk driving in southern Arizona. The former member of The Supremes had a blood alcohol level of 0.20--more than twice the legal limit. She pleaded innocent to three DUI-related charges. According to the police report, Ross, 58, was unable to walk a straight line and fell while trying to stand on one leg and count to 10.
Monk Debuts With Highest-Rated Episode Yet
The USA Network original series Monk returned for its second season Friday with its highest-rated episode yet. According to Reuters, the 10 p.m. premiere garnered a total of 5.4 million viewers and drew a 4.1 household rating--up 18 percent from the first-season premiere. Monk most likely benefited from exposure last season on ABC, which aired the show in primetime during the summer. Actor Tony Shalhoub won the 2002 Golden Globe Award for best actor in a TV series for his portrayal of the obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk.
Stones To Play Toronto Show
The Rolling Stones are set to play a low-price concert in Toronto on July 30 to give the city an economic boost in the wake of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak that plagued the city earlier this year. Artists such as Elton John, Billy Joel, Michelle Branch and Kelly Clarkson recently canceled or rescheduled appearances in Toronto because if SARS, which resulted in the deaths of 38 people in the greater Toronto area. For a mere $21.50, concertgoers can check out the Stones and an estimated 10 to 15 supporting acts still to be announced at the outdoor show, which will take place in the docklands area of the city.
Role Call: Damon Bourne Again, Foster in French Pic
Matt Damon will reprise his role as Jason Bourne in the sequel to The Bourne Identity, with British filmmaker Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday) in talks to helm. Universal's The Bourne Supremacy, which centers on a Chinese vice premier supposedly slain by Bourne, is expected to begin production at year's end ... Jodie Foster is in talks to take an uncredited role in director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's French-language A Very Long Engagement. Foster, who speaks French, has reportedly wanted to work with a French director for some time and is expected to work two weeks on the big-budget romantic drama that stars Amelie's Audrey Tautou ... Chris Kattan and Parker Posey will join the cast of the indie romantic comedy Adam & Steve for writer/director Craig Chester. The pic, about two New York couples, one straight and one gay, is slated to begin shooting this year.