Following the success of the “more action stars than you can shake a stick at” formula of 2010’s The Expendables, Lionsgate unleashed The Expendables 2 in 3,316 theaters this weekend, and the results were solid. This time star Sylvester Stallone handed over the directing reins to Simon West (Con Air, Laura Croft: Tomb Raider) so he could concentrate on more ass whuppin’ and less directin’! The first film debuted at number one with $34.8 million and was a surprise mid-August hit, and thus it’s no surprise that this latest installment topped this weekend’s chart with a gross of $28.75 million. There is almost not enough room here to list all of the action stars that take part in the mayhem, including of course Sylvester Stallone and a supporting cast featuring Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
1. The Expendables 2 - $28.75 million (week 1) (LIONSGATE)
2. The Bourne Legacy - $17,019,855/total to date $69,580,935 (week 2) (UNIVERSAL)
3. ParaNorman - $14,008,498/Week 1 (FOCUS FEATURES)
4. The Campaign - $13,385,000/total to date $51,694,000 (week 2) (WARNER BROS.)
5. Sparkle – $12 million (week 1) (SONY)
6. The Dark Knight Rises - $11,140,000/$409,916,000 to date (crossed $400 million mark this weekend) week 5
7. The Odd Life of Timothy Green - $10,909,000/$15,187,000 to date (Opened Wednesday) week 1
Adding to the excitement of this weekend’s action movie leanings was Universal’s The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, in a re-boot of the “Bourne” franchise. Last weekend the film topped the chart with $38.1 million, and it has been holding steady all week in first place — it crossed the $50 million mark on Thursday after just seven days of release. The action re-boot had a second weekend gross of $17 million and a North American total by Sunday night of over $69 million.
Besides The Expendables 2, there were three additional wide release openers that found themselves in a box office traffic jam of sorts, with Focus Features’ stop-action animated Paranorman (in 3-D) leading lead the charge with a gross of $14 million. Produced by Coraline creators Laika, the PG-rated horror adventure performed similarly to that film, which scared up $16.8 million in its third place debut back in February of 2009.
Warner Bros.’ The Campaign starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis did well in the mid-week box office primary, garnering votes in the mid $2 million range daily. As bitter rivals in a North Carolina congressional campaign, Farrell and Galifianakis duke it out on the campaign trail to comedic effect. In this its second weekend, a gross of $13.385 million put it in the thick of a very contentious fight for a spot in the top four.
Also opening this weekend was Sparkle from Sony Pictures, which had a debut of $12 million and thus earned back its modest negative cost in its first three days of release. This is a re-make of the 1976 film, which starred Miami Vice’s Philip Michael Thomas and singer Irene Cara, and was co-written by Joel Schumacher (director of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin). This update stars American Idol Season Six winner Jordin Sparks and the late Whitney Houston in her fifth and final screen role, in a tale of an up and coming girl group in Detroit in the Motown era 1960’s. Both films were inspired by the iconic female singing group The Supremes, and this version amps up the star power and the production values to great effect.
Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises took the number 6 spot with $11.1 million, and a North American total that passed the $400 million mark on Friday.
The fourth film making its debut, Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green, got a head start on the weekend with a Wednesday debut in over 2,551 theaters with $2.3 million. The PG-rated fantasy stars Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton and CJ Adams in the titular role of Timothy Green, a 10 year-old boy who shows up on the doorstep of a couple that has been wishing for a child but unable to conceive. Of course the young boy is much more than he appears to be and strange events ensue. A gross of nearly $11 million for the weekend enabled the family drama to sprout $15.2 million for the Wednesday through Sunday period.
Only three summer box office weekends left (including this one) as we struggle to keep up with last year’s summer pace.
[PHOTO CREDIT: LIONSGATE]
Seth MacFarlane's 'Ted': A 2012 Success Story
'Bourne Legacy' Box Office to Re-Boot at Number One
'The Dark Knight Rises' Above 'Total Recall' at the Box Office
Following the success of the “more action stars than you can shake a stick at” formula of 2010’s “The Expendables,” Lionsgate unleashes “The Expendables 2” which opens in 3,316 theaters this weekend and the results should be explosive. This time star Sylvester Stallone hands over the directing reins to Simon West (“Con Air,” “Laura Croft: Tomb Raider”) so he can concentrate on more ass whuppin’ and less movie directin’! The first film debuted at number one with $34.8 million and was a surprise mid-August hit and thus it’s no surprise that this latest installment will top this weekend’s chart with a gross of about $40 million. There is almost not enough room here to list all of the action stars that take part in the mayhem including of course Sylvester Stallone and a supporting cast featuring Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Adding to the excitement of this weekend’s action movie leanings is Universal’s “The Bourne Leagacy” starring Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross in this re-boot of the “Bourne” franchise. Last weekend the film topped the chart with $38.1 million and has been holding steady all week in first place and crossed the $50 million mark on Thursday after just seven days of release. Solid word-of-mouth will give it a modest second weekend drop, a gross of around $23 million and a North American total by Sunday night of over $70 million.
Besides “The Expendables 2,” there are three additional wide release openers that may find themselves in a box office traffic jam of sorts with Focus Features’ stop-action animated “Paranorman” in 3-D likely to lead the charge with a gross of around $16 to $17 million. Produced by “Coraline” creators Laika, the PG-rated horror adventure should perform similarly to that film which scared up $16.8 million in its third place debut back in February of 2009.
Also opening this weekend is “Sparkle” from Sony Pictures which should have a debut of around $15 million and thus earn back its modest negative cost in its first three days of release. This is a re-make of the 1976 film which starred “Miami Vice’s” Philip Michael Thomas and singer Irene Cara and was co-written by Joel Schumacher (director of “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin). This update stars American Idol Season Six winner Jordin Sparks and the late Whitney Houston in her fifth and final screen role in a tale of an up and coming girl group in Detroit in the Motown era 1960’s. Both films were inspired by the iconic female singing group The Supremes and this version amps up the star power and the production values to great effect.
Warner Bros.’ “The Campaign” starring comedy Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis has done well in the mid-week box office primary garnering votes in the mid $2 million range daily. As bitter rivals in a North Carolina congressional campaign, Farrell and Galifianakis duke it out on the campaign trail to comedic effect. In this its second weekend an expected mid-teen gross will put it in the thick of a very contentious fight for a spot in the top three this weekend.
The fourth film making its debut has already banked some green: $2.3 million worth as Disney’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” gets a head start on the weekend with a Wednesday debut in over 2,551 theaters. The PG-rated fantasy stars Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton and CJ Adams in the titular role of Timothy Green a 10 year-old boy who shows up on the doorstep of a couple that has been wishing for a child but unable to conceive. Of course the young boy is much more than he appears to be and strange events ensue. A likely gross of just over $10 million for the weekend should enable the family drama to sprout $15 million for the Wednesday through Sunday period.
Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight Rises” will also vie for a spot in the top 5 with a possible gross in the low teens and a North American total that will pass the $400 million mark on Friday.
Only three summer box office weekends left (including this one) as we struggle to keep up with last year’s summer pace.
The 1960 epic was shown as part of The Last 70mm Film Festival in California on Monday (13Aug12) and the crowd at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills was treated to a special appearance by the movie's 95-year-old star.
When Douglas entered the cinema, members of the audience stood up, raised their fists and started shouting "I'm Spartacus" in reference to the actor's famous line in the film when other slaves stand in unity with the title character.
Douglas was left speechless by the reaction as he took to the stage for a question and answer session, according to film news website Deadline.com, which reports former Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences President Tom Sherak responded afterwards, "Did you see Douglas' face when we did that? Priceless."
Douglas went on to talk about his time making the movie, but didn't stay to watch the film, joking, "I've seen it. It's a good picture," before heading off to dinner with his son, Michael.
The filmmaker passed away from cancer at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday (09Aug12), his daughter Madeline Stuart tells the Associated Press.
He began his career in the 1960s making documentaries, winning an Emmy Award for The Making of the President 1960 and landing an Oscar nomination for Four Days in November, about the assassination of U.S. leader John F. Kennedy.
He took on the 1971 big screen adaptation of the Roald Dahl children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for his daughter Madeline, who was 11 years old when she shot her cameo role as a student in a classroom scene.
The musical, starring Gene Wilder as the madcap candy factory boss, has become a classic family favourite.
Stuart is survived by his daughter, as well as sons Andrew and Peter, who is also a filmmaker.
Alfred Hitchcock & the Making of Psycho is based on Stephen Rebello's book of the same name and the film will be directed by Sasha Gervasi.
Dame Helen Mirren is in talks to play Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, according to CinemaBlend.com.
The film will chronicle Hitchcock's experiences while filming the thriller Psycho in the late 1950s. The film became an instant classic when it was released in 1960 and many film fans argue it is the director's greatest movie.
The role will mark Hopkins' latest real-person portrayal - the British-born movie star has also played former U.S. president Richard Nixon, artist Pablo Picasso, bike racer Burt Munro, former British leader David Lloyd George and writer Charles Dickens onscreen. He is also currently playing literary great Ernest Hemingway in Hemingway & Fuentes.
Alfred Hitchcock & the Making of Psycho isn't the only film about the director's great works currently in early development - Sienna Miller has been cast as Tippi Hedren in an as-yet untitled film about the actress' relationship with the legendary filmmaker on the set of 1963's The Birds.
Wolper, the creator of hit 1977 miniseries Roots, died of congestive heart disease and complications of Parkinson's disease on Tuesday evening (10Aug10).
He passed away peacefully at his Beverly Hills home while watching television with his wife Gloria, according to his spokesman, Dale Olson.
Wolper also produced the 1971 children's classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory but was best-known for his TV work.
Roots, which chronicled the life of an enslaved West African sold in America, won high honours, including nine Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
His credits also include Emmy-winning TV documentary The Making of the President 1960, National Geographic special The World of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, docudrama The Trial of Lt. Calley, sitcom hits including Welcome Back, Kotter and Chico and the Man, and Oscar-winning film L.A. Confidential.
He produced the opening and closing ceremonies for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and New York's 1986 extravaganza celebrating the centennial of the Statue of Liberty.
In 2003, Wolper reflected on his decades-long career, releasing a memoir simply titled Producer.
Stars approach the campaign trail
As the presidential election grows closer, stars are doing everything they can to use their power to persuade voters. The Associated Press reports Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio addressed over 400 young voters at the University of Central Florida on Tuesday, encouraging them to vote and stumping for DNC candidate John Kerry. "I believe, without a doubt, that this is the most important election of our lifetimes," the 29-year-old DiCaprio said. The other side of the campaign trail also holds some star power. Former U.S. Senator and a current star on the hit show Law and Order, Fred Thompson, believes that voters should be focusing more of their attention on George W. Bush. "The whole world is watching this election to see if the American people have what it takes to defend themselves," said Thompson. Other stars and musicians who are attempting to encourage young voters to get involved include Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard and musicians Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks, and Pearl Jam.
ABC drops Miss America Pageant
After poor ratings from the September 18th airing of the Miss America Pageant, ABC declined the offer to carry the pageant for another year, the AP reports. The network has broadcasted the pageant since 1997 after NBC lost interest in 1996 after 30 years of pageant coverage. The 84-year-old pageant is also a nonprofit organization that makes over $40 million annually in scholarship aids, and oversees local pageants throughout the year. President and CEO Arthur McMaster is exploring the options the pageant has in potential networks, but does not plan to pick an option this year. "There's already been companies that have contacted us and expressed an interest," he said. I'm not going to say I'm not worried, but I think there's much more out there."
CBS holds casting call for Elvis
CBS is holding an open casting call for someone to play Elvis in an upcoming series about the former King of Rock n' Roll, Reuters reports. Those interested must be between the ages of 18 to 33 years of age, bring headshots and resumes, and be prepared to sing 10 bars of any Elvis song. The casting call will be held on November 10th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST at Sound Stage 46 at the CBS Television Studio complex in the city of Los Angeles.
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel renewed for another year
ABC announced Wednesday that Jimmy Kimmel Live has been renewed through 2005, the AP reports. The show debuted in January of 2003 and has been welcomed by late-night viewers. "I'm delighted that ABC has exhausted all other options and picked up mine for another year," Kimmel joked in a statement released by the network. Jimmy Kimmel Live has featured star guests such as Britney Spears and Billy Bob Thornton.
Band Aid planning new song for charity
The 1984 charity effort Band Aid is planning to create another version of the song "Do They Know It's Christmas", AP reports. Band Aid has approached top British acts like Coldplay, The Darkness, Dido and Robbie Williams to possibly add their musical talent to the project. Founders Bob Geldof and Midge Ure are optimistic about the project and it's success. "It's definitely going to happen. I'm very excited," Ure was quoted as saying. "This project is not just about raising money. It's about putting the focus back on Africa and the problem of famine which has not gone away." The original single helped raise over $9.4 million for famine relief in Ethiopia. The 1985 Live Aid concert also helped raise another $47 million. Almost 50 artists were to thank in making the 1980s charity effort a success.
Gilligan gets a new theme song
Grammy-nominated artists Bowling for Soup recently recorded a new theme song for the upcoming TBS reality series, The Real Gilligan's Island, The AP reports. Contestants in the upcoming reality series were cast as members of the former castaway crew in the 1960's sitcom Gilligan's Island, about a group of diverse people stranded on a tropical island. This reality series will include a real-life skipper, first mate, millionaire couple, farm girl, professor, and a movie star all working together to find their way off the deserted island. The series is set to air on TBS November 30th. Bowling for Soup was nominated in 2003 for best pop performance for "Girl All the Bad Guys Want."
Ricky Martin rallies to stop child sex abuse
Singer Ricky Martin met with U.N. ambassadors and activists Wednesday to rally against sexual exploitation of children, the AP reports. The Ricky Martin Foundation was founded 10 years ago to help children in need. "We have the voice. But we don't have the power. We cannot do it alone. ... We need you. This is slavery, and this is the year 2004," said Martin. Martin has taken up a cause championed by President Bush, who called for a global campaign to fight the trafficking and sexual abuse of children in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September 2003. The U.S. State Department said that millions of children are drawn into prostitution of some kind every year. "I am here to talk on behalf of the children," Martin said. "This is not about being Republican or Democrat. This is about the help that I need, that we as activists need from leaders." The luncheon was sponsored by the U.S. government and World Vision, a Christian relief organization that have just launched an ad campaign aimed at American tourists fighting against sexual tourism.
Oprah's jury delivers guilty verdict
Talk show maven Oprah Winfrey, who was one of 12 jurors who convicted a Chicago man of murder Wednesday, said her three days in the jury box was an eye-opening experience. "It's a huge reality check; there's a whole other world going on out there," Winfrey, surrounded by other jurors, said in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building lobby. "When your life intersects with others in this way, it is forever changed." The Associated Press reports the jury deliberated for less than three hours before convicting 27-year-old Dion Coleman of first-degree murder in the February 2002 shooting death of Walter Holley, 23. Coleman is scheduled to be sentenced next month and could face 45 years to life in prison. The otherwise routine trial received more intense interest because of Winfrey's involvement, something the media mogul tried to downplay. "This is not good for the victim's family, " she said of the media hype. "This is not about Oprah Winfrey. The fact is, a man has been murdered." Winfrey, who was paid the standard $17.20 a day for her jury duty, said she plans to bring her experience as a juror on a murder trial to her TV show next week.
Trump board game hits stores
Donald Trump has unveiled his newest business venture: a new Parker Brothers board game. According to the AP, Trump, the Game can be played by up to four players who bid on real estate, buy big ticket items, including islands and office buildings, and make billion-dollar business deals. Players can also terminate their opponents using The Donald's trademark words "You're fired" from his hit TV reality show The Apprentice. Mark Blecher, senior vice president of marketing at Hasbro Games (the parent company of Parker Brothers), said the game "allows players to feel the power and make the deals." Trump, the Game retails for $24.99.
Moore to publish book of soldiers' letters
Publisher Simon & Schuster announced Wednesday that Michael Moore has two new books coming out this fall. The first book, The Official 'Fahrenheit 9-11' Reader, is a companion book to the scheduled DVD release of Moore's controversial documentary about President Bush, the terrorist attacks and the Iraq war. The other release, Will They Ever Trust Us Again?, is a collection of letters written to Moore from U.S. troops in Iraq. "Our goal is to have both books out before Election Day," Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Victoria Meyer told the AP. His previous books include Stupid White Men and Dude, Where's My Country?
The Contender loses round one in court
A California judge yesterday denied DreamWorks TV and Mark Burnett's first bid to stop Fox Broadcasting Co. from premiering it's boxing skein The Next Great Champ on Sept. 10. DreamWorks and Burnett claim Fox ripped off their own boxing reality show, The Contender, and tried to stop Champ from debuting as scheduled by arguing the show's producers violated state boxing laws in a bid to beat them to the airwaves. But according to court papers, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Linda Lefkowitz did leave open the possibility of blocking the Champ in the near future by setting a Sept. 8 hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction against the show. The judge also ordered an expedite exchange of documents between the parties to the lawsuit, Reuters reports.
Celebs gearing up for fall sitcom appearances
Joan Rivers, who openly jokes about her own cosmetic surgery, will guest star as herself on the season finale of the FX drama series Nip/Tuck, set to air Oct. 5. In the episode, Rivers meets with the show's plastic surgeons for an unusual cosmetic consultation. Newlyweds star and singer Nick Lachey, meanwhile, is set to play Alyssa Milano's love interest in an upcoming six-episode arc on the WB's Charmed, which kicks off its new season Sept. 12. And last but not least, Jennifer Lopez will return to guest star as herself on the season premiere of NBC's Will & Grace, set to air Sept. 16. In the episode, Lopez, who was recruited by Megan Mullally's character to sing at her Vegas marriage last season, returns to New York after her summer tour, where Sean Hayes' character served as a backup dancer.
Howard Stern gets animated series on Spike TV
Radio host Howard Stern will be appearing as a teenage cartoon character of himself in a new animated series tentatively titled Howard Stern: The High School Years. Reuters reports the male-oriented cable channel Spike TV has ordered 13 episodes of the show, which is based on Stern's teenage years growing up on New York's Long Island. The network said Wednesday it has not yet determined whether Stern will lend his voice to his own character. A Spike TV spokesman said Stern is serving as executive producer of the series, and added the shock jock's parents be major characters on the cartoon series. As of this week, episodes are still being written, with producers conducting animation tests. Howard Stern: The High School Years is aimed for launch in the summer of 2005.
Are the Black Crowes reuniting?
Singer Chris Robinson, who is married to actress Kate Hudson, has canceled plans for a fall tour with his band New Earth Mud, amid rumors he may reteam with younger brother Rich under the Black Crowes moniker. Billboard.com reports the warring siblings have recently met with former manager Pete Angelus to discuss a potential reunion. Fueling the reunion speculations is the recent reactivation of the Black Crowes' Web site (http://www.blackcrowes.com), which had been largely dormant since the group announced a hiatus in 2002. Robinson and Hudson, who were married on December 31, 2000 in Colorado and have a 7-month-old son, have recently denied reports their three-year marriage is on the rocks.
Film composer Elmer Bernstein dies
Film composer Elmer Bernstein, who created themes for The Magnificent Seven, The Man With The Golden Arm and To Kill a Mockingbird, died in his sleep at his Ojai, Calif., home Wednesday at age 82, the AP reports. Bernstein, who earned 14 Academy Award nominations, an Oscar and an Emmy Award in his 70-year career, is survived by his wife, Eve, sons Peter and Gregory, daughters Emilie and Elizabeth, and five grandchildren. Among Bernstein's more notable efforts were the scores for Some Came Running, Birdman of Alcatraz, The Great Escape, Hawaii, The Great Santini, My Left Foot, A River Runs Through It, Devil in a Blue Dress and The Age of Innocence. He also composed several works for symphony orchestras, some 200 movies and 80 television shows. He won an Emmy Award in 1964 for The Making of The President: 1960 and an Oscar only once for the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie. A memorial service is pending.
The Producers Guild of America bestowed its top honors on the musical extravaganza Moulin Rouge Sunday night at the 13th Annual Producers Guild Awards. The wild Rouge--about a turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub and produced by Martin Brown, director Baz Luhrmann and Fred Baron--is also nominated for an Academy Award. PGA best picture winners have gone on to win the Oscar nine out of 12 times.
Other winners of the evening included NBC's The West Wing, winning best television drama, HBO's Sex and the City, winning best television comedy, and HBO's Band of Brothers, winning best television movie, miniseries or other long-form television.
Grammy winner Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross, Gerald Levert, India.Arie and comedian Cedric the Entertainer will kick off this year's Essence Music Festival at New Orleans' Louisiana Superdome. The three-day event starts July 4, while other performers such as Mary J. Blige, Al Green and comedian Steve Harvey will take the stage over the course of the festival.
Roger Moore, the suave '70s and '80s James Bond, will be taking on a new role in his next film--an over-the-top gay man. The 74-year-old actor will appear in the Cuba Gooding Jr. comedy Boat Trip, about two straight guys who end up on a gay cruise, due out this summer. Moore told the Associated Press he hopes his performance "will make the audience raise their eyebrows a little bit." Sounds like a good bet.
Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai is getting another Hollywood treatment from Miramax Films and MGM, Variety reports. The classic Japanese epic about a small village hiring seven samurai to protect them from thieving bandits was remade into 1960's The Magnificent Seven, starring Charles Bronson, Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. Miramax Films co-chairman Harvey Weinstein described Samurai as "the mother of all 'guys on a mission' movies."
In the world of celebrity boxing matches (yes, apparently there is one), ice-skating terror Tanya Harding, who had her opponent Nancy Kerrigan's knee smashed prior to the 1994 Olympic trials, will fight Paula Jones, the first woman to accuse former president Clinton of unwanted sexual advances in 1991. Harding was supposed to have fought Amy Fisher, the young girl who shot her lover's wife in 1992. But no can do. It's Jones and Harding all the way. Fox Television will air the match March 13.
After the South African premiere of Ali, South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela praised the legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali as being one of the people he most admires. Mandela told Reuters, "He (Ali) brought a new kind of legend to boxing, and I am very happy indeed to be here to join you in paying tribute to my hero and the hero of millions right across the seas."
President Bush and leading politicians were treated to an evening of entertainment Sunday to showcase American pop culture. The gala event, held at the legendary Ford's Theater and hosted by Frasier's Kelsey Grammer, had an all-star line-up, including performers such as Stevie Wonder and David Copperfield.
U2 lead singer Bono met with White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to discuss African debt relief in his ongoing campaign against Third World poverty. He has been trying to get Washington to drop the debt of some of the world's poorest nations for many years and has been using the success of his band's music to help the effort. U2 just won four Grammy awards, including record of the year.
A documentary about the hard-rock band Metallica is looking to be as juicy as Madonna's Truth or Dare. Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky have been trailing the band since last April, while the band was in the studio cutting a new album. Since filming began, however, traumatic events have shaken the band, including the departure of bassist Jason Newsted after 14 years this past January and lead singer James Hetfield's rehab woes. No release date has been set.
Pop star Will Young, the 23-year-old singer who was discovered on the reality-based TV show Pop Idol, has sold more than a million copies of his first record in a week, making it Britain's fastest-selling single ever. The single "Anything Is Possible/Evergreen" has sold 1,108,269 copies. Who is Will Young, you ask? Guess we'll get to know more about Will soon enough.
In regard to the death of a teenager at a Sydney, Australia, concert Jan. 26, 2001 where Limp Bizkit and other bands were playing, Alexander Murdoch MacLeod, Limp Bizkit's tour manager, blames the concert venue for being understaffed and poorly managed. At an inquest into the death of 15-year-old Jessica Michalik, who was caught in a rush to the stage and suffered a heart attack, he told the court he thought the staff was insufficiently trained for a crowd breakdown.
MGM is finalizing a deal to have Jackie Chan star in the remake of the 1960 comedy The Bellboy, Variety reports. The film will reportedly be set in Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel. The original The Bellboy starred Jerry Lewis.
Actor Ben Affleck, who checked himself into the Malibu Rehabilitation center Promises on July 31, is making progress, Entertainment Tonight reports. While Promises is not a "lock down" facility, it does monitor its patients 24-hours a day. ET also reports that Affleck was spotted on a casual shopping outing over the weekend.
Bobby Dall, the bassist for the 1980s rock band Poison, is recovering from back surgery, The Associated Press reports. Dall had several discs in his spine replaced and will need at least six months to recover. The injury occurred Sunday during a concert at the South Dakota State Fair. Poison has cancelled the rest of their tour dates through September.
Larry Adler, better known as the king of the harmonica, died Monday in a London hospital, Reuters reports. Adler, 87, had been ill for several months. His career spanned seven decades and he worked with artists such as George Gershwin and Elton John.
Debbie Mathers, Eminem's mother, will only receive $ 1,600 of a $25,000 settlement she won against the rap star, AP reports. Macomb County, Mich., Court Judge Mark Switalski ruled Monday that Mather's attorney, Fred Gibson, was entitled to $23,354.25 because they had made a deal entitling him to more than the standard one-third of the settlement. Mathers sued her son in 1999 for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress because of some lyrics on the rapper's CD The Slim Shady LP.
MGM is preparing to do a sequel to Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon, the Hollywood Reporter announced. Marc Platt, who produced the original film, also is in talks with the studio along with screenwriters Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith. Witherspoon would reprise her role as Elle Woods subject to script approval.
Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Madonna and Jason Alexander will voice DreamWorks animated feature Madagascar, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film centers on four zoo animals that are shipped back to their homeland by animal rights activists. The foursome is left stranded in Madagascar after their ship capsizes. Madagascar will be directed by Eric Darnell (Antz) and Conrad Vernon (Shrek).
John Mellancamp is expected to finish up a musical he is working on with writer Stephen King in February, AP reports. So far, Mellancamp has written about five songs for the story, which he describes as anything but rock. The singer still has another 10 songs to write for the production.
Limp Bizkit have recorded a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax" for the film Zoolander starring Ben Stiller, SonicNet.com reports. Electronic artist/producer BT is scoring the film. The only other track confirmed so far for the soundtrack is The Wiseguys' "Start the Commotion." BT described the score as "out of control." The Zoolander soundtrack is due out Sept. 25.
British pop star Robbie Williams said he would keep his promise to help a 23-year-old woman dying from leukemia, according to the BBC News. Williams provided a blood sample and has promised to donate bone marrow if he is a suitable donor. Williams. 27, met Johanna MacVicar after a concert in October.
In an effort to expand theater uses, the Texas-based Cinemark movie theater chain will screen a live concert by Sugar Ray in 14 locations across the Untied States, Reuters reports. The theater chain will broadcast the Aug. 15 concert in a live simulcast via satellite to locations in 21 states.
Alfred A. Knopf will publish the memoirs of former president Clinton, Reuters reports. While no amounts were disclosed, the figure is rumored to exceed $8 million for the deal. New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clinton's wife, reportedly received between $7 million and $8.5 million for her memoirs published by Simon & Schuster. According to Sonny Mehta, Knopf's president and editor-in-chief, the book would focus on Clinton's two-term presidency.