Archive for Monday, February 6, 2006

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February 6, 2006


'When a Stranger Calls' connects with movie-goers

Los Angeles - Horror fans remained on the line for "When a Stranger Calls," a remake of the scary movie about a terrorized baby sitter that debuted at No. 1 with $22 million over the typically sluggish Super Bowl weekend.

Distributor Sony, whose Screen Gems banner released "When a Stranger Calls," said it was the best Super Bowl debut ever, beating the $19 million haul the studio's horror flick "Boogeyman" took in over the same weekend last year.

20th Century Fox's "Big Momma's House 2" fell to second place with $13.35 million, lifting its 10-day total to $45.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The weekend's other new wide release, Focus Features' romantic comedy "Something New," opened at No. 7 with $5 million.

With fans staying home Sunday for the big game, theaters were quiet, though key Academy Awards contenders including Focus Features' best-picture front-runner "Brokeback Mountain" benefited from last week's nominations.

Three other best-picture nominees, Sony Pictures Classics' Truman Capote tale "Capote," Universal's assassination thriller "Munich" and Warner Independent Pictures' Edward R. Murrow drama "Good Night, and Good Luck," also went into wider release over the weekend.

The fifth best-picture contender, Lionsgate's ensemble drama "Crash," already is out on DVD.

"There's always a segment of the audience that wants to see all five films nominated for best picture," said Steven Friedlander, head of distribution for Warner Independent. "It's our American version of the running of the bulls at Pamplona."

The top 12 movies took in $81.7 million, down 7 percent from Super Bowl weekend last year.

Here are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.:

1. "When a Stranger Calls," $22 million.

2. "Big Momma's House 2," $13.35 million.

3. "Nanny McPhee," $9.9 million.

4. "Brokeback Mountain," $5.7 million.

5. "Hoodwinked," $5.3 million.

6. "Underworld Evolution," $5.1 million.

7. "Something New," $5 million.

8. "Annapolis," $3.5 million.

9. "Walk the Line," $3.4 million.

10. "Glory Road," $3 million.

Busta Rhymes' bodyguard killed during video shoot

New York - A Busta Rhymes video shoot ended with a hail of gunfire that killed the rapper's bodyguard in Brooklyn early Sunday, feet from some of the biggest names in hip hop - including 50 Cent, DMX and Mary J. Blige, police sources said.

At least a dozen bullets flew after bodyguard Israel Ramirez got into a scuffle during the shoot in a Greenpoint film studio that also drew Missy Elliot and Lloyd Banks, a member of 50 Cent's G-Unit.

Shortly before the gunfire erupted at 12:25 a.m., video crew members tried to keep hangers-on from making too much noise. That enraged a self-proclaimed ex-convict, who shouted, "You don't tell me to shut up," witnesses said.

Moments later, as people began to pour outside, Ramirez got into a fight - sparking a barrage of bullets.

Critical of her own movie

New York - Like the critics, Kelly Clarkson was less than thrilled with her 2003 movie musical "From Justin to Kelly" - and she wants people to know that she had no choice in the matter.

"Two words: Contractually obligated!" the first "American Idol" winner told Time magazine for its issue on newsstands today.

"I knew when I read the script it was going to be real, real bad, but when I won, I signed that piece of paper, and I could not get out of it," said the 23-year-old singer, whose second album, "Breakaway," contains four top 10 hits and earned her two Grammy nominations.

Clarkson is to perform Wednesday at the Grammy Awards. She is nominated for best pop vocal performance and best pop vocal album.

Holly items to be auctioned

Dallas - The watch that Buddy Holly was wearing the day he and the music died will soon go on the auction block.

Holly's widow, Maria Elena Holly, plans to offer several items for sale that belonged to the rock 'n' roll legend, including the watch that was on the singer's wrist when he was killed in an airplane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, at age 22. Singers Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson also perished in the Iowa crash.

Unreleased Holly recordings, his passport, and other personal items also will be on sale at Heritage Auction Galleries & Auctioneers in Dallas on April 14-15.

The watch is inscribed with Holly's name and the date Maria Elena gave it to him as an early Christmas present: Dec. 1, 1958.

Lawsuit laid to rest

Los Angeles - Lawyers for Marlon Brando's estate have settled a sexual harassment and unlawful termination lawsuit against the late actor's estate by his former business manager, attorneys said.

Details of the settlement, described as "amicable" by lawyers for Jo An Corrales of Kalama, Wash., were not released.

Corrales filed her lawsuit against the Brando estate in Los Angeles Superior Court in April. She alleged the actor had insulted her and subjected her to sexual innuendo, and that he exposed himself to her, touched her inappropriately, forced her to watch pornographic movies with him, and told her dirty autobiographical stories.

She also claimed she was unfairly removed as co-executor of Brando's will 12 days before he died in July 2004.


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