'Poseidon' can't overturn top box office rank of 'M:I3'
Los Angeles - It was bottoms up for "Poseidon," as the cruise ship disaster remake failed to topple "Mission: Impossible III" from a second week atop the nation's box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.
"Mission: Impossible III" clung to No. 1 with a $24.5 million take during an anemic North America box office weekend that saw the Tom Cruise action film drop 49 percent from its opening weekend.
Internationally, "Mission: Impossible III" raked in another $37.3 million to bring its two-week earnings overall to $214 million.
"It's not a bad start," said Rob Moore, Paramount's president of worldwide marketing, distribution and operations.
"Poseidon," which reportedly cost $150 million-plus to make, debuted in second place with what was described as a solid weekend opening of $20.3 million.
"You've got two PG-13 action movies vying for the top spot and each earned over $20 million. I think that's pretty strong for Mother's Day weekend," said Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc., which tracks box office performance.
But the overall North America turnstile take was more than 13 percent behind the comparable 2005 period, the first time in seven weeks that box office receipts dropped over last year's figures.
The upcoming weekend has two potential blockbusters that could again float all boats
"This was a solid but not spectacular weekend leading up to a big week ahead with 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Over the Hedge.' This will be classic counter-programming," Dergarabedian said.
The Robin Williams comedy "RV" was third with $9.5 million, Lindsay Lohan's "Just My Luck" debuted in fourth with $5.5 million and "An American Haunting" was fifth with $3.7 million.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters:
1. "Mission: Impossible III," $24.5 million.
2. "Poseidon," $20.3 million.
3. "RV," $9.5 million.
4. "Just My Luck," $5.5 million.
5. "An American Haunting," $3.7 million.
6. "United 93," $3.6 million.
7. "Stick It," $3.2 million.
8. "Ice Age: The Meltdown," $3 million.
9. "Silent Hill," $2.2 million.
10. "Hoot," $2.1 million.
New 'Survivor' crowned
New York - It was a high-stakes battle that didn't have a clear-cut favorite - but, as always, in the end there was one "Survivor."
Aras Baskauskas, a 24-year-old yoga instructor from Santa Monica, Calif., beat out Danielle DiLorenzo, a 24-year-old medical sales representative from Boston, to win the 12th edition of the CBS reality show - and the $1 million champion's payoff.
DiLorenzo, who host Jeff Probst said in an interview was one of "the weakest players who've ever played the game," won the final immunity challenge - a contest that involved balancing on a series of wobbly platforms on the ocean - to reach the final two.
The immunity win allowed her to eliminate one of the other two still remaining, Baskauskas or ex-Navy fighter pilot Terry Deitz. DiLorenzo chose to send Deitz packing, breaking the "alliance" agreement she'd made with him.
Baskauskas, who briefly played professional basketball in Lithuania, had an intense rivalry - a "macho" hostility, as DiLorenzo called it - with the 46-year-old Deitz, who won multiple immunity challenges during the 39-day-contest.
At the final council vote, however, when it came down to Baskauskas or DiLorenzo, Deitz voted in favor of Baskauskas.
Syracuse, N.Y. - Billy Joel got a standing ovation from nearly 5,000 Syracuse University graduates Sunday after he serenaded them and urged them to do what they love in life.
"Don't do it for security or status, prestige, money, or, for crying out loud, don't do it for somebody else," he said. "Do it for love. Because if you love what you do, you'll always do what you love."
Joel, who never graduated high school but said he traveled "the college of the road," estimated he has received five or six honorary degrees. That includes a new doctorate of fine arts from Syracuse.
"I'm not here to give you a big song and dance. Maybe a song," Joel said, and then he led the audience in a tune based on "Down in New Orleans."
In part, the lyrics said, "Come on everybody, take a trip with me, up to Onondaga County, that's where I'll be. Oh, you're going to be a lawyer or an engineer, you can even study music in the college here. With any luck, you'll get a Ph.D. at Syracuse University."
New Orleans - Reese Witherspoon says she wants families affected by Hurricane Katrina to know they haven't been forgotten.
The Oscar award-winning actress was among a delegation of women who toured devastated parts of the city last week.
"I feel really like it's absolutely imperative that myself and this delegation of women have gotten together to come down and show that we haven't forgotten, we still care about these children, we are going to continue to lobby for these children," Witherspoon told ABC's "This Week," which aired Sunday.
Witherspoon, who has a daughter and a son with husband Ryan Phillippe, says children are "such a common denominator."
"Once you have children in your life, you can no longer close your eyes to people who are in a similar situation," she said. "And I feel really blessed to be able to be on this side of it, but I also recognize the huge responsibility that we have to these people. And I will never forget this experience."