‘Avatar’ passes ‘Titanic’ on worldwide chart
Los Angeles — James Cameron is king of the world again.
20th Century Fox said Tuesday that the director’s sci-fi spectacle, “Avatar,” has passed his shipwreck saga “Titanic” to become the highest-grossing film worldwide.
As of Monday, “Avatar” had brought in $1.859 billion at the box office, passing the $1.843 billion worldwide record set by 1997’s “Titanic.”
“Titanic” remains the highest-grossing film domestically at $600.8 million.
“Avatar” has been No. 1 at the box office for six straight weeks with a domestic total of $554.9 million. It shot down “The Dark Knight” on Saturday to become the second highest-grossing film domestically.
“Avatar” has also mined $1.3 billion in international ticket sales, smashing the $1.24 billion mark previously set by “Titanic.”
Stewart headed to Hallmark Channel
New York — Martha Stewart doesn’t quite have her own television network like Oprah Winfrey, but the Hallmark Channel is giving the household style maven control over a chunk of its daytime lineup.
Stewart’s weekday program, currently syndicated to various broadcast channels across the country, will move to the Hallmark Channel in September, the network and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. announced Tuesday.
“The Martha Stewart Show,” starting its sixth season this fall, will air at 9 a.m. CT each weekday. The show will be rerun each day at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Stewart’s production company will be responsible for 90 minutes of additional programming that will air following the first run of her show.
Stewart said the deal was in the works before Winfrey announced in November that she will leave her syndicated show in 2011 to concentrate on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, her joint venture with Discovery Communications Inc.
CBS willing to air more Super Bowl advocacy ads
New York — CBS responded to complaints over a conservative group’s planned Super Bowl ad featuring football star Tim Tebow by saying that it had eased restrictions on advocacy ads and would consider “responsibly produced” ones for open spots in its Feb. 7 broadcast.
CBS Corp. said Tuesday it had received numerous e-mails — both critical and supportive — since a coalition of women’s groups began a protest campaign Monday against the ad, which the critics say will use Tebow and his mother to convey an anti-abortion message.
Funded by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, the 30-second ad is expected to recount the story of Pam Tebow’s pregnancy in 1987. After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child. She later gave birth to Tim, who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy and helped his Florida team win two BCS championships.
CBS said Tuesday that the decision to air the Tebow ad reflected a change in its policies toward advocacy ads that has evolved over the past several years.
Octuplets celebrate 1st birthday
La Habra, Calif. — The world’s longest surviving octuplets are celebrating their first birthday at their California home.
The eight babies were born a year ago Tuesday. Paparazzi mobbed mom Nadya Suleman’s car when she brought them home from the hospital.
Three of the octuplets peered out of the windows Tuesday at a handful of photographers. A woman brought eight balloons and a large bag of presents earlier in the day.
Suleman’s attorney, Jeff Czech, says she celebrated with a quiet party with her octuplets, her six older children, and other family members on Sunday.
Czech says one of the octuplets is walking.
He says Suleman, who is single and unemployed, feels her family is starting to outgrow the four-bedroom house in Orange County.
Jessica Simpson helping to send shoes to Haiti
Nashville, Tenn. — Jessica Simpson is raising money to send shoes to earthquake victims in Haiti.
Simpson has teamed up with the Nashville-based organization Soles4Souls. The charity has pledged to work with other aid agencies to give out one million pairs of shoes.
Simpson is urging people to “do everything that we can for the victims in Haiti. Just five dollars will buy two people a pair of shoes.”
The charity says Haitian survivors need shoes to protect against broken glass, twisted metal and raw sewage.
People can donate at 50Kshoes.com.
Hathaway to announce Oscar nominations
Los Angeles — Anne Hathaway will be among the first to learn who’s up for an Oscar this year.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says the 27-year-old actress will join academy president Tom Sherak to announce Academy Award nominees on Feb. 2.
Sherak and Hathaway will reveal nominations in 10 of the 24 categories at an early-morning news conference at the academy’s Beverly Hills headquarters.
Hathaway was nominated for an Oscar last year for her leading role in “Rachel Getting Married.” Her other credits include “The Devil Wears Prada” and “The Princess Diaries.”