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November 2006 Archive

RIP: Robert Altman 1925-2006

Robert Altman, the director and writer and producer known for his originality and creativity, died at age 81. Who didn’t love his movies? I thought, as a tribute, I’d reprint a portion of his speech accepting the Honorary Academy Award during the 78th Oscar broadcast. (He never won an Oscar, but should have): “I’ve always said that making a film is like making a sand castle at the beach. You invite your friends, and you get them down there, and you build this beautiful… Read

Another Pellicano Trial Delay: August 22

U.S. District Court judge federal Dale Fischer today postponed the racketeering and wiretapping trial of Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano until August 22. Originally scheduled first for October and then for February, the trial keeps getting delayed. The problem seems to be the interminable discovery process taking place. Pellicano opposed a joint motion by prosecutors and five defense attorneys representing other defendants in the case to postpone the trial until… Read

Kramer Apologized On Dave Tonight With Seinfeld's Help; Behind The Meltdown: Comedy Clubs Are Cesspools Of Hate

UPDATE: I’m told arrangements were made by none other than Jerry Seinfeld himself for Michael Richards to go on Letterman via satellite tonight. Video here. “Kramer” made a major apology on Dave’s Late Show which had Seinfeld scheduled as a guest already. Richard’s appearance during Seinfeld’s interview was treated as a surprise. Kramer made a  mea culpa, and sources at the taping told me that both Letterman and Seinfeld seemed to accept what he was saying… Read

Box Office

PHOTO FINISH! Birds Beat Bond For #1; 'Happy Feet' Runs Away With Matinees; But 007 Opens Huge No. 1 In 27 Countries

SUNDAY AM: (Refresh for latest) Whose numbers to believe? Sony officially tallied the Casino Royale weekend take at $40.6 mil, lower than any rival studio’s estimate, and Warner Bros. officially put Happy Feet at $42.3 mil, higher than any other competitor’s estimate. (About Warner’s estimate, one box office guru told me this AM, “They are being extremely aggressive with their number, and I am not sure come tomorrow that they will be able to live up to the heights they… Read

Sitrick/BWR: No Love Lost, But No Faking

When I first heard about bad blood between two major showbiz flackeries, Sitrick and Company and BWR, I was intrigued enough to look into it. Well, it had to do with BWR bringing in crisis specialist Sitrick and Company for representation of Ryan Phillippe, who’s Reese Witherspoon’s soon-to-be-ex, because BWR had a conflict of interest: they represented both actors. So, to avoid any problems, BWR was supposed to handle Reese’s side of the divorce and Sitrick was supposed… Read

Box Office

Tracking: Birds #1 & Bond #2 in U.S.? 'Casino Royale' UK Biggest 007 Opening

FRIDAY UPDATE: Friday U.S. Matinees: Bond Beating Birds THURSDAY UPDATE: I’m told Casino Royale with Daniel Craig is having the biggest opening day ever for a Bond film in the UK. Looks like it will beat previous high from Die Another Day for sure. The pic did 1.7M pounds in the UK, which was 67% of the day’s total box office. 007’s previous highest total for a UK opening was Die Another Day‘s 1.1M pounds. Ultimately, it may come down to running times and theater count… Read

Film Threat's 2006 'Frigid 50' List

I love Hollywood lists. I even love those flack-phonied-up Hollywood lists about “Best Feet” which are little more than an excuse just to mention actor clients who can’t get any other ink. Best of all are the cynical lists. So Film Threat has issued its annual 2006 “Frigid 50” List of the Coldest People In Hollywood “detailing the least-powerful, least-inspiring… Read

EXCLUSIVE: ICM Hires Beyoncé's CAA Agent; 'Dreamgirls' Star Likely To Follow

Well, this is a surprise since I’m so accustomed to these things going the other way. I’m told that ICM has hired Andrea Nelson Meigs, who is Beyoncé’s CAA agent. According to sources, it looks like the singer, who’s being touted for an Oscar for her lead role in Dreamgirls, will leave CAA to follow her to ICM. Meigs starts Monday in the motion picture department. She is that rarity in Hollywood: an African-American agent. (Note to all you agency heads: you really, really… Read

DHD Update

Deadline Hollywood Daily is back up, with a slightly different look to accomodate more advertising. There will be a lot of new features coming online, so stay tuned. This weekend, the site should pass 5 million page views after only eight months out.  Read

What's New & Hot In Entertainment

This is a needed feature I’m starting for Saturdays: my round-up of what’s new and hot in entertainment from Village Voice Media alternative newspapers across the country. Trust these alt-weeklies to know about the best or worst stuff first. Every week, check out the links to movie, music, video game and TV-related articles and reviews in the VVM alt-weeklies located in Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Cleveland… Read

Box Office

#1 'Borat' Bullies B.O. (Again): Backlash? Will Ferrell's 'Stranger' Only 4th Place; Russell Crowe's 'Good Year' Bombs Badly

SUNDAY AM: I’m told it was another boffo box office weekend for Borat. The Fox spoof from the HBO comedy stylings of Sacha Baron Cohen raked in $9.7 million Friday and $11.3 mil for a $28.6 mil weekend and a new cume of $67.4 mil. Expanding from 837 to 2,566 theaters, Borat‘s gross receipts were up only 8%. Now there’s new media talk of a backlash. No matter, it’s thumpin’ every pic this weekend, including Sony’s Stranger Than Fiction starring Will Ferrell which was only… Read

Bart(on) Finke: Mel's 'Apocalypto'

Peter Bart’s Variety column today asks the question, about Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, “Will the very community that understandably has been offended by Gibson’s inebriated diatribes be willing to pass fair judgment on his artistic contributions?” How interesting — because I asked that same question, and answered it, here back on September 24: Read