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August 2006 Archive

Evidence Why Project Runway Rules…

Best Fashion One-Liner Ever: On Bravo’s Project Runway 3 last night, designer/judge Michael Kors (why don’t they describe him by that ridiculous ‘jet set’ moniker anymore?) said about Los Angeles contestant Jeffrey’s plus-size sack: “That looks like Comme des Garçons goes to the Amish country.” What To Dread This Season: Exactly how the Weinstein Brothers, who coproduce the show, will slip in a not-so-subtle tie-in to one of their forthcoming films. Remember Season 1 when… Read

Who's Crazier: Viacom or Tom Cruise?

If there's suddenly a litmus test for insanity to be administered by the owners of Hollywood movie studios, then start with the executive suites. That's my reaction to the are-you-shitting-me pronouncement by Viacom Inc. chairman Sumner Redstone today that his Paramount Pictures is terminating its 14-year relationship with Tom "Crazy" Cruise's production company because the actor's controversial and erratic off-screen behavior hurt the theatrical grosses of “Mission Impos… Read

Box Office

'Snakes On A Plane' Flakes For #2; 'Talladega Nights' Holds #1 for 3rd Week; 'World Trade Center' A Surprising #3; 'Pirates 2' Crosses $400 Mil for U.S.

SUNDAY UPDATE: After all the Hollywood hype, New Line’s Snakes on a Plane flakes. I’m told that, despite a long pre-release marketing campaign that sent some Internet showbiz blogs into a writhing frenzy of anticipation, the Samuel Jackson-starring horror flick came up short for its opening. It wound up the No. 2 pic with New Line saying it took in $15.2 million for the weekend. But rival studios claim that included $1.4 million from Thursday night’s 10 p.m. screenings… Read

Character Actor Bruno Kirby Dies

From AP: Bruno Kirby, the veteran character actor who co-starred in When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers has died at age 57 in Los Angeles from complications related to leukemia, according to a statement today from his wife, Lynn Sellers. He had recently been diagnosed with the disease. “We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from Bruno’s fans and colleagues who have admired and respected his work over the past 30 years,” his wife… Read

Box Office

'Pirates' Sequel No. 1 Overseas For 6th Straight Week; #11 All-Time Worldwide

I’m told that, in addition to its $392.4 million U.S. box office gross, Disney’s blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest is No. 1 internationally for six straight weeks. The Johnny Depp starrer did $44 million this weekend bringing the overseas total to $463 million. So worldwide the total is a whopping $855 million — making it the 11th highest grossing movie of all time. That’s many spots higher than Sony’s The Da Vinci Code which is logging $752 mil… Read

Box Office

Word Of Mouth Helps 'WTC' Box Office; U.S. Moviegoers Seeking Escapism Make 'Talladega Nights' #1 & 'Step Up' #2

SUNDAY: I’m told attendance for Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center was up a surprising 26% Saturday compared to Friday. It was the clearest indication yet that positive word of mouth was beginning to spread about the well-reviewed Paramount movie whose ticket sales have been slow. Though WTC is expected to end the weekend only No. 3 with $19 mil, its 5-day opening cume will be $26.8 million (including $7.2 mil for Saturday). Despite opening with weak per-screen averages… Read

Finke/LA Weekly: The Iceberg Cometh

My latest column, The Iceberg Cometh, is about Jeff Berg and ICM’s purchase of the Broder, Webb, Chervin, Silbermann Agency. Here’s how it starts: “Those who knew him as an abnormally normal teenager say that Jeff Berg never betrayed any burning ambitions while growing up in wealthy Brentwood. But, one day in 1965, the Uni High senior came home from school and, instead of going up to his room to study, went to the garage and grabbed a rope. He tied one end to the iron… Read

RIP Garry Abrams, Hollywood Truthteller

He covered so much more territory than Hollywood as the columnist for the Los Angeles legal newspaper Daily Journal. But Garry Abrams was the sharpest truthteller about the entertainment business’ many legal scrapes I’ve ever known. He was also my friend, and he died after a long battle with cancer (Cedars-Sinai photo of him below). I spoke to his wife last week and, inbetween my tears, and her courage, we laughed. Which was fitting, because Garry and I used to laugh a… Read

What? Spielberg, Katzenberg & Saban Supporting 'Their Friend' Guv Arnold

The big question here is what are their real motives? What have they been promised? Hollywood woke up with a shock today: the Los Angeles Times reporting that Democratic loyalists Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Haim Saban are supporting Republican incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger for California governor over the Democratic contender, state Treasurer Phil Angelides. (Interestingly, David Geffen’s name is not included with the other Dreamworks partners, indicating… Read

Box Office

NASCAR MOVIE NATION: Talladega Nights' $47 Mil Victory Lap for No. 1; Opening Is Will Ferrell's Biggest Ever

SUNDAY/SATURDAY/FRIDAY: I’m told Sony’s good-natured NASCAR spoof, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby First, victory lapped every movie at the box office for No. 1 passing $18 million Friday and $16 million Saturday for a fast-paced $47 million weekend. This is comic Will Ferrell’s biggest opening ever, exceeding his previous best Elf ($31 mil), and the 2nd biggest original comedy opening of all time behind Bruce Almighty. After decades of Hollywood looking… Read

Finke/LA Weekly: Too Fast & Too Furious

My latest column, Too Fast And Too Furious, applies not just to Mel Gibson, but sanctimonious Hollywood, too. Many may think I hold a controversial opinion about this, but it’s mine and I’m entitled to it. And you’re entitled to disagree. Here’s how it starts out: “Where is the Hollywood outrage? Where is the industrywide condemnation? No, I'm not talking about Mel Gibson's drunken anti-Semitic slurs. I'm talking about the Lionsgate scandal. Its ads for its slasher flick… Read