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‘Open Season’ on Ashton Kutcher/Kevin Costner for No. 1; Their ‘Guardian’ #2

By | Saturday September 30, 2006 @ 8:16am PDT

SUNDAY UPDATE: Sony’s animated kiddie fare Open Season kicked butt this weekend for No. 1. It was an embarrassing loss for Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner despite Disney’s heavy promotion of their Coast Guard action/adventure The Guardian. (So what did we learn? That Costner’s career is definitely toast, while Kutcher’s appeal is limited.) Opening in 3,833 theaters, Sony’s “when the hunted become the hunters”, starring a domesticated grizzly bear and a scrawny mule deer, earned $23 million this weekend thanks to an expected rug rats’ Saturday bump. It was Sony’s 11th No. 1 opening this year, and Sony’s 10th film of the year to open to more than $20M – a gargantuan feat of marketing muscle. By contrast, The Guardian, in 3,241 theaters, made only $17.8 million its debut weekend. The two movies sucked the life out of the rest of this weekend’s box office. The third-place movie, Jackass 2, took in $14 mil for a $51.4 cume. Meanwhile, the AP reported that a small-town Illinois theater owner shut down for two weeks rather than show Jackass 2 or other new releases that he calls “drivel.” The Lorraine Theatre in downtown Hoopeston reopened Friday showing Disney’s football biopic Invincible. The owner said he’ll shut down again if faced with a similar batch of films, even though contractual issues with the studios — such as guarantees on first-week receipts — sometimes limit his options. “I just didn’t think I should use my high-quality facilities to show people vomiting on screen,” he noted. No. 4 was The Weinstein Co/MGM’s School for Scoundrels, which opened Read More »

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Finke/LA Weekly: Baquet’s Billionaire Boys Club; Geffen ‘Confident’ LAT Buy

By | Wednesday September 27, 2006 @ 5:16pm PDT

My latest lalogo.gif column, Baquet’s Billionaire Boys’ Club, examines whether the Los Angeles Times editor, “Dean of Arc”, is playing a dangerous game with the newspaper’s integrity. Here’s how it begins:

“Not long after Dean Baquet became editor of the Los Angeles Times, influential entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg sought a meet-and-greet. It was during this lunch that Katzenberg purposefully let slip big news: His DreamWorks partner David Geffen really wanted to buy the newspaper. Baquet was shocked. “How’s he going to feel the first time we review a movie or music produced by a friend of his?” Baquet asked. Katzenberg just laughed. That was a year ago, and, since then, Geffen’s pursuit of the Tribune Co.’s troubled outpost not only hasn’t flagged, it has fired up, and not just because the paper’s 20 percent profit margin is so much better than the 6 percent earned on bonds. I’m told he’s “very serious” and “pretty confident” about purchasing it someday soon. “He believes that he’s going to be the owner,” an insider explains. That, even though there’s a growing list of fat-cat Angelenos lining up, including Eli Broad and Ron Burkle. But anyone familiar with Hollywood knows how relentless Geffen can be: What David wants, David gets. Says another source: “He has never stopped … Read More »

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Problem With ‘Studio 60′ Is Scheduling: Would Beckman Have Let This Happen?

By | Tuesday September 26, 2006 @ 11:55am PDT

Don’t get me wrong: I like this show. But the primary problem with NBC’s expensive but struggling Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip isn’t the Aaron Sorkin (right) inside-the-bubble flourishes, or the smarty-pants staccato scripts, or the high-priced/high-profile cast. It’s the truly awful scheduling. Granted, ABC last spring threw that monkey wrench into NBC’s plans to air Studio 60 on Thursday nights when Grey’s Anatomy was moved there (instead of Monday nights). But Monday nights are a lousy time slot for Studio 60 when Sunday night at 10 pm would have been so right. After all, Grey’s Anatomy premiered on March 27, 2005, in the same Sunday slot, and that was a winning strategy. So I don’t understand why NBC didn’t wait to debut Studio 60 in mid-season after football ended. As it stands now, ESPN’s Monday Night Football is eating into its audience. And it can’t move to Sunday until it can replace NBC Sunday Night Football. Of course, others might argue that Studio 60‘s woes go deeper than scheduling, since during premiere week too many Deal Or No Deal viewers turned off the new series within 30 minutes. But it’s obvious that Deal and Studio 60 attract very different demos and a game show was the wrong lead-in. Its first week out, Studio 60 wasn’t even in the Nielsen Top 20, and its second episode following lead-in Heroes attracted even fewer eyeballs. Now NBC is in a quandary: If Studio Read More »

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NY/LA Times Re-Commit to Oscar Puffery

By | Tuesday September 26, 2006 @ 9:25am PDT

David Carr has confirmed to me he’s reprising his Red Carpet role as “The Carpetbagger” for The New York Times this Oscar season beginning in early November. The blog will appear after the NYT‘s annual holiday movie issue is published. Intended to supplement the paper’s news coverage of the Academy Awards, Carr, a Times culture reporter and media columnist, penned a very personal, rather informal and somewhat uninformed blog but, at the end, predicted correctly that Crash would win Best Picture. (So did I — way back last January — but who’s keeping score, right?) Meanwhile, Tom O’Neil tells me the Los Angeles Times keeps expanding “The Envelope”, its embarrassingly fanboy 24/7 awards website feature that includes lots of Oscar-related blogs and news. There will be weekly Envelope inserts into the LAT about the Oscar derby starting in early November. Plus, ads for The Envelope are running in many Los Angeles theaters right before films screen. (Some may go beyond LA, too.) I also hear The Envelope may keep a running scorecard based on various Oscar gurus’ opinions. All I can say is, ENOUGH! It’s a shame this stuff has to start so early — see today’s LAT article It’s That Time Already? — because by the time the actual awards broadcast rolls around, everyone is sick to death of all things Oscar. But both newspapers have found this Oscar puffery to be a potentially lucrative way to drum up more web traffic and advertising — even though it’s often at the expense of good journalism. I find it demeans both papers. And then … Read More »

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Pellicano: Feds Lose Wiggan Perjury Case

By | Monday September 25, 2006 @ 2:02pm PDT

This afternoon, the jury in the Joann Wiggan perjury trial returned verdicts acquitting the former SBC phone employee of four of the five counts. The jury split 6-6 on the third count, and U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer declared a mistrial on that count. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Saunders issued this statement through a spokesman: ”We are disappointed by the verdict, but of course we accept the jury’s decision. We will consider the evidence related to the unresolved count and will decide in the next few days whether to proceed with the case.” The feds emphasized that the loss of this case has no bearing on the upcoming racketeering and wiretapping trial February 13th against celebrity P.I. thug Anthony Pellicano and others. “The charges against Ms. Wiggan are completely different from those contained in the separate indictment against Anthony Pellicano,” Saunders said. “Today’s verdict does not impact the prosecution or the ongoing investigation of Mr. Pellicano and his associates.”

The verdict comes after Wiggan testified that she did not intentionally lie to a federal grand jury about having contact with a phone company colleague who’s now under indictment for allegedly providing confidential information to Pellicano. The prosecution related to a five-count indictment of Wiggan last February stemming from her grand jury testimony about her contact with SBC field technician Rayford Turner, who’s charged with helping Pellicano place wiretaps. Turner has been indicted with Pellicano on racketeering and Read More »

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Will Oscar Voters Judge Mel’s Film Fairly? Gibson Sneaks ‘Apocalypto’ For Native Americans; Both Time/Newsweek Cover?

By | Sunday September 24, 2006 @ 11:50am PDT

I’ve learned that both Time and Newsweek want to put Mel Gibson’s Apocalpto on their covers timed to its Dec. 8th opening. This happened with Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ: Newsweek made it the cover before the film’s release, and Time after the movie was in theaters. It’s quite a coup for any Hollywood pic to make the covers of both newsmagazines. “There are a lot of media offers on the table competing for this movie,” an insider told me. This may happen without any actual interview of Gibson, too. Any interview would be problematic for Mel’s publicity push since it would necessarily dwell on Gibson’s alcoholism relapse and drunken rantings against Jews. Because of that, it’s still up in the air if there’ll be a big network (or even cable) TV one-on-one. But the real issue, now that the Disney movie is starting to garner raves from its sneak screenings, is whether Oscar voters can, or will, judge Mel’s film fairly. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are known to hold grudges for a myriad reasons, and Gibson’s anti-Semitic remarks over the summer provide ample fuel. Then again, the voters are supposed to judge the merits of the film and not the man behind it. The question is: can that be possible? I certainly don’t have an answer yet since it’s too early in the process — most voters won’t even start seeing the film until December – but I can … Read More »

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‘Jackass 2′ Knocks Out Box Office For #1; Jet Li’s ‘Fearless’ #2; ‘King’s Men’ Bombs

By | Saturday September 23, 2006 @ 8:19am PDT

Again, moviegoers sought mindless entertainment as Johnny Knoxville’s stupid stunt pic Jackass Number Two delivered a knockout punch at the box office for No. 1. The flick took in a bruising $11.9 million Friday and $10 million Saturday at 3,059 theaters Friday for what was a huge $29.2 million opening weekend. Hit-starved Paramount brass will be thrilled, although the idea for turning the MTV series into a movie pre-dates current management of the studio. Jet Li’s martial arts Fearless limped into No. 2 by comparison for Rogue/Focus Pictures, opening in 1,806 theaters Friday with only $3.6 mil Friday and $4.2 mil Saturday for what was a $10.8 mil weekend. Sony’s Gridiron Gang, starring The Rock, came in #3 its second weekend out, earning $2.9 mil Friday and $4.3 mil Saturday for what was an additional $9.7 mil to its cume of $27.2 mil to date. Electric Entertainment/MGM’s Flyboys seemed an exact replica of the old pic Memphis Belle — and it failed to fly with moviegoers now as in 1990; the No. 4 James Franco starrer was grounded with a $1.8 mil opening Friday and $2.4 mil Saturday for what was only a $5.5 mil weekend. Another holdover, Universal’s The Black Dahlia, finished in 5th place with only $1.3 mil Friday and $1.9 mil Saturday, so it will probably add only another $4.5 mil to its cume of $17.3 mil to date. Among other movies opening this weekend, Sony’s remake of All the King’s Men starring Sean Penn … Read More »

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EXCLUSIVE: Top LA Times Editors Loyal To Baquet Said To Have A ‘Suicide Pact’

By | Thursday September 21, 2006 @ 12:30am PDT

The Tribune Co., which has an all-important board meeting today where the crisis at its Los Angeles Times will be front and center, may have a bigger problem than even the corporate owners realize with the paper’s top editorial management. I’m told there’s even a name for it inside the LA Times newsroom – ”The Suicide Pact” — and it involves the highest-ranking editors. I’ve learned from insiders that, if Dean Baquet gets fired as editor and executive vice president by his Chicago bosses, then his trusted senior lieutenants have agreed to quit on the spot: Doug Frantz, Leo Wolinsky, and John Montorio.

All three men were promoted by Baquet in October 2005, so they must feel that they owe him this rather extreme display of their loyalty. Frantz had been the paper’s Istanbul bureau chief, and then was made managing editor along with Wolinsky, upped from deputy managing editor. They replaced Baquet, who had held the managing editor title before ascending to editor when John Carroll quarrelled with Tribune management and exited the paper. Wolinsky, an LAT veteran since 1977, was given more responsibility first by Carroll and then successor Baquet. Features czar Montorio was promoted from deputy managing editor to associate editor.

At the time, Baquet was quoted as saying this about Frantz and Wolinsky sharing the No. 2 job: “I wanted an aggressive way to address the issue of declining readership, to have someone focus on it. And I wanted someone to run the Read More »

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Finke/LA Weekly: Blood-and-Guts Behind The Scenes Why Jim Carrey Went to CAA

By | Wednesday September 20, 2006 @ 11:27am PDT

My latest lalogo.gif column, Cash and Carrey, explores the Entourage-like exploits behind-the-scenes of what was once known as Team Carrey: actor Jim Carrey, his managers Gold/Miller, and his agent, UTA’s Nick Stevens, in even more detail, with more surprises, than I’ve previously reported here. Oy vey. But it’s a fascinating look inside the frantic phone calls, fractured relationships and film fortunes of showbiz, if I say so myself. As I had anticipated, after firing Stevens, Carrey did indeed take meetings with Endeavor (because partner Ari Emanuel is tight with Jimmy Miller, and gave Sacha Baron Cohen to him) and CAA (which exclusively reps Eric Gold as a movie producer and reps most of Miller’s clients). As I predicted, Carrey has gone to CAA. UPDATE: *Carrey called in to CAA’s Wednesday AM motion picture staff meeting and was put on speakerphone. Naturally, all the agents went orgasmic — uh, make that, showed as much emotion as bloodless robotic clones are capable of.* Here’s an excerpt from the new column:

“Carrey once rewarded his team with spankin’ new Porsche 911 Carrera convertibles. But on September 13, Carrey phoned Stevens and said, “I’ve never met with another agency. But I’m feeling like it’s time.” The two haven’t talked since. The next day, Stevens had that Porsche towed and sold. “I could never sit in it again after that,” the agent was overheard to say. The shocking and unexpected firing of the top … Read More »

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LAT’s Hofmeister Now H’woodmeister

By | Wednesday September 20, 2006 @ 10:43am PDT

UPDATE: *A day after my original posting, the Los Angeles Times internal memo making the announcement finally went out today.* It’s not been announced yet, but I’m told the Los Angeles Times did select its replacement for Amy Wallace, the talented Deputy Business Editor in charge of entertainment/Big Media/technology industry coverage who jumped to Conde Nast’s just started Portfolio biz magazine. Drumroll, please: It’s Sallie Hofmeister, the paper’s long-time business reporter who’s had her share of TV, cable and satellite industry scoops over the years. Actually, I’m told she’s been doing the job since mid-July. So why no announcement? She became an assistant business editor in April, and before joining the LAT, was an editor at The New York Times, “where she improved the copy of a host of reporters including some guy named Baquet,” said today’s memo from Business Editor Russ Stanton. Before that, she was a staff writer at Venture magazine and a 1980 graduate of Kansas State University. (No “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore” jokes, puh-leeze!) And since memos like this are not complete with some huh? comment, Stanton adds that her attributes “are exceeded only by her arsenal of fashionable glasses and spiffy shoes.” OK, Hollywood, the sucking-up starts now!

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Ex-Mogul Sherry Lansing: Happy At Last

By | Wednesday September 20, 2006 @ 2:09am PDT

OK, so now we know what ex-studio moguls do: they blog on HuffPo. If Sherry Lansing’s doing it, can ousted Viacomer Tom Freston be far behind? Sherry opines about turning 60. But there are some interesting Hollywood revelations as well. “I’ve always had this great fear that time would run out and life would have passed me by. I realized that I didn’t want to die at my desk. I wanted to do something else and began to wonder: Am I defined by my job and if so, what kind of a person am I? Is this really what I want to say with my life? Of course, I loved the movies and the movie business. I ran Fox for over three and a half years, produced movies for ten years, and then ran Paramount Pictures for over twelve years. I loved my job, but at a certain point it became repetitive. The highs weren’t as high, and the lows weren’t as low. So I asked myself: What is it that really gives me pleasure? The answer is giving back.” She claims she “retired” from the entertainment business and committed herself to a career in philanthropy. In 2005, she formed The Sherry Lansing Foundation dedicated to cancer research and education. She serves on the board of the Jimmy Carter Center and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which disburses $3 billion in funds for stem cell research. … Read More »

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Hannibal Is Harvey’s Cannibal Now: Young French Actor Stars in Film Prequel; Dr. Lecter’s Lucrative Movie/Book Tie-In

By | Wednesday September 20, 2006 @ 12:55am PDT

Thomas Harris’ just-delivered prequel, “Hannibal Rising”, is coming to bookstores Dec. 5. The author also penned the screenplay for the hush-hush movie version, Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask, which will be released in theaters two months later. Even though very little has been written about this forthcoming flick and it’s still not announced on the film company’s website, this could be that big score which The Weinstein Company has been waiting for. ( updates TWC, What’s Happened To Harvey?). For one thing, there’ll be a closely timed tie-in between the book’s release Dec. 5 and the film’s distribution by MGM in February 2007. The book and movie look at what transformed Hannibal into a sadistic killer. Anthony Hopkins is not expected to appear in the new movie but he supposedly narrates it. The film follows Lecter’s life in three phases: from early childhood in Lithuania, to his years in France, and then America before he is captured by FBI agent Will Graham (who’s appeared before in the movies Red Dragon and Manhunter). The new film was shot mostly in Prague.

I love the idea, and irony, that Harvey finally met his match pairing with wheeler dealer Dino De Laurentiis, who just turned 87 and is the official film producer of the Hannibal character. Because it’s said about both Harv and Dino that negotiating with them is more painful than a root canal. This was a speedy delivery of “Hannibal Rising” for author Harris, only 7 years, compared to the 10 years it … Read More »

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Pellicano Wiretap Scandal Update: Phone Employee’s Perjury Trial Starts Today; Beat Reporter Exits; Pellicano Won’t Rat

By | Tuesday September 19, 2006 @ 9:15am PDT

It’s been a while since I’ve provided a Pellicano scandal update. So here goes:

  • Today is the start of SBC telephone employee Joann Wiggan’s perjury trial before U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer — important because it’s one of the first cases relating to the racketeering and wiretapping (of celebrities, VIPs and journalists) and racketeering charges against imprisoned Hollywood P.I. thug Anthony Pellicano. And these perjury cases serve as warnings to those in and around the scandal to tell the truth to the feds — or else. According to the prosecutors’ trial memorandum filed with the court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles expects to call 6-10 winesses over two days relating to its five-count indictment of Wiggan, indicted last February for allegedly committing perjury in her testimony to the grand jury about her contact with SBC field technician Rayford Turner, who’s charged with helping Pellicano place the taps. Turner has been indicted with Pellicano on RICO and other charges relating to wiretapping and illegally obtaining confidential SBC customer information in U.S. v Pellicano.
  • The feds found that many of these calls occurred after Turner’s retirement from SBC in December 2001, and many occurred on the same dates as Turner’s calls to former SBC employees Teresa Wright and Michele Malkin, both of whom have admitted improperly providing confidential SBC information to Turner. But in an interview with the FBI in October 2004, Wiggan acknowledged knowing Turner and stated that no one

Read More »

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Bruce Willis Not A Diehard Republican?

By | Monday September 18, 2006 @ 11:20am PDT

For years, I have been “brainwashed” by the GOP into believing that Bruce Willis is a diehard Republican. Maybe that’s because he has voiced support for the war in Iraq, accused the media of ignoring “success stories” there, backed George W. Bush for president in 2000, and appeared at the White House with Dubya. On the other hand, it is true that an FEC search finds little evidence that Willis has given to GOP causes. But the media hating actor uncharacteristically wanted a gossip columnist to report that he’s bipartisan. ”Please write this,” Willis told the NY Daily News’ Lloyd Grove,  ”I’m always being accused of being a Hollywood Republican — but I’m not! I have just as many Democratic ideas as Republican ones,” he insisted. “If they could build three fewer bombs every month and give the money to foster care, that would be great.” That’s because Willis’ cause celebre is finding more federal money for foster care, and none other than George W. Bush made him national spokesman for children-in-foster care in 2002.(Willis has even called himself “apolitical,” claiming, “I’m a Republican only as far as I want a smaller government”) Bruce told Lloyd: “This is not something for the private sector to solve. This is a problem for the federal government.” He said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has been helping on the issue. As for another foster care proponent, ex-House Majority leader Tom DeLay, now facing criminal corruption charges. Willis joked: Read More »

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Brad Grey’s Posse Denies That Cruise/Scientology Thug Report

By | Monday September 18, 2006 @ 8:27am PDT

Brad Grey’s people finally tell me it’s “nonsense” that Tom Cruise dispatched goons from the Church of Scientology to intimidate him. That’s why I waited to comment on last week’s assertion by the newly revived Radar Online citing “a high-ranking media executive.” The report claims Grey, during his negotiations with Cruise over Mission: Impossible 3, was walking to his car in the Paramount lot when suddenly he found himself surrounded by more than a dozen Scientologists. Supposedly, they pressured him to ease up on the actor. After a terse exchange, Grey got in his car and left. “But the message was clear… He was unnerved by the incident.” Gee, and Hollywood types thought Brad’s posse had leaked this just to get some sympathy on his side.

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Senate Dems Probe Iraq Profiteering Per Robert Greenwald’s New ‘Iraq For Sale’

By | Monday September 18, 2006 @ 1:31am PDT

Hollywood filmmaker Robert Greenwald is in Washington today for Senate Democratic  oversight hearings on Iraq war profiteering, and the D.C. movie premiere of his latest documentary, Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers. The Brave New Films DVD will be released on September 26th. The Senate Democratic Policy Committee, led by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), will conduct oversight hearings to seek accountability for contracting abuses in Iraq. Dorgan, with Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Mark Dayton (D-MN), will investigate some of the allegations in Greenwald’s film. Heard will be testimony from whistleblowers reportedly with firsthand knowledge about contracting abuses in Iraq, such as former Halliburton truck drivers Edward Sanchez and Sean Larvenz who both are featured in Iraq For Sale. Meanwhile, Greenwald’s film is under attack by Halliburton on the company’s website. (So, too, did Fox News Channel attack his OutFoxed DVD.) “Now we’re taking the fight to Washington to impact their one and only customer: the U.S. government,” Greenwald emailed media on Sunday. “We are amazed that they openly admit to not seeing the film, and then proceed to attack it because they can “deduce” its content! I kid you not. Maybe they can deduce what happened to the billions they overcharged.” Greenwald points out that the corporation claims the film gets facts wrong. ”Then they distort the facts — one of my favorite being, ‘By all accounts, KBR’s logistical achievements in support of the troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan have been nothing short of amazing.’ They cite 411 million … Read More »

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Some Showbiz Dems Feel Used By Arnold

By | Saturday September 16, 2006 @ 9:32am PDT

Arnold_In_Pink.jpgI’m told some Hollywood Democrats are furious they’ve been “outed” by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign. On Friday, the Los Angeles Times, in what was tantamount to a press release for Ah-nuld, presented the laundry list of Hollywood Dems who have joined Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Haim Saban in the turncoat category for giving money to Schwarzenegger. But what the paper didn’t report was that the Guv’s campaign and/or its surrogates contacted many of these contributors and asked to use their names. And I’m told some of these Hollywood types said absolutely not. The main reason was that they didn’t want to lose their street cred with the party as Democratic activists. A few also claimed that they weren’t supporting Schwarzenegger for his politics but rather for his personal favors. (One Hollywood bigwig told me how Arnold was kind to his kid during a class trip to Sacramento, so that’s why he threw the Guv some dough.) Now they’re squealing like stuck pigs after being outed by the LAT story. Some of these Hollywood Dems donating to Schwarzenegger say they feel used by the campaign for outing them just for the sake of publicity. Especially since they were counting on nobody noticing they were donors since those lists rarely receive media attention. They note there’s a huge difference between supporting Arnold’s politics and approving of … Read More »

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The Rock Rules At Rocky Box Office: ‘Gridiron Gang” #1; ‘Black Dahlia’ #2; Sony Overtakes Disney In Market Share

By | Saturday September 16, 2006 @ 8:39am PDT

SATURDAY: Box office continues to slump as moviegoers stay away from theaters for another weekend, showing yet again how the lack of big tentpole pics can’t drum up excitement for all film fare. But Sony scored yet another No. 1 opening — its 10th this year — when The Rock’s Gridiron Gang gritty football flick based on a true story opened with $4.8 million from 3,504 theaters Friday. The pic which cost only $30 mil to make received a 30% bump for Saturday’s business, so the film ended the weekend with a $15 million weekend bow. But the film had, in the word of one box office guru, “crazy good exits”: an A Cinemascore, A+ under 18 from both men and women. By contrast, the exits for Universal’s The Black Dahlia was only a D+. Still, the Hollywood true-crime mystery movie had good per-screen averages; playing in only 2,228 theaters, the film earned $3.7 million Friday but only bumped 6% for Saturday for what was a $10 mil weekend. The Paramount/DreamWorks/Lakeshore debut of the latest Zach Braff relationship movie The Last Kiss did passably considering it was only playing in 1,357 theaters, earning $1.8 mil Friday for a $4.6 mil opening weekend. Fox’s kiddie fare Everyone’s Hero failed to pull in more than $1.6 mil Friday from 2,896 theaters for what was only a $6.1 mil bow. Rounding out the top 5 movies, Sony’s The Covenant was down 47% its second weekend out, … Read More »

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GOP Trying To Blacklist Rosie O’Donnell

By | Saturday September 16, 2006 @ 7:35am PDT

You’d think that with the Abramoff scandal heating up again, a failed war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and New Orleans still reeling, the GOP would have better things to focus on before the midterm elections. But no. The attack machine known as the Republican National Committee is attempting to blacklist The View‘s Rosie O’Donnell for recently expressing her opinions. Uh, Earth to GOP: That’s what The View is all about. ”Dems ‘Rosie’ view on the war on terror. Cut-and-run Defeatocrats across the country take their cues from Hollywood friends and advisors,” the RNC website ridiculously claims, then proceeds to pile on O’Donnell. This, even though her anti-Iraq war stance is expressed by a majority of Americans, according to recent polling. Also attacked was O’Donnell’s right to contribute political donations to the campaigns of Democratic candidates like Connecticut’s Ned Lamont, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, Washington’s Maria Cantwell, Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey, Illinois’ Tammy Duckworth, and so on. Given how juvenile this GOP jeer is, no one could possibly take it seriously. Except ABC, which, after all, just carried the Bush administration’s water by airing that conservative-concocted The Path to 9/11 docusham, and docushame. (See my latest LA Weekly column, The Mouse Who Whored). Clearly, the GOP’s intent is to get ABC to fire newcomer-to-the-network, O’Donnell, or, barring that, muzzle her. Yet I find it interesting that the Republicans stayed mum when another Hollywood celebrity last week went on NBC’s The Tonight Show and used it as a staging area to express at length his own non-centric political views. … Read More »

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