GOLD? ABS-SOLUTELY!

The 3-D film Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert failed to turn the box office topsy-turvy in its second week as it had in its debut a week earlier. Held over for a second week, the concert film, which originally was due to run for one week only, drew an estimated $10.5 million. Still, that worked out to more than $15,000 per theater, far more than the two top films, Fool's Gold and Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, could claim. Fool's Gold, which was greeted with overwhelmingly poor reviews, many of which suggested that its major attraction was star Matthew McConaughey's abs, took in $23.8 million. As expected, the primary audience turned out to be older women. In an interview with the Associated Press, Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers, attributed the movie's success to "a great marketing campaign, two appealing stars, and reviews be damned." Jenkins, which stars Martin Lawrence, performed about as expected with a take of $17.1 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:

1. Fool's Gold, $22 million; 2. Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, $17.1 million; 3. Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, $10.5 million; 4. The Eye, $6.6 million; 5. Juno, $5.73 million; 6. 27 Dresses, $5.7 million; 7. The Bucket List, $5.3 million; 8. Rambo, $4.1 million; 9. Meet the Spartans, $4.075 million; 10. There Will Be Blood, $4.073 million.

END OF THE LINE FOR NEW LINE?

Time Warner executives are considering folding New Line into its Warner Bros. division or keeping the brand as a separate production unit with Warner Bros. handling its distribution, the Wall Street Journal reported today (Monday), citing people familiar with the situation. The newspaper said that in either scenario, New Line would be reduced to producing low-budget films as it once did instead of blockbusters like its recent Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Journal did not indicate what would become of The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings prequel, which New Line is scheduled to produce this year.

ATONEMENT WINS AT BAFTAS

Snubbed in the voting for Oscar nominations, the British film Atonement won the top award at the U.K.'s BAFTA awards Sunday -- Britain's equivalent of the Oscars. Daniel Day-Lewis was the winner of the best actor award for There Will Be Blood, while Marion Cotillard won best actress honors for her performance as singer Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, received the best director award for No Country for Old Men.

CHINA BARS FILMING OF WEINSTEIN CO. FILM

China's Film Bureau has informed the Weinstein Co. that it will not issue permits for the studio to film Shanghai, starring Gong Li and John Cusack, in Shanghai. Word of the refusal apparently caught director Mikael Hafstrom by surprise. According to Daily Variety, Hafstrom had spent the last six months in Shanghai preparing to shoot the film. "This obviously comes as a shock to all of us," Hafstrom told the trade publication. "We don't know exactly why we have been turned down." Variety speculated that the Chinese may have been concerned about the plot line, which includes drugs, sex, and war with the Japanese. (The movie is set in 1941.) Hafstrom indicated that the film is now likely to be shot in Hong Kong, which, although now officially part of China, is granted a considerable degree of self rule.

JAWS, JAZZ STAR SCHEIDER DIES AT 75

Roy Scheider, best known for his roles as the police chief in Jaws and the choreographer in All That Jazz, died Sunday in Little Rock, AK at age 75. The cause of death was not disclosed, although a spokeswoman at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Hospital said that he had been treated for multiple myeloma, a type of bone-marrow cancer that affects plasma cells.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.