BIG, FAT BOX OFFICE FOR NORBIT

Norbit, starring Eddie Murphy in three roles, including a fat lady, displayed more heft at the box office than originally estimated, raking in $34.2 million, according to final figures released by Media by Numbers Monday. By the same token, Hannibal Rising took in less than the studio's estimate, winding up with just $13.1 million. Overall, the box office continued to show strain, falling 7 percent below the comparable weekend a year ago.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):

1. Norbit, Paramount, $34,195,434, (New); 2. Hannibal Rising, MGM, $13,051,650, (New); 3. Because I Said So, Universal, $9,221,130, 2 Wks. ($25,805,720); 4. The Messengers, Screen Gems, $7,218,187, 2 Wks. ($24,742,205); 5. Night at the Museum, 20th Century Fox, $5,754,359, 7 Wks. ($232,150,355); 6. Epic Movie, 20th Century Fox, $4,570,090, 3 Wks. ($35,594,259); 7. Smokin' Aces, Universal, $4,113,020, 3 Wks. ($31,174,140); 8. Pan's Labyrinth, Picture House, $3,577,283, 7 Wks. ($26,619,057); 9. Dreamgirls, Paramount, $2,980,967, 8 Wks. ($97,006,872); 10. The Queen, Miramax, $2,373,121, 19 Wks. ($48,897,648).

ANTI-HILLARY DOC TO BE PRODUCED BY BILL'S ONETIME ADVISER

Dick Morris, who was Bill Clinton's chief political adviser for more than 20 years but later became a prickly critic of the former president, is helping to produce a theatrical documentary intended to derail the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, according to CNSNews.com, a unit of the conservative Media Research Center. The film reportedly has a budget of $2 million and is due to be released in the fall. Morris, his wife, Eileen McGann, and David Bossie, president of the conservative group Citizens United, issued a statement saying the film aims to "expose the truth about [Hillary Clinton's] conflicts in the past and her liberal plot for the future."

MOST ADULTS BLAME MOVIES FOR TEENAGE SMOKING

A new study indicates that 81 percent of adults believe that watching actors smoke in movies encourages teenagers in the audience to smoke. The study, conducted by Mississippi State University's Social Science Research Center for the American Medical Association, also reported that 70 percent of adults believe that films showing smoking should automatically be required to display an R rating.

LIONSGATE FILMS DEBUT ON APPLE'S ITUNES

Some 150 Lionsgate films will be added to Apple's iTunes Store this month, Lionsgate and Apple announced Monday. Several -- including Terminator 2, L.A. Story, Basic Instinct, The Blair Witch Project and Dirty Dancing -- went online Monday. All of the films, priced at $9.99, come from Lionsgate's library, and none are recent releases. Only Disney has allowed films to be released on iTunes around the time they are released on DVD. Studios are wary that brick-and-mortar stores will retaliate if the studios make movies available for downloading at prices lower than those charged in the stores.

LARRY KING: ALWAYS GOOD FOR A MOVIE AD QUOTE

No matter how lousy the movie, studios can usually count on a glowing review of it from CNN talk-show host Larry King, Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein observed today (Tuesday). King, according to Goldstein, even gives enthusiastic reviews to film he doesn't even like -- like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. In studio ads for it, King's name appeared below this rave: "Finally, a Movie Worth Seeing Over and Over Again!" In an interview with Goldstein King conceded that he "had no idea what was going on. ... I'd have to see it over and over again to figure out what happened." King complained that some critics "don't even want to like the movie," singling out the Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern. "Sometimes I don't even know what he's looking at." Asked to respond, Morgenstern told Goldstein that he was "honored to be deplored by Larry King." He chastised King for taking cellphone calls during the middle of a recent screening. King later apologized, but remarked. "It was urgent. They were important calls, things I had to respond to. I didn't talk on the phone for more than a minute or two."

Brian B. at Movieweb
Brian B.