DISSIDENT SLATE TO OPPOSE SAG LEADERS

Accusing the current leadership of the Screen Actors Guild of fumbling negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, a coalition of actors has been formed to offer a slate of candidates to challenge the leaders in elections set for September 18. The group, which calls itself Unite for Strength, is seeking to fill 11 seats on the national board of SAG and 22 alternate seats (those who sit in for board members when they are working). Among the candidates are Adam Arkin, Kate Walsh, Amy Brenneman, Marcia Wallace, Ned Vaughn and Doug Savant. Speaking for the challengers, Vaughn, a veteran character actor, said in a statement, "We think the current leadership has put SAG on a dangerous path. ... We can no longer afford leaders who sow division." Arkin added, "I'm concerned for future negotiations if we don't change the leadership that has brought us to this point." Nevertheless, the group has thus far not attracted the support of a single major star. As one person commented on Nikki Finke's Dateline Hollywood Daily blog, "When the actors who appear on the covers of national magazines speak up, then I think SAG members will listen."

GOOD KNIGHT! ANOTHER RECORD FALLS

Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight dealt another KERPLOW! to a box-office record Tuesday when it crossed the $200-million mark in ticket sales in five days -- the fastest any film has ever reached that milestone. Three films had previously tied for the record, but it had taken each of them eight days to get there. (They were: Spider-Man 2; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest; and Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith.) The film has been posting remarkable weekday grosses -- $24.5 million on Monday and $20.9 million on Tuesday. As of Tuesday, its total gross stood at $203.77 million. Meanwhile, Dark Knight producer Charles Roven has told USA Today that he's "scratching my head" over the results. "I've been doing this for a while," he told the newspaper. "I made my first film in 1983. I've had what I thought was a lot of success but never anything like this."

LUCAS TO TURN STAR WARS FILMS INTO 3-D VIDEOS

Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is a major advocate of theatrical 3-D films, has disclosed that George Lucas is investing in a technology that could turn all of his Star Wars movies into 3-D features that could be given new releases. Katzenberg told the website ComingSoon.net that he now has the technical resources to begin the conversion process. Previous attempts to turn 2-D movies into 3-D have produced mixed results and reactions -- mostly negative -- but Katzenberg remarked in the interview that Lucas "isn't going to put a product out, I think, that isn't anything other than first rate."

JOBS CLAIMS HIS HEALTH IS GOOD

Steve Jobs has been telling close associates in recent days that rampant rumors about his health have been greatly exaggerated, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday. The rumors have reportedly been responsible for a downturn in Apple's stock. Thus far, they do not appear to have affected shares of the Walt Disney Co. where Jobs is the largest stockholder and arguably the most influential board member. Bloomberg reported that Jobs told one industry executive recently that he had run a high fever for a week prior to his presentation at an Apple conference last month, where he unveiled the latest version of the company's iPhone. The illness had been primarily responsible for his noticeable weight loss that had spurred the rumors, he indicated. But in an article appearing on the Forbes magazine website today, an Apple employee blamed Jobs's "extreme" vegetarian diet for his health issues.

VINCE VAUGHN: HE'S WORTH EVERY DOLLAR

Given what his movies cost to make, what he's paid to appear in them, and what they bring in at the box office, Vince Vaughn ranks No. 1 on Forbes magazine's Ultimate Star Payback List. The comedian's films earned $14.73 for every dollar he was paid, the magazine said. Because they took sizable pay cuts to appear together in Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen, Matt Damon, George Clooney,Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts also ranked high on the list. However, Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman landed at the bottom for receiving huge salaries for films that flopped. But the magazine also noted that some films would never be produced without a top movie star being brought on board with the promise of a huge payday. "When Cameron Diaz attaches herself to a script," the magazine noted "suddenly the producers can hire the hottest director and supporting actors and secure a good date for the film's release. Without a star, the same script can sit in limbo for years."

Brian B.