TRANSFORMERS WINS BY A NOSE
It was a photo-finish at the box office this holiday weekend, with Friday-Sunday estimates initially indicating that Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had each taken in $42.5 million. However, the final result, released early today (Monday) put transformers ahead with $42.4 million to Ice Age's $41.6 million. Earlier, box office analysts had predicted that the ice age sequel would come out on top, aided by strong ticket sales at theaters showing it in 3D, where the premium $2.00 (or so) price for 3D glasses was likely to offset lower ticket prices for children. For the five-day holiday, the 20th Century Fox animated feature did indeed wind up ahead with an anticipated gross of $67.5 versus about $65 million for Transformers. Universal's Public Enemies also had a solid opening with $26.2 million for the three-day weekend and $41 million for the five-day. Overseas, there was no contest, with Ice Age nailing $148 million over the five days in 101 countries, including 16 where it broke opening records. In most countries, no other movie even came close.
The top ten films for the regular three-day weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $42.4 million (final); 2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, $41.6 million (final); 3. Public Enemies, $26.2 million; 4. The Proposal, $12.8 million; 5. The Hangover, $10.4 million; 6. Up, $6.6 million; 7. My Sister's Keeper, $5.3 million; 8. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, $2.5 million; 9. Year One, $2.1 million; 10. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, $2.1 million.
UNRELEASED JACKSON FIVE FILM MAY SEE LIGHT OF DAY
A 1974 documentary about the Jackson 5's visit to Senegal and their performances there may finally come to theaters, the New York Post reported Sunday. The film, Jackson 5 in Africa, was financed by a group of African investors, who shelved it after running out of money, the newspaper said. A source told the Post, "With Michael's tragic passing, we requested permission to do a public screening, and the owner -- an international businessman who wants to remain anonymous -- agreed." It is due to be screened first at the National Black Theater in Harlem on July 14. Fuzzy clips from the film have been available on YouTube for several months.
PORN BUSINESS BOOMING IN JAPAN
Unlimited mobile data plans in Japan have unexpectedly fueled a surge in demand for movie downloads and especially adult films, i.e. pornography. Bloomberg News reports that more than 1,000 Japanese adult film companies churned out about 17,000 titles last year. The largest adult-film websites are adding as many as 1,000 new customers a day. One of them, Soft on Demand, generates $160,000 in revenue each month, much of it from mobile sales, according to Hirotaka Ishimori, head of the company's online division. In an interview with Bloomberg Ishimori estimated that total annual Japanese sales of pornographic films is around $1 billion. "We see the mobile phone as potentially a huge market," Ishimori said. "Fixed-rate data plans, faster Internet access and sophisticated handsets are contributing to that growth."
REPORT: KERKORIAN FINANCED FAWCETT'S TREATMENT
Farrah Fawcett's vain efforts to find a cure for her anal cancer, the subject of an NBC documentary that aired shortly before her death and repeated on the day she died, were funded by 92-year-old financier Kirk Kerkorian, New York Daily News columnists Rush & Molloy disclosed today (Monday). A source told the columnists that Kerkorian, who owned the MGM studio at the time Charlie's Angels was filmed there, "quietly" paid for Fawcett's cancer treatment, some of which was unconventional. "He just saw a friend in pain and wanted to help," the source said.