i>SEX SELLS -- EVEN ON MONDAY

Warner Bros.' Sex and the City took in an additional $5.5 million in ticket sales on Monday -- more than most films earned during the entire previous weekend, according to box-office trackers Media By Numbers. By contrast, the No. 2 film on Monday, Paramount's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, took in 3.5 million. As was the case over the weekend, the box-office success of SATC on Monday was driven by women visiting their local theaters in groups. More than 85 percent of ticket buyers were female, according to trade reports. As of Monday the film had grossed $62.5 million.

MUSEUMS, ART HOUSES TASTE ASHES OF UNIVERSAL FIRE

The fire that raged through a city-block-sized area at Universal Studios over the weekend destroyed prints of classic movies that had reportedly been scheduled to be screened at museums, festivals and art houses in the near future. Today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times reported that striking a new print from a negative -- the negatives were stored at a separate location -- could cost $5,000 and take months to produce. It did not explain why the classic films required such a long processing time; conventional film prints can be -- and sometimes are -- struck off by laboratories virtually overnight. On Monday, the studio sent email messages to several theaters that had scheduled screenings of some of the films, saying that because of the fire, "we will be unable to honor any film bookings of prints that were set to ship from here." Published reports indicated, however, that the studio may have duplicate prints stored at other locations.

PARAMOUNT FOLDS SPECIALTY UNIT INTO MAIN STUDIO

In the latest round of grim news for workers at major studios' specialty divisions, Paramount said Tuesday that it plans to fold the marketing, distribution, and physical production operations of Paramount Vantage into the larger studio. "The new consolidated structure allows both Paramount and Paramount Vantage to leverage the strengths and resources of a combined talent base, while minimizing redundancies and optimizing efficiencies," Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount, told Daily Variety.

SAG SIGNING WAIVERS WITH INDIES

The Screen Actors Guild has signed some 300 deals with independent film producers that will allow actors to continue working after June 30, the day the SAG's contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is set to expire, Daily Variety reported today (Wednesday). The trade publication observed that the number of waivers guarantees that at least a "modicum" of work will continue through the summer. Meanwhile, SAG resumed negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers that had been on a three-day hiatus since Friday.

STONE PERSONA NON GRATA IN SHANGHAI

An apology by Sharon Stone about remarks she made about the recent disastrous earthquake in China being the result of "bad karma" because of Beijing's policies toward Tibet has failed to molify Chinese officials, who said today (Wednesday) that she is not welcome to attend this year's Shanghai International Film Festival. A spokeswoman for the festival said that Stone, who was photographed on the red carpet in Shanghai last year, said that it had sent Stone a letter protesting her remarks.

'50'S STAR MEL FERRER DIES AT 90

Mel Ferrer, whose chiseled good looks helped bring him numerous starring roles in the 1950s, including ones in The Brave Bulls,Lili, War and Peace, The Sun Also Rises, has died at age 90 at a convalescent home in Santa Barbara, CA. He starred in and later produced and directed several films with his third wife, Audrey Hepburn.
Cinemark Movie Club

Brian B.