SHREK IS GREEN MONSTER AT BOX OFFICE
Shrek the Third defied both box-office analysts and the majority of film critics as it opened with an estimated $122 million in ticket sales over the weekend -- making it the third-highest opening in box-office history. It was also the best opening ever for an animated film, exceeding the record set by Shrek 2, and the best opening in history for a film released by Paramount, Hollywood's oldest studio. "We could not have asked for a better opening," Anne Globe, head of marketing at DreamWorks Animation, told today's (Monday) Los Angeles Times.Spider-Man 3, which set the record for the highest-grossing film just two weekends earlier with $151 million in ticket sales dropped 51 percent to $28.5 million but landed in second place. It has now collected $281.9 million domestically.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. Shrek the Third, $122 million; 2. Spider-Man 3, $28.5 million; 3. 28 Weeks Later, $5.15 million; 4. Disturbia, $3.7 million; 5. Georgia Rule, $3.5 million; 6. Fracture, $2.4 million. 7. Delta Farce, $1.8 million; 8. The Invisible, $1.3 million; 9. Hot Fuzz, $1.26 million; 10. Waitress, $1.14 million.
CAMCORDING CRACKDOWN FUTILE, SAY BLOGGERS
Internet bloggers have lampooned comments by MPAA chief Dan Glickman that efforts to crack down on camcording in movie theaters aided Spider-Man 3 in achieving its record-breaking box office three weeks ago. Mike Masnick, who runs the TechDirt website, observed, "As soon as one decent camcorded version made it to the net (as at least a few did), then it's infinitely available and it doesn't really matter if the industry stopped every other camcording attempt." While most bloggers complained of the poor quality of camcorded movies in general, the Los Angeles Times reported that one of them "evidently shot in Russia, got fairly good reviews at a site that tracks online movie bootlegs."
GAY ACTOR SAYS HE WAS BLACKLISTED AFTER COMING OUT
The former costar of the long-running Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, claims that job offers suddenly disappeared after a picture of him kissing another man was published in a tabloid magazine in 1996. Chad Allen, who played Matthew Cooper on the series from 1993-97, said during an interview Friday on ABC's 20/20 that, rather than accept his publicists' advice to cover up the matter, he decided to come out -- a decision, he indicated, that virtually put the brakes to his career. "You know, you're talking to a guy who never stopped working from the time he was five years old. I came out, and it stopped," he said. "The year after Dr. Quinn was over, I couldn't get an audition for a pilot for the same network I worked six years in a top-ten television series for." Allen said that it is his belief that it will take an A-list movie star to come out before film producers are willing to hire openly gay actors in starring roles. "I am so certain of that as a fact," he said, "that the audience could care less."
MOORE RECEIVES CHEERS AT CANNES, BOOS FROM CANADIAN CRTICS
Michael Moore received a standing -- and sustained -- ovation following the screening of his latest documentary, Sicko, at the Cannes Film Festival Saturday. But some critics suggested that in censuring the U.S. health system, Moore was overly generous in his praise of other countries'. At a news conference, Canadian journalists harangued Moore for, as Toronto Star film critic Peter Howell wrote, making "it seem as if Canada's socialized medicine is flawless and that Canadians are satisfied with the status quo." Apparently taken aback by the assault from the Canadian journalists, Moore said, "You Canadians! You used to be so funny! ... You gave us all our best comedians. When did you turn so dark?" Later, he suggested that the U.S. ought to adopt the best parts of other countries' health systems. "We should steal from them," he said.
VAN SANT SAYS FILMMAKERS USING MYSPACE FOR CASTING
Director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Psycho) has indicated that casting directors are increasing turning to such social networking sites as MySpace to cast movies. He said that for his latest film, Paranoid Park, which is competing for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year and stars a group of unknown teen actors from Portland, OR, he put out a list of "Who I'd Like to Meet" on MySpace, including skateboarders, cheerleaders, punks, drama kids, athletes, leaders and followers. "When you're putting out an open casting all, [casting directors] have been using MySpace, because you're speaking to a great number of people -- it's so popular," he said.
DANNY GLOVER TO GET BACKING FOR FILM FROM VENEZUELA'S CHAVEZ
Danny Glover, who costarred in the Lethal Weapon movies with Mel Gibson, has been granted nearly $18 million by the leftist Venezuelan government to make a historical movie in Venezuela about Toussaint Louverture, the heroic leader of the Haitian revolt that led to the country's independence in the early 1800s, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported today (Monday). Glover is a supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. According to the Guardian, the film will be financed with funds from a recent bond sale with Argentina. Glover told the newspaper that preproduction of the film, titled Toussaint, is already "so advanced that you can taste it."