REDSTONE FATHER AND DAUGHTER FEUDING AGAIN?
Shari Redstone has disputed a report in the Wall Street Journal that her family's movie-theater business, National Amusements, was forced to sell $233 million worth of stock in CBS and Viacom in order to back a $1.6-billion loan used in large part to expand the theater chain. Redstone, the head of National Amusements and the daughter of company chairman Sumner Redstone, dashed off an email to the Journal, saying, "The implication that this stock sale was required by the operation and expansion of the company's theater circuit is not accurate." She continued: "[The sale] was the direct result of last week's historic financial crisis, which included the precipitous ... drop in value of CBS and Viacom stock." Several news reports said that her statement showed signs of renewed tension between Shari Redstone and her father, who has publicly criticized her oversight of the theater chain.
RELIGIOUS AND ANTI RELIGIOUS DOCUMENTARIES ARE TOPS
Bill Maher's anti-religion documentary Religulous is on track to become the highest-grossing documentary of the year by next Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Wednesday). By last weekend, the film had already grossed more than $7 million in its first ten days at just 568 theaters. Ironically, the film is due to displace Expelled, Ben Stein's creationist documentary, which grossed $7.7 million during its domestic run earlier this year. (It opened at 1,052 theaters.) In reporting on the box-office success of the two films, the Times commented that it "just does to show that when it comes to religion and movies, the box office is agnostic."
BOND AND STAR TREK TO COME TOGETHER NEXT MONTH
Paramount may be doing rival MGM a favor by showing the first full-length trailer for the new Star Trek movie when the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, opens on November 14, the website TrekMovie.com suggested today (Wednesday). Disclosing Paramount's decision to link the trailer with the movie, the website observed, "Our current poll states that 45 percent of Trek fans will see 'any movie' or 'almost any movie' just to catch a glimpse of the trailer." Meanwhile, Star Trek director J.J. Abrams has responded to a YouTube video posted by William Shatner in which Shatner denies Abrams' claim that he "tried desperately" to put him in the movie and insists that Abrams never contacted him or anyone connected with him. In an interview with MTV News, Abrams said, "I think what happened was, I said we made many efforts or something to get him in the movie. I think he or his people interpreted that as we reached out and tried to get him in. I meant internally. ... I didn't wanna present him with something we didn't believe in. So we were trying to make this thing work, and it didn't happen."
CHINA BOASTS IT WILL GET BOND MOVIE BEFORE U.S.
The next James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, will open in China before it opens in the United States, China Daily, the official English-language newspaper published by the Chinese government, said today (Wednesday). "The 22nd movie of the '007' series, Quantum of Solace will make its Chinese debut on November 5, whilst audiences in North America have to wait until November 14 to enjoy James Bond's new adventure," the newspaper exulted. (The film is due to have its official premiere at a royal benefit in London on October 29.)
TRAVOLTA MOVIE COMES UNDER ATTACK IN FRANCE
Plans to film scenes of From Paris With Love in Les Bosquets, a tough housing project north of Paris, were dropped Tuesday after 10 cars being used for the movie in stunt sequences were torched, the producers said Tuesday. Scenes for the English-language movie, which stars John Travolta and is produced by a company headed by famed director Luc Besson, were to have been shot in the area this week, using 96 local residents as extras. The London Independent reported that police were investigating reports that the cars were set afire after the producers refused to pay a local gang "protection money." The London Daily Mail quoted a production spokesman as saying, "There's now no possibility of Mr. Travolta or any of the other stars of the film operating in such a dangerous area. The scenes we were meant to do here will now be shot elsewhere."