Sobre la hipócrita María Milagros Charbonier
4 hours ago
The film adaptation of Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen has been mired in production problems since the comic was published in 1986.
Years later, on the verge of release, Watchmen is facing production obstacles. 20th Century Fox is pursuing an order to delay the film's release.
Fox is claiming that it never fully relinquished the rights to the comic and so Warner Bros. Watchmen is copyright infringement.
U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess agreed with Fox and said that he plans on holding a trial January 20th.
Warner Bros. is putting up a fight, claiming that Fox isn't entitled to distribution.
Reminiscent of a comic book plot we will have to stay tuned to find out whether or not Watchmen will see its March release date!
LIMA (Reuters) - Virgin Mary, a 20-year-old Peruvian woman, gave birth to a baby boy on Christmas day and named him Jesus, Peru's state news agency said on Friday.
The baby's father, Adolfo Jorge Huamani, 24, is a carpenter. Religious Peruvians compared him to Joseph the Carpenter in the Bible.
"Two thousand years later the story of Bethlehem is relived," read the headline about the birth in El Comercio, the main newspaper in Peru, a predominantly Catholic country.
The mother, Virgen Maria Huarcaya, delivered the 7.7 pound (3.5 kg) boy, Jesus Emanuel, in the early hours of Christmas at the central maternity hospital in Lima, the capital.
"A few days ago we had decided to name my son after a professional soccer player," the father said. "But thanks to a happy coincidence this is how things ended up."
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – It may have been a bleak Christmas for U.S. retailers but Hollywood enjoyed a bumper holiday as new films, led by the dog tale "Marley & Me" and awards contender "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," drew throngs of moviegoers to theaters across North America.
"Marley & Me" sold an estimated $37 million worth of tickets during the traditional three-day weekend beginning on Friday, distributor 20th Century Fox said on Sunday. Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson star in the adaptation of a bestseller about a couple and their golden retriever.
The movie about "life, love and family" -- according to Fox senior vice president of domestic distribution Bert Livingston -- played strongly with audiences of all ages seeking feel-good entertainment.
As with the four other new releases, "Marley & Me" opened on Thursday and earned $14.7 million -- a new Christmas Day record.
The old tally, set in 2001 when "Ali" opened to $10.2 million, was also broken by the new Adam Sandler comedy "Bedtime Stories" and by "Benjamin Button," starring Aniston's ex-husband Brad Pitt.
Overall Christmas Day sales reached $75 million, according to tracking firm Media By Numbers, up about $10 million from last year.
Still, Hollywood is on course for a down year. With three days left, year-to-date sales are off about 1 percent at $9.5 billion, while the number of tickets sold has slid 5.2 percent, Media By Numbers said.
"Bedtime Stories" was No. 2 for the weekend with $28.1 million and its Christmas Day haul of $10.5 million drove its total to $38.6 million, said Walt Disney Pictures. Sandler plays a man whose bedtime stories come true in real life.
"Benjamin Button," in which Pitt's character ages backward, did better on Christmas Day with a $12 million opening. Its weekend tally of $27 million took its total to $39 million, said Paramount Pictures.
The adaptation of an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story has racked up five nominations from the Golden Globes and eight from the Critics Choice Awards. Women accounted for 60 percent of the audience and 70 percent of ticket buyers were over the age of 25, Paramount said.
Tom Cruise's fact-based thriller "Valkyrie," about a failed plot to kill Adolf Hitler, opened at No. 4 with $21.5 million for the weekend and $30 million for the four days -- much better than skeptics had predicted. The United Artists movie has been plagued by bad publicity and shifting release dates.
"We had obstacles to overcome," said Erik Lomis, head of worldwide distribution at the studio's closely held Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer parent. "But the movie speaks for itself."
Male moviegoers comprised 55 percent of the audience and two-thirds of the audience was over 25 years old.
The only dud among the rookies was Lionsgate's comic book adaptation "The Spirit," which opened at No. 9 with $6.5 million for the weekend and $10.4 million for the four-day period.
After two weekends in limited release, "Doubt" expanded nationally and jumped five places to No. 10 with $5.7 million for the three-day period.
Miramax Films' adaptation of a Pulitzer-winning play about suspected child abuse by a priest stars Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It has earned $8.8 million to date.
Last weekend's champ, the Jim Carrey comedy "Yes Man," fell to No. 5 with $16.5 million. The 10-day tally for the Warner Bros. release rose to $49.6 million.
Fox is a unit of News Corp. Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom Inc. Walt Disney Pictures and Miramax Films are units of Walt Disney Co.
Lionsgate is a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Warner Bros is a unit of Time Warner Inc.
COVINA, Calif. — A California man who carried out a Christmas Eve massacre and arson dressed as Santa at the home of his former in-laws apparently intended to flee to Canada but his plans were dashed after the inferno he created severely burned his arms and melted his costume onto his body, police said Friday.
Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, a laid-off aerospace worker, apparently shot some of his nine victims execution-style in a plot to destroy his ex-wife’s family after a costly divorce that was finalized last week. He had an airline ticket for a Christmas morning flight to Canada and $17,000 in cash on his body, some attached to his legs with plastic wrap and some in a girdle, Covina police Chief Kim Raney said. He did not know the Canadian destination.
Armed with four guns, wearing the Santa suit and carrying a fuel-spraying device wrapped like a present, Pardo showed up at the home at 11:30 p.m. local time Wednesday as a party of about 25 people was underway.
Raney said Pardo, 45, fired a shot into the face of an eight-year-old girl who answered the door and at first fired indiscriminately, then apparently targetted relatives of his ex-wife as other guests fled.
“There’s some information that he stood over them and shot them execution-style,” Raney said.
Pardo retreated to the front door and retrieved a device that mixed carbon dioxide or oxygen with high-octane racing fuel, police said. Fleeing guests saw him spraying the fuel inside the house when the vapour was ignited, possibly by a pilot light or a candle, and exploded.
“Mr. Pardo was severely injured during that explosion,” Raney said.
“He suffered third-degree burns on both arms and it also appears that the Santa Claus suit that he was wearing did melt onto his body.”
Pardo was able to drive to his brother’s home in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles, broke in and shot himself in the head. His brother discovered the body early Thursday.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Jim Carrey's new comedy "Yes Man" got the nod from moviegoers across North America, but brutal weather in key markets combined with holiday shopping distractions to hit overall ticket sales.
According to studio estimates issued on Sunday, "Yes Man" earned $18.2 million during its first three days, winning a closely watched duel with the Will Smith drama "Seven Pounds." The decidedly downbeat film opened to a lightweight $16 million, Smith's worst performance in seven years.
A third new entry, the mouse cartoon "The Tale of Despereaux," followed at No. 3 with $10.5 million. Last weekend's champion, the sci-fi remake "The Day the Earth Stood Still," fell to No. 4 with $10.2 million.
Ticket sales on the East Coast, Pacific Northwest and parts of the Midwest fell victim to a winter deluge of snow and ice. Boston, for example, is a top-10 market, but it plunged to the lower reaches of the top 25 on Friday, studio executives said.
The top 12 films grossed $83 million, essentially flat with last weekend but down 44 percent from the year-ago period, according to tracking firm Media By Numbers.
Warner Bros Pictures, which released "Yes Man," said the bad weather knocked about $2.5 million off the film's total. But the Time Warner Inc-owned studio hoped to make the money back in subsequent weeks.
Carrey plays a bank officer stuck in a personal and professional rut. After he attends a self-help seminar, he must say "yes" to all ideas and requests, leading to both comic and dramatic pitfalls. It cost in the $70 million range to make, said Dan Fellman, the studio's president of distribution.
The film is reminiscent of 1997's "Liar Liar," in which Carrey's mendacious character must tell the brutal truth.
"Yes Man" marks Carrey's best live-action opening since "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," which kicked off with $30 million in December 2004 on its way to a domestic haul of $118.6 million.
Critics were generally negative toward "Yes Man," which played mostly to moviegoers aged under 25 and earned good exit reviews, the studio said.
Reviews were largely hostile toward "Seven Pounds," in which Smith plays a despondent man who decides to redeem himself by committing random acts of kindness before making the ultimate sacrifice.
The $55 million film was released by Sony Corp-owned Columbia Pictures, which said it would have earned about $20 million if the weather had been better. It marks Smith's worst opening since "Ali," which entered the ring with $14.7 million in 2001.
The new film was directed by Italian filmmaker Gabriele Muccino, who previously worked with Smith on "The Pursuit of Happyness." That drama opened to $26.5 million two years ago, and finished with $163.6 million.
"The Tale of Despereaux," based on an award-winning children's book, revolves around a heroic mouse voiced by Matthew Broderick who falls in love with a human princess.
The Universal Pictures release cost about $60 million to make, a relative bargain for a cartoon. With most schools now out on vacation, the General Electric Co-owned studio was confident that business would stay strong.
"The Day the Earth Stood Still," which stars Keanu Reeves as an alien, has earned $48.6 million. It was released by News Corp's 20th Century Fox, which hopes it will reach $85 million.
Films vying for Oscar attention sold well in limited release. Among the top performers was "The Wrestler," which opened to a knockout $209,474 from a total of four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The acclaimed film, considered a certainty to be among the contenders when nominations are announced on January 22, stars Mickey Rourke as a self-hating wrestler past his prime. It was released by News Corp's Fox Searchlight.
A Continental Airlines jet taking off from Denver went off the runway and caught fire Saturday night, forcing passengers to evacuate on emergency slides and injuring nearly 40 people, officials said.
No deaths were reported, but 38 people were taken to hospitals, said Kim Day, Denver International Airport manager of aviation. No one was reported in critical condition. Many passengers suffered cuts, bruises and broken bones, according to Denver Assistant Fire Chief Steve Garrod.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known.The right side of the plane caught fire after it landed in a ravine between two runways on the west side of the airfield, CBS station KCNC reported.
The weather in Denver was cold but not snowy when Continental Flight 1404 took off from Denver International Airport for Houston around 6:20 p.m.
A fire broke out, but ground crews put out the flames quickly, said Denver International Airport spokesman Jeff Green. The 112 people on board made it out on through slides on the Boeing 737. Denver firefighters described a "surreal" scene upon arrival and worked to put out the flames quickly.
"It was described as a heck of a fire fight from the commanding officer on scene but he's very proud of how the crews reacted and the outcome of this incident," said Denver Fire Department Division Chief Patrick Haynes.
by the time the plane stopped we were burning pretty well and I think I could feel the heat even through the bulkhead and window about 7 hours ago from web
i believe it was after the jolt that the right engine, which was near my row, caught fire about 7 hours ago from web
i think we might have gone into a ravine and dropped some distance as there was a sudden bottom-dropped-out feeling and then a jolt about 7 hours ago from web
shortly after we veered off, the plane quite obviously left the runway at high speed (maybe 100 kts) and proceeded to go 4 wheel driving about 7 hours ago from web
a 1st class passenger I talked to indicated he saw the left engine come off at the time, but it's unclear if this was a cause or an effect about 7 hours ago from web
to all who've asked, it's hard to know exactly what went wrong -- we were in the middle of a normal takeoff when we suddely veered off about 7 hours ago from web
Thanks for all the well wishes everyone. Sorry for the radio silence, but my battery died in the middle of all this and I just made it home about 7 hours ago from twitterrific
You have your wits scared out of you, drag your butt out of a flaming ball of wreckage and you can't even get a vodka-tonic. Boo about 10 hours ago from twitterrific
Continental keeping us locked up at the presidents club until they can sort everything out. Won't even serve us drinks. :( about 10 hours ago from twitterrific
Can't see much, but that's the crash site. http://twitpic.com/ut2c about 12 hours ago from twitterrific
This was crash #2 for me. Maybe I should start taking the bus. about 13 hours ago from twitterrific
Ugh ... My glasses fell off in the mass exodus getting off the plane .. Can't see very well about 13 hours ago from twitterrific
Holy fucking shit I wasbjust in a plane crash! about 13 hours ago from twitterrific
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Recording Industry Association of America said on Friday it had abandoned mass lawsuits against Internet users who steal music, and instead would work with Internet service providers to discourage piracy.
The RIAA, which represents major U.S. record labels, will have the ISPs send warning notices to users who illegally download music files.
Since 2003, the music industry has sued about 35,000 Internet users for music piracy.
"We think this is going to be a different form of stick, but we absolutely think this will be a meaningful alternative approach that will have a significant impact," said Cara Duckworth, a spokeswoman for the RIAA.
Other measures will be taken against Internet users who ignore their first warning notice to stop illegally downloading music, and if those users continue they could find their Internet connections disconnected, the RIAA said.
The RIAA declined to say which ISPs had signed on for the initiative, and it said it reserved the right to sue Internet users who ignored the warning notices.
The RIAA said it would pursue lawsuits already pending against Internet users accused of illegal downloads.
The RIAA's change in strategy comes as Internet users have become increasingly aware that downloading pirated songs is illegal.
The group Arts+Labs, a collaborative between technology companies and creative artists, said in a statement that it was "encouraged by this new effort by the record companies."
Major record labels include Warner Music Group Corp, Universal Music Group owned by Vivendi SA, EMI and Sony Music Entertainment, part of Sony Corp.
BEIJING (Reuters) - A man who lost his job and was harassed by strangers after his infidelity to his late wife was detailed online has won China's first case against Internet vigilantism, the China Daily said on Friday.
A Beijing court ruled Wang Fei's reputation had been damaged by his late wife's university classmate, Zhang Leyi, who posted online the diary excerpts she wrote months before she killed herself, and by the internet company that hosted the comments.
"As Zhang was spreading the details of the affair, he also gave out details of Wang's real name, name of his company and even family addresses, which infringed the plaintiff's privacy rights," the chief judge said.
In a more enlightened age, Majel Barrett Roddenberry might have rated a Federation command. As it was, she helped rule the Star Trek universe.
Roddenberry, the actress whose best-known role was the wife and, later, widow of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, died today at her Bel Air, Calif., home, Roddenberry.com said. The reported cause of death was leukemia.
Billed through much of her acting career as Majel Barrett, the dark-haired Roddenberry played Dr. McCoy's blonde, beehived assistant, Nurse Chapel, on the original 1966-69 Trek series. She also supplied the voice of the USS Enterprise's computer—a service she continued to provide through the franchise's various offshoots, including J.J. Abrams' upcoming big-screen reboot, Star Trek.
As prominent as those roles were, Roddenberry very nearly played a much larger one.
In the original Trek pilot, shot in 1964, Roddenberry was Number One, the Enterprise's No. 1-ranking officer after its then-captain, Christopher Pike (played by Jeffrey Hunter). Number One was smart, competent, and just so happened to be a woman, not to mention a brunette. The network executives at NBC balked—truth be told, they weren't big fans of the weird-looking guy with the pointy ears, either.
To get his show on the air, Gene Roddenberry consented to lose Number One. But he kept the actress on as Nurse Chapel, albeit a much lower-profile role, and married her portrayer in December 1969. In a final twist to the suits, he gave Number One's old job to the weird-looking guy with the pointy ears, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).
Majel Barrett Roddenberry reprised Nurse Chapel for brief appearances in 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture and 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. She played the recurring role of Counselor Deanna Troi's mother on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Gene Roddenberry died in 1991 at the age of 70.
After his passing, Majel Barrett Roddenberry helped bring alive one of his pet projects in the form of the 1997-2002 series Earth: Final Conflict but said she had nothing to do with running the at-times-flailing Trek ship.
"Gene sold out all of his rights to Star Trek way back 15, almost 20 years ago," she told SciFiDimensions.com in 2000. "So, they ask nothing. I volunteer nothing. They invite me to a few of their shindigs. I'll bet you I haven't been on that lot in two years."
Still, Roddenberry welcomed the recent digital remastering of the original series and Abrams' theatrical take, seeing them as validations of her husband's legacy.
"What's nice is you know a Star Trek movie is still one that everybody wants," she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2006.
In a statement today on Roddenberry.com, her son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr., said his mother appreciated the role fans played in keeping the Trek franchise running for 40-plus years.
"It was her love for the fans, and their love in return," he said, "that kept her going for so long after my father passed away."
President George W. Bush ducked two shoes thrown at him by a man during a press conference in the Iraqi prime minister’s office to mark the signing of a security agreement.
Bush wasn’t hit by the shoes, which both sailed over his head after they were thrown one after the other. The president shrugged and said “I’m OK” after the incident in Baghdad today. “All I can report is it is a size 10,” Bush said afterwards.
In Arab culture, throwing shoes is a grave show of disrespect. “This is the farewell kiss, you dog,” the man shouted in Arabic.
After U.S. troops pulled down a statue of former dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraqi bystanders tossed shoes at it, according to news reports at the time. Bush said today’s incident was an example of free speech in a democracy.
The man threw the shoes from about 25 feet away as Bush, standing with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, made formal remarks before the signing of the Iraqi-U.S. agreement. Maliki tried to block the second thrown shoe as it flew toward Bush, according to video of the incident shown on television.
The shoe-thrower, who was in a group of journalists, was wrestled to the ground and taken away. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,” shouted the man, later identified by the Associated Press as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi- owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.
At the signing ceremony, Bush said a free and democratic Iraq will now become “a force for freedom” and a “source of stability in a volatile region.”
“There is still more work to be done,” Bush said. “The war is not over.” The president said that with the agreement, “and the courage of the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi troops, and American troops and civilian personnel, it is decisively on its way to being won.”
A Lego-style figurine resembling an Islamic terrorist strapped with explosives and made by a small American company has caused an uproar among Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
The controversial miniature figure, created by Seattle-based Will Chapman as part of his BrickArms military fighters line, is a bearded militant with a face-covering hood, a tiny toy assault rifle, a little grenade launcher and plastic bombs that can be attached to an explosives belt.
The character is called "Bandit — Mr. White" and sells for $14.
The jarring toy has outraged the British Muslim organization known as the Ramadhan Foundation, which called the figurine "absolutely disgusting," according to Sky News.
The foundation's chief executive, Mohammed Shafiq, complained that the toy is "glorifying terrorism."
Bettie Page, the brunet pinup queen with a shoulder-length pageboy hairdo and kitschy bangs whose saucy photos helped usher in the sexual revolution of the 1960s, has died. She was 85.
Page, whose later life was marked by depression, violent mood swings and several years in a state mental institution, died Thursday night at Kindred Hospital in Los Angeles, where she had been on life support since suffering a heart attack Dec. 2, according to her agent, Mark Roesler.
Aw, nuts. That's likely what Hope Wideup thought when her car's turn signal and windshield wipers wouldn't work. It's also what she found later when she opened the hood. "There were thousands in there. They were everywhere," she said, speculating a chipmunk found its way into her car, which had been sitting idle for several weeks, and used the engine compartment as a storage depot for a trove of
Wideup thinks it all started last fall when a chipmunk snatched a garden glove from her yard. She later found the glove in the engine compartment when she was trying to repair the broken turn signal.
Unable to fix the problem, however, Wideup let the car sit unused for a couple of weeks and then heard a loud revving sound from the engine when she tried to start the vehicle.
That's when she looked under the hood again and found the walnuts.
"Apparently this little guy stuffed a bunch of these nuts in the accelerator throttle," said Wideup, who had to spend $242 for towing and repairs.
The chipmunk hasn't returned, Wideup told the Post-Tribune for a story published Wednesday. But she's not taking any chances, alternating use of her two cars so neither one is sitting too long.
"It's funny, but it's not," she said.
University of Tasmania lecturer Nenagh Kemp asked 55 undergraduate students to compose, and then to read aloud, text messages in English and in "textese."
While students were significantly faster using textese, it took almost half the number of students twice as long to read these messages aloud than messages written in proper English.
The students also made more errors reading the textese messages compared to the ones written in English.
An appeal judge in Australia has ruled that an animation depicting well-known cartoon characters engaging in sexual acts is child pornography.
The internet cartoon featured characters from the Simpsons TV series. The central issue in the case was whether a cartoon character could depict a real person.
Judge Michael Adams decided that it could, and found a man from Sydney guilty of possessing child pornography on his computer…
Justice Michael Adams said the purpose of anti-child pornography legislation was to stop sexual exploitation and child abuse where images of “real” children were depicted…
He ruled that the animated cartoon could “fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children,” and therefore upheld the conviction for child pornography.
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — A Tri-State woman is in critical condition Wednesday after police say her husband shot her while they were having sex.
Timothy Havens, 38, told Springfield police he was reaching for something on the nightstand when the pistol went off, hitting his estranged wife Carolyn in the upper chest.
Carolyn Havens, 42, is being treated at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
This is isn't the first time there's been trouble for the Havens. Court documents showed Timothy served 60 days in jail for assaulting his wife and was ordered to go to anger management classes.
His arrest Tuesday for the weekend shooting was for violating a civil protection order that Carolyn had taken out against him earlier this year.
Bond was set at $75,000 after prosecutors asked for a high bond, "due to alleged prohibited contact between the parties (and) the suspicious nature of the circumstances surrounding (her injury)."
The San Jose Mercury News reports, for example, that iPhones could be on sale at Wal-Mart stores by the end of December, and possibly even before Christmas, although pricing is still not known. Bloomberg also reports that Wal-Mart is preparing to sell two versions of the iPhone.
The blogosphere has been rife with rumors of a 4GB $99 iPhone, sold via Wal-Mart, during recent weeks, although the MacRumors blog told a different story Monday.
"Based on available Wal-Mart training materials and advertising we've received, however, it seems that this rumor is unlikely," it said. "The advertising shown only lists 8-Gbyte iPhones for sale at $197, without any hints of a cheaper model."
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – "Four Christmases," a holiday comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, led the North American box office for a second weekend on Sunday, while the spotlight shifted to a handful of Oscar hopefuls playing in limited release.
In a traditionally quiet weekend following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, "Four Christmases" sold about $18.2 million worth of tickets during the three days beginning Friday, taking its 12-day haul to $70.8 million, said distributor Warner Bros. Pictures.
The Time Warner Inc-owned studio expects the film to end up with just over $100 million. Witherspoon and Vaughn play a couple who must divide their holiday among each of their divorced parents. It earned a "Bah, humbug!" from critics.
Only two new films entered the top 10: the action sequel "Punisher: War Zone" at No. 8 with just $4.0 million. It played in almost four times as many theaters as the music biopic "Cadillac Records," which opened at No. 9 with a solid $3.5 million.
Among more-pedigreed releases, "Frost/Nixon" earned a hefty $180,000 from three theaters, one each in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. Universal Pictures' fact-based drama about a face-off between British TV interviewer David Frost and former President Richard Nixon will add 20 markets next week.
In its second weekend, Sean Penn's gay-hero saga "Milk" earned $1.7 million. Despite almost tripling its theater count to 99 venues, the Focus Features release was up just 16 percent. Its total stands at $4.1 million. Both Universal and Focus are units of General Electric Co's NBC Universal.
Former chart-topper "Twilight" moved up one place to No. 2 with $13.2 million in its third weekend. Closely held indie studio Summit Entertainment's vampire romance has earned $138.6 million to date.
It swapped places with the Walt Disney Co canine cartoon "Bolt," which dug up $9.7 million, also in its third weekend. Its tally rose to $79.3 million.
The next two movies also reversed rankings. After a disappointing start last weekend, the big-budget epic "Australia" rose one place to No. 4 with $7 million, bringing its 12-day tally to $30.9 million.
The 20th Century Fox period romance, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, reportedly cost upward of $125 million to produce, and is hoping for awards-season attention to boost business. Its 53 percent drop was one of the slightest in the top 10.
"The word of mouth is very positive on this movie. People really want to see it," said Chris Aronson, senior vice president of domestic distribution at the News Corp-owned studio.
The James Bond thriller "Quantum of Solace" slipped one place to No. 5 with $6.6 million, and has earned $151.5 million after 4 weekends. It is about $12 million ahead of where star Daniel Craig's 007 debut "Casino Royale" was at the same point in its run in 2006; that film ended up with $167 million. The films were distributed by Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp.
Sony also distributed "Cadillac Records," a $12 million movie about Leonard Chess, the founder of the Chicago blues label that bears his name. Adrien Brody plays Chess, and is joined by Beyonce Knowles as Etta James and Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters. Sony said the film skewed to older women. It played in 686 theaters, while the other movies in the top 10 averaged 3,000 theaters each.
"Punisher: War Zone" stars Ray Stevenson in the title role of the Marvel comic book adaptation. Previous Punishers included Dolph Lundgren and Thomas Jane. The film was released by Lionsgate, a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
LOS ANGELES ˆ Bettie Page, a 1950s pinup known for her raven-haired bangs
and saucy come-hither looks, was hospitalized in intensive care after
suffering a heart attack, her agent said Friday.
"She's critically ill," Mark Roesler of CMG Worldwide told The Associated
He said the 85-year-old had the heart attack Tuesday and was hospitalized
Friday in the Los Angeles area.
A family friend, Todd Mueller, said Page was in a coma. When asked to
confirm, Roesler said, "I would not deny that," but he would not comment
further on her condition.
Page, a secretary turned model, is credited with helping set the stage for
the sexual revolution of the rebellious 1960s. She attracted national
attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure that were tacked
up on walls across the country.
Her photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling
Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses.
Page later spent decades away from the public eye, and during that time
battled mental illness and became a born-again Christian.
After resurfacing in the 1990s, she occasionally granted interviews but
refused to allow her picture to be taken.
Mueller credits his business dealings with Page for bringing her out of
seclusion. He said he first met her in 1989 when he offered her "a bunch of
money" to show up at autograph signings.
"I probably sold 3,000 of her autographs, usually for $200 to $300," he
said. "Eleanor Roosevelt, we got $40-$50. ... Bettie Page outsells them
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Forrest Ackerman, a writer and editor who coined the term "Sci-Fi" and helped inspire the likes of author Ray Bradbury and film maker George Lucas, has died. He was 92.
Ackerman died of heart failure on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, said Kevin Burns, president of Prometheus Entertainment and a trustee of his estate.
He is widely credited with coining the term Sci-Fi in 1954. Science fiction had been around as a genre for years before, but Ackerman was a big promoter of it.
"He was really considered the godfather, or what I call the Pied Piper of science fiction and horror," Burns said on Friday.
Ackerman encouraged Bradbury, who went on to write classics such as "The Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451," early on in the author's writing career.
Ackerman edited the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, which was launched in 1958 and lasted more than 20 years.
And he filled his eight-bedroom Los Angeles home with tens of thousands of science fiction books and props from Sci-Fi and horror movies. The house became a repository for fans of the those genres, who often visited for tours on Saturdays.
Lucas, the film maker behind the "Star Wars" franchise, said in a statement that Ackerman "never stopped believing in the magic of the movies and the possibilities presented by science fiction."
Ackerman died with no surviving family members.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Police have arrested 49 people this week in a northern Iranian city during a crackdown on "satanic" clothes, IRNA news agency reported Thursday.
The measures are the latest in a country-wide campaign against Western cultural influence in the Islamic Republic, where strict dress codes are enforced.
"Police confronted rascals and thugs who appeared in public wearing satanic fashions and unsuitable clothing," Qaemshahr city police commander Mahmoud Rahmani told IRNA.
Rahmani also said that five barber shops were shut and 20 more warned for "promoting Western hairstyles."
10. "Beverly Hills Chihuahua"
We thought the whole talking dogs fad was over, but apparently, it's not. George Lopez and Drew Barrymore provide voices for this 2008 flop about zany California dogs.
9. "Witless Protection"
Larry the Cable Guy followed up 2006's "Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector" and 2007's "Delta Farce" with this "Witless" effort. Larry's 0-for-3. So bad, we didn't bother reviewing it.
Did we need another "Rambo"? No, but Sly Stallone gave us one - an ultra-gorefest, even by Stallone standards.
7. "You Don't Mess With The Zohan"
Adam Sandler makes the list with his tale of an Israeli special forces soldier who dreams of being a hairstylist. Childish humor from a familiar source.
6. "Babylon A.D."
Starring master thespian Vin Diesel, "Babylon A.D." went way over budget and there were reports of ego clashes between Diesel and director Mathieu Kassovitz. Released six months after its original release date, the film wasn't even screened for New York critics.
5. "10,000 B.C."
"10,000 B.C" could be called the movie the Museum of Natural History doesn't want you to see. Full of special effects but lacking a shred of authenticity, the film was widely panned.
4. "What Happens In Vegas"
"What Happens In Vegas" stars Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz as two people who get married after a booze-fueled night in Sin City, and the wacky adventures that transpire after they also win a large sum of money. The easy joke is that this bomb should have stayed in Vegas. We took the easy way out.
3. "Mad Money"
With a trio of actresses like Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes and Queen Latifah, what could have possibly gone wrong with "Mad Money"? Everything, apparently. But mostly the fact that this comedy had no laughs.
2. "The Hottie & The Nottie"
Is it worth describing the plot to this Paris Hilton-starred stinker? We won't bother, because you shouldn't bother watching it. According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed less than $1.6 million as of Nov. 26, which sounds generous.
1. "The Love Guru"
Our number one worst movie is "The Love Guru," co-written and starring "SNL" alum Mike Myers as Guru Pitka, a man on a quest to become the #1 guru. Films like "Guru" and 2003's "The Cat in the Hat" are destroying all the comedy credibilty Myers built through the "Wayne's World" and "Austin Powers" films. Thank goodness for "Shrek." "Guru" also stars acting legends Jessica Alba and Justin Timberlake.
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's churches criticized a businessman on Tuesday for selling thousands of Jesus chocolates.
Frank Oynhausen set up his "Sweet Lord" chocolate Jesus-making business saying he wanted to restore some traditional religious values to Christmas in Germany.
But the German Protestant Church criticized the idea as "tasteless" and the Roman Catholic Church was not amused.
"I started thinking about how I could reintroduce traditional religious values into this commercial world," said Oynhausen, who had been unemployed since losing a recycling business two years ago.
Together with a friend, a local chocolatier, Oynhausen, 54, developed the concept of "Sweet Lord." It is growing fast in his home town of Duisburg and on the internet (www.goldjesus.com).
Oynhausen said thousands of people have put in orders for the figures wrapped in gold foil.
But church associations expressed dismay.
"It is terrible that Jesus is being wrapped up in gold foil and sold along with chocolate bunnies, edible penguins and lollipops," said Aegidius Engel, a spokesman for the archbishopric of nearby Paderborn.
"This is ruining the symbol of Jesus himself," he added.
Oynhausen is now custom-producing the chocolate Jesus figures, but by Easter he hopes to have a partnership with a mass producer.
"We're hoping to be able to export them around the world one day," Oynhausen said. He reckons there are parts of the United States where they will be especially popular.
In 2007, a life-size chocolate sculpture of a naked Jesus caused an outcry from Roman Catholics when an art gallery in New York wanted to exhibit it in a window.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Handlers of a popular polar bear, brought to mate with a female in a zoo in northern Japan, found their breeding plan was doomed when they noticed that he, in fact, was a she.
Tsuyoshi, a four-year-old, 200 kg (441 lb) cream-colored polar bear, had been living in harmony with a female polar bear since June, the two often playing together, Masako Inoue, a zookeeper at the Kushiro Municipal Zoo, said on Wednesday.
"We thought he was a male, so we never had any doubts as we took care of him," she said.
"But one day we realized that the two bears urinate in the same way, and we thought, is that how males do it? And once we started to look at things that way, we weren't quite so sure."
After two DNA examinations of Tsuyoshi's hair and a manual exam, the Kushiro Municipal Zoo found Tsuyoshi to be a female.
"We do have mixed feelings," said Inoue.
"But because Tsuyoshi was supposed to be a male, she came here, and because she came here, we were able to take care of her since she was very small."
It is not uncommon for the sex of polar bears to be misread, Inoue said, as their long hair makes it difficult to distinguish, especially when the bears are young. Tsuyoshi was pegged as a male three months after birth, Inoue said.
The Kushiro Municipal Zoo will talk with other zoos in the area to see what to do about their breeding plan, she added.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Moviegoers shook off economic gloom and gave Hollywood a gift over the U.S. holiday weekend, sending comedy "Four Christmases" to the top of box office charts and boosting ticket sales nearly 4 percent from last year, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
"Four Christmases," in which Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn play a couple who learn about love during unexpected Christmas visits to their divorced parents, earned an estimated $46.7 million in five days and $31.7 million for three days ending on Sunday, according to its distributor Warner Bros.
"In tough times, people are looking for comic relief and that's what we gave them," said Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros.
Teen vampire romance "Twilight," last weekend's No. 1 movie, and animated family film "Bolt" battled for the second position depending on whether box office watchers looked at five-day or three-day totals.
"Twilight" landed at No. 2 with $39.5 million starting on Wednesday and encompassing a five-day Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, which is one of the busiest moviegoing periods of the year. "Bolt" was just behind at $36 million.
But in a typical three-day weekend starting Friday, "Bolt" surged into the No. 2 spot with $26.6 million in ticket sales, slightly ahead of "Twilight" with $26.4 million.
Final figures will be issued on Monday. "Twilight" was released by privately-held Summit Entertainment LLC and "Bolt" by the movie studio division of The Walt Disney Co..
Ticket sales for all films over the five-day weekend rose 3.7 percent to $236 million from $227.6 million over the same holiday last year, said box office tracker Media By Numbers.
Epic romance "Australia," starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, made its debut in the No. 5 spot with a five-day total of $20 million and a three-day figure of $14.8 million, said distributor Twentieth Century Fox, a unit of News Corp
Chris Aronson, Fox's senior vice president of domestic distribution, called the U.S. opening "fantastic" and said sales exceeded studio forecasts by about 20 percent.
Among other new entries, Lionsgate's action-packed "Transporter 3" landed at No. 7 with a five-day tally of $18.5 million and a three-day total of $12.3 million.
James Bond film "Quantum of Solace," was No. 4 with overall holiday sales of $28.1 million, boosting its cumulative total to $142 million for distributor Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp. The movie was co-produced by Columbia and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Another holdover, animated "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," was No. 6 with five-day sales of $19.6 million lifting its gross domestic box office to $159.5 million. It was produced by DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and distributed by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.
Finally, Oscar hopeful "Milk," about slain gay activist Harvey Milk, saw a strong start in only 36 theaters with an average of about $52,000 per theater for five days and a total of $1.87 million. By contrast, No. 1 "Four Christmases" posted a theater average of about $14,000 in more than 3,300 venues.
"Milk" was released by Focus Features, a unit of the NBC Universal media division of General Electric
MUMBAI, India – 9:21 p.m. Wednesday, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus __ Two young men walk casually through Mumbai's main railway station, a worn Victorian hulk bustling with late commuters heading home, scurrying past small food stands and juice bars and vendors selling newspapers. They enter near the taxi stand, where long lines of battered black and yellow cabs wait for fares. One wears khaki cargo pants and a blue T-shirt. A pair of small knapsacks are slung over a shoulder. He looks like a college kid.
They are, says a photographer who follows them on part of their grim journey, "backpackers with assault rifles."
The two — and other death squads working in pairs — are to wreak carnage in landmark after landmark across Mumbai over the next three days, creating panic in this normally unflappable city and killing more than 195 people.
NEW YORK (AP) — A worker was killed in the crush Friday after a throng of shoppers eager for post-Thanksgiving bargains burst through the doors at a suburban Wal-Mart, authorities said.
At least four other people were injured, and the store in Valley Stream on Long Island was closed.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in Bentonville, Ark., called the incident a "tragic situation" and said the employee came from a temporary agency and was doing maintenance work at the store.
"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," co-worker Jimmy Overby, 43, told the Daily News. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too. ... I literally had to fight people off my back."
PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) — Two people were shot to death in a crowded toy store on Black Friday in a confrontation apparently involving rival groups, city officials said.
Palm Desert Councilman Jim Ferguson said police told him two men with handguns shot and killed each other. Ferguson said he asked police whether the incident was a dispute over a toy or whether it was gang-related. He said police told him they were not going to release further details until the victims' relatives were notified.
"I think the obvious question everyone has is who takes loaded weapons into a Toys "R" Us?" he said. "I doubt it was the casual holiday shopper."