Reuters Entertainment Summary
Friday, December 22, 2006; 2:24 AM
"Museum" comedy set to rule Christmas box office
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Hollywood is hanging out a number of stockings as Christmas weekend arrives. Among the new movies, broad appeal is the name of the game. Three of the five wide releases this frame carry a PG rating as studios look to lure nice audiences rather than naughty ones. The Ben Stiller comedy "Night at the Museum," which has been generating positive buzz for some time, is likely to dominate the weekend. Insiders put the four-day haul for the Twentieth Century Fox effects extravaganza in the $35 million-$40 million range.
Sean "Diddy" Combs becomes a daddy to twin girls
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper and hip-hop music producer Sean "Diddy" Combs has become a father to twin girls after his girlfriend Kim Porter gave birth early on Thursday in New York, his publicist said. The Grammy-award winning rapper and founder of Bad Boy Records flew back from filming in Toronto and "made it just in the nick of time for the delivery," publicist Robert Zimmerman in a statement.
Rowling names last book in Potter saga
LONDON (Reuters) - British author J.K. Rowling revealed on Thursday that the long-awaited seventh and final book in her wizard saga will be called "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," sparking the next phase of Pottermania. Fans of the series that has already sold an estimated 300 million copies worldwide were kept guessing with the publication date not set -- although that did not stop one U.S. bookseller from starting to take reservations.
Gore Vidal tells some, not all, in latest memoir
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Gore Vidal bats a large purring cat off his lap in the living room of his home in the Hollywood Hills as he argues, whiskey in hand, that America's Puritan attitudes on sex have made it "the dumbest country on Earth." At age 81, Vidal is not known as the national scold for nothing. There are few fights the famed novelist, playwright and polemicist has shied away from over the last 50 or 60 years and in this case, it is hostile American attitudes toward homosexuality that draws his ire.
Nightmare at "Museum"
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Milan Trenc's whimsically illustrated children's book about a New York Natural History Museum night guard who discovers the displays have a habit of doing the "Jumanji" thing once visitors go home, has been turned into a big, loud movie (minus the definite article) starring Ben Stiller. "Night at the Museum" is definitely a cute, workable premise, but as mishandled by director Shawn Levy (the "Pink Panther" and "Cheaper by the Dozen" remakes) and the writing team of Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon ("Reno: 911!"), the inspiration that was required to make "Museum" fly is seldom on exhibit in this interminably monotonous production.
Judge dismisses suit against Michael Moore
BOSTON (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by an Iraq war veteran who claimed filmmaker Michael Moore used the veteran's image without permission in the anti-war documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11." According to court papers, Judge Douglas Woodlock of U.S. District Court in Massachusetts dismissed the suit on Wednesday. It had sought $35 million in damages from Moore, as well as Miramax, which is owned by Walt Disney Co. and several other film companies.
Movie subtitles no longer a foreign concept
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Read a good movie lately? If you've been frequenting the local megaplex you probably have, since one of 2006's little-noticed trends has been the return of the subtitle. Historically, Hollywood has shunned subtitles. It assumed most moviegoers wouldn't sit still for dialogue that had to be translated onscreen; subtitles were left to foreign films with limited appeal to smaller, more upscale audiences. But then films like 2000's sumptuous martial arts movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" -- which grossed $128.1 million domestically -- proved that you could have your subtitles and a broad-based audience, too.
Trump and O'Donnell in war of words over beauty queen
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two of America's biggest mouths were at war, trading insults and threats over a fallen beauty queen. Comedienne Rosie O'Donnell on Wednesday's "The View" talk show took issue with Donald Trump, who in a news conference on Tuesday said he would let troubled beauty queen Tara Conner continue her reign as Miss USA 2006 if she agreed to attend rehab.
Sculptor makes perishable art in Antarctica
MCMURDO STATION, Antarctica (Reuters) - Artists see the world differently. Maybe that's why sculptor Lita Albuquerque decided to craft an environmental work near this icy outpost meant to be in full bloom for just one day. Her "Stellar Axis," on a site about 600 feet in diameter, consists of 99 blue fiberglass spheres of varying sizes in a pattern mirroring the paths of stars at the austral summer solstice.
Film dialogue featured on official Oscar poster
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Famous lines of movie dialogue -- such as "Stella!" and "You had me at hello" -- take center stage in the official poster for the Academy Awards. Copies of the 27- by 40-inch poster are being sold for $25 each through http://www.oscars.org, the official Web site of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.