Reuters Entertainment Summary

Monday, February 5, 2007; 2:42 AM

Good tidings at box office for "Messengers"

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The Hollywood studios have figured out how to counterprogram against the behemoth weekend television event that is Super Bowl Sunday. Sony Pictures and Universal Pictures both scored this frame at the North American box office with two releases aimed specifically at audiences not typically interested in the big game. Sony's horror flick "The Messengers," from its Screen Gems unit, bowed in first place to an estimated $14.5 million, while Universal's romantic comedy "Because I Said So," from Gold Circle Films, grossed an estimated $13 million.

Roth rejoins Van Halen for summer tour

NEW YORK (Billboard) - A summer tour reuniting Van Halen with the band's former lead singer, David Lee Roth, has been confirmed by the band's publicist. The group said in a statement that it would tour with Roth on vocals for the first time since 1984. Dates and cities have yet to be announced.

"Buffy" creator Whedon exits "Wonder Woman" pic

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Joss Whedon, who had been developing a big-screen adaptation of DC Comics superhero Wonder Woman for Warner Bros. Pictures and Silver Pictures, parted ways with the studio and production company on the project. Whedon announced the news on Friday on a fansite, chalking it up to creative differences. "I had a take on the film that, well, nobody liked," he wrote on Studio and agency sources confirmed the development.

Super Bowl ads fumble, brain scans show

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Super Bowl ads, which cost $85,000 per second during this year's game, fumbled overall as they failed to connect with viewers or just scared them, according to researchers who tracked people's brain activity. Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles scanned the brains of five men and five women between the ages of 18 and 34 as they watched Super Bowl ads to measure the emotional impact. Participants viewed the commercials through goggles as they lay inside a donut-shaped machine called a functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, machine.

Scorsese wins top Directors Guild award

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Master movie maker Martin Scorsese took a major step toward winning his first Oscar on Saturday when he was named the Directors Guild of America's best film director for 2007 for his thriller "The Departed." After a black-tie audience at the Guild's awards dinner gave Scorsese a standing ovation, the director declared he was surprised by the award, which is often a precursor to an Oscar.

Ryan O'Neal arrested for assaulting son

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Ryan O'Neal was arrested and accused of assaulting his adult son with a handgun during a fight at the actor's Malibu home, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said on Sunday. Deputies went to Ryan O'Neal's home at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday and determined that he had assaulted his son, Griffin O'Neal, during a family dispute, the Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Shields tries on "Lipstick" for NBC

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Brooke Shields has been tapped to star in NBC's one-hour pilot "Lipstick Jungle," based on Candace Bushnell's novel about three rich, power-hungry professional women in New York. Shields will play one of the central trio, a movie studio president and harried wife and mother of three.

In New York, David Byrne sings of Imelda Marcos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Independent rock icon David Byrne took the stage at Carnegie Hall on Saturday to unveil for a U.S. audience a collection of songs about the life of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos -- minus the shoes. Byrne, 54, best known as the frontman for the influential off-beat 1980s pop band "Talking Heads," performed the sold-out show "Here Lies Love," accompanied on stage by two singers, a rock band and a small orchestra.

Farrah Fawcett declares victory over cancer

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former "Charlie's Angels" star Farrah Fawcett celebrated her 60th birthday on Friday by declaring victory in her four-month battle with cancer. "This is an extraordinarily happy day for me and my family," she said in a statement issued with a headline stating that recent test results had revealed that "Fawcett is cancer free."

What makes an IT handbag? Celebrity and magazines

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Hermes "Kelly" and "Birkin" handbags are perennials, while this season Marc Jacobs "Stam" and Yves Saint Laurent "Downtown" handbags are among the ones to be seen wearing, but what exactly makes an IT bag? Celebrities and magazine editors do, according to those in the industry.

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