The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is having its 60th anniversary next year, and to celebrate the occasion it's asking past Academy Award winners to give back their Oscars. Not permanently, of course -- it's just that the academy wants to display 60 of the statuettes in its Beverly Hills headquarters, and the only way it can do that is to talk several dozen winners out of theirs.
The organization hopes to borrow Oscars from at least one winner for each of the years, and in the process collect one award from each category. Originally, the plan was to put 60 brand-new statues on display, but it turns out that the academy doesn't have that many on hand. In fact, it doesn't even have that many made up for the awards night itself, although to those watching the show it sometimes seems as if hundreds of the things are given out.
The 'Beverly Hills' Gross It took only two weekends for "Beverly Hills Cop II" to become the second-biggest-grossing film of 1987. Ironically, it passed the $60 million mark to win that distinction the same weekend "Platoon," the year's leader so far, fell below $1 million for the first time since its broad release. "Cop II" also has the second-biggest 12-day total ever, trailing only "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" ...
Last weekend "Ishtar" continued to drop sharply. Its take is staying slightly above those of "The Gate" and "Creepshow 2," but its overall total will almost undoubtedly be surpassed by "Ernest Goes to Camp" before this weekend's over.
Mason and Dreyfuss, Reunited Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss will team up for the second time in an upcoming Lorimar film. Like their first film together, "The Goodbye Girl," it'll be written by a successful playwright, but this time not by Neil Simon. Writing the screenplay is Israel Horovitz, who won acclaim for such works as "The Indian Wants the Bronx" -- but who, these days, may be better known as the father of Adam Horovitz, a member of the Beastie Boys rap group.
Sleep Wish IV Residents in a usually quiet area of west Los Angeles were none too thrilled last weekend when a car was blown up at 4:55 a.m. on the grounds of a veterans hospital adjacent to the neighborhood. It turns out the explosion was for a scene in "Death Wish IV." Although some neighbors complained, a hospital spokesman told the L.A. Herald Examiner that the blast didn't even wake up any patients ...
Meanwhile, the writer of "Backfire" used some of that film's firepower in a different way: Screen writer Larry Brand reportedly stopped a burglar in his apartment complex by confronting the man with a gun that was, unbeknownst to the thief, a phony prop.
Leo's Back Leo the Lion, who presided over the MGM studios for years from a huge billboard atop a sound stage but lost his place when Lormiar-Telepictures bought the studio lot, will once again rise above Culver City. The billboard -- a local landmark that enjoyed special dispensation from a city law that prohibits signs that large -- will soon be seen atop the new Filmland Corp. Center, the building in which MGM now has its offices. It's directly across the street from the old lot ... "Caddyshack II" starts filming in October ... Warner Bros.' July 1 release, "Innerspace," earned what are reportedly the highest preview marks in the studio's history. The Steven Spielberg-produced film is a "Fantastic Voyage"-style yarn about miniaturized explorers who prepare to journey through the insides of a dog but are accidentally injected into the bloodstream of a human instead