It was undoubtedly the most famous headline that ever ran in Daily Variety, the headline that took the Hollywood paper's show biz lingo and applied it to an event that affected far more than just the entertainment industry. "Wall St. Lays an Egg," it said, the morning after the stock market crash of 1929. Given that kind of history, there had to be a bit more anticipation than usual for Variety's edition on Tuesday, simply to see if 1987's plummeting stock market would inspire the headline writers to a similarly memorable line. Sad to say, it didn't. Rather than take the historical approach with "Wall St. Lays Another Egg," the paper opted for a new and somewhat less resonant line: "Wall St. Goes Through Seller."
'Attraction' Stays Strong
Things are looking pretty static at the top of the box office charts again. For the fifth week in a row, "Fatal Attraction" was the biggest-grossing film in the country last week, and the three runners-up were all unchanged from the previous weekend.
Just about the only newcomers were small, limited-release films such as Nick Nolte's "Weeds" (four cities, eight screens), director John Boorman's autobiographical "Hope and Glory" (one theater each in New York and Toronto) and David Mamet's "House of Games" (nine theaters). No potential blockbusters there -- and while that leaves it up to today's crop of newcomers to shake things up, few folks expect breakthrough business from Michael Cimino's "The Sicilian" or Charlie Sheen's "No Man's Land" or even the Cher-Dennis Quaid drama "Suspect."
Hollywood took years to figure out how to handle Bob Woodward's John Belushi story, "Wired," but it has moved quickly on "Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987." The history of covert wars has been purchased by MGM/UA Communications, which has yet to formulate specific plans for the book ... "The Victim," a film loosely based on the Manson murders, is in the planning stages from producers Ronny Lubin and Arthur Marx. Marx, who will direct the film, is writing the script, which he's adapting from his play "Sugar & Spice."
After some widely publicized clashes with director Tom Holland on the upcoming "Fatal Beauty," Whoopi Goldberg is in Baltimore working on "Clara's Heart," a Mark Medoff ("Children of a Lesser God") screenplay about a Jamaican woman who moves in with a white family that's about to fall apart. Michael Ontkean, Kathleen Quinlan and Spalding Gray also appear in the film, which is being directed by Robert Mulligan ... When he finishes shooting "Bull Durham" in North Carolina, Kevin Costner reportedly will head for Mexico to star in "Revenge," a thriller about an American pilot who romances an upper-class woman also pursued by a Mexican gangland kingpin ... Robert Culp is writing the script for a big-screen version of the "I Spy" television series. If he likes the result, Culp's former costar Bill Cosby reportedly is ready to jump aboard ... Cinecom Entertainment Group officially withdrew from the Motion Picture Association of America's title registration service this week; the move was made to protest the MPAA's refusal to register what MPAA said was an overly salacious title -- "Sammy and Rosie Get Laid." Cinecom is reportedly the first company ever to drop out of the bureau.