'Twilight' opens with $141.3 million
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" grossed an estimated $141.3 million in its opening weekend in U.S. theaters.
The total just missed matching the franchise's all-time best opening number, $142.8 million for the 2009 release, "New Moon."
The new James Bond film, "Skyfall," fell from the top spot to No. 2, taking in $41.5 million in its second weekend in U.S. theaters, for a cumulative total of $200 million.
The animated "Wreck-It Ralph" fell from No. 2 last weekend to No. 4, taking in $18.3 million for a three-week total of $121.5 million.
Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" finished third in its first weekend in wider release, taking in $21 million at 1,764 theaters.
The Denzel Washington drama "Flight" was fifth with $8.6 million and a three-week total of $31 million.
All studio estimates of gross U.S. receipts are via Box Office Mojo.
"Argo" ($4 million) was No. 6 and "Taken 2" ($2.1 million) was seventh, and "Pitch Perfect" was eighth with $1.26 million, just ahead of "Here Comes the Boom" with $1.2 million.
"Cloud Atlas," "The Sessions" and "Hotel Transylvania" each finished with an estimated $900,000.
The new David O. Russell film, "Silver Linings Playbook," starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, took in $458,000 at just 16 theaters, averaging $28,625 per screen. And the new Keira Knightley film, "Anna Karenina" averaged $19,688 at 16 theaters for a limited opening total of $315,000.
Brad Bird: Not directing 'Star Wars VII'
HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- "The Incredibles" director Brad Bird posted on Twitter that he is not directing the seventh episode of the "Star Wars" saga despite speculation that he is.
Bird, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams had been approached by Lucasfilm to direct the next "Star Wars" film, but Bird said he is focused on his current project, a sci-fi film for Disney, "1952," Entertainment Weekly reported.
"Not doing Star Wars," Bird tweeted Saturday. "Michael Arndt is a fantastic writer and Kathy Kennedy is a brilliant producer. I will be first in line to see the new STAR WARS."
Abrams told Entertainment Weekly last week he will not be directing the film either because he has "some original stuff I am working on next." Abrams is working on post-production on "Star Trek Into Darkness."
Swift dating One Direction's Styles?
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- "X Factor" host Mario Lopez said he saw U.S. singer Taylor swift and One Direction member Harry Styles hand-in-hand on set of the show.
Swift, 22, recently broke up with Conor Kennedy -- a member of the political Kennedy family -- but could be dating Styles, 18, People magazine reported Saturday.
Lopez said on his MY FM-radio, Los Angeles, show Styles was on hand at the "X Factor" set Thursday during Swift's rehearsal for a performance of her song "State of Grace."
"I said, 'What are you doing here?'" Lopez said Friday. "And he sort of [pointed] toward Taylor."
A witness at the rehearsal, whose name was not reported, confirmed Lopez's observation.
"He was smiling at her while she rehearsed. When she was done he jumped up on stage, picked her up, put her over his shoulder and carried her off stage," the onlooker told People. "The whole crew was really surprised."
Judge denies Nicollette Sheridan appeal
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A California Supreme Court judge denied an appeal by former "Desperate Housewives" actress Nicollette Sheridan in her wrongful dismissal lawsuit against ABC.
Sheridan is suing the network for $5.7 million in damages and $35,000 in sanctions. She said she was fired from the TV series in 2008 because she complained about creator Marc Cherry's allegedly abusive behavior toward her.
The case was previously heard and ended in a mistrial in March after the jury informed the judge they were "hopelessly deadlocked," 8-4. Nine jurors must agree in a civil verdict.
The California Court of Appeals denied Sheridan a retrial in September, determining she was not wrongfully fired from the television show.
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye denied Sheridan's appeal of the September ruling Friday.
The actress is expected to go to court again to argue her firing was a labor-code violation, E! News reported.
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