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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   April 29, 2002 at 4:30 PM   |   Comments

'ROCK' ROLLS ON

"The Scorpion King" easily held on to the top spot at the U.S. box office in it second week in release, grossing an estimated $17.6 million and running its 10-day gross to $60.8 million.

"Changing Lanes" -- a contemporary morality tale starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Affleck -- held on to No. 2, grossing $9 million and running its overall gross to $45 million after three weekends.

The new Angelina Jolie romance, "Life or Something Like It," opened to just $6.7 million to finish third, followed by the latest "Friday the 13th" sequel, "Jason X," which opened with $6.5 million. The Sandra Bullock thriller "Murder by Numbers" finished fifth with $6.3 million.

The numbers for this weekend were 24 percent better than those for the same weekend in 2001. Overall, 2002 is running 15 percent ahead of the box-office pace set last year, with an estimated $2.58 billion in the bank already.

One of the biggest successes of the year so far is "Ice Age," which has taken in $165.4 million in seven weeks in release.

Box office analysts expect more big numbers next weekend, when "Spider-Man" opens. Other new releases due in theaters Friday include the new Woody Allen movie, "Hollywood Ending," and a new street gang drama "Deuces Wild," starring Stephen Dorff, Brad Renfro and Matt Dillon.


HAYES WILL PLAY JERRY LEWIS

Emmy-wining "Will & Grace" star Sean Hayes will play one of the leads in a TV movie based on the life and work of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

"Martin & Lewis" is scheduled to air during the 2002-03 season on CBS. Two of Martin's children -- Deana Martin and Ricci Martin -- are acting as consultants on the project.

Hayes -- who won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series in 2000 for his performance as Jack McFarland -- will star as Jerry Lewis. No announcement has been made yet about who will play the late Dean Martin.


COEN BROTHERS NEXT

According to a report in Daily Variety, Joel and Ethan Coen are working on a deal to direct a loose remake of the 1955 black comedy "The Ladykillers."

The original featured Alec Guinness, Herbert Lom and Peter Sellers in the story of a gang who try to get a "little old lady" to help their criminal enterprise and end up getting what they deserve. William Rose's original screenplay was nominated for an Oscar.

Variety reported that if the deal goes through, the Coen brothers will direct the movie from their own screenplay after they finish their current project, "Intolerable Cruelty" -- starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones as a high-priced divorce lawyer and a woman who vows revenge, after he prevents her from getting a big settlement in her divorce case.


WHO WANTS TO BE A BACHELORETTE?

Producers have begun accepting applications (ABC.com) from people who want to take part in "The Bachelor 2" -- a second installment of the "reality-based" series "The Bachelor," which proved to be a ratings-winner for ABC this spring.

Successful applicants will have a valid U.S. passport. All applicants are being cautioned that their participation could subject them to "the risk of death, serious injury, illness or disease and/or property damage" -- since they might be called upon to skydive, parasail and ski (snow and water).

Taping is scheduled to begin in July and run through December.


STARS LINE UP FOR 'CLONES' PREMIERE

Natalie Portman -- who plays Queen Amidala in "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones" -- will join Robert De Niro, Michael J. Fox, Susan Sarandon, Martin Scorsese, Tim Robbins and other guests on May 12 when the movie gets its premiere at the new Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Children's Aid Society. Lucas and his company have arranged other benefit screenings of the new movie -- even as Lucas has publicly taken issue with the practice that Enron executives employed, using the "Star Wars" saga as the inspiration for naming several of their offshore, off-the-books enterprises.

Names include Jedi Capital and Obi-1 Holdings.

"Star Wars' is part of the culture, and it's had a big influence on two generations now," said Lucas in an interview with Maxim magazine. "But I don't want to encourage people to disregard the law in the name of 'Star Wars.'"


OWN A PIECE OF THE DUKE

Fans of the late Duke Ellington -- born April 29, 1899 -- can bid on one of his highly prized possessions at the Hotel des Bergues in Geneva on May 13.

Ellington's Patek Philippe Reference 1563 wristwatch -- described as "extremely rare" -- will headline the Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg second "Sale of Magnificent Watches and Wristwatches."

The Patek Philippe Split-Second Chronograph is one of only two examples ever made. Ellington bought it at Patek Philippe's boutique in Geneva in 1948.

Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg's first watch auction in November 2001 featured a record price for a wristwatch, when someone paid $1.9 million for a gold perpetual calendar Patek Philippe. Highlights of the upcoming auction include Reference 2499 wristwatch from the 1950s as well as other pieces ranging in price from $500 to $700,000.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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