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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   May 8, 2002 at 3:17 AM   |   Comments

'$PIDER-MAN'

According to a report in the New York Post, "Spider-Man" merchandise sales could amount to $800 million or $900 million -- with the proceeds being split between Sony, which produced the movie, and Toy Biz, marvel Comics' toy division.

Charles Riotto, president of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association, told the paper that average movie-merchandise sales are around $300 million.

"'Spider-Man' will go way beyond that," said Riotto.

Kathleen Waugh, director of special events at the Toys "R" Us Times Square store, told the paper, "People have been taking 'Spider-Man' toys by the armful."

A spokesman for eBay said "Spider-Man" sales have spiked in recent months -- outdoing sales of "Batman" and "Superman" stuff.


MTV JUMPS ON SPIDEY BANDWAGON

MTV has announced plans for an animated "Spider-Man" series, scheduled to premiere next winter.

Plans call for Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie Howser, M.D.") to do the voice of Peter Parker-Spider-Man. Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb will play Parker's girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson.


DUNST, EMINEM SET FOR 'SNL'

Kirsten Dunst, who plays Mary Jane Watson in "Spider-Man," will host "Saturday Night Live" this week -- with controversial hip-hop superstar Eminem.

It will be Dunst's debut on "SNL."

In addition to her appearance in the mega-hit "Spider-Man," Dunst is also appearing in U.S. theaters in "The Cat's Meow" as Marion Davies -- the actress who kept company with media mogul William Randolph Hearst in the early part of the 20th century.

Eminem, who is promoting his new CD, "The Eminem Show," will be making his third appearance on "SNL" -- his second solo appearance.


NBC PLANS GIULIANI MOVIE

NBC has acquired the rights to the best-seller "Emperor of the City: The Story of America's Mayor" by Andrew Kirtzman.

Plans call for a three-hour TV movie based on the book, which chronicles the life of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who was named Time magazine's 2001 "Person of the Year" after his handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

The teleplay is being written by Nicholas Meyer ("The Human Stain," "Fatal Attraction").

The movie would be filmed in New York City, possibly beginning this fall. The book follows Giuliani's life, beginning with his days as a prosecutor fighting organized crime in New York and running through his two terms as mayor, including his emergence as a national hero after Sept. 11.

Giuliani has a long-running relationship with NBC. He has appeared as himself on the Emmy-wining drama series "Law & Order," as well as the comedies "Mad About You" and "Seinfeld." He hosted "Saturday Night Live" in 1997 and made a special appearance on the show when it resumed after taking a short break following the terrorist attack.


SHE CAN TAKE A JOKE

Winona Ryder shows up on the cover of the June issue of W magazine wearing a "Free Winona" T-shirt -- a joking reference to her Beverly Hills, Calif. shoplifting bust.

Although she doesn't talk about the December arrest in the magazine articles, she does have some words about her love life, suggesting it isn't as hot as the gossip pages make it seem -- with frequent reports about the men she has supposedly dated.

"I have been incredibly lucky," she said. "I often wonder if, when they read they're linked to me, maybe they'll give me a call."

She does have a good Al Pacino story, though. The one where he calls her on the phone no matter the time of night.

"He's an insomniac," she said. "I don't sleep, he doesn't sleep. So it is very normal that we call each other at 2 in the morning."

Coincidentally, Pacino's upcoming movie is called "Insomnia."

Ryder said she finds Pacino "irresistible" and she loves him. But she said she and Pacino are just good friends.

© 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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