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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   Nov. 11, 2002 at 3:00 AM
EMINEM BEATS SANTA AT THE BOX OFFICE

It looks like Eminem will be getting coal in his stocking this Christmas.

The Grammy Award-winning rapper's semi-autobiographical film, "8 Mile," stole the No. 1 spot out of Santa's sack when it debuted this weekend.

According to studio estimates released Sunday, "8 Mile," which co-stars Kim Basinger as the rapper's abusive mother and was helmed by "L.A. Confidential" director Curtis Hanson, earned $54.5 million since it opened Friday. The soundtrack for the film, featuring tracks by the rapper, was No. 1 on the Billboard chart last week, while the tough-talking Detroit native's solo album, "The Eminem Show," ranked No. 8.

Booted to the No. 2 spot, Tim Allen's yuletide sequel, "The Santa Clause 2," earned a respectable $24.8 million in its second weekend in theaters.

Taking third place at the box office was the Naomi Watts screamer "The Ring," which sold $16 million worth of tickets, while the Eddie Murphy comedy, "I Spy" came in fourth with $9 million.

Rounding out the top five was the former No. 1 comedy, "Jackass: The Movie," still going strong and adding $7.2 million to its take.


BRITS RANK 'APOCALYPSE NOW' NO. 1

A group of 50 British critics and film writers has declared Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic, "Apocalypse Now," the greatest film of the past 25 years.

Starring Martin Sheen, Lawrence Fishburne and, "Godfather" alum Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall, the controversial 1979 picture was based on Joseph Conrad's novella, "The Heart of Darkness." Both Conrad's story and Coppola's film examine the horrors of imperialism.

Half of the films in the Sight and Sound magazine poll were made by American filmmakers.

1. "Apocalypse Now," directed by Francis Ford Coppola, 1979.

2. "Raging Bull," directed by Martin Scorsese, 1980.

3. "Fanny och Alexander," Ingmar Bergman, 1982.

4. "Goodfellas," Martin Scorsese, 1990.

5. "Blue Velvet," David Lynch, 1986.

6. "Do the Right Thing," Spike Lee, 1989.

7. "Blade Runner," Ridley Scott, 1982.

8. "Chungking Express," Kar-Wai Wong, 1994

9. "Distant Voices, Still Lives," Terence Davies, 1988.

10. (tie) "Once Upon a Time in America," Sergio Leone, 1983 and "Yi Yi" (A One and a Two,) Edward Yang, 1999.


AXL PULLS NO-SHOW AT G'N'R CONCERT

Thousands of angry rock fans stormed the gates at a Canadian arena after Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose failed to show up for the group's first concert in nine years.

The group was scheduled to kick off its long-awaited Chinese Democracy tour at Vancouver's General Motors Place Thursday night, but shortly before the show was to begin, the nearly 10,000 ticket-holders waiting outside the arena were informed it had been canceled.

According to E! Online, the crowd rioted, using metal guardrails to batter the arena's glass entry doors and smash ticket booth windows. Police used pepper spray, attack dogs and batons to disperse the crowd.

As of Sunday, the concert had not been re-scheduled and promoters were refunding tickets.


SPEAKING OF SHOW-STOPPERS...

A smoking bag of microwave popcorn -- not Al Pacino's acting -- was to blame for emptying Pace University Theater in New York recently.

About 700 audience members, as well as Pacino's co-stars John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Billy Crudup and Dominic Chianese, were forced to flee the theater when a fire alarm sounded in the middle of a performance of Bertolt Brecht's avant-garde play, "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui," the New York Daily News reports.

The cast mingled with audience members outside while firefighters investigated the cause of the alarm. Once they determined it was just an college student with the munchies, everyone was allowed back into the theater.


DELANEY DEPARTS 'CSI'

Former "NYPD Blue" star Kim Delaney reportedly is leaving another hit show, this time after only 10 episodes.

The word from E! Online is the 41-year-old Philly native was fired because producers didn't think she and "CSI: Miami" co-star David Caruso had the right chemistry for the show.

The final episode featuring Delaney's DNA expert character, Megan, already has been shot and will air Nov. 24. According to E!, CBS promises the reason for her character's departure will be explained later.

© 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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