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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   March 31, 2003 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

ROCK IS BOX OFFICE PRESIDENT

Chris Rock's directorial debut, "Head of State," topped the box office when it opened this weekend, earning $14 million.

The comedy, which stars Rock and Bernie Mac as unlikely running mates in a presidential campaign, ousted the Queen Latifah-Steve Martin flick "Bringing Down the House" from the No. 1 slot it held for three weeks.

"Bringing Down the House" didn't fall far, however, taking the No. 2 spot and raking in another $12.5 million in its fourth week in release.

Coming in third place was the Hilary Swank sci-fi adventure, "The Core," which earned $12.4 million at the box office, followed by John Travolta's new military thriller, "Basic" with $12.1 million. This was the first weekend for both "The Core" and "Basic."

Rounding out the weekend's top five was "Chicago," the Oscar winner for Best Picture, which sold another $7.4 million in tickets.


ROCK NEUTRAL ON POLITICAL VIEWS

Chris Rock, star of the White House comedy "Head of State," isn't giving his opinion about President Bush and the war with Iraq.

Asked by a reporter in New York what he thinks about Bush, Rock diplomatically replied: "We're still alive. That's all we want."

Answering a question from United Press International regarding the timing of the movie's release, Rock said: "It is an interesting time. It's just interesting. There's no good or bad. War is good for no one, except for the tank people and Tonka. Kids are gonna want more tanks!"

Noting he would make a poor excuse for a president himself, Rock joked the first thing he would do if he ever won the position would be to "get rid of one of the Carolinas."

"Get rid of New Mexico. It hasn't caught on. People still go to Old Mexico," he said.


LISA MARIE 'NOT PROUD' OF JACKO MARRIAGE

Lisa Marie Presley admits she is not proud of her short-lived marriage to disgraced pop star Michael Jackson.

Presley, who currently is attempting to launch a music career of her own, insisted to Rolling Stone magazine, however, she married Jackson for love in 1994.

"I can't say what his intentions were, but I can tell you mine was that I absolutely fell in love with him and fell into this whole thing, which I'm not proud of now," Elvis' 35-year-old daughter told the magazine.

Stopping short of Jackson-bashing, Presley revealed the singer's bizarre ways and frequent disappearances finally spelled the end for their marriage. "It just got really ugly at the end," she added.

"I'm not into Michael-bashing at all," Presley said about "Disciple," a song she wrote about him on her new album, "To Whom It May Concern."

"I know people want to know what that was about, and I'm trying to say it without making him a bad guy, you know. It's hard to do because it was such a bad situation and it was so f---ed up."


RUDY BIO-PIC TO AIR ON USA

A bio-pic about former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani aired on the USA Network Sunday night.

Based on the book "Rudy!: An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani" by Village Voice editor Wayne Barrett, "Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story" was described by USA as a "no-holds-barred look at the often tumultuous life of one of New York City's most controversial and influential figures."

The television movie starred James Woods as "America's mayor" and Penelope Ann Miller as his ex-wife, Donna Hanover.

© 2003 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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