News from the entertainment capital

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  Nov. 13, 2001 at 5:25 PM
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"Monsters, Inc." is rewriting box-office record books for animated features.

The newest entry from Disney and Pixar grossed $45.5 million in its second weekend, reaching the $100 million mark faster than any other animated movie.

Through Sunday, "Monsters, Inc." had taken in $122.1 million in its first 10 days in release, exceeding the 10-day total of "Toy Story 2," which went on to gross $245.7 million in 1999 and reach No. 18 on the list of all-time U.S. box-office hits.

"Monsters, Inc." is on a box-office roll, but its momentum could be slowed considerably this weekend when "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" opens on what is shaping up as a record number of screens. "Harry Potter" already is making box-office history, with record numbers of advance ticket sales.


According to a report in Daily Variety, Michael Douglas and Kirk Douglas will make a movie together -- the first time the Oscar-winning actor and his screen legend dad have worked together on the big screen.

The project is "Smack in the Puss," described as a black comedy about three generations of a bickering family trying to settle their differences and behave like a family. Variety reported that Michael Douglas' 23-year-old son, Cameron, is likely to join his dad and granddad in the cast.

Michael Douglas told Variety he decided to postpone "Till Death Do Us Part" with Billy Crystal so he could make this movie with his father, largely as a response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"A lot of this came out of Sept. 11, which has made everyone question their life's priorities," Douglas said. "If you have a rare opportunity to work with people you know in an appropriate project, you take it. I realized this offered the perfect chance to finally do a picture with my father."

Michael Douglas said he and his father had come close " couple of times" but had never been able to agree in the past on a movie they could make together.

"He is pretty picky and so am I," said the star of "Wall Street," "Fatal Attraction" and "Basic Instinct."

"We've found a lovely script that's not simply us venting our demons," he said. "There are great parts here."


According to a report in London's Sunday Times, Sylvester Stallone is thinking of putting John Rambo back in the saddle for another tour in Afghanistan -- 13 years after the former Green Beret went behind enemy lines to rescue his former boss from a mountain fortress.

The paper quotes sources who say the new Rambo movie would feature Stallone going mano-a-mano with the Taliban. Stallone is reportedly working on the screenplay now.

Stallone has played John Rambo three times -- in "First Blood" (1982); "Rambo: First Blood Part II" (1985); and "Rambo III" (1988).


Former Screen Actors Guild president Ed Asner and newly elected SAG treasurer Kent McCord will join other professional entertainers at the witness table Wednesday when California lawmakers hold a hearing in Los Angeles on age discrimination in the entertainment industry.

The Assembly Committee and Senate Subcommittee on Aging will hold the hearing at the Los Angeles Film School Theater.

The Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild of America, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Women in Film also plan to send representatives to the hearing, which is examining the pros and cons of a bill in Sacramento that backers say would "break down negative stereotypes" about aging.

Senate Bill 953 would recruit entertainment industry players in a media campaign to educate Californians about the value of older adults and life experience.


California Gov. Gray Davis is making more than three dozen state properties available at no or low cost for use as locations for movie and TV production.

The properties -- including the Metropolitan Hospital in Norwalk, numerous historic houses throughout Pasadena, and the 10-story State Building in downtown Los Angeles -- are being offered through a program operated by the California Film Commission.

"California is the leading production location the world over," said Davis. "By making more public properties available, we will enhance California's dominance in the entertainment industry while boosting our state's economy."

The State Building will be featured in the upcoming screen adaptation of Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lechter book, "Red Dragon," starring Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton. State officials said the project's producers will save more than $175,000 in location fees and reimbursements for film monitors.


The Screen Actors Guild has announced a tentative agreement with Saban Entertainment, covering the company's production of live action children's programming for the next three years.

The deal, which applies to programming produced for syndication, basic cable or network non-primetime telecasts, is subject to approval by the Guild's national board of directors.

Saban is best known as the producer of such kids shows as "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers."


Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Ving Rhames will join an all-star line-up in Hollywood this Saturday at the Multicultural Motion Picture Association's 9th Annual Diversity Awards.

The MMPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring diversity in movies and TV.

Organizers say the list of presenters at the ceremonies will include Michael Clarke Duncan ("The Green Mile"), David Arquette ("Ready to Rumble"), Elizabeth Pena ("Down and Out in Beverly Hills") and Oded Fehr ("The Return of the Mummy").

Ceremonies will be held in the grand ballroom of Hollywood & Highland, the new office-retail complex in the heart of Hollywood, which also contains the Kodak Theater -- the new permanent home of the Academy Awards.

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