Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International  |  Nov. 28, 2001 at 6:15 AM
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Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson will host "The Nobel Peace Prize 100th Anniversary Concert," which will feature performances by Paul McCartney, Destiny's Child, Natalie Imbruglia, Wyclef Jean and the pop group A-ha --- among others.

The annual concert, which is broadcast globally to approximately 500 million households, is a musical tribute to the year's Nobel Peace Prize winner. The two-hour U.S. broadcast will premiere on TRIO on Dec. 16 (at 8 p.m. ET). An edited one-hour encore performance will air on TRIO's sister network, USA Network, on Dec. 21 (at 3 p.m. ET/PT).

The Nobel Peace Prize 100th Anniversary Concert honors this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the United Nations. Annan is scheduled to attend the concert, which will be filmed Dec. 11 at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway.

(Web sites: usanetwork.com, triotv.com)


Box-office analysts say they're beginning to get a feel for how high the grosses will be for "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" -- and it doesn't look like the magic boy will overtake "Titanic" for the all-time U.S. box-office record.

However, "Harry Potter" still has a chance of climbing past "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" into third place on the all-time list. George Lucas' 1999 blockbuster grossed $431.1 million.

"Harry Potter" opened on Nov. 16, and took in $90.3 million in its first weekend. It collected $57.5 million in its second weekend -- $82.4 million over the entire five days of long Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend -- and stood at $187 million after 10 days in release.

Robert Bucksbaum of the box office tracking firm Reel Source told USA Today the 36 percent drop-off from the first weekend to the second is a sign that "Harry Potter" is human, after all.

"The drop-off was pretty considerable," said Robert Bucksbaum, "given that this is a family movie and the past weekend fell on a family holiday. Still, when you make $90 million your first weekend, there's only one way to go: down."

"Harry Potter" still shapes up as the highest-grossing movie of 2001, an honor that currently belongs to "Shrek" with a domestic gross of $267.6 million. Box-office analysts say that "Monsters, Inc." -- which has grossed $192 million in three weekends in released -- has a decent shot at overtaking "Shrek" and finishing as the second-biggest box-office attraction of 2001.

Warner Bros. head of distribution, Dan Fellman, told the paper the studio is not thinking of box-office records.

"It's making box office history, but that's not the goal," said Fellman. "We're just thrilled with the performance of the movie."


While "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was dominating the U.S. box-office over Thanksgiving, last year's Thanksgiving box-office champion -- "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" -- came back for another big helping of consumer cash, raking in an estimated $145 million in DVD and videocassette sales and rentals in its first week on the home video market.

Universal Studios Home Video estimates that director Ron Howard's movie version of Dr. Seuss' classic children's book sold 3 million copies last week, becoming the third title this fall to set a sales record in its first week in release.

The other two were also Universal titles. "The Mummy Returns" and "Shrek" both sold more than 2 million DVDs in their first weeks.

Universal Studios Home Video president Craig Kornblau told Daily Variety the studio shipped 14.5 million copies of "The Grinch" video, but now he isn't sure that's enough to meet retailer demand.

(The above two items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


Doctors treating comedian Rodney Dangerfield say he'll likely be released by the end of the week from the Los Angeles hospital where he is being treated following mild heart attack.

Dangerfield suffered the attack on Thanksgiving -- his 80th birthday. Published reports indicate that while he was being admitted he joked with hospital staffers, asking: "Who gave me this present?" Treatment has included tests to determine if he has any blocked or damaged arteries.

One of the most recognizable of all American comics, in recent years Dangerfield has branched out into movies. His most recent was an appearance as Lucifer in "Little Nicky." Another film, already wrapped up but not "tweaked," is due out in a few months.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)

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