Published June 28, 2003
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle is not breaking any box office records this weekend.
The Sony/Columbia release took in about $14.5 million on Friday night. It should make around $42 million for the weekend, which is a lot of money no matter how you look at it. But it's a little bit of money when you consider the costs involved with this film.
Pegged at costing somewhere between $125-$150 million, Full Throttle will have to shift into high speed this week if it expects to break even. Just imagine: Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore are each drawing $20-$25 million paychecks off of the budget. Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, and Bernie Mac all have sizable chunks, too. And Barrymore, because she's producer, is getting a second revenue stream.
That doesn't account for Executive Producer Leonard Goldberg, who owns the Charlie's Angels franchise from his Aaron Spelling days. Also on the tally sheet is Joseph McGinty, aka McG , the director, plus all those endless special effects.
Last year Columbia hit pay dirt with Spiderman, which was a salve on a number of wounds. This year Full Throttle was supposed to do that for the hit-starved company. Hollywood Homicide, their other big-name movie, is also a disappointment despite Harrison Ford's star turn. Ironically, Columbia's bright spot is a film no one thought would do well, Daddy Day Care, the Eddie Murphy kids' comedy that will break the $100 million mark shortly and pay off around the world.
So far Universal Pictures is the summer's big winner with Bruce Almighty, 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Hulk making good showings — although the latter is still far away from breaking even and looks like it may be slowing down precipitously.
That's Hollywood — a roulette wheel, and not for the faint of heart!
Believe it or not, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are hitting the road.
The beloved folk duo from the 1960s has agreed to 30 dates at arenas like Madison Square Garden beginning in September. The story was rumored a couple of weeks ago, but I can tell you now it's definitely happening, "definitely" being a word that has no definition in the Show Business Dictionary.
This is happy news for all their fans, but curious news considering that the two do not get along at all. The last time Simon and Garfunkel toured was in 1994, which included a long stint at Madison Square Garden with a very high ticket price ($350).
This tour should be no different price-wise, since the only thing that could bring these two together is the sound of a cash register or the swoosh of an American Express Gold Card being swiped through a terminal.
Just this past February at the Grammy awards, the pair argued over which song to sing to open the show. They grumbled right up until the moment they hit the stage, and they split from each other instantly when the "Sound of Silence" became true. They didn't even actually receive the award itself on stage and didn't speak to each other.
Their last studio recording was the great song, "My Little Town," in 1976.
If you were born since then and are puzzling over why anyone cares about any of this, I can explain it you this way: Their voices, when blended, are magic. It's one of the mysteries of nature how two people who make such a gorgeous sound together can be at each other's throats most of the time.
Still, I will be one of the thousands ready to plunk down good, hard cash to hear them one more time. The inevitable DVD and such should earn them a lot of money, but I hope Simon and Garfunkel will consider at least one free concert in their hometown, as they did way back in 1981 in Central Park under a clear, moonlit sky.
By the way, everyone knows about the Paul Simon solo albums, but Art Garfunkel has put out a few too. My personal favorite dates back to Breakaway in '75, which sounds even better today.
It was a brutally hot night in New York last night, so there were a couple of hot parties designed to make the most of it.
On Park Avenue and 55th St., the New York Post's gossip columnist with pizzazz, Cindy Adams, let a bunch of strangers into her magnificent apartment, once the home of reclusive heiress Doris Duke. The occasion was a book party for Gene Simmons, the lead singer from Kiss, the costumed rock group that still wears full makeup.
Simmons, wearing black, welcomed an eclectic array of guests, including Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer and actor Matthew Modine — who a couple of times had to sing a line or two of Kiss' "Rock 'n' Roll All Nite" for the guests unschooled in Kiss — with his hot-stuff wife Cari. The Post's editor-in-chief, Col Allan, turned up as well, along with a bunch of New York media types.
I asked Simmons if he was ready to go on tour with Aerosmith this summer.
"The question is: Are they ready to go on tour with us?" he asked, turning up his nose at Steven Tyler and company.
Who will be opening for whom, I wondered?
"We're going to alternate, but I'd rather open the show. That way, people will get their fill and then be done."
In the words of the immortal Tyler, "dream on," Gene.
Missing from the party was the mother of Simmons' children and his longtime significant other, Shannon Tweed. But from experience, they are rarely seen together.
None of the people in Cindy's swell digs (and I mean, drop-dead unbelievable splendor, with lots of artifacts from Asia and a leather ceiling in the living room) seemed to mind who the publisher of Simmons' book was.
That would be Michael Viner, considered by some to be the devil incarnate. Viner, a publisher of sleazy best-sellers, sued Heidi Fleiss in 1998 for libel. Not only did he lose the case, he wound up admitting to having an affair with a prostitute for a couple of years.
Viner's wife, the actress Deborah Raffin, was not at the Simmons party.
"She's taking care of her mother," Viner said, "who is very ill."
Viner's past projects include publishing the tell-all by Faye Resnick, a peripheral character in the O.J. Simpson story. He also published a sleep-and-tell by a bunch of self-proclaimed Hollywood call girls. He recently put up the money for Bill Maher's one-man show on Broadway.
Larry King and Sidney Sheldon are his good friends.
So what's Viner up to now? Considered highly litigious, the former owner of Dove Audio tapes is currently suing the beloved Otto Penzler, owner of New York's long-running Mysterious Book Shop.
According to the Los Angeles Times, famed attorney David Boies has taken on Penzler's case for free just to vanquish Viner. But Viner told me, "Otto is a nice man, but he was selling off short stories I owned to other people." The case, like all of Viner's, will go to court.
You have to think, at this point, there must be a shrine to Viner in the court reporters' office at the Los Angeles County Superior Court. They do, after all, charge by the page.
In the meantime, the man who declined to publish a memoir by Bill Clinton accuser Kathleen Willey says he's going to put Carl Reiner on Broadway in a one-man show about Mark Twain.
"I'm also doing a Las Vegas on Broadway show," he said. "They're limited runs."
As for Cindy, the doyenne of New York padded around her immense apartment barefoot in a beautiful white pants suit. She wore a brooch at her neck made of diamonds and gold.
Every time someone excused themselves to her saying they had to leave, Cindy joked: "Take some of these guests with you, will you?" But they were having too good a time, what with so much food and two cute dogs licking the guests' faces. For all I know, most of them are still there now.
The other hot party of the night was actually pretty warm. Over at restaurant Jean Luc, publicist Norah Lawlor threw a dinner party for Melissa de la Cruz and Karen Robinovitz, authors of How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less (Ballantine).
You may remember all these people from last year, when Marie Claire magazine had a contest to see which New York publicist could get de la Cruz the most press coverage for her novel, Cat's Meow. Lawlor won, and got a chapter in the new book. It comes out next Tuesday.
Stylist to the stars Philip Bloch turned up and said he doesn't think Salma Hayek and Edward Norton have broken up — despite contrary reports.
George Wayne, the instigating questioner from Vanity Fair, was also there, gossiping with celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan.
But the talk over Jean Luc's delicious roast beef and potatoes was of Drew Barrymore, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and the bad time had by all at Wednesday night's premiere since many of the diners had been there.
So what was good about Charlie's Angels? In two words: Jaclyn Smith, who got high marks from everyone for her subdued and welcome cameo.
I have to agree: forget about all these over-worked-out, rail-thin new stars. Smith is the epitome of beautiful. If she's had work done, either we don't know it or don't care. She looks natural, mature, elegant and sexy. She's a real angel who still has her wings!
Here's a little addendum to the whole Charlie's Angels thing also: Despite the incoherence of the movie, the soundtrack is terrific. The highlight is Edwyn Collins' hit "A Girl Like You" from several years ago.
I have to say, I had all but forgotten about Collins. I first knew him as the lead singer of an obscure Scottish group called Orange Juice in 1982. His rendition of Al Green's "L-O-V-E Love" is spectacular. So kudos to the music supervisor of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle., who obviously had a big budget and used it wisely.