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'Alexander' on Life Support

'Alexander' | More Top 10s | Sidney Lumet | Eddie Layton

'Alexander' on Life Support

Warner Brothers is about ready to pull the plug on Oliver Stone's "Alexander."

The $200 million movie has become a gigantic fiasco, the company's biggest since Kevin Costner's "The Postman" took in only $17 million.

"Alexander," which stars Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Val Kilmer, has only grossed $33.9 million. The sad fellow took in a little over $41,000 during the holiday weekend on its remaining (and paltry) 232 screens. That translates into $177 per show. Ouch!

The remaining exhibitors who have had this dud are now entering their sixth week and will likely dump it. Expect an "Alexander" DVD in time for Valentine's Day, possibly with featured "extras," like watching Farrell get his blonde highlights — just kidding.

Warner Brothers must be scratching its collective head right now.

Granted, "Alexander" is a terrible movie, but Clint Eastwood's critically acclaimed "Million Dollar Baby" is still struggling in its limited release, even though it picked up one theater from the eight it had.

"Million Dollar Baby" finished one notch lower this week at No. 25. "Hotel Rwanda," which finished one notch below, would have tied it if had been playing in two more theaters.

That's weird considering "Million Dollar Baby" has three movie stars and an easy concept — "girl boxer" — while "Rwanda" has no big stars and is about a decade-old genocide in a remote land.

Also not doing well is critical darling "Sideways," the Alexander Payne movie that's picked up so many critical awards. It dropped from No. 13 to No. 18 this week, still in its limited run.

Fox Searchlight actually cut 65 screens from its distribution, which indicates that "Sideways," no matter how many times people are being told to see it, is not attracting a breakthrough audience.

Again, I say this: Please don't tell me there are no movies to see this holiday season. There are at least 10 very good-to-excellent releases being largely ignored.

Listen, friends: "Meet the Fockers," "Christmas With the Kranks," "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," "Ocean's 12" and "Fat Albert" are not films — they are entertainment.

There is nothing cinematic about them. They will fizzle and dissolve into the stratosphere long after "Sideways," "Finding Neverland," "Million Dollar Baby," "The Aviator," et al are added to all-time favorites lists.

More Top 10s

As promised, here are my picks for the year's top performances — in alphabetical order.

Best Supporting Actor/Actress:

1. Lauren Bacall — "Birth"

2. Cate Blanchett — "The Aviator"

3. Lynn Collins — "The Merchant of Venice"

4. Regina King — "Ray"

5. Cloris Leachman — "Spanglish"

6. Laura Linney — "Kinsey" or "P.S."

7. Virginia Madsen — "Sideways"

8. Natalie Portman — "Closer"

9. Meryl Streep — "The Manchurian Candidate"

10. Kate Winslet — "Finding Neverland"

Top 10 Best Supporting Actors:

1. Alan Alda — "The Aviator"

2. Alec Baldwin — "The Aviator"

3. David Carradine — "Kill Bill: Vol. 2"

4. Jamie Foxx — "Collateral"

5. Morgan Freeman — "Million Dollar Baby"

6. Thomas Haden Church — "Sideways"

7. Clive Owen — "Closer"

8. Peter Saarsgard — "Kinsey"

9. Rodrigo De la Serna — "The Motorcycle Diaries"

10 . Freddie Whitmore — "Finding Neverland"

Sidney Lumet's Lifetime Achievement Award

Sort of lost in the run of holiday news a few weeks back was the announcement that Sidney Lumet would be receiving a very deserved Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars. Bravo!

Lumet's list of credits is beyond perfection: "Prince of the City," "Serpico," "Q&A," "Night Falls on Manhattan," "Daniel," "Fail-Safe," "Network," "The Verdict," "The Morning After," "12 Angry Men," "Dog Day Afternoon" and many, many more. Most contemporary directors would sell their souls to any number of available devils just to say they made one of these movies.

I hope they can get Al Pacino to present the award. And next year, how about giving one to Robert Altman? We're never going to see the likes of these guys again.

And by the way, rent "Q&A" to see one of the most underappreciated, coolest cop movies ever made — Nick Nolte rocks in it.

Goodbye, Eddie

Of all the musicians who've appeared on the soundtrack of my life, Eddie Layton had to have been the most ubiquitous.

The famous Yankee Stadium organist died yesterday at a guesstimated 79 years old.

Sporting events are overrun by pre-recorded music now, obnoxious to us old-timers who grew up on Layton's mellifluous organ cries of "Charge!"

As the New York Yankees move more and more into the era of "We Will Rock You," we will really, really miss you, Eddie. Rest in peace.