'Superman' | Michael Jackson

'Superman' Makes Anemic Debut

The estimates for the opening of "Superman Returns" are in, and the results are mixed.

To put it mildly, "Superman" didn't have a super return on Wednesday night, even with numbers included from Tuesday night sneak previews.

Boxofficemojo.com is calculating a $21 million take in total with the Tuesday receipts.

For a movie that cost upward of $300 million, this could be reason to break out the Pepcid AC in Burbank. That's because "Superman" has to do an initial run starting tonight of about $25 million a night through at least Sunday to set itself up for success. We're not talking about a record here, either, just a big hit.

On the list of all-times, it ranks at No. 8 for a Wednesday opening, No. 21 for a single day and No. 29 for all-time openings. Ouch! Compare that to the recent "X-Men 3," which broke all records when in opened in May. "Superman" director Bryan Singer, who passed on making the "X-Men" movie, is definitely aware of this data by now.

The Tuesday-Wednesday numbers may indicate a lackluster response to all the hype surrounding the movie. On the other hand, it could be that people are waiting for the real start of the Fourth of July weekend.

And just in case anyone who's reading this has any questions about it, there is no implication or any other idea that this Superman is any way a gay character. I don't know how that story started in the media. He is, like most superheroes, entirely sexless, even though it's quite apparent that he's had (heterosexual) sex.

Jacko Gets Jury of His Peers

Michael Jackson has really gotten what he always wanted: a jury of his peers. The 12 men and women selected yesterday in Santa Monica for Jackson's trial in the Marc Schaffel lawsuit are all white. Not a black person among them. For Jackson, who has changed his skin color over the years, this might be the greatest irony of all time.

Jury selection was quite interesting from what I hear. One prospective juror, bless his heart, announced during his interview that he read "the 411" every day. It took the lawyers a few minutes to figure out the man meant this column. He was dismissed, and rightly so.

But three of the chosen jurors said they believed Jackson was a child molester. That should speak a lot to Jackson's future career plans in the United States.

And Jackson's attorney told the jurors that his client couldn't be there because he's "10 time zones" away.

In fact, Jackson is no longer in exotic Bahrain, but in Europe, from where people — as Schaffel's attorney may point out — often travel to Los Angeles.

The jury may get to see Jackson's lawyer ripping up his client's subpoena to appear in Santa Monica. It was captured, as I reported a few weeks ago, on videotape and is likely admissible.