It may be all over for Superman this weekend. Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns” took the biggest hit day to date from Tuesday to Wednesday this week, losing an astonishing 38.9 percent.
This was the biggest drop on that day for any film in the top 10. “Superman Returns” has now limped to about $119 million since its opening 10 days ago.
Now comes the second “Pirates of the Carribean” adventure from Disney. Even with poor reviews, “Pirates 2” will likely swamp “Superman” Friday night, leaving the Man of Steel with a huge problem. With a $300 million bill to pay off, “SR” has lost significant momentum.
The fascination with “SR” box office is simply because it is probably the most expensive film ever made. “P2” may be hot on its heels, but “SR” — including various people like Nicolas Cage who were paid to go away before shooting even started — looms as a textbook case of a blockbuster gone bad.
Poor Candy Spelling. The onslaught of bad publicity and fake stories about her continues. Could it all be coming from her daughter, Tori Spelling? It’s hard to believe that one spoiled child could cause this much damage.
But Candy isn’t taking it lying down. The big rumor unleashed in the last day was that Aaron Spelling’s widow was selling her mansion immediately. It made Candy look like a merry widow at that, cashing in quickly within days of her husband’s funeral.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Candy issued a statement last night scotching that story:
“I am deeply saddened and disappointed by the rumors and stories that have emerged claiming that I have my home up for sale. I am forced to respond during this sensitive time that these stories are not true, nor do I have any current plans to sell the house that my husband Aaron and I built. I find it disheartening to wake up and find camera crews on the street filming my front gate for the morning news, particularly since the story is not true.”
Who knows what’s next. But if Tori doesn’t get what she wants from her father’s estate, expect a war of words and legal proceedings that make Anna Nicole Smith’s campaign to get her dead husband’s money look like "Romper Room."
You see him on various nighttime tabloid TV shows talking about Michael Jackson like an expert. He is incessant, ceaseless and annoying. But Brian Oxman will not give up, and CNN’s "Headline News" has so much time to fill they don’t seem to care about his status.
But hear me now, Jacko watchers: Brian Oxman is not Michael Jackson’s lawyer, nor is he is spokesman. Indeed, according to my sources, Oxman has not spoken to Jackson in considerably more than a year.
More importantly, Oxman was fired by Jackson’s defense attorney, Thomas Mesereau, in April 2005 during the pop singer’s child molestation trial. Among his errors: falling asleep and snoring loudly during the trial.
But in late April, after he’d been fired by Mesereau in private, Oxman refused to buy and showed up anyway. Mesereau barred him from the courtroom, and when the session was over fired him publicly in the parking lot of the Santa Maria courthouse.
And still, Oxman persists, no matter what anyone says. He continues to insert himself into anything to do with Jackson knowing that media outlets — with no actual spokesperson or advocate for the singer around — will take him just to fill time.
I saw him last night on the "Nancy Grace" show, spewing imaginary information about the status of Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Trust me, FOX 411 readers, Brian Oxman knows less than 99 percent of you about what’s going on at that ranch.
Here’s the lowdown, in case you care: Neverland is closed. Jackson, according to the California Department of Labor, has never secured Workmen’s Comp insurance, so he cannot have employees there.
A security company was hired to look things over, and there may be a couple of people living in the house. But Neverland no longer functions as a ranch. Charity groups no longer bring children there for outings. It’s over. Most of the animals are gone. That’s it.
Meantime, they say there’s nothing more flattering than imitation, but I was amused last night to hear the Nancy Grace crowd squawking about Jackson’s secret $300,000 payoff to a family in South America. They got that story right out of this column, where it ran yesterday with as much detail as I can share right now.
Even more interesting is how much of what’s coming out right now in the Marc Schaffel trial was already revealed in last year’s child molestation trial and in this column, yet it’s being presented by other media outlets as news. This column broke the story of Jackson's charity single “What More Can I Give” back in late September 2001. We even printed the lyrics.
The song — which features a lot of middle-of-the-road stars warbling a song similar to Jackson’s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” — was not released because Jackson could not find a distributor.
Sony refused to release it because they thought it would interfere with his “Invincible” album and TV special. Schaffel tried to cut a deal with Jive Records, but Jackson’s contract with Sony prevented it.
In the end, Schaffel laid out money to make the single and an expensive video, and Jackson never paid him back. That’s at the center of the current trial in Santa Monica.
The curious thing about “What More Can I Give,” and what Jackson’s fans don’t understand, is that the singer doesn’t care which charity his song is used for, or which song is used.
In what now amounts to reams of testimony and evidence, it is quite clear — crystal clear — that Jackson simply wants to make such a record and release in order to look like a hero and gain sympathy and adulation.
And, as I explained in this space recently, he expects to retain the rights to such a song and make money from it. He does right now for “We Are the World.”
The 2006 Emmy nominations were announced yesterday. And here’s what they amount to: who cares?
The nominees in the big categories were perhaps the worst in years. The prospect of this show, which will air to a minimal audience in late August, is terrifying. This reporter is likely not alone among those who will skip it this year.
Take the Best Actress, Drama category: Felicity Huffman is absent, as is Edie Falco. How is this even possible? Instead three actresses whose shows are off the air — Frances Conroy, Geena Davis and Allison Janney — gained spots on the list.
In Best Actor, Drama, where are Terry O'Quinn from "Lost," James Gandolfini from "The Sopranos," Hugh Laurie from "House" and Michael Chiklis from "The Shield"? Their replacements: Peter Krause and Martin Sheen are from cancelled shows, Denis Leary is one note on "Rescue Me" and Kiefer Sutherland is … Kiefer Sutherland. We’ve been there, trust me.
More vexing are the supporting nominees. How could Naveen Andrews and Michelle Rodriguez from “Lost” not make the short list in drama? Where are Steve Van Zandt and Vince Curatola from "The Sopranos"?
In comedy, where the heck is "Entourage," a show many times more sophisticated, funny and knowing than the execrable “Two and a Half Men?”
Indeed, if I were the programmer at HBO, I’d make Emmy night a best-of special program, with “Entourage” and “The Sopranos.” Even their reruns are of more interest than this very tired group of mainly also-rans.