Katie Holmes Has a Diamond Ring ... but Where's Suri?

Katie Holmes Has a Diamond Ring ... but Where's Suri? | 'Clerks' Donkey vs. Critic | Taxman Looking at Celeb Gift Bags | Record Biz II: Numbers Corrected, Still Bad

Katie Holmes Has a Diamond 'Ring' ... but Where's Suri?

The search for Suri Cruise continues unabated. Thanks to long-lensed paparazzi at a Web site called x17online, there are now pictures of a weary looking Katie Holmes walking around Tom Cruise’s Telluride compound. The snoopshot also got what he says is a picture of a baby carriage parked in shadows. Hooray!

Click Here for the Katie Holmes Celebrity Center

Click Here for the Tom Cruise Celebrity Center

What no one mentioned from these pictures so far is that the rock on Katie’s left ringer is the size of a large marble. You can see it without a telephoto lens, so that should tell us something.

There may not be a wedding in sight, and Katie may look and act like a zombie, but at least she’s secured the diamonds. Give her credit for something!

How Tom paid for the ring — considering the people at Paramount must be starving by now — well, that’s another story. “Mission: Impossible III” may yet go down in the record books as the least profitable movie of the year. Its domestic take was only $134 million, considerably short of its officially acknowledged $150 million budget.

But the cost of “M: I3” is more in the $200 million to $225 million range, when all is said and done. Taking in only about $70 million at home (the rest goes to the theaters) is kind of alarming.

Luckily, foreigners weren’t so discerning. They spent an estimated $227 million in various currencies on “M: I3.”

As I’ve reported before, South Koreans went nuts for this movie, forking over $37 million. Australians, who I’m told speak English, only supplied $8 million from fans.

All in all, “M: I3” took in $362 million worldwide. Paramount may be able to say it broke even, but that would be stretching it a bit.

If Tom threw in the ring, well, that’s another story. But with Cruise making out better than the studio by far on this one, expect the next blockbuster featuring the over-intense star to have a much smaller budget.

Nevertheless, I do think it’s hilarious that the first celebrity to see little Suri and report back on it (to US Weekly) was Cruise’s fellow Scientologist Leah Remini.

Note that no mention has been made of the baby by any family member, non-Scientologist friend or any associate. What happened to Cruise’s “close pal,” Jamie Foxx, or Holmes’ former best friends from before her acting career, who used to be with her in pictures and interviews pre-Cruise? Not so much as a peep from them.

Poor little Suri is already living a life just as strange as the ones being endured by Michael Jackson’s kids.

''Clerks' Donkey vs. Critic: Each Is Right

The donkey in "Clerks II" is actually very funny, not very smutty.

Joel Siegel is a good critic and a really nice guy who’s allowed to lose his patience even for a funny donkey.

Everyone just stop right here.

I’m more appalled listening to the nasty, disrespectful assault on Siegel that occurred on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show yesterday morning. It’s unbelievable that these two jackals are back on the air, especially after being expunged four years for broadcasting a sex act from inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Opie and Anthony — real names Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia — made their way as Howard Stern wannabes a long time ago.

No one over 12 actually listens to them with the exception of people who claim English as a third language. That’s why picking a fight with somebody, anybody, even slightly famous has to be their goal at this point.

Their ratings — slim at best — might possibly improve if they could just get some publicity. The Siegel-Smith contretemps was a perfect storm for them over the last two days.

But picking on Siegel for walking out of “Clerks II” is a sad way for them to go about their juvenile business.

Unlike a lot of TV and radio critics, Siegel happens to be one of the most serious-minded and erudite. He also appreciates independent filmmakers more than most reviewers whose audience is mainstream.

I’m surprised he hasn’t uttered more expletives during a variety of films in the last quarter century. I know I have, many times, and even walked out of a couple of things that were too preposterous for words.

Of course, “Clerks II” is actually a genially raucous comedy, and the donkey is actually a hilarious ode to the famed shot-dead horse in “Animal House.”

If Siegel had stayed a couple more minutes, he might have been very amused. But then again, maybe not.

You do reach a point, after seeing hundreds of films, when the sight of something coming that could be very offensive is more than a critic wants to deal with. That’s his prerogative, and he’s welcome to tell his audience that.

I rather doubt that if Siegel had yelled, “I’m leaving!” at the top of his voice in the “Clerks II” screening room — which he didn’t —that anyone with even the most delicate sensibilities could have minded that much. I mean, the donkey was getting ready to get down.

On the other hand, I wish that Hughes and Cumia would have their producers do a little research rather than attack people on the air without provocation. There’s such a thing as bad karma, it’s instant, and no one needs to bait as much as they have with this little pre-fab scandal.

Taxman Looking at Celebs' Gift Bags

Maybe you missed this back on March 3: the Internal Revenue Service actually issued a statement on Oscar Goodie Bags. Apparently, they are taxable.

So all that swag — from awards shows to Sundance — has a price tag on it after all.

“Movie stars face the same tax obligations as ordinary Americans,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. Some news outlets picked up on this, but it was mostly ignored.

But now I am told that the IRS has indeed spoken to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences about this problem, with no intention of stopping there. All the awards shows try to outdo each other, sometimes giving award nominees and winners gift bags that can total up to $100,000 apiece.

The contents of these bags are certainly not cash — they’re spa treatments, trips, iPods, gift certificates for designer clothing and other high-end paraphernalia.

But apparently the IRS is counting all of this as income, and someone has to pay the tax. The stars aren’t going to do it, so that leaves the respective craft academies that hand out the awards.

With the Emmys coming in about five weeks, this may put a damper on the annual swag fest that infiltrates Hollywood.

And it’s a lot of money we’re talking about. Last winter, business reporter Thomas Kostigen calculated that the IRS stood to make $1,183,700 from the Oscar gift bags alone (I’ll take his word for it). Imagine if you included the Emmys, Golden Globes, Grammys and countless other similar enterprises.

For stars who turn the bags — intact — right over to charity, there may be a way around the IRS. But consider those who use the contents to give gifts to their family members, maids and friends. Gift bags may soon be like kryptonite to celebrities who previously were more than happy to accept freebies.

Record Biz II: Numbers Corrected, Still Bad

The final numbers for last week’s CD sales are in, according to hitsdailydouble.com. They were slightly better than I reported yesterday, but not by much.

Numbers 2 through 10 sold a total of 487,784. Numbers 11 through 20 sold 388,125. That came to a grand total of 875,909.

The No. 1 album, a collection of singles called "Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 22," sold 387,935. But that’s an anomaly. The sales of actual albums begins with No. 2, by rapper Pimp C, who sold 90,000 units.

With "Now 22," the Top 20 totaled just over a million CDs. Without it, it was well below.

Either way, a million CDs aren't going to pay many music executives’ salaries. It also won’t keep a lot of record stores open. At this point, for the execs and others in the business to think otherwise is just delusional.