By Roger Friedman, ,
Published May 18, 2015
"Sex and the City: The Movie" is a phenomenon. On Friday night the Michael Patrick King-directed big-screen version of HBO's hit TV show grossed between $26.1 million.
At one point Friday night, counting just the East and Midwest, "Sex and the City" was up to around a $4,000 per screen average. If that trend kept up on the West Coast as well, "SATC" could wind up with north of a $60 million weekend take.
This was good news to the crowd of departing New Liners who gathered at Elaine's on the Upper East Side. Represented were all parts of the closing indie film company, which is being swallowed whole by Warner Bros. Elaine's has been the traditional spot where New Liners have dined on opening nights to check the box office by computer.
Friday night was different, though, since "SATC" is the final release -- but what a way to go out -- on top! New Liners had expected and hoped for an $8 million to $15 million weekend. Now their dreams have been exceeded. Sadly, when "SATC II" is ready in 2010, it will be Warner Bros. at the helm. By then, New Line will be just a memory.
It doesn't look like Angelina Jolie has given birth. Contrary to a report on the "Entertainment Tonight" Web site, the Jolie-Pitt twin girls still seem to be in the womb.
Reports out of France said Jolie had given birth on Sunday at a Catholic clinic in the Aix-en-Provence region of the country. But Aix is a small city, not a region, and it is far from where the Jolie-Pitt clan is staying. If they do use a hospital or clinic when the time comes, it will be in Nice, Monaco, Cannes or nearby Grasse. Jolie is said to be seeing a doctor from Grasse.
Second, Jolie's manager and confidant, Geyer Kosinski, is in Los Angeles. Believe me, if she'd had the babies or was in labor or anything near it, loyal and attentive Kosinski, who is like family, would be at her side holding one hand while Pitt held the other. Want to know when the babies are coming? Follow Geyer.
One thing is true: Jolie will give birth before her announced date of Aug. 19. That date is a decoy. But there's probably no need to start boiling Evian and getting out clean towels until mid-June.
The word from the inner workings at Warner Bros.: Heath Ledger’s family will journey from Australia to New York this summer for the premiere of "The Dark Knight." The film opens July 18.
Ledger as the Joker in this new "Batman" movie seems certain to be an Oscar-nominated performance. And I’m told the movie will be dedicated to Ledger’s memory, with the memoriam coming at the film’s conclusion. If that doesn’t bring tears and applause, nothing will.
The "Dark Knight" TV commercial during Thursday night’s "Lost" finale indicates that the Joker and not Batman is going to get the lion’s share of attention in this movie. Ledger was all over the commercial. I’m not even sure Christian Bale — er, Batman — was shown.
So we’ll get ready to pay tribute to Ledger, whose death was insanely tragic and unnecessary. And let’s hope the relatives in his non-immediate family, who love publicity, show some respect and keep their mouths shut and heads down this summer. A little propriety can go a long way.
OK. The season finale of "Lost" was amazing and wonderful and will be talked about all summer. That John Locke’s pseudonym was Jeremy Bentham was just the cherry on the sundae. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
That "Lost" even exists in a world of other TV shows doesn’t seem possible. I can’t wait for all the Panopticon theories to hit the Internet. And there’s also the whole Richard Alpert thing. So LSD makes you immortal. Cool.
I do think, though, that two elements guide the series — even if they’re making it up as they go. You can’t have a character named Christian Shepard and not have it mean anything. So that’s No. 1.
No. 2 is Hurley’s exclamation during a game of "Risk" several episodes ago: "Australia is the key to the game." The island in "Lost" seems to be Australia’s Magnetic Island. Hence, all the weird properties including the time travel.
Still, our castaways are now on Membatta, which translates to "doubt." We know they’ve got to go back, and take Locke/Bentham with them. We can also guess that Desmond, Penny and Jin are still alive, as well as Michael and all the other castaways. Something tells me by the time we reach the final episode, even Charlie, Boone and Shannon will be seen. Hurley’s even playing chess with Mr. Eko, so anything is possible.
The funniest thing in Thursday night’s episode? The return of Walt, whom Hurley noted has grown quite a bit. The lesson here was don’t hire a kid who’s 11, even if he looks short. He’s going to grow. Michael David Kelley is now 16 and may even be taller than Harold Perrineau, who plays Michael, his father. In "Lost" time it’s only been six months. Ha!
You’ll be relieved to know that at least one insider from Warner M. Group has made a bundle recently.
Alejandro Zubillaga, brother-in-law of Edgar Bronfman Jr., sold 248,168 shares of his stock at $8 per share on May 12. In turn, he gained $1,985,344.
That’s a nice parting package. Zubillaga had been executive vice president, digital strategy and business development for WMG. On Feb. 25 he resigned that post, effective June 1.
In a way, Zubillaga was very lucky. Until mid-April, WMG stock was in the toilet. But then it began a stunning and inexplicable rise from the ashes around April 1. On April 18 trading volume soared to over 2 million shares from 463,200 the day before and then returned to that number the next day.
On the day Zubillaga sold, which was a Monday, the stock was coming off a three-day volume run — again, out of nowhere it had jumped on the prior Thursday and stayed that way until Tuesday morning. Still, Zubillaga should have sold on May 7, when the stock was still around $9. But on the 8th, WMG issued its dire quarterly report and the price began to go south again.
So, what good timing! Meanwhile, WMG — formerly a record company — remains blissfully unable to sustain a hit from one week to the next. Madonna’s "Hard Candy" has petered out. And Death Cab for Cutie, No. 1 for a week last week, is on its way out. Lucky Zubillaga. At least someone’s done well at WMG.
"American Idol" star Clay Aiken has reportedly donated sperm to record producer Jaymes Foster-Levy and they are having a child. The lucky lady, said to be about 50, is the sister of record producer David Foster and former wife of music exec Lou “Leeds” Levy, whose own father was a famous music publisher. The Levys are only recently divorced, too.
Web wags have dubbed the couple "Faiken," which is hilarious and sets him up as the new Michael Jackson. Ironically, Foster sponsors a Canadian foundation to help kids who need organ transplants. I doubt this sort of transplant was on their agenda. …
Did you know that Hill Harper, the talented actor from "CSI," has a Harvard law degree and a graduate degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government? He might be one of the very few celebrities who should be allowed to a say a word about anything.
To that end, he’s published two very good books that Oprah Winfrey should be handing out faster than Eckhart Tolle’s drivel. "Letters to a Young Brother" and "Letters to a Young Sister" are full of well-grounded advice and inspiration for young people of all colors and backgrounds. Indeed, I am surprised Oprah hasn’t been putting her literary weight behind these books since Harper went to law school with none other than Barack Obama. …
Harvey Korman was a great, underrated comedian and actor who gave us countless hours of pleasure not only on "The Carol Burnett Show," but in Mel Brooks’ movies and in work with Tim Conway. He was 81 when he passed away on Thursday. We’ll miss him. …