Will Ferrell's Big Bomb | Jessica Alba: Single Baby | Indy 4/cannes: Variety Steals | 'idol,' Beatles Can't Help Jacko | Rock Hall Scandal Bad Karma For Wenner
Will Ferrell's Weekend Bomb
Who knew? Who could have predicted? Certainly not the box office soothsayers. They all called Will Ferrell’s weekend comedy, “Semi Pro,” a lock for a $27 million average.
But now it looks like “Semi Pro” will be lucky to eke out half that amount. On Friday night, the flaccid comedy took in around $5.45 million in a very wide release — 3,100 theaters.
This isn’t good news for anyone, least of all New Line Cinema’s now departing chiefs Michael Lynne and Bob Shaye. “Semi Pro” was very well marketed, starting with a popular Super Bowl commercial and following through with an Old Spice tie in, all of which featured Ferrell.
The “Semi Pro” failure will seem even more confusing considering that Ferrell is coming off back to back hits with “Talladega Nights” and “Blades of Glory.”
But the whopping lack of interest on Friday night is a pretty good indicator that “Semi Pro” had limited appeal. It also calls into question Ferrell’s career. For a while there it looked as though he’d grabbed Jim Carrey’s audience. But hot on his heels came Steve Carrell.
It seems as though the lifespan of a comedian — the career Steve Martin so carefully carved out — is shorter than ever.
And here’s just a weird P.S.: Isn’t it odd that Ferrell has never invited his “Saturday Night Live” acting partner, Cheri Oteri, to be in any of his films?
Jessica Alba: Single Baby
Jessica Alba is not having twins.
The beautiful young actress did tell me over Oscar weekend that she’s keeping to just one baby. So much for the rumors.
The supermarket tabloids are just obsessed with baby bumps and twins news these days. I must say personally, I could not care less. But Alba and beau, Cash Warren, are nice, nice people. I sort of felt bad when we talked about it. Just one baby? I mean, what’s wrong with you?
Remember when just one baby was plenty to deal with?
Of course, Alba is much younger than Jennifer Lopez or any of the other recent twin bearers. It’s less likely that she required fertility assistance.
So congrats to Jessica and Cash. That’s the last baby news you’ll see in this space for some time!
Indy 4/cannes: Variety Steals
Guess what, FOX 411 readers? Four days after I told you "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" would open at the Cannes Film Festival, Variety is reporting it. Very conveniently, a credit for our story was left out. It also adds nothing new. But you know you read it here first. I guess better late than never.
'idol,' Beatles Can't Help Jacko
The big news that the Beatles are coming to "American Idol" will not do anything to help Michael Jackson’s bid to save his Neverland Ranch.
"Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe announced this week that "Idol" had finally gotten the right to use songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney on "American Idol." He said that when the show pares down to 12 contestants, there will be a "Beatle" night.
All that means is that the contestants will sing a dozen Beatle songs. Sony/ATV Music Publishing will get paid for their performances, just like another publisher of any other songs. Jackson will get a few dollars from the episode, as a 50 percent owner of the publisher.
But the "Idol" show has absolutely nothing to do with Jackson’s financial dilemma at Neverland. He still needs to come up with $24.5 million by 1 p.m. on March 19, or the public auction of the property will proceed as planned.
I did get a laugh on Thursday when CNN.com tried to jump into the fray. There actually was a quote from an unnamed source saying Jackson’s refinancing was in place, and that Neverland would be saved.
Do these schnooks read legal papers? There’s a notice of default and a notice of trustees’ sale on Neverland. Jackson’s people have had four months to come up with the money.
Much of the blame can be laid at the feet of now-former manager and publicist Raymone Bain. Her reign with Jackson has to have been the single worst of all the various managers who’ve come and gone.
During the time Bain controlled Jackson’s world, he was sued several times, had to settle all the lawsuits for millions, alienated fans and business associates. She couldn’t have done more damage.
Rock Hall Scandal Bad Karma For Wenner
Mike Smith, the 64-year-old lead singer of the famed British pop group Dave Clark 5, died on Thursday of pneumonia. In 2003 he fell off a ladder at his home and sustained injuries that caused paralysis.
A year ago, Smith was alive and could have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But Jann Wenner, as I reported then, decided to throw out a ballot on which the DC5 were inducted, replacing them with Grandmaster Flash.
This is one reason why we’re boycotting Rolling Stone magazine.
Next month, the DC5 are getting a consolation prize induction after that fiasco; however, Smith will not be able to appreciate it. It’s too late.
DC5’s hits included "Bits and Pieces," "Because," "Over and Over," "Glad All Over" and "Catch Us if You Can." They should have been in the Rock Hall years ago. What a pity that the ridiculous goings-on at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation contributed to this tragic ending.