November 24, 2008

Here's a complete Box-Office recap from this past Twilight - I mean weekend:
1. Twilight, $70.6 million
2. Quantum of Solace, $27.4 million
3. Bolt, $27 million
4. Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, $16 million
5. Role Models, $7.2 million
6. Changeling, $2.6 million
7. High School Musical 3: Senior Year, $2 million
8. Zack and Miri Make a Porno, $1.7 million
9. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, $1.67 million
10. The Secret Life of Bees, $1.28 million

We may be forced to watch a sequel to the writers' strike that began last year and lasted for 100 days. This time, it's the Screen Actors Guild that's moving one step closer to calling a strike, after contract talks with Hollywood studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, broke down last week. Though a federal mediator was brought in to help negotiate a new labor agreement, SAG announced on Saturday that it will ask members to authorize a strike. The SAG national president said, "We really tried to meet the AMPTP more than halfway and they were immovable, so now were in a position where we have to go to our members for a strike authorization." In turn, the AMPTP blasted the actors union for the timing of their decision, saying, "SAG is bizarrely asking its members to bail out the failed negotiating strategy with a strike vote -- at a time of historic economic crisis." In order to authorize a strike, more than 75 percent of SAG members would need to vote their approval. The vote would take over a month to complete.

Three is the magic number on Dancing with the Stars this week. The three finalists, Brooke Burke, Lance Bass and Warren Sapp, will perform three dances over the next two nights, before the seventh-season champion is crowned. Tonight, the celebrities will take part in what's being billed as a "Samba Smackdown," and will also perform a freestyle routine. On tomorrow night's results show, they'll reprise one of their favorite routines from earlier in the season. So who's the favorite to win? It depends who you ask, but Las Vegas oddsmaker John Avello surprised a lot of people when he moved Brooke from his favorite to the longshot. He's had Brooke as his favorite since the first time he saw her dance, but that changed after last week's show, and she's now his five-to-two longshot because, "it looks like she might be losing steam." Avello believes Sapp is the favorite right now, at odds of eight-to-five, followed by Bass at nine-to-five. But he says Burke could easily regain her favorite status if she performs strongly tonight.

STAR Artist Madonna and Guy Ritchie are now on their way to officially becoming ex-spouses. On Friday, the couple were granted a preliminary "quickie divorce in the High Court of London, and it will become permanent in the next six weeks if there are no disputes. According to court documents, Madonna said in a sworn statement that she's divorcing Guy because of his, quote, "unreasonable behavior." The court proceedings took one minute -- neither the couple nor their attorneys were present. Madonna laments, "I'm sad about my personal life." Fortunately, she has her Sweet & Sticky tour: "It provides a distraction that keeps me going."

STAR Artist Leona Lewis has been with her boyfriend since they were kids, but despite reports of an impending wedding, she won't confirm the current status of their relationship. Leona tells me, "He's a great friend to me. The foundation of our relationship is friendship. He's been very supportive." It was Lou who pushed Leona to audition for Simon's British American Idol-like show X Factor. When she won, it launched her career. So what about her future with Lou? Leona says, "I'm a 'now' person. I think Lou's great. I'd love, in the future, to get married...but I don't know what's going to happen in the future. I don't know where I'm going to be."

Most artists whose album just debuted at #2 on the charts would be popping bottles of Cristal and partying all night. But STAR Artist David Archuleta, well, he's been busy trying to complete his Eagle Scout certification.

The release of Prospekt's March, the new EP from STAR Artist Coldplay, has been pushed forward a day - the eight-song disc arrives today instead of tomorrow.

STAR Artist No Doubt will start touring again in summer 2009, so get ready for that.

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