Today's News: Our Take


DID YOU KNOW?

Los Angeles Lakers superstar and recent TV Guide cover boy Shaquille O'Neal married his longtime girlfriend Shaunie Nelson at a top-secret ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday. The couple currently are expecting their third child together. read more

DAMAGE CONTROL

Fresh off of his frightening Primetime Live appearance, Bobby Brown will guest-star on an upcoming episode of Fox's Cedric the Entertainer Presents playing Ike Turner. Producers are touting Brown's stint as the singer's "first post-interview performance." In other words, expect to see lots of sweat. read more

CLARIFICATION

Don't believe all those Matt Damon wedding rumors. According to the actor's spokesperson, the Good Will Hunting hunk is not engaged to buddy Ben Affleck's former personal assistant Odessa Whitmire. "He is dating Ms. Whitmire," the rep said. "But he is not engaged." read more

CUE THE VIOLINS

Eminem's The Eminem Show sold more than 7.4 million copies during 2002 to rank as the year's top CD. But that isn't necessarily music to Slim Shady's ears. "It's almost to the point where I truly believe I may be getting too big for my own good," the rapper tells the Detroit Free Press. "When everyone loves you, who's left to hate?" (And you thought you had problems?) read more

FILM WORLD MOURNS

George Roy Hill, the Oscar-winning director who helped turn Paul Newman and Robert Redford into one of Hollywood's most popular buddy combos with The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, died Friday at his home in New York City of complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 81. "He was the best friend that anyone could have: friend, mentor, enemy," Newman said. "He gave everyone a hell of a ride. Himself included." read more

DON'T MESS WITH DIRTY HARRY

Clint Eastwood has filed a $10 million libel lawsuit against author Patrick McGilligan and publisher St. Martin's Press over an unauthorized biography the actor says portrays him as a wife-beater, atheist and coward. The book, Clint: The Life of a Legend, was released in the U.S. in August. read more

TWO IN A ROW

Two Leonardo DiCaprios couldn't catch up to a bunch of hobbits at the box office, as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers maintained its No. 1 ranking for a second-consecutive weekend. The Golden Globe-nominated sequel grossed another $48.9 million, bringing its 12-day total to just over $200 million. Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, starring DiCaprio as a real-life con man, debuted at No. 2 with a respectable $30 million. Since opening Christmas Day, the pic has grossed $48.6 million. DiCaprio's other major holiday release, Gangs of New York, expanded into more theaters and earned $11.2 million for fifth place. The read more

AWARD-WORTHY BID

And the Oscar for most stubborn citizens goes to... New Yorkers! With the 2003 Academy Awards just three months away, a group of Gotham media giants is renewing its attempt to move at least part of the ceremony to the Big Apple, Variety reports. The committee — which includes Miramax co-chair Harvey Weinstein, actor Robert De Niro and director Spike Lee — is expected to send a letter to the Oscar brass outlining its proposals by next week. Last summer, the group tried — and failed — to move the entire show to New York. read more

IN OTHER BOX OFFICE NEWS...

Life isn't proving so beautiful for Roberto Benigni's new live-action Pinocchio flick. The Italian-language folk tale bombed during its opening weekend, grossing a measly $1.1 million on 1,195 screens. By comparison, the musical Chicago earned a robust $2.1 million on just 77 screens. Also performing well in limited release was The Hours. The drama starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep grossed $337,000 in only 11 theaters for a staggering $30,636 per-screen average. read more

Zeta-Jones Suffers Stage Fright


Whether it's crossing blades with Antonio Banderas or dangling from skyscrapers alongside Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones has never been one to shy away from physically demanding roles. But even she experienced a momentary twinge of doubt when it came time to lace up her dance shoes for the movie-musical Chicago (opening Friday).

"It was like looking up Mount Everest knowing you have to come down the other side," recalls Zeta-Jones of the intensive training she and the rest of the cast (which includes Renée Zellweger and Richard Gere) had to undergo b read more

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