Today's News: Our Take


MEN IN THE BLACK

Nod your head if you're surprised by this: Men in Black II set a July Fourth weekend record, topping the box office with $54.1 million from Friday-Sunday. The previous record-holder was the first Men in Black, which took in $51.1 million in 1997. Since opening Wednesday, MIB II has grossed $90 million — compared to $84.1 million for the original. (However, once admission increases are factored in, the sequel sold fewer tickets than the original.) Last week's No. 1 film, the Adam Sandler knee-slapper Mr. Deeds, slipped to second with $18.8 million — a 49 percent drop from its opening. The new basketball comedy Like Mike opened at No. 3 with $13.1 million, followed by Lilo & Stitch (No. 4 with $12. read more

END QUOTE

"It was a tough week. I found out I was pregnant, Bing and I split up, I gave up smoking, alcohol and coffee, and then Sept. 11 happened. My world collapsed, and then the whole world collapsed." — New mom Liz Hurley speaking out for the first time about her recently-settled paternity headache with producer Steve Bing in August's Harper's Bazaar. The mag's cover features Hurley with son Damian. read more

EMINEM DETHRONED

It's curtains for The Eminem Show. Rap superstar Nelly's latest disc, Nellyville, debuted at No. 1 on the album charts with 714,114 units sold. As a result, Eminem's new CD — which held the No. 1 spot for five straight weeks — slipped to second with 308,000 in sales. read more

BIG LAWSUIT

Former Big Brother 2 housemate Krista Stegall — who last summer had a knife held to her throat by fellow contestant Justin Sebik — is suing CBS. She claims the network was negligent for allowing Sebik on the show, even though he had a police record. read more

TRIAL RUN?

Former Today show co-host Deborah Norville is getting another shot at morning TV. The Inside Edition host will spend the week co-anchoring CBS's The Early Show alongside Jane Clayson. Insiders speculate that CBS is considering giving Norville the Early gig full-time. read more

PRETTY MARRIED WOMAN

Julia Roberts celebrated Independence Day by giving up her own. The Oscar-winning actress married her cameraman boyfriend Daniel Moder early Thursday in a hush-hush ceremony at her 40-acre New Mexico estate. This is Roberts's second marriage; she was briefly wed to country crooner Lyle Lovett. read more

AGE BEFORE BEAUTY

American Idol semi-finalist Delano Cagnolatti was disqualified on Tuesday night's show for lying to producers about his age. Turns out, he's 29 — not 23. He was promptly replaced by 20-year-old Atlanta citizen EJay Day. In an article appearing in the July 20 issue of TV Guide magazine, Day called Cagnolatti's decision to fib about his age "desperate," adding, "I don't know why anyone would put the energy into lying for this." Well, Cagnolatti offered little explanation: "I don't have anything to say about American Idol anymore, ever." To read the complete text of the TV Guide story, click here. read more

MORBID CURIOSITY

The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas is denying requests from guests who want to stay in the room where The Who's John Entwistle died last week, the Los Angeles Times reports. "We would prefer that the room number never get publicly identified, out of respect for John Entwistle and the band," Hard Rock president Don Marrandino said. read more

MORE TLC

The two surviving members of TLC are working on a new album — their first since the April death of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas are collaborating with Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds on the disc, which is scheduled for release in the fall. read more

SHORT CUTS

Game show legend Bob Barker, 78, will undergo prostate surgery next week at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C... Legendary jazz bassist Ray Brown has died at the age of 75... VH1 confirms that it is in talks with Liza Minnelli and husband David Gest to produce an Osbourne-esque reality series about their private lives... Scary Movie's Jon Abrahams has joined the cast of Fox's Boston Public as — you guessed it — a teacher. read more

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