Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kristen Stewart: I'm not trying to distance myself from 'Twilight'

In the four years since Kristen Stewart began playing the role of Bella Swan in the "Twilight" franchise, the actress has only appeared in three films outside of the massively popular series.

The most popular of the nonvampire fare was the 2009 comedy "Adventureland," which at its height played in around 1,800 theaters nationwide and ended up collecting $16 million -- nowhere near the kind of money a "Twilight" film rakes in. Her subsequent turns as Joan Jett in "The Runaways" and a stripper in "Welcome to the Rileys" were even less widely seen; the latter film grossed only $158,898.

Which all makes her latest role as the princess in "Snow White and the Huntsman" that much more significant. The big-budget spin on the classic fairy tale, out Friday, will mark the first time that most American moviegoers will get to weigh in on whether or not they buy Stewart as anyone but Bella.
Still, the actress says taking on "Snow White" wasn't a calculated move to change her on-screen image.

"People are going to think that it's me trying to either distance myself from 'Twilight' or try to prove myself beyond it or whatever," the 22-year-old said Tuesday evening at a screening of the $175-million production. "But it's [just] good timing. I think it's all fallen off the truck in a really lucky way. But it's totally not my doing."

Asked if she felt "Snow White" marked a new phase in her career, Stewart said it didn't.
" 'Twilight' means so much to me, but it doesn't stand out in terms of -- " she paused, looking for the right words. "Everything I do needs to be really important. ['Snow White'] is neither better or worse than anything I've done."

Her latest film, which also stars Charlize Theron, is the second picture based on the children's tale to hit theaters this year; "Mirror Mirror," Relativity's lighter take on "Snow White," struggled at the box office after its release in March. But Stewart said she thinks her version of the film will resonate with fans because it's a "fundamental story" that makes "you care about people."

"Not to be totally over-sentimental about it, but it's got a nice message -- and a very, very simple one. It just kind of makes you feel good about being human."

Stewart will show off a different side of herself in an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” which premiered to generally positive reviews at the Cannes International Film Festival last week and will hit U.S. cinemas later this year. Meanwhile, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2” -– the final film in the series -– will open in November.


Justin Bieber Treats Norway Fans With Two New Songs off 'Believe'

Justin Bieber has made his surprise concert in Oslo, Norway even more special for his enthusiastic fans. Performing for free outside the Opera House on Wednesday, May 30, the 18-year-old pop sensation gave the gathering Beliebers a first listen to two new songs from his upcoming album, "Believe".

Showcasing six songs in total, Bieber debuted "All Around the World" and "As Long as You Love Me". He also sent fans into a frenzy with his hit single, "Baby". Prior to the show, the boyfriend of Selena Gomez shared bits of details through a tweet, "The show is part of my #AroundTheWorld TV special and I will be doing 6 songs, 4 new, 2 old before i leave."

Ahead of the free concert, Bieber also made use of his Twitter to tell his fans to listen to the police. "I dont want anyone getting hurt. I want everything to go to plan but your safety must come first," he wrote in a series of tweets. "for the show to happen u must all listen to the police. we are all concerned for your safety and i want what is best for u. please listen and tonight we will have some fun."

After the show, the "Boyfriend" singer once again turned to his social networking site and shared his thought. "that was fun. #NORWAY!! Paris tomorrow! #AtItAgain #BELIEVE," he tweeted. "i missed performing for you. Im glad I get to do it again. I MISSED ALL OF YOU! WE ARE BACK! #BELIEVE. #ILOVEMYBELIEBERS."


Meet Jessica Simpson's Baby!

Since Jessica Simpson and her fiancé Eric Johnson welcomed their daughter Maxwell Drew on May 1, "life has completely changed," Simpson, 31, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "From how I sleep to what I think about, Maxwell has definitely taken over everything!"

In this week's issue, Simpson and Johnson give an exclusive interview, plus share the first photos of their little one, who's inherited her mom's eyes and her dad's calm demeanor.

"We stare at her all the time," says Simpson. "We can't get enough!"
But becoming new parents hasn't been without its hardships. Recovering from surgery – Simpson delivered via C-section – isn't easy, she says, and nursing, which she does throughout the day, has become "a full-on job."

Still, "It's the worst if I have to pump and give Eric a bottle to give her," says Simpson. "I miss holding her and having that closeness."


Phillip Phillips Home sales

Some people have called Phillip Phillips' Home the best American Idol coronation song ever, and the numbers the track put up last week bear it out.

Home sold 278,000 copies last week, according to Nielsen Soundscan. That's more than 100,000 more downloads than Scotty McCreery's I Love You This Big sold last year and nearly three times what Lee DeWyze sold of Beautiful Day in 2010. In fact, its the second-best first-week numbers for an Idol winner's coronation single and the overall third-best first week coming off the show.
Here's how Home stacks up:

Keep in mind that some of the early Idol sales represent physical sales while the more recent ones are digital sales. However you slice it, though, Phillip had a mighty impressive week.
Home, by the way, was the week's second-best-selling single, behind Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe.

But wait, there's more: According to Keith Caulfield at Billboard, "It's the second-best digital sales week ever for any Idol contestant. Only Kelly Clarkson's 2009 song My Life Would Suck Without You had a bigger frame, when it debuted with 280,000 downloads."

Idol tracks

Phillip Phillips, Home (278,000, debut, 278,000)
Kelly Clarkson, Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) (72,000, +15%, 3.249 million)
Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull, Dance Again (69,000, -35%, 708,000)
Carrie Underwood, Good Girl (53,000, -1%, 932,000)
Phillip Phillips, We've Got Tonight (43,000 debut, 43,000)
Phillip Phillips, Volcano (35,000, debut, 35,000)
Carrie Underwood, Blown Away (27,000, +31%, 155,000)
Phillip Phillips, Stand by Me (24,000, debut, 24,000)
Phillip Phillips, Beggin' (20,000, debut, 20,000)
Scotty McCreery, Please Remember Me (16,000, +302%, 58,000)
Phillip Phillips, Movin' Out (15,000, debut, 15,000)
Phillip Phillips, U Got It Bad (15,000, debut, 15,000)
Phillip Phillips, Have You Ever Seen the Rain (12,000, debut, 12,000)
Phillip Phillips, Disease (11,000, debut, 11,000)
Kelly Clarkson, Mr. Know It All (10,000, +11%, 1.493 million)
Haley Reinhart, Undone (8,000, debut, 8,000)
Kelly Clarkson, Dark Side (8,000, +250%, 36,000)
Carrie Underwood, Cowboy Casanova (8,000, +27%, 1.845 million)
Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson, Don't You Wanna Stay (6,000, +4%, 2.075 million)
Brad Paisley/Carrie Underwood, Remind Me (6,000, +1%, 1.54 million)
Carrie Underwood, Before He Cheats (5,000, +6%, 3.479 million)
Scotty McCreery, The Trouble With Girls (5,000, +37%, 693,000)
Mandisa, Good Morning (5,000, -12%, 111,000)
Carrie Underwood, How Great Thou Art (4,000, +98%, 330,000)
Mandisa, Stronger (1,000, 0 change, 187,000)

Finale-related tracks

Rihanna, Where Have You Been (135,000, +47%, 545,000)
Wisin & Yandel feat. Jennifer Lopez, Follow the Leader (13,000, +203%, 41,000)
Aerosmith, Legendary Child (10,000, debut, 10,000)

Update: SoundScan updated its sales data Wednesday afternoon, resulting in a few albums having different chart positions than originally reported.


Friday, December 03, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Lindsay Lohan's Secret 'F**k U' in Courtroom

Lindsay Lohan Sentenced to 90 Days in Jail, 90 Days of Rehab

It seems no one noticed at the time, but while tabloid starlet Lindsay Lohan was making an impassioned speech to a California judge about respect for the court and taking responsibility for her actions, she was also apparently sending a secret, defiant message hidden by tiny type in her fingernails: "F**k U." 
Magnified images of Lohan's fingers revealed the words today, casting doubt on her remorse over her parole violation for a 2007 DUI conviction for which she was on trial Tuesday. Regardless of the nails, Beverly Hills judge Marsha Revel leveled a 90-day prison sentence followed by 90 days of in-patient rehab for the 24-year-old.
It's an unusually harsh sentence for a relatively minor offense, California defense attorney Mark Geragos said today.
"I just think this sentence is utterly ridiculous," Geragos, who is not involved in the case, told "Good Morning America." "The fact remains that if she was anybody else, Lindsay Smith, that she wouldn't be treated this way. ... This is a completely outrageous sentence in terms of her violation."
Before learning her fate, Lohan pleaded her case to the court -- aware that she might be shown special treatment, one way or the other.


Mary J. Blige Gives Command Performance At Essence Music Festival

The 16th annual Essence Music Festival ended in triumph in the early hours of Monday morning, as Earth Wind & Fire closed out the weekend with hits like "September" and "Reasons."
For several days, Essence magazine — celebrating its 40th anniversary this year — and its 20-plus sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Olay and Ford, drove home messages of empowerment, self-esteem and self-awareness. By day, thousands hit New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where dozens of companies had set up booths and where acts like Keith Sweat and El DeBarge performed. Those passing through the convention center were also treated to good old celebrity sightings like T.I. and comedian/author Steve Harvey, who led relationship talks.

At night, of course, it was all about the music at the Louisiana Superdome. Trey Songz, Estelle, Kid 'N Play, Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, Jill Scott, Joe, Gladys Knight and Keri Hilson were among dozens of performers who opened both on the main stage and the smaller lounge stages. And the headliners were big guns: Janet Jackson kicked things off Friday, Saturday belonged to Alicia Keys and on Sunday night, though Earth Wind & Fire were last on the lineup, it was all about Mary.
Mary J. Blige walked away with the performance of the weekend, showing a definitive command of the audience. The queen of hip-hop soul had the New Orleans crowd in a frenzy like a Reggie Bush touchdown, opening up her catalog and doling out cherished ditties such as "Real Love." When Blige brought out Trey Songz to sing on "We Got Hood Love," Trigger, of course, got another resounding ovation from the ladies.
"Thank you for helping your big sister out," Mary told Trey.
"Sweet Thang" was huge, likely going over heavy because of its sing-along factor, and the audience was so enthralled on "I'm Going Down," Mary only had to sing one line to tear the roof off the Dome.
"Time on my hands, since you been away boy," the female fans roared, taking over the reins of the record. "Sleep doesn't come easy," Mary soon joined in, but the hypnotized spectators kept singing the lyrics. After the record, Blige struck a b-girl pose with her fist balled almost all the way up and her thumb touching her chin.
"Let me say this, the Mary J. Blige fans are in the building. I'm having a great time," Mary said before complimenting the ladies on how good they were looking and how great they sounded.
"We've reached that point in the night when we have to address some things," she continued. The Queen then advised the women that some people will try to push them down, and that there's only one way to handle those people: Tell them you're trying to get up. "We will have no more drama," she insisted, following up with "No More Drama."
"I may not be perfect for you, but I'm perfect for me," Mary told the ladies. She also said she was cool with her imperfections. "It can only make me better to know I am imperfect. ... It's only one you baby. It's only one you, original, baby."
The tempo soon changed up: "I wanna keep y'all hype right now. Keep y'all right," she said. T.I. then came onstage for "Good Love" and the fans went crazy. Mary hugged Tip and he saluted the crowd. Blige's set ended with her smashes "Family Affair" and "Be Without You."
The night before, the highlight on the bill was Alicia Keys, who was introduced by Jada Pinkett Smith. The five-months pregnant singer, who appeared to be standing on six-inch heels, slipped and fell onstage during "Love Is Blind," but she never missed a beat (her vocals were nearly flawless) or a lyric. She got right back up and went to the piano and played.
Keys' set had several signature moments, including "You Don't Know My Name" and "Fallin'." And though she did show her skills on the piano for cuts like "Diary," A.K. got up and danced on several selections, including "Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)."


Levi Johnston apologizes to Palins

Levi Johnston has acknowledged telling lies about Sarah Palin and her family after splitting with the former Alaska governor's daughter last year.
The 20-year-old tells People magazine Tuesday that he "publicly said things that were not completely true," and "I owe it to the Palins to publicly apologize" for his "youthful indiscretion."
It's unclear which statements he was referring to, and Johnston could not immediately be reached for comment.
Johnston tells People he was "unhappy and a little angry" after breaking up with his former fiance, 19-year-old Bristol Palin, after their son's birth in December 2008. He says that he said false things against his better judgment.
"Part of co-parenting is creating healthy and honest relationships between the parents," he said. "Tripp one day needs to know the truth and needs to know that even if a mistake is made the honorable thing to do is to own up to it."
Johnston says he has also privately apologized to Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, and her husband, Todd.


‘Titanic’ Star Gloria Stuart Turns 100

Gloria Stuart, who played the ever-lovable Rose in James Cameron's mega motion picture Titanic, celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday with more than 100 members of her family and friends, according to USA Today.

"Gloria's so alive, and her creativity, her artistry and the sparkle in her eyes is a challenge to all of us to live as fully and richly as she has and will continue to do as she heads into her 101st year," said Cameron, who's converting Titanic into 3-D for re-release in April 2012, the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking.

Among the star-studded guests at the Ace Gallery in Beverly Hills were Frances Fisher, Shirley MacLaine and Tom Arnold. The party was hosted by Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis.

The actress was born July 4, 1910, in Santa Monica into one of California's early families, which can trace its roots to the gold rush town of Angels Camp, reports the Los Angeles Times. Her career has spanned over 70 years in both television and movies, most notably in films such as and The Three Musketeers.

Stuart was honored by the Screen Actors Guild on June 21 for her many years of service. In response to receiving the Ralph Morgan Award, Stuart replied by saying, "I'm very, very grateful. I've had a wonderful life of giving and sharing."


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A total 'Eclipse' at the box office

The latest 'Twilight' movie opens with $175.3 million domestically, more than double No.2 finisher 'The Last Airbender's' take.

The only thing that could make the opening of the new "Twilight" film look less than spectacular is the last "Twilight" film.
"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opened to an estimated $175.3 million in the United States and Canada from last Wednesday through the Monday holiday, $3.6 million short of what November's "New Moon" collected in its first six days. The shortfall is a bit surprising because the new vampire romance starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner had the advantage of playing in the summer, when more young people are out of school on weekdays, and on Imax screens, which charge more for tickets.
Nonetheless, "Eclipse" still enjoyed the most successful first six days for any movie this year and grossed an additional $104 million overseas, making it an instant success for studio Summit Entertainment.
"The Last Airbender," a 3-D live-action adaptation of a Nickelodeon cartoon, had a strong start as well, collecting $70.5 million from its opening day Thursday through Monday.
The two films helped drive total box-office receipts up 19% from the July 4 weekend in 2009, providing a much-needed boost to what has been a soft summer for the Hollywood studios. Box-office revenue compared with last year has been down for most of the summer blockbuster movie season that began in early May, according to, but is now up 1%. That doesn't account for rising ticket prices, however, and actual attendance is still down 5%.
Despite its huge opening, "Eclipse" is an unlikely candidate to beat "Toy Story 3," which is already at $301 million and appears to have plenty of life left in it, for the most successful movie so far in 2010.
Like the last two films based on Stephenie Meyer's bestselling vampire romance books, "Eclipse" had a huge opening day and saw its ticket sales decline rapidly thereafter, with sizable drops from Wednesday to Thursday and Friday to Saturday.
Fans seemed to love the new movie even more than "New Moon," however, giving it an average grade of A as opposed to A- for November's picture, according to market research firm CinemaScore. In addition, "Eclipse" drew a more diverse audience that was 35% male, instead of 20% for "New Moon," and 55% over 21, as opposed to 65%.
Summit is hopeful those advantages, along with summer playtime, will help give "Eclipse" a higher total gross than "New Moon."
"We can make up a lot of ground with midweek grosses because unlike the last two titles, we have got schools out across the country and kids available to us during the week," said Richard Fay, Summit's domestic distribution president.
"New Moon" dropped 70% on its second weekend and ended up with total domestic receipts of $296.6 million.
Regardless of whether it beats that mark, "Eclipse" is certain to be a hugely profitable title for Summit, as it cost $68 million to produce.
It's too early to tell whether the new "Twilight" film is on track to exceed the $413-million foreign gross of "New Moon" as it has yet to open in key countries such as Great Britain, France and South Korea. However, this weekend it enjoyed strong starts in 42 overseas territories including Spain, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Romania.
While the opening of "Eclipse" was right in line with what pre-release polling had indicated, "Airbender" beat expectations, giving Paramount good early news for its only event movie of the summer. The fantasy adventure, which cost $150 million and is the first big-budget picture directed by M. Night Shyamalan, of "The Sixth Sense" and "Lady in the Water" fame, drew a younger, more male crowd than "Twilight."
Initial ticket sales weren't hurt by overwhelmingly negative reviews, but opening-night audiences gave the movie a C, indicating that they agreed with reviewers. That fact, combined with a decline in ticket sales from Friday to Saturday, point to bad word-of-mouth and a short box-office run.
But Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore said that CinemaScore may not have captured how well "Airbender" is playing to families and said prospects for the picture are bigger overseas, where it has yet to open.
"[Shyamalan's] track record is that his movies do much better internationally, as do action-adventure movies with lots of visual effects," said Moore. "And so far this year we have seen international audiences respond even more to 3-D than domestic audiences."
Several films already in theaters held on fairly well even though many people headed to fireworks and not movie theaters on Sunday. "Toy Story 3," "Grown Ups," "Knight & Day" and "The Karate Kid" all saw their ticket sales decline by about 50%.
In limited release, "Cyrus," the comedy starring John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei, continues to do well. It expanded from 60 theaters to 77 and took in just over $1 million for the four-day weekend, bringing its total to $1.7 million. Fox Searchlight will attempt to build on its momentum by expanding "Cyrus" to about 160 locations on Friday.