Tag Archive: Los Angeles


Natalie Wood detectives face conflicting accounts

http://news.yahoo.com/natalie-wood-detectives-face-conflicting-accounts-084042960.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Natalie Wood’s drowning death nearly 30 years ago came after a night of dinner, drinking and arguments but the question remains — was it anything more than a tragic accident?

Conflicting versions of what happened on the yacht shared by Wood, her actor-husband Robert Wagner and their friend, actor Christopher Walken, have contributed to the mystery of how the actress died on Thanksgiving weekend in 1981.

Two sheriff’s detectives are now diving into the mysterious events on the yacht Splendour, although whether they reach any different conclusions than their predecessors remains to be seen. They recently received new, seemingly credible information and heard from potential witnesses who weren’t included in the original investigation of Wood’s death, sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said Friday.

But he said nothing has happened to change the official view that Wood’s death was originally an accidental drowning. Wagner, the star of “Hart to Hart” is not considered a suspect, he added.

Corina released few details about who investigators have contacted or plan to re-interview, but the inquiry will certainly lead them to speak with the three survivors of the trip — Wagner, Walken and skipper Dennis Davern.

Wood’s sister, Lana, was not on the boat, but told CNN’s Piers Morgan on Friday that she has spoken with Davern many times and believes her sister did not fall off the boat.

“I don’t think she fell, I don’t know if she was pushed, I don’t know whether there was an altercation and it happened accidentally but she shouldn’t have died and that does stay with me and hurt,” Lana Wood said.

“I would prefer to always believe that RJ (Wagner) would never do anything to hurt Natalie and that he loved her dearly, which he did, and I don’t believe that whatever went on was deliberate. I’ve always cared about him. I always will care about him,” she said.

The captain said on NBC’s “Today” on Friday that Wagner is to blame for the Oscar-nominated actress’ death in the chilly waters of Southern California in November 1981, but didn’t offer many specifics. For years he has maintained that he heard the famous couple arguing on the boat before Wood went missing and Wagner refusing to immediately search the waters nearby for his wife.

Davern’s account is dramatically different from what he told investigators after Wood’s body was found in 1981, when no mention of an argument between the couple was made. Wood was wearing a nightgown, wool socks and red down coat when she was found floating off Santa Catalina Island.

The renewed investigation comes at a time when plenty of attention was sure to be focused on Wood, whose beauty and acting in films such as “West Side Story” and “Rebel Without a Cause” made her Hollywood royalty. Her death stunned the world and CBS’ “48 Hours Mystery” has been looking into the case for a special airing on Saturday.

Sheriff’s officials denied the renewed attention prompted their review, which could take months.

“We’re not concerned with the anniversary date,” Corina said. “It may have jarred some other people’s memories.”

Davern and Wagner agree on one point about the fateful night — there was a heated argument on the yacht after the group returned from dinner on Catalina. All had been drinking, and here is where the three men’s accounts begin to differ.

Davern said he heard Wagner and Wood arguing and its outcome had horrific consequences.

Was that fight “what ultimately led to her death?” Davern was asked by “Today” show host David Gregory.

“Yes,” Davern replied.

“How so?”

“Like I said, that’s going to be up to the investigators to decide,” Davern responded after a long pause.

Wagner acknowledges a fight took place on the Splendour, but in his best-selling 2008 memoir “Pieces of My Heart,” he wrote that the fighting was between him and Walken. The disagreement began over the acting profession and led to Wood retreating to her cabin, while the dispute raged on between Wagner and Walken. Later Walken went to bed, according to Wagner, who, after staying up with Davern for a while, went looking for his wife and couldn’t find her on board. He then noticed that a dinghy attached to the boat —and his wife — was gone.

Walken, who has rarely spoken about the events that led to Wood’s death, denied in a 1982 interview on “Good Morning America” that he and Wagner quarreled.

“No, that’s not true,” Walken said when asked if a fight was the reason Wood left the yacht. “They were very good to me, that family, and that’s not true.

“We were having a Thanksgiving weekend, a good time,” he said.

But Walken told sheriff’s detectives that there was an argument, according to a 2000 Vanity Fair piece that included statements from a report by the investigating detective. It also included comments from Davern, who told the magazine that he heard Wagner and Wood fighting before she went missing.

The detective, Wagner and Walken and coroner’s officials all have maintained that Wood’s death was an accident, possibly caused by her trying to secure the dinghy to the side of the yacht.

“The people who are convinced that there was something more to it than what came out in the investigation will never be satisfied with the truth,” Walken was quoted in the Vanity Fair piece as saying during an interview in the 1980s. “Because the truth is, there is nothing more to it. It was an accident.”

Wagner too addressed the uncertainty about what happened in his book.

“Nobody knows,” he wrote. “There are only two possibilities; either she was trying to get away from the argument, or she was trying to tie the dinghy. But the bottom line is that nobody knows exactly what happened.”

Wagner said through a spokesman that his family trusts the sheriff’s department to conduct a fair investigation into Wood’s death.

The couple were married twice, first in 1957 before divorcing six years later. They remarried in 1972.

___

Associated Press writer Denise Petski contributed to this report.

Advertisements

Police: Bieber sexual tryst may be investigated

http://news.yahoo.com/police-bieber-sexual-tryst-may-investigated-215736596.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police commander says his department could investigate an alleged sexual tryst between an underage Justin Bieber and a now 20-year-old woman because it violates California’s statutory rape law.

Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Thursday that no report has been taken about the October 2010 incident at Staples Center. However, police could look into the matter after various media outlets reported Mariah Yeater filed a paternity suit earlier this week against Bieber.

Yeater had just turned 19 when she says she and Bieber, then 16, had a sexual encounter after one of his concerts. Bieber’s camp denies he is the father of her baby boy, born in July.

California law states anyone who has unlawful sex with a minor and not more than three years older is guilty of a misdemeanor, which carries up to a one-year jail sentence.

 

First Look: Cameron shows 3-D ‘Titanic’ footage

http://news.yahoo.com/first-look-cameron-shows-3-d-titanic-footage-202639321.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Cameron took his “2.99-D” version of “Titanic” out into open water Friday.

The director of the Oscar-winning 1997 film and producer Jon Landau previewed 18 minutes of assorted footage that has been converted into 3-D for next year’s rerelease of the film. The mastermind behind “Avatar” joked that it wasn’t fully 3-D because “Titanic” wasn’t filmed in 3-D. He was quick to note, though, that most other converted 3-D films are just “2.4-D.”

“I think it looks spectacular,” said Cameron. “If I had 3-D cameras at the time and there had been 3-D theaters at the time, I certainly would have shot it in 3-D. It’s also just a way of reinventing the concept of a rerelease and getting people to come back to theaters and commit that three hours and 15 minutes to go through the experience again.”

The footage shown during the invite-only presentation at Paramount Studios included eight scenes, spanning from Kate Winslet’s well-to-do Rose looking up at the Titanic for the first time to the moment when the stern dramatically plunges into the sea at a 90-degree angle, as well as the iconic scene of Rose and Leonardo DiCaprio’s drifter Jack embracing on the bow.

In the scenes previewed Friday, the 3-D footage showcased the conversion’s visual reinvigoration of the existing material, especially during moments involving depth, such as a car being slowly hoisted onto the deck of the ship or Jack anxiously awaiting Rose at the bottom of a grand staircase amid a series of columns that seemingly jut out of the screen.

Cameron said that DiCaprio and Winslet have yet to see the 3-D footage of “Titanic,” but he has spoken with Winslet about the project, and she is “on board.” He hasn’t talked to DiCaprio about the rerelease because he’s been busy shooting “The Great Gatsby” in Australia but he hopes to reconnect with the “J. Edgar” star soon.

“We’d love to have them involved to the extent that I think people are curious about what their journey has been since ‘Titanic,'” Cameron said. “I think ‘Titanic’ cast a very long shadow over the careers of two extremely brilliant young actors who had to spend a lot of time kinda reminding people they weren’t Jack and Rose over the next few years.”

Cameron said that it will take 300 artists 60 weeks at a cost of $18 million to create the 3-D version of “Titanic,” which won’t include any new material. Landau noted that the film will also be rereleased in 2-D and that the “2-D is going to be a better print than anything we could have done at the time” because they have since created a “digital master” of the film.

Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox are set to rerelease “Titanic” on April 6, 2012, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic setting sail on April 10, 1912. After it debuted in 1997, “Titanic” won 11 Academy Awards and grossed more than $1.8 billion worldwide, second only to Cameron’s “Avatar,” which was filmed in 3-D and released in 2009.

___

20th Century Fox is a unit of News Corp.

___

AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

‘Grease’ actor Conaway died of major infections

http://news.yahoo.com/grease-actor-conaway-died-major-infections-011858092.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An autopsy has ruled that “Taxi” and “Grease” star actor Jeff Conaway’s May 27 death was accidental and caused by major internal infection.

Los Angeles County coroner Craig Harvey says coroners did not conduct a toxicology test because Conaway had been hospitalized for weeks prior to his death, so his blood would have come back clean.

However, Harvey says when Conaway entered the hospital May 10, opiates and other drugs were in his system.

Conaway struggled publicly with his addictions on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”

Conaway, who had repeated back surgeries for an injury, blamed his drug abuse, in part, on his lingering back problem.

Conaway was known for playing vain, struggling actor Bobby Wheeler on “Taxi” and Kenicke, the swaggering best friend of John Travolta in “Grease.”

 

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Party+crasher+Michaele+Salahi+kidnapped+runs+with+Journey+guitarist/5408409/story.html

LOS ANGELES – Few people roll like Michaele Salahi and her husband, Tareq,  late of “The Real Housewives of D.C.” and originally infamous for allegedly  crashing a state dinner at the White House.

 

Depending on when a person checked in on the Salahi drama Wednesday, Michaele  was either kidnapped, according to Tareq, or just fine, according to police.  Then there was the part about Michaele running off with a guy from a rock  band.

 

But more about Journey guitarist Neal Schon later. Seriously. After the  police stuff, and before the Montel Williams stuff.

 

Tareq reported Michaele missing very late Tuesday night, telling law  enforcement that his wife had been gone for six hours, the North Virginia Daily  reported. She’d called him from a cellphone with an Oregon number, he said, to  tell him she was fine and on her way to her mom’s house.

 

He said that after talking to his mother-in-law, who according to TMZ told  Tareq she didn’t know what was up with Michaele, he feared a kidnapping. The  former house-husband of D.C. told NBC that his wife’s “cryptic” behavior during  the call made him think she was trying to convey a message to him in code, the  way they’d play-acted in the past in case either one were, you know,  kidnapped.

 

“I swear to God,” Tareq told NBC, denying that the kidnap report was a  publicity stunt. “I’m missing my wife,” he sobbed, breaking down in tears.

 

The Sheriff’s Department in Virginia’s Warren County then issued a statement  Wednesday afternoon saying essentially not to worry – officials had been in  touch with Michaele and were confident nobody had been kidnapped.

 

“She seemed calm, was engaged in conversation, and assured the deputy that  she had left the residence with a good friend and was where she wanted to be,”  authorities said. She allegedly didn’t want her husband knowing where she  was.

 

Tareq Salahi told NBC a different story. “I think she’s being forced by,  whatever this Oregon phone number is, she’s being forced to say she’s OK,” he  said. “She’s being forced to to say this to the local authorities.” The couple  had frequently dealt with stalkers and death threats, according to Tareq.

 

But the best was yet to come.

 

It seems Michaele had actually run off with Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon  in Tennessee on Wednesday, according to TMZ, which got confirmation from the  band’s rep that “nobody kidnapped her and they are in Memphis together.” Mrs.  Salahi and Schon had even hung out together in the past, including with Mr.  Salahi at a party at the Salahi family’s winery. It was what the missus called  an “intimate and passionate relationship,” the celeb website said.

 

Of possible interest to those who graduated high school in the early 1980s:  Foreigner and Night Ranger were opening for Journey on Wednesday night in  Memphis.

 

The drama around the non-kidnapping came just ahead of Sunday’s scheduled  auction of Oasis Vineyards assets _ an auction related the winery’s 2008  bankruptcy filing. Though the Hume, Va., winery is not on the block, bids can be  placed Sunday in person or online on items including winemaking supplies,  kitchen and catering equipment, trucks and tractors, more than 200 cases of  various wines, and about 5,000 bottles of unfinished sparkling wine currently en  tirage. Oasis was founded in 1977 by Tareq’s parents.

 

Also on the Salahis’ dance card: A Sept. 24 event at the Oasis that’s being  billed as a charity fundraiser, with “a portion of proceeds going to benefit the  National Multiple Sclerosis Society.”

 

At least that’s how it’s now being billed, after Montel Williams’ legal team  sent a cease-and-desist letter Aug. 25 demanding that the TV personality’s name  and the name of his foundation be removed from any materials associated with the  $150-a-ticket event.

 

“I have never met, never spoken with, never been involved with anything to do  with these people,” Williams told the Los Angeles Times shortly after learning  someone had been marketing “A Hollywood Oasis – When Hollywood Glamour Meets the  Capital Region” with an assertion that he would be attending, and that a portion  of proceeds would go to the Montel Williams MS Foundation.

 

“It appears that the Salahis, whose bizarre behavior has been widely  reported, are attempting to piggyback off of Montel’s record of advocacy on  behalf of MS sufferers worldwide to advance the apparent re-opening of their  failed winery,” rep Jonathan Franks said in an Aug. 26 statement on Montel’s  behalf, adding that Team Montel had that day been contacted by multiple  governmental agencies investigating the group responsible for the event.  Williams’ people intended to co-operate with authorities, Franks said.

 

The Salahis protested via TMZ that they were not responsible for the actions  of those who held events at their winery, placing blame instead on D.C.’s Most  Fabulous Magazine, which was affiliated with the event and had posted the  invites online. The mag is run by one Howard N. Cromwell, who has previously  represented the Salahis, serving as the PR contact when Michaele released her  dance track, “Bump It.” In May, she was down to serve as head judge for a  Memorial Day bikini contest publicized by Cromwell.

 

Though Cromwell’s DRAWOH LLEWMORC Omnimedia Inc. (DLO) had written to  Williams’ foundation Aug. 10 stating that the foundation would be the  unsolicited beneficiary of the magazine’s third-anniversary celebration, the  former talk show host did not reply or accept an invitation for any  representative of the foundation to attend.

 

“The use of Mr. Williams’ name without his permission is unacceptable, and  Mr. Williams’ attorneys intend to pursue all available legal remedies in this  matter,” Franks said.

 

In a letter to Williams’ attorney dated Aug. 26, Cromwell’s attorney said  Williams’ team was mistaken, and no materials had represented Montel as  confirmed to attend. “The charity event is . . . not a Salahi or Oasis Winery  event,” the letter stated. “Any misunderstanding or miscommunication is  therefore DLO’s responsibility, and not that of Mr. and Mrs. Salai or Oasis  Winery.” The letter also said Williams’ name had been removed from any DLO  websites.

 

Williams’ legal team had sent its cease-and-desist letter to the Salahis on  Aug. 25. On Aug. 30, Cromwell posted a link on his Facebook page to materials  again stating Montel was expected at the event. That offer of an “international  marketing & branding opportunity” had also been revised to reinforce  Michaele’s status as a person “who has MS.”

 

Michaele Salahi revealed her alleged MS diagnosis on “Fox & Friends” in  September, saying she’d left the White House state dinner not due to her and  Tareq’s lack of a seating assignment, but rather because she was suffering  MS-related fatigue. The two were spotted, however, hanging out at a hotel bar  nearby for hours after leaving the state dinner, ultimately allegedly skipping  out on the tab. Michaele has not publicly discussed any treatment she might be  undergoing for MS, which she said she’d been dealing with for 17 years.

 

Williams called it “egregiously offensive” that his name might have been used  to mislead people into buying tickets to an event he was not affiliated with.  “They might not have crossed the line enough” in this case, he said, but  “they’ve figured out how to skirt the law. I hope the next time they get  caught.”

 

Williams said he suspected his name came up as a result of success he’d had  recently on the D.C.-area charity circuit raising money for veterans causes.  Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, the veteran of both the  Navy and the Marines also has worked on behalf of MS research.

 

Various state regulatory and law enforcement agencies in Virginia have been  looking into the Salahis’ activities, a source familiar with the inquiries told  the Los Angeels Times.

 

Incidentally, flattering quotes on Michaele Salahi’s website attributed to  the Times were in fact taken from an article written by Jocelyn Noveck of the  Associated Press.

 

Said Williams: “These people need to go away.”

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Party+crasher+Michaele+Salahi+kidnapped+runs+with+Journey+guitarist/5408409/story.html#ixzz1Y3Hy43kO

 

 

Spellbound: Emma Watson is so keen on her new boyfriend she's asked him to move to the UKhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2036038/Emma-Watson-asks-American-boyfriend-Johnny-Simmons-to-Britain.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Harry Potter star Emma Watson has wasted no
time in asking her new American boyfriend to move to Britain.

Emma, 21, is about to take up a place at
Oxford University, and she wants Johnny Simmons to be with her when she resumes
her studies next month.

Emma met actor Johnny, 24, on the set of her
new film, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, in Pittsburgh in June.

They share a love of fitness and worked out
together away from the set before their relationship blossomed into a romance.

They spent a weekend together in Los Angeles
last month before Emma flew home to prepare for her time at Oxford.

‘Emma is looking forward to her English degree
at Worcester College,’ says a friend. ‘She is excited to be back but she misses
Johnny. She would love him to come here.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2036038/Emma-Watson-asks-American-boyfriend-Johnny-Simmons-to-Britain.html#ixzz1XxTOFy7V

Judge: No sequestering Jackson manslaughter jury

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2011 file photo, Dr. Conrad Murray, singer Michael Jackson’s personal physician, appears in Los Angeles Superior Court where Murray pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star’s 2009 death.A Los Angeles judge heard arguments Thursday on whether to sequester jurors hearing an involuntary manslaughter case against the pop singer's personal physician. (AP Photo/Irfan Khan, File)http://news.yahoo.com/judge-no-sequestering-jackson-manslaughter-jury-173816911.html

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurors in the upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial of the doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death will not be sequestered, a judge ruled Thursday.

Judge Michael Pastor said it was not a close call when it came to deciding if jurors hearing the case should be kept from their daily lives during the four- to six-week trial.

Attorneys for defendant Dr. Conrad Murray had argued that sequestration was the only way to ensure a fair trial.

If the case involving the death of the King of Pop didn’t justify sequestration then there likely isn’t another case in which it’s warranted, attorney Ed Chernoff said.

Attorneys also cited widespread media coverage of the case and the likelihood that TV commentators such as Nancy Grace will cover the trial daily as reasons the jury should be protected.

Grace covered the Casey Anthony trial, which ended with a sequestered jury acquitting the Florida mother of killing her 2-year-old daughter. Grace and others made comments supporting a conviction.

Pastor said he trusted jurors to heed his admonitions about not reading or listening to news reports about the Jackson case. He said cost did not factor into his decision, although he said one estimate of the cost of sequestering jurors during the trial was more than $500,000.

The judge also cited accounts by jurors who have been sequestered in other cases who likened their lives during trial to those of inmates, ripped from their homes and under constant surveillance.

He said sequestered jurors have reported being so frustrated that the isolation “interfered with their fair assessment of the evidence and the law.”

Jury selection is scheduled to begin in the Jackson case on Sept. 8, with opening statements slated for Sept. 27.

Murray could face four years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Authorities have accused him of administering a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives in the bedroom of Jackson’s rented mansion on June 25, 2009.

Pastor has noted that a jury hasn’t been sequestered in Los Angeles since the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, from left, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." The movie pulled in $21.9 million to become the franchise's top-grossing chapter at $318.5 million domestically. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Jaap Buitendijk)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idE1lsqG2Vc

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harry Potter has joined the billion-dollar club.

Distributor Warner Bros. said Sunday that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office. It’s soon expected to pass “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” which is this year’s top grossing movie at $1.03 billion.

The last of the eight films about the young wizard is the first in the franchise to reach the billion dollar mark. The previous best global haul was $974.8 million for the original film, 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

With $21.9 million domestically this weekend, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” climbed to a domestic total of $318.5 million. That tops the franchise’s previous best of $317.6 million for “Sorcerer’s Stone.”

But factoring in today’s higher admission prices, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” has not caught up to “Sorcerer’s Stone” in terms of actual tickets sold.

The 2009 film “Avatar” holds the record for the biggest worldwide box office haul, grossing $2.8 billion. It’s followed by another James Cameron film, “Titanic,” which brought in $1.8 billion.

In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Daniel Radcliffe is shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, from left, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Jaap Buitendijk)http://news.yahoo.com/potter-takes-down-batman-168-6m-weekend-154438653.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The boy wizard has vanquished the dark knight and a band of pirates with a record-setting magic act at both the domestic and international box office.

Warner Bros. estimates that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” took in $168.6 million domestically from Friday to Sunday. That beats the previous best opening weekend of $158.4 million, also held by Warner Bros. for 2008’s Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight.”

Overseas, the film added $307 million in 59 countries since it began rolling out Wednesday, topping the previous best international debut of $260.4 million set in May by Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

International results for “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” included record openings in Great Britain at $36.6 million and Australia at $26.7 million, according to Warner Bros.

Worldwide, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” topped $475 million in a matter of days, putting it on course to become the franchise’s first billion-dollar worldwide hit.

“This will be the biggest ‘Harry Potter’ by far,” said Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. “A billion dollars is definitely going to happen.”

The current franchise high is $974.8 million worldwide for the first film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” 10 years ago.

“Deathly Hallows: Part 2” does have the advantage of 3-D screenings, which cost a few dollars more than 2-D shows. Because of the higher 3-D price, plus regular inflation, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” sold fewer tickets but took in more money than “The Dark Knight” over opening weekend.

Overall domestic revenue for the weekend totaled $263 million, a record for a non-holiday weekend, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.

The “Harry Potter” finale also set a record for best opening day domestically Friday with $92.1 million, nearly $20 million ahead of the previous high for “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” two years ago.

Other records for “Deathly Hallows: Part 2”: best domestic gross for debut midnight shows at $43.5 million, topping the $30 million for last year’s “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”; best domestic opening in huge-screen IMAX theaters with $15.5 million, surpassing the $12.2 million for last year’s “Alice in Wonderland”; and best worldwide IMAX debut with $23.5 million, beating the $20.4 million for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” two weeks ago.

“This is just really a monumental event,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “The 3-D component, plus the IMAX, plus it being the last ‘Harry Potter,’ it was just this convergence of things that created this incredible record.”

Paramount’s third “Transformers” blockbuster, which had been No. 1 the previous two weekends, slipped to second-place with $21.3 million domestically. It remains the year’s top domestic hit with $302.8 million.

The latest “Transformers” added $39 million overseas, bringing its international haul to $460 million and worldwide total to $762.8 million. Among this year’s releases, that’s second only to “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” at $1.03 billion.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Disney’s animated family flick “Winnie the Pooh,” got swamped by “Harry Potter” mania. A return to the hand-drawn animation style of earlier adaptations of A.A. Milne’s beloved storybook characters, “Winnie the Pooh” pulled in just $8 million domestically, finishing at No. 6.

“Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is the eighth and final film adapted from J.K. Rowling’s seven novels about the young wizard’s indoctrination into a secret world of sorcery and his epic battles with evil conjurer Voldemort.

Cast more than a decade ago at ages 10 and 11 as Harry and his pals Hermione and Ron, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint became instant celebrities. They grew up on screen, maturing from inexperienced children to adult actors whose earnest performances contributed to glowing reviews from critics for the finale.

The three now are moving on to adult roles, including Radcliffe’s stint on Broadway in the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

“It’s just a great way to exit, with the class and style that J.K. Rowling wrote into these stories,” Fellman said. “It comes to an end, as all goods thing do. When you have the opportunity to be a part of that, to work on all eight movies over 10 years, to see the kids, meeting them for the first time when they’re 10 and 11, and just now going to see Daniel Radcliffe at 22 years old in ‘How to Succeed in Business’ on Broadway. There’s a bittersweet part of it.”

The first “Harry Potter” film shown in 3-D, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” continued a downward trend for domestic revenues derived from the 3-D format.

Some earlier hits took in 70 percent or more of their domestic cash from 3-D shows. But “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” did just 43 percent of its domestic business in 3-D, with most fans choosing cheaper 2-D tickets.

That still means a healthy $72.5 million in domestic revenue from 3-D screenings, but it also shows that American audiences have lost much of their fervor for seeing movies in three dimensions.

Overseas audiences remain eager for it, with 3-D tickets accounting for 61 percent of international income on “Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

Woody Allen hit a milestone as his romance “Midnight in Paris” pulled in $1.9 million to raise its domestic total to $41.8 million, a personal revenue record for the filmmaker. The Sony Pictures Classics release beat Allen’s previous high of $40.1 million for 1986’s “Hannah and Her Sisters.”

Factoring in today’s higher admission prices, “Hannah and Her Sisters” and other earlier Allen hits such as “Annie Hall” sold far more tickets than “Midnight in Paris.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” $168.6 million ($307 million international).

2. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” $21.3 million ($39 million international).

3. “Horrible Bosses,” $17.6 million.

4. “Zookeeper,” $12.3 million.

5. “Cars 2,” $8.3 million ($12.4 million international).

6. “Winnie the Pooh,” $8 million.

7. “Bad Teacher,” $5.2 million.

8. “Larry Crowne,” $2.6 million.

9. “Super 8,” $1.92 million.

10. “Midnight in Paris,” $1.9 million.

___

Online:

http://www.hollywood.com/boxoffice

___

 

 

 

In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, from left, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Jaap Buitendijk)Moviegoers wait for the midnight showing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II" in Merrimack, N.H., Thursday, July 14, 2011. The film is expected to put up franchise-record numbers as it debuts just after midnight Friday.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)http://news.yahoo.com/harry-potter-conjures-first-day-record-92-1m-143600172.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harry Potter has cast his biggest spell yet with a record-breaking first day at the box office.

Distributor Warner Bros. reports that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” summoned up $92.1 million domestically on opening day Friday.

That’s nearly $20 million more than the previous record-holder, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” which took in $72.7 million in its first day two years ago.

The finale of the “Harry Potter” saga also set a record for midnight screenings with $43.5 million. That topped “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” which pulled in about $30 million in its first midnight shows last year.

Box-office tracker Hollywood.com projected Saturday that “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” also could break the opening-weekend record of $158.4 million domestically held by “The Dark Knight.”

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: