‘Hobbit’ extends No. 1 journey with $36.7M
Tiny hobbit Bilbo Baggins is running circles around some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” took in $36.7 million to remain No. 1 at the box office for the second-straight weekend, easily beating a rush of top-name holiday newcomers. Part one of Jackson’s prelude to his “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the Warner Bros. release raised its domestic total to $149.9 million after 10 days.
Studio estimates Sunday put Tom Cruise’s action thriller “Jack Reacher” in second place with a modest $15.6 million debut. Based on the Lee Child best-seller “One Shot,” the Paramount Pictures release stars Cruise as a lone-wolf ex-military investigator tracking a sniper conspiracy.
Opening at No. 3 with $12 million was Judd Apatow’s marital comedy “This Is 40,” a Universal Pictures film featuring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprising their roles from the director’s 2007 hit “Knocked Up.”
Paramount’s road-trip romp “The Guilt Trip,” featuring “Knocked Up” star Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, debuted weakly at No. 6 with $5.4 million over the weekend and $7.4 million since it opened Wednesday. Playing in narrower release, Paramount’s acrobatic fantasy “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” also drew light crowds, debuting at No. 11 with $2.1 million.
Serpico: Pacino played me better than I did
New York City police whistle-blower Frank Serpico says Al Pacino played him better than he did himself.
Pacino played the detective who exposed widespread police corruption in the 1973 movie “Serpico.” The Daily News interviewed the real-life Serpico in Ghent, in New York’s Hudson Valley, for a story published Sunday.
The 76-year-old retiree spoke weeks after the death of fellow whistle-blowing ex-detective David Durk.
Serpico smiled as an interviewer noted he is ranked No. 41, just behind Lassie, on the American Film Institute’s list of movie heroes. He says that’s “good company.”
The newspaper says Serpico keeps busy trying to finish a book and taking solitary walks.
Serpico and Durk’s efforts resulted in front-page newspaper stories and a city panel that recommended reforms to prevent police corruption.
Bethenny Frankel, husband separating
Bethenny Frankel and husband Jason Hoppy are separating.
The 42-year-old TV personality, chef, author and entrepreneur told The Associated Press on Sunday that the split brings her “great sadness.”
“This was an extremely difficult decision that as a woman and a mother, I have to accept as the best choice for our family,” Frankel said. “We have love and respect for one another and will continue to amicably co-parent our daughter who is and will always remain our first priority. This is an immensely painful and heartbreaking time for us.”
Frankel and Hoppy were married in 2010 and have a daughter, Bryn, who was born that same year. The couple’s courtship and marriage were documented in two reality series, “Bethenny Getting Married?” and “Bethenny Ever After...” Frankel gained fame as a star of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”
Since her stint on the Bravo show, she has written four books, released a fitness video and founded her Skinnygirl line of cocktails, shapewear and nutritional supplements.
She launched a talk show, “Bethenny,” over the summer that is set to air nationally on Fox stations in 2013.
Rihanna donates $1.75M to hospital
Pop star Rihanna has given $1.75 million to a hospital in her Caribbean homeland of Barbados in memory of her late grandmother.
Rihanna says the donation to buy three pieces of medical equipment was her way “giving back to Barbados.”
She made the comments during a Saturday ceremony with relatives at the island’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The hospital’s radiotherapy unit has been renamed the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine after Rihanna’s grandmother, who died in June.
Rihanna recently released “Unapologetic,” her seventh album in seven years.