‘Gravity’ eclipses ‘Phillips’ at box office
“Gravity” won’t be held down.
The Warner Bros. astronaut adventure directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney landed in the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row, according to studio estimates Sunday.
“Gravity” earned $44.3 million, raising its domestic total to $123.4 million.
“Gravity” also fared well overseas, making $28 million in 38 territories such as Russia, Australia, Germany and Spain.
Sony’s “Captain Phillips” launched in second place with a respectable $26 million. The high-seas drama directed by Paul Greengrass stars Tom Hanks as a cargo-ship captain who is held captive by Somali pirates.
The animated Sony movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” gobbled up third place in its third weekend with $14.2 million, bringing its domestic haul to $78 million.
Agent: Novelist Oscar Hijuelos dies
Oscar Hijuelos, a Cuban-American novelist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1989 novel “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love” and whose work often captured the loss and triumphs of the Cuban immigrant experience, has died. He was 62.
Hijuelos died of a heart attack in Manhattan on Saturday while playing tennis, according to his agent, Jennifer Lyons.
“The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love” became a best-seller and earned him international acclaim. He won the Pulitzer for fiction in 1990, making him the first Hispanic writer to receive that honor.
The novel tells the story of two Cuban brothers who journey from Havana to New York to start an orchestra. The book eventually was turned into a movie starring Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas.
Hijuelos’ other works include “Our House in the Last World,” “Empress of the Splendid Season” and “Dark Dude.”
Lauren Conrad of ‘Hills’ is engaged
L.C. is getting married.
“The Hills” and “Laguna Beach” star Lauren “L.C.” Conrad announced Sunday she’s engaged to musician William Tell.
The 27-year-old reality- TV star and fashion designer posted a photo of her engagement ring on her blog and wrote that she was “beyond thrilled.”
Conrad’s dating life was famously chronicled on the MTV reality series “Laguna Beach” and its spin-off “The Hills.”
After leaving “The Hills” in 2009, Conrad launched a series of young-adult novels based on her life in Los Angeles.
Jackman raises $1.8M with birthday benefit
Hugh Jackman threw himself a birthday party with 4,500 guests, but they had to pay to attend.
The actor spent his 45th birthday Saturday at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, where he sang, danced and told stories for “One Night Only,” a benefit concert that raised $1.85 million for the Motion Picture & Television Fund.
“This is probably the most narcissistic way to spend your birthday,” he said after the show. “I chose my favorite songs and told stories about my life.”
Jackman said he donated his birthday performance to the Motion Picture & Television Fund because it offers “that unconditional helping hand you get in a family.” The organization provides health care and other services to entertainment-industry workers and retirees.