BOX OFFICE Industry watchers are praying that ”Charlie’s Angels” will bring in heavenly box office rewards when the ’70s jiggle show remake opens this weekend. Robert Bucksbaum of tracking firm Reel Source tells EW.com that the Lucy Liu – Cameron Diaz – Drew Barrymore combo flick could score between $25 and $30 million in earnings. This total would knock the surprise blockbuster ”Meet the Parents” off its four week No. 1 roost. ”This movie will set the tone for the holiday season,” says Bucksbaum.
Of course, analysts have been wrong before. Last week’s debut of ”Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” failed to attract the large number of teen viewers its distributor Artisan had counted on for success. If nothing else, ”Angels” has already blessed its helmer McG. The MTV trained director has closed a $2.5 million deal for his next project, Variety reports. McG (né Joseph McGinty Nichol) will take the reins of the thriller ”DreadNaught,” a film set up by ”Angels” distributor Columbia Pictures, with a reported $75 million budget. ”Everybody talks about how fun and different ‘Charlie’s Angels’ is,” Columbia’s chairwoman Amy Pascal told Variety. ”The look of the film is completely McG’s doing, and he deserves enormous credit.”
BUST Whitney Houston‘s marijuana possession imbroglio may finally be resolved. Her lawyers say the petty misdemeanor charge brought against the pop star after security found a bag of weed in her purse at Keahole Kona International Airport last January will be dismissed in three months, provided she meets certain ”probationlike” conditions. Attorneys appeared in court yesterday and pleaded no contest on the singer’s behalf, according to the Associated Press. The judge agreed to delay acceptance of the plea for three months, during which time Houston must meet certain undisclosed terms. After that, the case could be dismissed and erased from her record. Bet George W. wishes he’d been busted in Hawaii.
HOST Britney Spears has made an, um, revealing impression at many awards shows this year. Now, she’s been selected to host the American Music Awards on Nov. 13 at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium. The show will be broadcast live on ABC. The net expects high demos among girls aged 8 to 15 and men aged 45 to 80.
BIRTH Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were treated to their second child, a girl, on Halloween. Mr. Smith’s publicist reported Thursday that the child, named Willow Camille Reign Smith, weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces at birth.
CASTING Cute couple Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar are in negotiations to star opposite each other in a live action adaptation of ”Scooby Doo,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. No one knows yet which well known Hanna Barbera character each will play. But it seems likely that Gellar will get the babe role of clumsy sleuth Daphne and Prinze the part of gang leader Fred. This leaves slots for the bookish Velma and the implicitly drug addled Shaggy wide open.
MIFFED Boyz II Men are complaining about a lack of support from their label, Universal Records. The second single from their latest album, ”Nathan, Michael, Shawn, Wayne” — a ballad titled ”Thanks in Advance” — is set to be released along with a video next week. But member Shawn Stockman told Launch that they are disappointed by the record’s sales. ”We’ve talked about it; we feel like [there] could be a little bit more support from our record label,” Stockman said. ”There are some situations going on right now where the album is out but it’s not being exposed to the degree we think it should be. And, you know, we’ve had constant meetings with our label, trying to just get something worked out where the album can get its just due.” True, we haven’t seen too many 10 foot tall cutouts of them at the Virgin Megastore lately.
BUSTS Oh boy, another dating game incarnation! ”Who Wants to Date a Hooters Girl?” will debut for broadcast syndication next fall. The show, centered around the Hooters restaurant chain — where chest heavy waitresses serve buffalo wings to beer guzzling dudes — will be hosted by comedian George Gray. Remember: When the apocalypse arrives, you heard it first from EW.com.
MUSIC NEWS The Beatles are moving into cyberspace. On Nov. 13, the first official website devoted to the Fab Four — Thebeatles.com — goes live. It will include contributions from Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono… Jon Bon Jovi has landed another film role. The rocker has been cast as the lead in ”John Carpenter’s Vampires: Los Muertos”…. Oasis might try once again to conquer the indifferent U.S. market next summer. The British bad boys are planning a tour beginning in June with the Black Crowes. ”If we can work out the details, the tour will mark the pairing of America and England’s greatest rock & roll bands. God help us all,” Black Crowes manager Pete Angelus said in a statement. OR maybe they could put wishful thinking aside and just get the surviving members of the Beatles and the Allman Brothers together for a tour.
OBIT Ring Lardner Jr., the last surviving member of the Hollywood 10 — a group of screenwriters jailed and blacklisted during the McCarthy era — has died of cancer in New York City. Lardner won two Oscars for his screenplay work on ”Woman of the Year” and ”M*A*S*H.” He was 85.