BOX OFFICE It’s angels versus devils at the box office. With Adam Sandler‘s long running streak of blockbusters, it looks as though his new pic, ”Little Nicky” will knock ”Charlie’s Angels” off its heavenly perch at No. 1 this weekend. The comedian’s November 1998 release, ”The Waterboy,” opened with a whopping $39.4 million — putting it just behind ”Toy Story 2”’s nonsummer record debut of $56 million. But last weekend, ”Waterboy” was bumped to No. 3 when ”Angels” took flight with a $40.1 million take.
Some analysts say that ”Nicky” — in which Sandler plays the dysfunctional child of Lucifer (played by Harvey Keitel) — has the potential to overtake ”Angels”’ new record. ”There is a precedent for Adam Sandler to perform really well in November,” Exhibitor Relations prez Paul Dergarabedian tells EW.com. ”The thing about [him] is he’s really tapped into the most frequent moviegoers — 12 to 24 year olds. So, in doing that, he usually ensures himself a very strong opening for his films.”
Others disagree. Sandler’s new flick will undoubtedly be warmly greeted by hordes of excited teenage boys (some movie theater owners even opted to open the film a day early in anticipation of the younger crowds). But ”Angels”’ audience is likely to include both teens and older moviegoers who remember the 1970s TV show. Still, the Clearasil set is an important market for the updated adaptation, and Dergarabedian says that ”Angels”’ MTV audience is likely to migrate to the devil’s lair. ”[Sandler] sticks with what he knows best and he delivers to that target audience what they want. And I think ”Little Nicky” is no exception,” he says.
Also opening today are Fox’s military drama ”Men of Honor” and Warner Bros.’ sci fi actioner ”Red Planet.”
WEB NEWS It may be nearly impossible for regular folk to attend Madonna‘s gig at London’s Brixton Academy, but have no fear. The 42 year old pop star plans to broadcast the show live via the Internet. Fans can catch the Material Mom’s Nov. 28 show at her Microsoft web address.
REEL DEAL Julia Roberts has another paycheck on the way. After filming Steven Soderbergh‘s Rat Pack flick ”Oceans 11”, the actress will take her $20 million plus smile to a yet untitled project for director Gore Verbinski and screenwriterJ.H. Wyman, who Roberts previously teamed up with on ”The Mexican”. The project is set to begin filming April 1, according to the Hollywood Reporter. (No fooling.)
POLITICAL CELEBS It seems the enigmatic Moby is awfully vocal about politics. The musician cum Calvin Klein model has issued a statement attacking high profile supporters of third party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, including such rock activists as Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, and Ani DiFranco. Nader’s ”celebrity supporters should hang their heads in shame for helping George W. Bush and the Republicans,” Moby says. ”As I write this, no one knows who will be the president elect of the United States. If Bush wins, I will follow Ralph Nader to the ends of the earth just to scream at him and pelt him with rotten tomatoes.” Or rotten Florida oranges perhaps?
TV NEWS Meanwhile, television news anchors may be ashamed of Tuesday night’s election reporting, but network execs couldn’t be more pleased with the ratings results for the cliffhanger evening. Election coverage drew about 61.6 million viewers, up a whopping 70 percent from the 36.5 million who tuned in to watch Bill Clinton win the last presidential race. All together, the household rating for Tuesday night was about 40.2, according to Nielsen, putting it on par with typical Super Bowl figures — and well ahead of last summer’s ”Survivor” finale. Wow — maybe next time industry execs won’t feel like they have to try so hard to rig the show.
SWITCH NBC is shuffling some of its top ratings performers. ”Ed” will move from Sunday nights to Wed. at 8 p.m., where the rookie comedy will serve as a lead in to ”The West Wing.” Meanwhile, Aaron Spelling‘s latest soap ”Titans” will shift to Monday nights at 8 p.m. beginning Dec. 4. Presumably, this is happening because the Peacock feels strongly that it’s always best to start the week off with a strong dose seduction, betrayal, and complex family politics.
DEATHS Frederick S. Clarke, the publisher of Cinefantastique and Femmes Fatales — two premier sci fi/ horror movie magazines — died on Oct. 17, it was reported yesterday. Clarke’s wife, Celeste, the magazines’ business manager, said that both publications would continue…. Doug Nelson, the bassist for 19 year old blues guitarist Jonny Lang, was killed when he was hit by a pickup truck on a rural Minnesota highway near his home Tuesday. Lang and company recently opened for Sting at a free concert in Central Park. ”There’s still a lot of tears all around here. Everyone will miss Doug,” said Holly Sharp, an employee of Lang’s management company, Blue Sky Artists Worldwide. Nelson was 46.