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''Spider-Man'' sets another box office record

”Spider-Man” sets another box office record. Plus, news about Reese Witherspoon, Vin Diesel, Jimmy Kimmel, Rudy Giuliani, Robin Williams, Lucy Lawless, Richard Dreyfuss, R. Kelly, and others

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Spider-Man: Zade Rosenthal

REEL DEALS ”Spider-Man” set yet another record on Monday, netting $11 million for the highest non-holiday Monday take ever. In its first four days, the movie earned $125.8 million, more than such recent blockbusters as ”Charlie’s Angels” or ”Erin Brockovich” earned during their entire U.S. runs.

”Spider-Man” may be headed toward another record: most continuity errors. A large number of obsessive-fan moviegoers means a large number of nitpickers noticing details like shattered windows that suddenly appear repaired, dirty shirts that suddenly appear clean, guns that turn into knives, and lacerations that move across faces. So far, 77 errors have been spotted, putting the movie at No. 9 on the all-time gaffe list maintained at movie-mistakes.com. ”The Matrix” is No. 1, with 146 goofs, but as more people watch the wall-crawling epic, its numbers are expected to climb….

”Legally Blonde” star Reese Witherspoon may be headed back to school, this time as a teacher. She’s in talks to star in ”Freedom Writers,” based on the true story of Erin Gruwell, a 23-year-old teacher in Long Beach, Calif., who launched an innovative journal-writing program for troubled teens. Shooting would begin next year under writer/director Richard LaGravenese (”Living Out Loud”)….

”XXX” won’t be out for another couple of months, but star Vin Diesel and director Rob Cohen are already set to do a sequel to the sports-‘n’-spies thriller. (What will they call it? ”XXXI?”) To be released around Christmas 2004, the film would be the third collaboration for Diesel and Cohen, who first worked together on ”The Fast and the Furious.”

TUBE TALK As if ABC didn’t have enough egg on its face after its failed secret attempt to land David Letterman, the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine reveals further unflattering details about what ABC brass called ”Operation Gap-Tooth.” Turns out that what embarrassed Disney president Robert Iger the most wasn’t his network’s effort to poach the CBS star or to unceremoniously dump Ted Koppel‘s ”Nightline, but rather, the disloyalty of ABC News folk, including Barbara Walters, in complaining publicly about the network’s dismissive treatment of them. Before Letterman made his decision to stay, thereby saving Koppel’s job for another couple years, Walters expressed support for Koppel on her show ”The View,” noting that she’d been treated similarly when ABC bumped her ”20/20” from Friday nights in favor of ”Once & Again.” Says Iger, ”Go on any street corner and say what you like, even if it’s about the company you work for. Write an op-ed in The New York Times, appear on ‘Larry King‘ if you want. But to use one of our own programs to do that?” Iger also denies the story, promulgated by Koppel and ”Nightline” staffers, that ABC never tried to alert Koppel of the Letterman negotiations. In fact, Iger says, he tried repeatedly to call Koppel at his vacation home in Captiva Island, Fla., and was told that Koppel was either out or had gone to bed and didn’t want to talk to him. The next day, the story broke that ABC had been talking to Letterman behind Koppel’s back. ”That ”pissed me off,” says Iger. ”It completely ignored the fact that someone from the Walt Disney Co. — namely the president, me — had tried to reach Ted from the night before.”

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