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The latest news from Hollywood

”Beowulf,” ”Brothers and Sisters,” and Seth Rogen made news the week of December 7, 2007

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Movies
+ The pricey motion-capture epic Beowulf may not be blowing up the box office 300-style, but it’s a sensation in 3-D: So far, the 84 IMAX screens where it’s unspooled using the revamped technology account for a fifth of its $57 million gross. And according to Paramount distribution chief Rob Moore, Beowulf‘s first-weekend gross could have been up to 40 percent higher had the film been released entirely in 3-D, instead of only on the 788 screens where digital 3-D projection is now available. These numbers are likely to encourage theater owners to speed up their 3-D rollouts — and they’ll need to get on it fast, because by 2009, event films including James Cameron‘s Avatar and DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters vs. Aliens will be presented in the format. As for Beowulf, Paramount hopes its box office numbers hold steady with patrons continuing to pour into those 3-D-equipped theaters. But there are challenges: It’s not exactly family-friendly, and there’s a little movie called I Am Legend on the way that’s likely to eviscerate everything in its path, 3-D or not.
+ Those Wildcats are roaring back with a third iteration of the High School Musical franchise — and the entire cast is heading to the big screen for the first time. Filming is set to begin in March, and breakout star Zac Efron is, unsurprisingly, being rewarded more handsomely than the others. According to one source, the rising star has earned quite the pay jump — he’s expected to pocket a salary of more than $3 million. HSM3‘s plot points are being kept hush-hush, but we’ve learned that it’s centered on the senior prom. — Nicole Sperling

Television
+ It’s not exactly the thirtysomething reunion we were hoping for, but we’ll take it anyway: Ken Olin will join his real-life wife, Patricia Wettig, for a three-episode arc starting Dec. 2 on Brothers & Sisters. Olin, who also executive-produces the ABC drama, will play David, a director of photography, who used to date Wettig’s Holly. Though working on B&S is already a family affair (daughter Roxy played Jason Lewis’ season 1 gal pal, and son Cliff is a behind-the-scenes story editor), Olin was ”genuinely nervous” about acting again, admits Wettig. ”He knows he’ll get ripped for not looking the same as he did when he was Michael Steadman,” she says of Olin’s thirtysomething character. ”They were even going to name the character Michael, but I put my foot down and said no.” — Lynette Rice

Music
+ Huey Lewis is a wanted man. (Yes, you read that right; no, it’s not 1984.) Seth Rogen is hoping Mr. Heart of Rock & Roll will pen and perform the theme song for his next flick — the weed action-comedy Pineapple Express, due out in August. (Express is the latest from Superbad writer Evan Goldberg and Knocked Up producer Judd Apatow.) In fact, a couple of weeks ago Rogen and Lewis had lunch at Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, Calif., where they discussed the possible collaboration. ”[Seth’s] looking for something in the vein of [the 1985 hit] ‘The Power of Love,”’ says a source. Hey, aren’t we all? — Shirley Halperin

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