3-D ‘Lion King’ feels the love with $29.3M opening


Disney’s ‘The Lion...

Disney’s ‘The Lion King.’

By Associated Press

Sunday, September 18, 2011

LOS ANGELES — LOS ANGELES — It’s 1994 all over again, with a re-release of “The Lion King” opening at the top of the box office.

A 3-D version of the wildly popular Disney animated musical earned a
surprising $29.3 million in its first weekend in theaters, according to
Sunday estimates. The original film made more than $40 million when it
opened nationwide 17 years ago.

This huge number stunned many people, including the folks at Disney,
who figured “The Lion King” would make somewhere between $10 million and
$12 million, said Dave Hollis, the studio’s executive vice president of

He said the movie remains relevant and as entertaining as it was when it first came out.

“But taking a page from the movie, there is a ’circle of life’ thing
happening,” he said, referring to one of the film’s themes. “You have
children of the ’90s who are now parents of the 2010s and they
themselves are taking their kids to share what was, for them, a great
experience two decades ago.”

It also helps that there aren’t many options for families at the
multiplex right now, said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for

“The post-summer period brings a preponderance of R-rated films and
more challenging, esoteric, Oscar-caliber fare,” he said. “For kids this
is like a dream come true and for parents to be able to revisit ’The
Lion King’ — especially in 3-D, even though 3-D has taken a bad rap over
the past year — just tells you the power that this movie has, how
strong it resonates with people.”

Hollis said that while the film was also available in 2-D, 92 percent of the opening weekend’s business came from 3-D showings.

The story of a wrongly exiled lion prince (voiced by Jonathan Taylor
Thomas as a cub and Matthew Broderick as an adult) who must return home
to claim his throne, “The Lion King” was the second-highest-grossing
film of 1994, behind “Forrest Gump.”

It ranks fourth on the all-time animated list with over $784 million.
It earned Academy Awards for Hans Zimmer’s original score and for
original song for Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Can You Feel the Love

Last week’s No. 1 movie, Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” dropped a
spot in its second weekend. The Warner Bros. viral thriller made about
$14.5 million for a total of $44.2 million.

Among the other new releases, the critical darling “Drive” came in at
No. 3 with just over $11 million. Ryan Gosling stars as a stoic
wheelman in the retro action picture from FilmDistrict.

“Straw Dogs,” a remake of the 1971 Sam Peckinpah thriller from Sony
Screen Gems, opened in fifth place with only $5 million. It stars James
Marsden and Kate Bosworth as a married couple under siege in the rural

“I Don’t Know How She Does It,” based on the best-seller of the same
name, came in at No. 6 with just $4.5 million. The Weinstein Co. comedy
stars Sarah Jessica Parker as a wife and mother of two struggling to
balance her home life with her demanding job.

Dergarabedian said such disappointing showings aren’t all that
surprising this time of year. Last weekend was the slowest so far this
year at the box office.

“It’s been tough marketplace for wide releases. The newcomers are
being met with some indifference,” he said. “The audience was obviously a
family audience that took over the multiplex this weekend.


Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian
theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest
international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be
released Monday.

1. “The Lion King 3D,” $29.3 million. ($700,000 international.)

2. “Contagion,” $14.5 million. ($1.3 million international.)

3. “Drive,” $11 million.

4. “The Help,” $6.4 million. ($1.1 million international.)

5. “Straw Dogs,” $5 million.

6. “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” $4.5 million. ($800,000 international.)

7. “The Debt,” $2.9 million. ($1 million international.)

8. “Warrior,” $2.8 million. ($400,000 international.)

9. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” $2.6 million.

10. “Colombiana,” $2.3 million.

3. “Friends With Benefits,” $9.2 million.4. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” $7.8 million.

5. “Final Destination 5,” $6.5 million.

6. “Captain America: The First Avenger,” $5.1 million.

7. “Crazy Stupid Love,” $4.7 million.

8. “Horrible Bosses,” $4.2 million.

9. “Cowboys & Aliens,” $4 million.

10. “Mannerherzen 2,” $3.5 million.

Broadway musical Billy Elliot to be rewritten because ‘Americans don’t understand British dialect’


Billy Elliot, the hit Broadway musical, is to have its script rewritten
because the County Durham speech is putting off American audiences.


Billy Elliot the story of a boy who overcomes the resistance of his family to become a dancer at the Royal Ballet School Photo: REX

Billy Elliot the Musical has been watched by seven million people
around the world, but it has still become the latest victim of linguistic
difficulties between the British and our American cousins. Mandrake hears
that the Broadway production is to undergo a major rewrite because audiences
in New York are struggling to understand the Northern dialogue.

“Something like 10 pages of new dialogue are going into the show,” says one
respected theatre critic. “ ’Bangers’ will become ‘sausages’, ‘crikey’ will
become ‘you’re kidding’.”

A spokesman for the show, which was written by Lee Hall, with songs by Sir
Elton John, admits that it is being rewritten, but is keen to play down the
changes. “There is a new version with some tweaks for the American script,”
says the spokesman. “This is a very normal thing to happen. Since the
production opened there have been several small changes.”

The show, which was originally an award-winning film starring Jamie Bell and
Julie Walters, tells the story of a boy who overcomes the resistance of his
family to become a dancer at the Royal Ballet School. The musical, which is
set in County Durham against the backdrop of the Eighties’ miners’ strike,
opened on Broadway three years ago to great acclaim.

Earlier this year, Cheryl Cole, the pop singer from Newcastle, was removed
after three weeks as a judge on the American version of The X Factor after
alleged communication difficulties with the US audience of the television
talent contest.

Tony Bennett Welcomes Elton John & Aretha Franklin to Metropolitan Opera Show Sunday

September 18, 2011

by SoCelebrities

When Tony Bennett takes the stage this Sunday for his debut at New
York City’s Metropolitan Opera House, he’ll have some special guests
along with him.
Elton John Concert Part1


Here are 6 of 11 pictures I took last night at the Elton John concert at the
General Motors Center in Oshawa last night.We had good seats 12 rows up from the
stage on the right side of it.Elton did around 25 songs,lasted 2 and a half
hours.I can remember the titles of 21 of them.In no particular order are the
songs I can remember,it started with The One ended with Crocodile Rock,he had
the audience sing the chorus,that was supposed to be it,the crowd cheered,he
came back on and he signed some autographs and did another song.In between he
did Ballad of the Boy With The Red Shoes,Gone to Shiloh from the Union Album he
recorded with Leon Russell,Daniel,Honky Cat,I Guess That’s Why They Call The
Blues,Nikita,Levon,which he did a great piano solo,Tiny Dancer,Don’t Let the Sun
Go Down on Me which he dedicated to his adopted son,Candle In the Wind,is Mom’s
favorite song,I’m Still Standing,Philadelphia Freedom,Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,Sixty
Years On,Rocket Man, Can You Feel the Love Tonight from the Lion King,Your Song,Take
Me to The Pilot,The Greatest Discovery and Bennie And The Jets.After a few songs,he
would acknowledge the crowd with bows ,blow kisses and point to to the crowd all
around the stage.Later on,there two people in front who stood up,so had to
follow it on the Monitor hanging from the roof.he wore a long coat with a flower
design on the front and a skull and cross on the back,wore his trademark tinted
glasses,he can sure play a piano,fingers were literally flying over the keys,great
show,had several standing ovations,he is really small,had short, stubby fingers,but
sure played the piano well.It was sold out,7,300 in attendance