BOX OFFICE The film adaptation of ”Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is not only likely to steal the No. 1 position from two week box office topper ”Charlie’s Angels” this weekend, it will probably snag significant bounty from holiday moviegoers’ pockets for several weeks to come. The Universal family flick – starring Jim Carrey as the famous miserly mischief maker – is almost a surefire blockbuster, according to industry watchers. The last Carrey flick, ”Me, Myself & Irene,” scored $89 million in domestic release. Likewise, the Ron Howard directed film hits the market at a time when audiences are seeking entertainment for all ages. ”It’s the first decent family film we’ve had since last summer,” Robert Bucksbaum of box office tracking firm Reel Source tells EW.com.
While ”Angels” is likely to land happily in this weekend’s top five, the current appetite for family fare means that the babe flick will have to battle another big opener, ”Rugrats in Paris: The Movie,” for the No. 2 position. The Ben Affleck/ Gwyneth Paltrow romantic drama ”Bounce” and the Arnold Schwarzenegger clone flick ”The 6th Day” also open in wide release on Friday. –Lori Reese
DEATHS Rapper Joseph Calleja – best known for his work as Kid Rock’s diminutive sidekick, under the name Joe C. – died Thursday night of an intestinal disorder called Celiac disease in his home in Taylor, Mich. He was 26 years old. The musician had suffered from the illness since early childhood. “We have lost part of our family,” Kid Rock said in a statement Friday. ”Joey gave us and the world his love. He brought a smile to everyone who has ever known or seen him. In a world full of confusion, Joey made all of us laugh. No matter what color, religion, race, or beliefs we have, he made us all smile. He gave us the gift of joy. Joey, thank you. We will never forget you. We love you.” Joe C.’s recording debut was on Rock’s 1998 album ”Devil Without A Cause” –Lori Reese
AWARDS Madonna and Eminem walked away with two trophies each from the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards held in Stockholm, Sweden, on Thursday night. Madonna won for best female and dance act, while Eminem landed the best hip hop and best album categories. The event, which was broadcast to 1 billion viewers worldwide, was hosted by Wyclef Jean. Of the 12 major awards presented, only two went to non U.S. based groups: Brit pop winners All Saints for best pop group and Robbie Williams for best song (”Rock DJ”). Here’s a list of the award winners:
Male Ricky Martin
Group Backstreet Boys
New Act Blink-182
R&B Jennifer Lopez
Rock Red Hot Chili Peppers
Pop All Saints
Hip Hop Eminem
Video Moby, ”Natural Blues” (Director: David La Chapelle)
Album Eminem, ”The Marshall Mathers LP”
Song Robbie Williams, ”Rock DJ”
Nordic Act Bomfunk MCs
German Act Guano Apes
Italian Act Subsonic
Polish Act Kazik
Spanish Act Dover
U.K. & Ireland Act Westlife
Dutch Act Kane
French Act Modjo
BEST POP SONG In other MTV news, the network and Rolling Stone magazine chose the 100 best pop songs for an upcoming week long countdown that starts airing Monday, Nov. 20. And the winner is (drumroll, please) the Beatles ballad ”Yesterday.” The Rolling Stones’ ”(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” came in at No. 2, even though VH1 named it the greatest song in the rock era earlier this year; Nirvana’s ”Smells Like Teen Spirit” is No. 3. Other highlights include three Michael Jackson songs (”Beat It,” ”Billie Jean,” and ”I Want You Back”) landing in the top 22 and U2’s 1992 song ”One” breaking into the top 10.
SPLIT Surprise! Another recession era irony band bites the dust. It looks like Pavement – the indie rockers who hit the charts in 1994 with their psuedo pop tune ”Cut Your Hair” – are going the way of the Smashing Pumpkins. Though the band’s official website, and their label, Matador, has long maintained that the group is merely on an extended ”hiatus,” frontman Stephen Malkmus has a different story. ”Pavement is definitely finished,” he told Britain’s NME recently. Moreover, their publicist, Nils Bernstein, has basically confirmed the split: “Steve told Spin and the NME that they’ve broken up, and Scott doesn’t deny it, so you do the math,” Bernstein told Wall of Sound. “Neither they nor us are really the ‘official statement’ type.” –Lori Reese
HOO-AH! The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the Golden Globe Awards, has selected Al Pacino to receive its Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement. Pacino, who has two Golden Globes out of 13 nominations, will receive the honor at the Foreign Press’ 58th annual show this Jan. 21. Hopefully Barbra Streisand will be done with her acceptance speech for last year’s award by then.
MAD FOR MAGS Is publishing big enough for the both of them? Rosie O’Donnell will join Oprah Winfrey as the latest talk show host with her own magazine. McCall’s magazine will be renamed Rosie’s McCall’s starting next spring, the celebrity announced Thursday. The revamped magazine is expected to have a circulation of 4.2 million copies and will feature Rosie as its editorial director. ”I would say this magazine is going to be less spiritual than Oprah’s magazine, more realistically crafty than Martha Stewart’s magazine, with a lot more of my annoying Democratic political agenda in the middle,” O’Donnell said at yesterday’s press conference in New York. That means no more conservative crafts like ”how to knit a handgun cozy.”
CASTING Jude Law (”The Talented Mr. Ripley”) is in talks to work opposite Tom Hanks in ”The Road to Perdition,” the upcoming period drama from ”American Beauty” director Sam Mendes. DreamWorks is also reportedly courting Paul Newman for a role and Hanks’ ”Saving Private Ryan” costar Tom Sizemore to play Al Capone. Set during the Depression, ”Perdition” follows a hitman with a heart of gold (Hanks) who vows to avenge the murders of his wife and son. Hmmm… revenge mission… was Mel Gibson busy?… Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (”Sweet and Lowdown”) will star in ”Morvern Callar,” a $6 million drama from Scottish director Lynne Ramsay (”Ratcatcher”). As the title role, Morton will play a poor supermarket clerk who sells her boyfriend’s unpublished novel as her own after his suicide. Shooting starts in February.
IN THE BOOTH Gov. Jesse Ventura has agreed to join NBC and Vince McMahon’s Xtreme Football League as its broadcast commentator. The Peacock announced Thursday that the former WWF star will analyze the XFL’s inaugural season, which starts Feb. 3 and ends with the championship game on April 21. Ventura, who insists the job won’t interfere with his duties as Minnesota’s governor, said of the gig: ”This is gonna be a lot of fun. I tried to do it for free, but Vince insisted that I be paid.” Hey, a politician has to make money somehow.
TUBE NEWS ABC had ”Making the Band,” MTV had ”2Gether,” and now the WB has enlisted Grammy winning music producer David Foster to develop an all girl band for the network’s new ”Popstars” series. Foster will participate in selecting the girls, hiring songwriters and producers, and recording the group’s album, which Foster’s 143 Records will release with London Sire Records next April. Based on the New Zealand/ Australian series about creating a real all girl band, ”Popstars” will air Fridays at 8:30 p.m. starting on Jan. 12, 2001…. Ed O’Neill, best known for his 10 year stint as Al Bundy on Fox’s ”Married with Children,” will star in an upcoming CBS police series. Tentatively called ”Big Apple,” the cop drama will feature O’Neill as – what else? – a tough Irish detective. The Tiffany Network has committed to 13 episodes of the possible midseason replacement, which will be produced in New York by ”NYPD Blue” creator David Milch and Anthony Yerkovich. Titus Welliver (”Falcone”) will costar as an FBI special agent.
PEN PAL Paramount Pictures has hired actor/ director Jon Favreau (”Swingers”) to write a feature starring CBS kings of comedy (and best friends) Ray Romano and Kevin James, says Variety. Although no director is attached yet, Favreau is expected to turn around a script quickly, so the movie can be shot before the possible actors’ and writers’ strike next spring.
RECOVERING Carroll O’Connor (a.k.a. Archie Bunker) was released from UCLA’s Medical Center in good condition yesterday, Reuters reports. The Emmy winning actor, 76, underwent leg surgery last week to alleviate a serious diabetes related circulation problem. During the operation, doctors decided to amputate part of one toe, a hospital spokeswoman announced.