January 27th, 2010
07:18 PM ET

Putting 'Avatar' in per$pective

As we all know, "Avatar" is making ridiculous amounts of money: it just became the all-time worldwide box office champ, and appears poised to pass "Titanic" for the domestic crown within a couple of weeks.  But what does that mean?  I've given it some thought, and consulted boxofficemojo.com and other resources, and here's some perspective.  (Keep in mind that this would be a lot simpler if theaters and studios released data on tickets sold, but then we wouldn't have as many of these lovely debates.)

Certainly, when you adjust for inflation, "Avatar" is knocked down a few pegs: it's "only" 26th all-time in domestic ticket sales.  "Gone With The Wind" leads that chart, with "Titanic" in sixth place.  "Avatar" would have to boost its current $558 million in grosses to $957 million to top "Titanic" on that chart... and to surpass "GWTW," a mind-numbing $1.5 billion.

January 27th, 2010
06:20 PM ET

Mel Gibson's Viking adventure

Bravehearted Scots? Check. Mayan warriors? Been there, done that. What else have you got for us, Mel Gibson? Turns out the answer is... Vikings.

I caught up with him last night at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood for the premiere of his new crime drama, "Edge of Darkness," and he confirmed he's working on a new Viking saga. And no, it won't be centered on Brett Favre and whether or not he's going to retire.

"It's going to be good. I'm writing it with Bill Monahan ("The Departed") and he's a good writer," he says. "And I get some pretty good ideas sometimes," he adds with a smile, "It's going to be Viking with a capital 'V.' I've never seen a good Viking movie, have you?"

Off the top of my head, I couldn't think of one. So is this thing going to be like "Braveheart" with boats?

"No, it will be pretty good, it's different. I cracked [the story]. I'll give you that in about, you might see that in 18 months, two years. It's a long gestation period."

Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly set to play the lead. Let the pillaging begin!

January 27th, 2010
05:28 PM ET

Tribute video shows happy memories between Jolie, mother

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A home video that has been making the rounds on the Internet of a young Angelina Jolie and brother James Haven spending time with their mother, Marcheline Bertrand, was made by a family friend, not by Jolie herself, her rep confirmed to CNN.

The video was a tribute to Bertrand, in honor of the actress' passing three years ago today from ovarian cancer at the age of 56.

In the two-minute clip, Jolie is seen along with her mother and Haven, dancing and playing in Hawaii as Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's “Somewhere over the Rainbow” plays in the background. The intro message notes how much Bertrand loved Hawaii, adding that “she made many happy memories for her family there.”

It's a surprising glimpse into Jolie's childhood, but the actress has been upfront about how difficult her mother’s death was for her. She talked with Ann Curry on the "Today Show" in May, 2007, about what it was like to move forward after her mother's passing, and told London’s The Evening Standard later that year that her weight loss – which caused some media sources to accuse Jolie of being anorexic – was brought on by dealing with her mother's passing while caring for four children.

Although the video has been made private, check out other tributes to Bertrand here.

Filed under: Angelina Jolie • movies
January 27th, 2010
05:05 PM ET

‘Betty’ gets the boot at ABC

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ABC has confirmed that "Ugly Betty" will be just a memory once this season - its fourth - comes to an end.

“We’ve mutually come to the difficult decision to make this 'Ugly Betty’s' final season, and are announcing now as we want to allow the show ample time to write a satisfying conclusion,” a spokesperson for ABC said in a statement.

“We are extremely proud of this groundbreaking series,” the statement continued, “and felt it was important to give the fans a proper farewell."


Filed under: television
January 27th, 2010
03:33 PM ET

Will Ferrell and wife welcome baby Axel

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Will Ferrell and his wife Viveca Paulin welcomed baby Axel Ferrell on Saturday morning, a publicist for the actor confirmed to CNN.

Ferrell and Paulin were married in August 2000. This is the third son for the couple, who are also parents to Magnus, 5, and Mattias, 3.

Ferrell, whose Broadway show, "You're Welcome America," recently aired on HBO, will star in "The Other Guys" will Mark Wahlberg later this year.

Filed under: Uncategorized
January 27th, 2010
02:04 PM ET

Most influential movie soundtracks selected

It's hard to think of certain movies without their soundtracks. "Saturday Night Fever's" John Travolta pounding the pavement to "Stayin' Alive." Janet Leigh getting slashed in the shower to those terrifying strings in "Psycho." Dustin Hoffman looking blank as Simon & Garfunkel plays in "The Graduate."

As a way of celebrating the music that makes the movies, Turner Classic Movies (like CNN, a division of Time Warner) has put together a list of the 15 most influential movie soundtracks.


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