Monday, April 7, 2003

'Phone Booth' rings up No. 1 spot

"Phone Booth," starring Colin Farrell as a man trapped in a phone booth by a sniper, rang up $15 million to debut as the weekend's No. 1 movie.

The teen flick "What a Girl Wants," with Amanda Bynes as an outgoing American reunited with her stuffy British dad, opened in second place with $12.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Vin Diesel's action tale "A Man Apart" premiered at No. 3 with $11.2 million.

Here are the other top-10 movies:

4. "Head of State," $8.8 million.
5. "Bringing Down the House," $8.5 million.
6. "The Core," $6.3 million.
7. "Basic," $5.4 million.
8. "Chicago," $5.3 million.
9. "Agent Cody Banks," $3.7 million.
10. "Piglet's Big Movie," $3 million.

Mexican food ends wait for governor's baby

Chicago -- If it worked once, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and wife Patti, 10 days overdue, figured Mexican food might speed up the delivery of their second child.

They were right.

The couple went out for dinner Friday night and at 5 a.m. Saturday became the proud parents of Anne Blagojevich, a brunette who weighed in at 8 pounds, 5 ounces.

The Blagojeviches had eaten at a Mexican restaurant just before daughter Amy was born six years ago and decided to give it another try to speed along Anne's delivery, the governor said.

This time, though, the couple had to leave the restaurant before they finished eating. As Blagojevich delicately put it, his wife's symptoms were "profound."

Gere gets presidential earful

Bill Clinton came to the defense of his wife by pulling Richard Gere aside and giving him an earful at an A-list party in Manhattan, reports The New York Post.

The soiree was thrown by Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Oscar de la Renta for Queen Noor's new book, "Leap of Faith"

Clinton was angry from Gere's remarks at a fund-raising dinner for the American Foundation for AIDS Research on Feb. 5, where Sen. Hillary Clinton was one of the hosts. Gere complained about the federal government's lack of funding for research. Turning to Hillary, he said, "And there was no help from your husband, Senator, in his eight years in the White House."

Witnesses at Wintour's bash said Clinton took the actor into a corner "to set the record straight."

Mayberry town seeks own statue

Mount Airy, N.C. -- This community wants its own statue of Sheriff Andy Taylor, and it's doing something about it.

About 7,500 residents and fans of "The Andy Griffith Show" signed a petition asking TV Land to erect a likeness of Griffith here in his hometown.

The cable network, which airs "The Andy Griffith Show" and other classic shows, already plans to erect bronze statue of Taylor in the state capital of Raleigh. The statue in Raleigh would be for all of North Carolina, a TV Land spokeswoman has said.

"We wanted to say thank you to TV Land and show our appreciation for the statue in Raleigh, but would be even more appreciative if a similar statue was placed here," said Ann Vaughn, director of the Mount Airy Visitors Center.

Mount Airy was inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry.