People

Monday, July 19, 2004

'Robot' slays competition

Los Angeles -- Will Smith has the summer crowd well programmed.

Smith's sci-fi thriller "I, Robot" was his latest No. 1 July debut, opening with $52.25 million and bumping "Spider-Man 2" from the top spot at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.

If the numbers hold when final figures are released today, "I, Robot" would be Smith's best debut ever, coming in just ahead of "Independence Day," "Men in Black" and "Men in Black II," all July premieres that opened in the $50 million to $52 million range.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters:

1. "I, Robot," $52.25 million.

2. "Spider-Man 2," $24.2 million.

3. "A Cinderella Story," $13.8 million

4. "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," $13.4 million.

5. "Fahrenheit 9/11," $7 million.

6. "King Arthur," $6.9 million.

7. "The Notebook," $5.45 million.

8. "White Chicks," $3.4 million.

9. "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," $3.2 million.

10. "The Terminal," $3.1 million.

Hustler store can't be stopped

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt is expanding his pornography empire to South Florida, opening an upscale sex shop despite opposition from this city's mayor and others.

Hustler Hollywood is expected to open Friday, and Flynt, 61, is scheduled to visit Aug. 3.

Mayor Jim Naugle and city Commissioner Dean Trantalis had spearheaded an attempt to block Flynt by changing a city zoning law.

Currently "less than half" of a store's inventory can be sexually oriented if it's within 500 feet of a residential area. Naugle and Trantalis wanted the ordinance changed so a store could be closed if a "substantial" amount of its inventory was of a sexual nature. But, after Flynt threatened to sue, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted against the notion.

The Idaho supremacy

Boise, Idaho -- Hundreds of fans gathered in front of the historic Egyptian Theater to catch a glimpse of Matt Damon at a benefit screening of "The Bourne Supremacy."

The sequel to the 2002 film "The Bourne Identity" opens nationally Friday.

Proceeds from Saturday's benefit went to the Boise Contemporary Theater, now in its fifth season.

The film's producer, Frank Marshall, said he began visiting Boise in the early 1970s and bought property here soon after. He started bringing his movies to Boise nearly a decade later, including "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."

Austria honors Arnold

Austria is to honor one of its favorite sons, Hollywood tough guy and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, with a stamp of his own later this month, the country's postal service said over the weekend.

The $1.25 stamp is set to appear on July 30, the star's 57th birthday.

The stamp features Schwarzenegger against a background of U.S. and Austrian flags and identifies him as "governor."

Schwarzenegger was born in the southeastern city of Graz on July 30, 1947.