HOLLYWOOD—It’s back-to-school for some, while their tans haven’t quite faded, the temperatures are still very warm, but it’s that time to trade in the bathing suits and surf boards for North Face backpacks, textbooks and No. 2 pencils. Once again parents are doing some serious back-to school shopping miles. The Labor Day weekend saw fans of the band “One Direction” flock to the movies. While, “One Direction: This is Us,” did sell more tickets over the Labor Day weekend than “The Butler,” the civil rights drama took in $20 million, according to an estimate from the distributor the Weinstein Company. It was a tight race, with the One Direction film taking in $18 million. The film “This is Us” was expected to exceed industry expectations, but it came in a bit below.
“The Butler,” which is about a devoted White House employee played by Forest Whitaker who served eight different presidents, has grossed $79.3 million since debuting mid-August. According to Erik Lomis, the Weinstein Company’s president of theatrical distribution noted that an increasing number of late-night ticket sales indicated the film was now attracting younger moviegoers. No surprise that “This is Us,” attracted a strong female audience. While other movies such as “Getaway,” and “Closed Circuit,” flopped, it was still the biggest Labor Day on record for the movies. In the first three days, “This is Us,” grossed $15.8 million. For some reason, Directioners weren’t as rabid as Beliebers. Back in 2011, Justin Bieber’s film “Never Say Never,” launched with $29.5 million.
It was a close call for One Direction’s Liam Payne, who escaped unharmed after a fire broke out at his home on September 2. The singer was on the 34th floor of a luxury block in London’s Docklands when firefighters were called. The star was unharmed. While some occupants had superficial burns, some 30 people left the building and were not injured, according to published reports. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
The film “Diana” about Princess Diana will have its world premiere in London’s Leicester Square next week. The movie will shed some light on her two-year romance with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan. Producers are bracing themselves for angry audiences and critics. The film stars Naomi Watts as the Princess of Wales. Some say that the movie is based on gossip and hypotheses. The relationship between Princess Diana and Dr. Khan is said to have broken down shortly before her death in Paris alongside Dodi Fayed in 1997. This year the People’s Princess has been brought back to life in a biopic of her life. The picture is directed by Olivier Hirschbiegel and has a November release date in the U.S.
One film that has everyone talking is “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which is slated to hit big screens on August 1, 2014. The film is being adapted from the best-selling book of the same title from author E. L. James kinky mega seller, which sold more than 70 million copies. The movie stars “Sons of Anarchy” hunk Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson. The 23-year-old actress is best known for her portrayal of a single mom in Fox’s comedy “Ben and Kate.” She’s the daughter of Melanie Griffith and “Miami Vice” icon Don Johnson. She’s also the granddaughter of veteran actress Tippi Hedren of “The Birds.”
Rose’s Scoop: “Dancing With the Stars” premieres Monday, September 16, adding to the roster is Jersey’s own Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Valerie Harper, Elizabeth Berkley, Amber Riley, Corbin Bleu, Jack Osbourne, Christina Milian, Keyshawn Johnson, Leah Remini, Bill Nye, Brant Daugherty and Bill Engvall.
Birthday wishes go out to Kelly Olszuk who turns 21 on September 8. She shares a birthday with singer Pink.
By Rose Quintiliano