^Reuters/Variety Entertainment Summary
'Titanic' Finally Goes Down
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - ``Titanic'' finally sank. ``Lost in Space'' sold $20.5 million worth of tickets during its debut weekend, according to studio estimates, which was more than enough to knock ``Titanic'' out of the No. 1 spot in the box-office rankings for the first time in 16 weeks. ``Titanic'' tickets brought in only $11.6 million, which was a 24 percent drop from the previous weekend. ``Lost in Space'' stars William Hurt, Gary Oldman, Mimi Rogers and Matt LeBlanc in a remake of the old TV series.
Lost or Found in Space?
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Everyone thinks ``sequel'' these days, including the people who made ``Lost in Space.'' Director Stephen Hopkins says there is talk of a ``Lost in Space 2'' but that it is way too early to talk about a sequel. ``Myself and all the actors are signed up for a couple more,'' he told The Philadelphia Inquirer. ``But you know these films are such giant undertakings it has to be quite successful for that to happen.'' Hopkins says he has no idea if ``Lost in Space'' will qualify as ''quite successful.'' He says he never really had a chance to study the finished product closely and is not ``sure if I did a good job or not.''
Milli Vanilli 'Singer' Dead
FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) - Rob Pilatus, half of the disgraced Milli Vanilli pop duo, reportedly has died. Frank Farian, the manager who took Milli Vanilli to the top of the charts and then into disgrace, told a German newspaper he had to break into Pilatus' hotel room last Thursday after he did not answer calls. He said Pilatus had been dead for 18 hours when he was found. Farian said Pilatus, 32, had been looking good lately and had been in a drug rehab program. The Bild am Sonntag newspaper said no post mortem had yet been carried out and it was too early to say whether drugs were responsible for the death. When Farian discovered Pilatus and partner Fabrice Morvan, he liked their looks but not their singing and decided to have them lip-sync their shows and use stand-ins on their records. That led to the duo having to give back a Grammy in 1989.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - He played an astronaut in a movie and Tom Hanks would love to be one in real life. After ``Apollo 13,'' Hanks' interest in space is manifesting itself in ``From the Earth to the Moon,'' the 12-part H-B-O series that Hanks is hosting after serving as executive producer, writer and director. ``I mean, there's no way I'm going to be an astronaut because I don't have the math or anything but if there were a lottery and they asked who wants to go and I got picked, I'd be gone,'' Hanks told the New York Daily News. ``Do it in a minute. Even if they said my job was to clean up the barf if anyone got sick. I'd do it.''
Madonna on Child
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Madonna talks about the personality of her daghter, 17-month-old Lourdes, in a TV Guide interview, describing the toddler as a combination of herself and her father. ``She's got a really strong will and really bad temper,'' Madonna says. ``Actually, Carlos (Leon, the child's father) has a bad temper, too. She's also inquisitive and direct with people. That is how I am. And she's very charming. And she is very aware of herself. She is self-possessed. I would say she's a lot like me. She has also got a real sense of humor and she is mischievous, which is like Carlos.'' As a father, Madonna says Leon is sweet and loving but not as much of a disciplinarian as she is.
Horsing Around With Liotta
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Was someone making a joke or trying to send Ray Liotta a message? The New York Post says Liotta was in Los Angeles last week working on ``The Rat Pack,'' the HBO movie about the Vegas heyday of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and their pals, when a large cardboard box was delivered to the set. It was addressed to Liotta, who's playing Sinatra, and inside was a model of a bloody horse's head like the one used in ``The Godfather.'' A note accompanying the box said ``from the desk of T.S.'' The Post reports that Sinatra's daughter Tina had campaigned to stop the movie from being made, going so far as to lobby Time Warner exec Ted Turner. The Post has not been able to determine if the head really came from Sinatra or from someone having fun with Liotta.
The Writing, Directing Rapper
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper-actor Ice Cube is now a rapper-actor-writer-director. ``The Players Club'' is a behind-the-scenes look at the women who work in a strip joint. Ice Cube wrote and directed it, applying the lessons he learned on movie and video sets. ``I always figured if I could write a rap, I could write a script,'' the artist formerly known as O'Shea Jackson told the New York Daily News.
Franz to Bare It Again
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - There's good news for fans of Dennis Franz' backside. Franz bares his buttocks in the new film ``City of Angels,'' much like he did on an episode of ``NYPD Blue.'' ''I've spent about four years trying to live that down,'' Franz told TV Guide in discussing the ``NYPD Blue'' exposure. ``... So Jay Leno will have a few more laughs on me.''
Raitt Rolls the Dice
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bonnie Raitt decided to take artistic chances and change producers and get a new back-up band for her new album, ``Fundamental.'' ``I think it's really exciting, as well as wise, to mix it up,'' she said. Raitt is excited about being on the bill for this year's Lilith Fair -- the road show featuring women performers. ``Yeah, my guys were asking me if they had to wear dresses and stuff,'' Raitt said. ''Just to be able to hang with that many women acts on one bill seemed like one of the coolest things to be part of.''
Actors, Producers Reach Accord
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood actors and producers said Suday they tentatively agreed on a new contract, averting the first strike by actors in 18 years. Negotiators for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) -- the union representing actors -- and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, have been working on a new contract since Feb. 19. The talks initially had a deadline of April 2, but were extended as negotiations intensified. There were fears the industry could be paralyzed if SAG's more than 130,000 performers went on strike. An actors' strike could cost as much as $100,000 to $150,000 a day on a typical movie set, excluding major star salaries, said one producer who declined to be identified.