- May 19th, 1998
'TITANIC': A NEW ENDING
Get ready to laugh about the shortage of lifeboats. There's to be a movie spoof of "Titanic" from Pat Croft, the same writer of the parodies "Naked Gun" and "Hot Shots!" The $25 million film "Titanic Too -- It Missed The Iceberg" will start shooting later this year for a release in early 1999. Producers are hoping to have Priscilla Presley and David Hasselhoff star.
- May 7th, 1998
LEO, KATE WIN BEST 'SNOG'
They may not be the Oscars, but the second annual "Foster's Can Film Awards" -- named for an Australian lager popular in America -- sure has some great-sounding categories. As announced by Aussie hunk Ingo Rademacher (who stars on American TV's "General Hospital") in Hollywood Wednesday, the prize for Biggest Cack (translated: Best Comedy) of 1997 went to "Liar Liar," Favorite Snog (sex) Scene went to Leo and Kate in "Titanic" and Biggest Fizzer (most boring) went to "Speed 2: Cruise Control." Winners were selected by an opinion survey of more than 1,000 Americans. The trophy depicts a Foster's can sitting atop a reel of film.
- April 16th, 1998
The makers of the Hollywood blockbuster "Titanic" marked the 86th anniversary of the night the mighty ship sank by apologizing to a Scottish town for turning its hero into a villain, reports Reuters. Scott Neeson, vice-president of 20th Century Fox, went to Dalbeattie to deliver a personal apology to the 80-year-old nephew of William Murdoch, first officer of the Titanic. The Oscar-winning movie showed Murdoch taking a bribe, shooting a third-class passenger who tried to fight his way into a lifeboat and then turning his gun on himself. But he is described by historians as having done his utmost to save passengers as the liner sank after hitting an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912.
- March 30th, 1998
OSCAR MEANS MONEY
Buoyed by its 11 Oscars, "Titanic" docked at No. 1 for a record 15th week as the musical "Grease" failed to slide the box-office behemoth out of the top spot, according to industry estimates. "Titanic" earned $16 million to raise its North American tally to $516 million. "Grease," in a 20th-anniversary re-issue, opened with a healthy $13 million in receipts, according to Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. The movie's star, John Travolta, also headlines in the third-place film "Primary Colors," which grossed $7.3 million in its second week. "Titanic" star Leonardo DiCaprio also was in the No. 4 movie, "The Man in the Iron Mask," which took in $6.6 million in week three.
- Other Oscar-winners got box-office boosts, too. "As Good As It Gets" (with Best Actor Jack Nicholson and Best Actress Helen Hunt) and "Good Will Hunting" (Best Original Screenplay by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) tied for sixth place with $4.3 million each. The gross for "As Good As It Gets" was up 32% over the previous weekend, while the take for "Good Will Hunting" jumped 7%. New releases fared poorly, however. "The Newton Boys" (with Matthew McConaughey) grossed only $4 million; "Ride" rang up $2.6 million, and Disney's "Meet the Deedles" did $2.2 million.
- March 26th, 1998
'TITANIC' STILL A GAMBLE
Hollywood has its Oscar-laden movie, Broadway has its Tony-laden musical and now the most nefarious sea disaster in world history has inspired a permanent "Titanic" exhibit at the Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Mississippi, 35 miles south of Memphis. The casino's operators bought the remnants of the blockbuster movie's sets (including the entire stern) and have transported them to their site -- where the sets are being equipped with special visual effects that will simulate the sensation of the famous moment when the great ship went down. The sightseeing attraction opens April 14, 1998 -- 86 years to the day from when the real tragedy took place.
- March 24th, 1998
A 'TITANIC' NIGHT
In a ceremony that ran half an hour longer than the movie "Titanic" itself, Monday night's 70th annual presentation of the Academy Awards honored the popular three-hour, 14-minute sinking-ship romance with a near-record 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, tying it with the 1959 Biblical spectacle "Ben-Hur." One of the major awards that might have gone to the sea-faring epic -- Best Supporting Actress -- slipped away from the anticipated sentimental-favorite, 87-year-old Hollywood veteran Gloria Stuart, and went instead to an obviously stunned Kim Basinger, for the period mystery "L.A. Confidential." Accepting her golden statuette, an elegant-looking Basinger, overcome with emotion, declared, "I'd just like to thank everybody I've ever met in my entire life." Overall, despite the evening's length (which, in Hollywood terms, lasted longer than a face-lift operation but was 30 minutes shorter than a tummy tuck), the Oscarcast had its memorable moments. Among them:
- A hyper-active Robin Williams ("Good Will Hunting") took control of the stage to accept the Best Supporting Actor award as, on the TV monitor, his chief competitor, Burt Reynolds ("Boogie Nights"), looked visibly displeased. "This must be the first time in my life I'm speechless," said Williams of winning. Backstage, he referred to his new possession as "the golden dude."
- "Good Will Hunting" Original Screenplay award winners -- and longtime buddies -- Ben Affleck (who did most of the talking for the duo) and Matt Damon shouted their thanks into the microphone as the names of those they wanted to acknowledge just seemed to pop into their heads. "Whoever we forgot," cried Damon, "we love you!" Both guys came to the ceremony with their moms.
- The evening's host Billy Crystal delivered an hysterically funny opening with a film montage that lampooned the top contenders. He then sang a medley that parodied the Best Picture nominees. "The Full Monty" take-off was to the tune of "Hello, Dolly!" while "Titanic"'s was to the theme of "Gilligan's Island." (The "skipper" was James Cameron.)
- In other Crystal bull's-eyes: "Matt Damon looks so young his results were tabulated by Fisher Price-Waterhouse" and "[Warren Beatty] comes from a family that features eight generations of actors -- seven of them his sister Shirley [MacLaine]."
- For nostalgia buffs, every living Oscar-winning actor (who showed up) was introduced on stage, alphabetically from Anne Bancroft to Teresa Wright. The biggest hand went to Shirley Temple, who looked as awed last night as she did in the film clip of her acceptance six decades ago.
- Triple-crown winner James Cameron, the producer, director and editor of "Titanic," raised more than a few eyebrows by asking for a moment of silence for the lost victims of the 1912 sailing disaster -- then admonished the crowd to "party till dawn!"
- So it remained for veteran showman Stanley Donen, 73, who received an award for lifetime achievement, to show Hollywood how to put on a show. The man who directed Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling ("Royal Wedding"), Gene Kelly slushing in street puddles ("Singin' in the Rain") and Audrey Hepburn on a fashion runway ("Funny Face"), clutched his special Oscar to his face and sang "Cheek to Cheek" to it -- and brought down the house. Best of all, his routine came in at under three minutes.
Complete List Of Winners
- BEST PICTURE: "Titanic."
- DIRECTOR: James Cameron, "Titanic."
- ACTOR: Jack Nicholson, "As Good as It Gets."
- ACTRESS: Helen Hunt, "As Good as It Gets."
- SCREENPLAY (written directly for the screen): Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, "Good Will Hunting."
- SCREENPLAY (based on material previously produced or published): Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson, "L.A. Confidential."
- SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Kim Basinger, "L.A. Confidential."
- SUPPORTING ACTOR: Robin Williams, "Good Will Hunting."
- FILM EDITING: "Titanic."
- ORIGINAL SONG: "My Heart Will Go On" from "Titanic," James Horner and Will Jennings.
- ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE: "Titanic," James Horner.
- ORIGINAL MUSICAL OR COMEDY SCORE: "The Full Monty," Anne Dudley.
- ART DIRECTION: "Titanic."
- CINEMATOGRAPHY: "Titanic."
- VISUAL EFFECTS: "Titanic."
- COSTUME: "Titanic."
- SOUND EFFECTS EDITING: "Titanic."
- SOUND: "Titanic."
- MAKEUP: "Men in Black."
- FOREIGN FILM: "Character," The Netherlands.
- DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: "The Long Way Home."
- DOCUMENTARY (short subject): "A Story of Healing."
- LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: "Visas and Virtue."
- ANIMATED SHORT FILM: "Geri's Game."
- HONORARY AWARD: Director Stanley Donen.
- GORDON E. SAWYER AWARD: Don Iwerks, co-founder of Iwerks Entertainment, for accomplishments in the field of motion picture science and technology.
- SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL AWARD: Gunnar P. Michelson, developer of an advanced electronic light valve for machines that strike movie prints.
- March 13th, 1998
'TITANIC': MAKING MORE WAVES
There's a new Titanic on the horizon. Variety reports that the Samuel Goldwyn Co. has acquired the North American rights to distribute Spanish director Bigas Luna's French-language fantasy romance "The Chambermaid and the Titanic," with plans to release it come spring. The Spanish-French-Italian-German co-production stars Romane Bohringer, Olivier Martinez and Aitana Aanchez Gijon. Variety's reviewer calls the picture "stylish and intelligent" but thinks its "relative sobriety could catch audiences unawares." The story centers on an affair between a foundry worker and a ship's chambermaid on the eve of the great ship's sailing. Because it focuses on the pre-voyage, the film does not have the same inevitable ending as the James Cameron blockbuster, said John Manulis, Goldwyn's head of production and acquisition.
- March 10th, 1998
"Titanic" will soon break the record for North American box office gross (held by "Star Wars", $461 million).
- Meanwhile, "Titanic's" worldwide gross has already surpassed $1 billion!
- So far, more than 10 million copies of the Original Motion Picture
Soundtrack for this landmark film have been sold worldwide, with music
composed and conducted by James Horner.
- March 9th, 1998
COMEDIES DROWN 'TITANIC'
"As Good As It Gets" and "The Full Monty" upstaged "Titanic" at Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild's main awards. Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt were named the year's best actors for "As Good As It Gets" (they are both Oscar-nominated for those same roles). "The Full Monty" was honored for the best ensemble performance -- the closest award SAG gives to best picture. The only "Titanic" award was the best supporting actress prize that 87-year-old Gloria Stuart, a SAG founder, shared with Kim Basinger of "L.A. Confidential." Robin Williams won as best supporting actor for "Good Will Hunting." Elizabeth Taylor, recently hospitalized after a fall (she was released Sunday), was given a SAG lifetime achievement award in absentia. Gregory Peck collected her plaque .