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Skyfall Has Best 007 Opener of All Time

11 November 2012 2:04 PM, PST

Four years is quite the hiatus, but super-slick British secret agent James Bond (a.k.a. Daniel Craig) is still in tip-top shape. Skyfall has already trounced Quantum of Solace as the biggest 007 opener of all time, raking in an impressive $90 million this weekend. It pulled in a similar amount in its third weekend overseas, putting its global haul north of $500 million. "This is absolutely the biggest-grossing 007 movie ever in the string of films since 1962," Deadline's Nikke Finke announced, cheering up countless studio executives at Sony and MGM, whose bankruptcy almost scuppered the 007 franchise. In non-Bond news, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln is also off to a strong start, pulling in $900,000 despite showing in just 11 theaters. »

- Andre Tartar

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Paul McCartney Was Almost in a Horrible Helicopter Crash

11 November 2012 1:00 PM, PST

Back in May, the former Beatle and his current wife, Nancy Shavell, narrowly avoided disaster when the pilot of their Sikorsky S-76C became "disoriented" in bad weather, sending the helicopter plunging toward the trees surrounding the couple's home in East Sussex, reports the Daily Mail. Luckily, the pilot managed to right the aircraft at the very last second — when they were just two feet away from the treetops — and everyone was fine. Still, the episode was bad enough to attract the attention of the UK's Department of Transport, which is now investigating it as a "serious incident." The paper claims that McCartney and Shavell "were unaware how close they came to crashing" prior to the report, which seems unlikely. Either way, that is definitely no longer true.  »

- Caroline Bankoff

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Your Sunday Long Reads: Truman Capote, Marlon Brando, Cyndi Lauper, and How Daniel Craig Saved James Bond

11 November 2012 9:35 AM, PST

It's Sunday afternoon, or: your last chance to read all that stuff you meant to read last week before Monday brings a new deluge of things you will want to read. Below, some of our recommendations: "How the Bond Franchise Almost Died" by Stephen Galloway (Hollywood Reporter): Back in early 2010, 007 was on his deathbed as MGM decided to pull the plug on Skyfall. Luckily, a last-ditch resuscitation effort by Daniel Craig kept the franchise from going under. "In Cold Type" by Douglas McCollam (Columbia Journalism Review): A profile of Truman Capote's 1957 profile of Marlon Brando for the New Yorker."Medium Uncool: The CD Turns 30" by Pitchfork Staff (Pitchfork): A celebration of the compact disc in all its burned, scratched-up glory.  "He's So Unusual" by Jane Marie (The Hairpin): A writer interviews her uncle about his days as Cyndi Lauper's hair and makeup guy. "Philip »

- Andre Tartar,Caroline Bankoff

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Saturday Night Live Recap: Rihanna Is Beautiful Like Fractals in the Sky

11 November 2012 8:30 AM, PST

I've never quite understood why Anne Hathaway is such a divisive figure in popular culture, but ever since that regrettable gig hosting the Oscars two years ago, the community of Hathaway haters has crystalized. I guess because she comes off as very actressy? I can see that. I love when the show runs just slightly short and the host and cast are left with more time than usual for the goodbyes at the end; it can be a window into performers' real, unrehearsed personalities. Hathaway's brand of vamping involved a lot of breathless "I can't believe this is my Life!" stuff, calling Rihanna a "goddess," thanking the NBC pages, et cetera. It can be hard to take that brand of performative humility at face value. I tend to find her whole persona endearing, like when she thanked Katie Holmes and Claire Danes, I guess to stave off awkward interactions at »

- Joe Reid

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Selena Gomez Dumped Justin Bieber Over ‘Trust Issues’

10 November 2012 1:51 PM, PST

Hey kids! The 20-year-old Wizards of Waverly Place star is done with Justin Bieber. While this may not surprise (or even bother) many jealous Beliebers, it caught many tabloid observers off guard. "She broke up with him about a week ago," a source told People. "With them being apart so much it got complicated. She had some trust issues. It's not easy, but the relationship needed to end." Now, "trust issues" here just be a euphemism for 19-year-old Victoria's Secret model Barbara Palvin, who's now been sighted at least twice with the Biebs. »

- Andre Tartar

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Mick Jagger's Handwritten Love Letters to the 'Brown Sugar' Girl Could Be Yours

10 November 2012 12:30 PM, PST

Marsha Hunt is a onetime singer, Hair star, and current Jimi Hendrix biographer, but she's best known for her months-long affair with Mick Jagger, a relationship that inspired "Brown Sugar" and resulted in now 42-year-old Karis Jagger Hunt. In return, Jagger wrote Hunt 10 love letters from the set of his 1970 film Ned Kelly, which include reflections on Yoko Ono and John Lennon, as well as song lyrics. Apparently, Hunt isn't too sentimental about the notes, as she's set to sell them at a Sotheby's auction in London next month. They're expected to fetch up to $110,000, so anyone interested on Mick's take on whether Yoko really destroyed his competition should start counting that couch change now.  »

- Andre Tartar

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Sony Already Working on Hotel Transylvania 2

10 November 2012 11:30 AM, PST

With its Halloween blockbuster Hotel Transylvania scaring up nearly $138 million in domestic box office sales so far (and some $253 million globally), Sony Pictures Animation is betting that it has a new money-minting franchise on its hands. A provisional release date for Hotel Transyvlania 2 has already been set for September 15, 2015, though The Hollywood Reporter says that little else has been settled. The first thing they'll need is a director, as Genndy Tartakovsky is now signed on for Sony's upcoming Popeye project. »

- Andre Tartar

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Chelsea Gallerists on Hurricane Sandy's Damage and Their Reopening Plans

10 November 2012 11:00 AM, PST

Hurricane Sandy devastated Chelsea’s galleries, many of which are located in Flood Zone A. Thousands of soiled artworks have been shipped off to conservators; many were soaked beyond repair. Gallery spaces, befouled by Hudson River water, required new walls and floors; basements full of inventory were totally flooded. At press time, many galleries were still without heat or electricity. Here, a few gallerists detail the damage they sustained and their plans for reopening.1. Printed Matter, Inc. 195 Tenth Ave.Damage: Six feet of water destroyed approximately 90 percent of the basement inventory. “We triaged the books: ‘beyond repair,’ ‘possibility,’ ‘safe,’ ” says associate director Max Schumann. Estimated loss: $200,000.Reopened: Since the ground floor was spared, the shop is open. “But Chelsea has been dead.” 2. Jack Shainman 513 W. 20th St.Damage: Three feet of water in the basement. “We have a lot of photographs, which can always be remade,” says associate »

- Miranda Siegel

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Ten Pop Culture Questions Answered by Vulture This Week

10 November 2012 9:00 AM, PST

Every week, Vulture faces the big, important questions in entertainment, and comes to some creative conclusions. This week, we overanalyzed that new Les Miz trailer so that we might tell you right now who will be collecting the Oscar this year, and, just for you, tracked down who would be writing the next Star Wars movie. We also pondered who to hold responsible for bringing back The Killing for a third season, and who to congratulate for wanting to relaunch Boy Meets World. In case you missed them, here are the conclusions we came to on these and more pressing questions.Q: Who’s going to breathe life into the kids of Han Solo and Princess Leia? A: Sources told us exclusively that Michael Arndt, who wrote the screenplays for Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine and the upcoming Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, will be writing Star Wars: Episode VII. »

- Vulture Editors

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Sally Field Spent a Decade Getting Into Character for Lincoln

9 November 2012 4:34 PM, PST

Sally Field knits her brow into those famous migraine furrows, 66 years deep, trying to decide whether to judge a book by its cover. Through tortoiseshell bifocals, she studies a $50 copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy with an unremarkable cover but vivid Gustave Doré illustrations inside. A salesman here at Argosy Books, the midtown mecca of rare editions, is trying to up-sell the two-time Academy Award winner. He doesn’t recognize the intermittent leading lady, the long-ago Gidget and flying nun, and the co-star, with Daniel Day-Lewis, of Steven Spielberg’s new biopic Lincoln. She plays First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln—famously sharp, obstinate, and batty. “It’s pretty, but it’s not antique,” the salesman says of the Dante book. She asks what else he has of The Divine Comedy or another bucket-list read, Don Quixote. He shows her a four-volume set of the ­latter that blooms in scaly, multicolored paisley—H. »

- Boris Kachka

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Oscar Futures: Where Will the Chips Fall for Skyfall?

9 November 2012 3:00 PM, PST

Every week between now and January 10, when the nominations are announced, movies and stars will help themselves — or sometimes, hurt themselves — in the Oscar race. Vulture's Oscar Futures will listen for insider gossip, comb the blogs, and out-and-out guess when necessary to track who's up, who's down, and who's currently leading the race for a coveted nomination.Let's check out the chart: »

- Kyle Buchanan

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Rosemarie DeWitt and Patton Oswalt Are Joining The Newsroom

9 November 2012 2:15 PM, PST

Deadline reports Rosemarie DeWitt and Patton Oswalt will be joining the cast of The Newsroom next season. Oswalt — who is going from fan to cast member, as he did with Justified — will play Jonas Pfeiffer, the new V.P. of human resources at Acn, while Rosemarie Dewitt will play a litigator who is tasked with defending the network in a wrongful termination suit. Both better be practicing their exaggerated reaction faces. »

- Jesse David Fox

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A Third Bridget Jones Book Is Happening

9 November 2012 1:45 PM, PST

… so you will at least have something to read as you are sitting around waiting for news about Bridget Jones’s Baby (just make that already!). Helen Fielding promised a third Bridget Jones book for next fall; she’s kind of stingy on the details, except to say that Bridget has joined Twitter. Which: Of course she has. Bridget Jones basically invented Twitter. (V. obv.) »

- Amanda Dobbins

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James McAvoy Replacing Joel Kinnaman in WikiLeaks Movie

9 November 2012 1:00 PM, PST

Variety reports that James McAvoy is in talks to star alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in Bill Condon's WikiLeaks movie, replacing the previously rumored Joel Kinnaman (back to the drawing board, slash-fictionists). McAvoy is circling the part of Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Julian Assange's one-time right-hand man, who eventually grew wary of Assange's power hunger. You'd think after Atonement that McAvoy would've learned not to trust that handsome, winter-green-eyed devil. »

- Jesse David Fox

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Gossip Girl Recap Recap: Sloppy Seconds

9 November 2012 12:30 PM, PST

This week, we learned that the path to “maturity” in the Upper East Side is an incredibly nauseating one. (Serena realizes that her vitamin-selling boyfriend hooked up with her own mother — but proceeds to sleep with him anyway.) In other slightly less horrifying news, DHumps continues to be his atrocious self (a wanna-be Truman Capote), trading in his Muppet hair for an obscene display of chest bush puffing out from his salmon pink shirt; Vitamin King is appalled to learn that Serena slept with his high school daughter’s boyfriend; Bart, per usual, sabotages a harmless soul; and Chair becomes a well-oiled horse-tracking detective duo. Commenters reeled at Dan’s sex tape raccoon hair; cringed at Queen B’s entire looks and line choices (Blair would never use the term “airing out her pits”); and pleaded for Chair to stop behaving like a repressed married couple. Most popular observation: Lily »

- Julie Ma

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The Star Market: Is Javier Bardem Ready to Conquer Hollywood?

9 November 2012 12:20 PM, PST

The most remarkable thing about seeing Javier Bardem in Skyfall — and there are several things to choose from, including his performance, his shock of blond hair, or the fact that he doesn't even appear for the first time until an hour into the movie — is that he's in Skyfall at all. A world-famous Oscar winner, Bardem rarely appears in studio movies, though he'll certainly flirt with them: The list is long of the big movies he was attached to and then parted ways with, including Minority Report, Nine, and Ron Howard's long-gestating Dark Tower project. Still, does his high-profile villainy in a James Bond picture signal that Javier Bardem is finally ready to play ball with Hollywood? To find out how the town regards him, we polled industry insiders to ask one simple question: If Javier Bardem were a stock, would you buy, sell, or hold?Stock History: Bardem »

- Kyle Buchanan,Claude Brodesser-Akner

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Watch the Week in Viral Videos

9 November 2012 12:15 PM, PST

Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, as has Mitt Romney. But you know what lasts forever? Clickables — morsels of weird, wonderful, webby goodness that don’t let anything get in their way, including hurricanes, electricity outages, and Joe Biden. Needless to say, between all the zeitgeist-crushing topics dominating water-cooler conversation over the past week, it was a challenge to get a word in edgewise, at least on YouTube. But, fear not: We’ve done the job for you. This week’s ten best viral videos bring us burgers in space, Barack’s best dub, and Baby Looney Tunes making a comeback, now with attitude. »

- Eliot Glazer

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Marion Cotillard Is Not a Big Katy Perry Fan

9 November 2012 11:45 AM, PST

In Rust & Bone, Marion Cotillard plays a ­killer-whale trainer who loses her legs when one of her orca routines goes tragically wrong. It's an intense scene in an intense movie. But what's truly noteworthy is that the routine-gone-wrong is conducted to Katy Perry's "Firework." Honestly. And so at last night's Cinema Society screening, Vulture asked Cotillard what she thought of the song choice. "I think it’s a good choice for such a horrific event. It's very expressive." Okay, but is the song ruined for her now? Like, while the rest of us hear it and think of showing them what we're worth — does she hear it and think of whale attacks? "Well, I’m not a big Katy Perry fan," she said, "but the song had a big impact on me. Now when I hear it, I feel uncomfortable. It makes me, not exactly sad, but it’s »

- Jamie Sharpe

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CW Picks Up a Full Season of Beauty and the Beast

9 November 2012 11:20 AM, PST

Matt Zoller Seitz wrote in his review of the CW's Beauty and the Beast: "If it can hang around for a while, devise a style that matches its story, and tap its stars’ sincerity, it could become a cult hit: perpetually underrated but loved." So, it is with the deepest pride and greatest pleasure that the CW has decided to pick up a full season order of Beauty and the Beast, after airing only five episodes. Last night's episode was up 9 percent from the week before and it's made fans shout "encore" and "send us out for more." »

- Jesse David Fox

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Find Out What a Screw-In Coffin Is

9 November 2012 11:15 AM, PST

Donald Scruggs is a mad scientist. Well, technically, he's a "chemical engineer," and has already designed something called a "dual-flush toilet kit," to which we say: ... okay! Just on the tail end of Halloween, Scruggs has come up with something called a "screw-in coffin," which is basically a quirky, Sharper Image–type coffin that screws into the ground. Scruggs claims it's really no different from "putting a fence post in," except for the whole dead body thing. »

- Eliot Glazer

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