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Entertainment News Bits: Box Office dilemma, James Cameron & the Comcast-NBCU Deal

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Sequels stumble at the Box Office

The four-day Memorial Day weekend was no thriller at the Box Office, and that has sparked a lot chatter about whether moviegoers are growing weary of the sequels. Ticket sales for the long weekend, $184.2 million compared to $213.8 million for the same holiday weekend last year. Many critics are putting the blame for this year’s disappointment on the weak performance of the sequels.

The animation “Shrek Forever After” held onto the number one ranking, for a second week at the domestic Box Office, with a haul of $57 million.

Second place went to the new action adventure, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” which racked up $37.8 million. The flick, based on a video game, is about a prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop a sandstorm that could destroy the world. Jake Gyllenhaal stars, along with Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley.

“Sex and the City 2” sashayed into third with a debut of $36.8 million. This sequel had a ton of buzz, got off to a fast start, but cooled somewhat over the long weekend. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, and Kim Cattrall star in another go-round of comedy, drama, and romance in the Big Apple.

 “Iron Man 2” landed in fourth with $21 million and “Robin Hood” scored fifth place with $13.4 million. More on the sluggish Memorial Day weekend Box Office and the struggling sequels on The Wrap.

Director James Cameron takes a meeting on that catastrophic oil spill

Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron joined 20 top scientists, engineers, tech experts, and  government officials yesterday to brainstorm on how to contain that huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Besides winning three Oscars  for the movie “Titanic” and producing other blockbusters like “Avatar,” Cameron helped design special underwater equipment to film a series of documentaries exploring shipwrecks in the ocean deep. So he might have some ideas on what to do about that six-week-old, oil disaster.

Southland hearing on the Comcast-NBCU deal

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing next Monday, June 7, at the California Science Center in Downtown Los Angeles, on the controversial Comcast-NBCU proposed deal.  The hearing is open to the public.

The Justice Department is looking into possible anti-trust implications of the union, while the FCC will determine if the $30 billion deal is in the public interest. Details on The Los Angeles Times website.

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