FILM / Rushes

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The Independent Culture
Despite the Rank Organisation's insistence that its film interests are not up for grabs, rumours persist that the Pearson conglomerate will bid for Pinewood, the Odeon cinema chain, the UK distribution operation, the international film sales division and the film processing and video duplication operations. Warren Stein, Rank's Investor Relations manager, continues to dismiss the notion. 'As we announced in January, neither our film or television interests are for sale. There has been no formal bid. And reports of our debt load (allegedly dollars 1.53bn) are wrong.'

Still, the company's weakened condition is attracting predators. Daily Variety notes that David Frost, John Paul Getty II and Lord Rothschild are among the interested parties that bid arrangers Graham Bradstreet (ex- Working Title Films) and Ileen Masiel (ex-Paramount) have been talking to about raising cash for an assault.

Monster Numbers: As expected, Jurassic Park opened big in the US and devoured the competition. The Thursday night previews pulled in dollars 3.3m, overtaking the dollars 3.2m record set by Batman. The dinosaur pic's weekend gross topped dollars 50.2m - the biggest box-office debut of all time, again blasting the high- water mark established by a certain Dark Knight: Batman Returns generated dollars 47.7m last year. Devastating reviews for Schwarzenegger's The Last Action Hero promise Spielberg's monster a clear summer sweep, though it would be wise to recognise that Batman Returns, like Jurassic, was also expected to gross dollars 200m-plus domestically. It didn't.

Quote of the week: Michelle Pfeiffer addresses the 17th annual Women in Film luncheon: 'So] This is the year of the woman. Well, yes, it's actually been a very good year for women. Demi Moore was sold to Robert Redford for dollars 1m. Uma Thurman went for 40,000 to Robert De Niro. Why, just three years ago Richard Gere bought Julia Roberts for . . . what was it? Three thousand. I'd say that was real progress.' Indecent Proposal producer Sherry Lansing and Indecent Proposal star Demi Moore left the lunch early.

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