box-office charts

TOP 10 UK

TOP 10 LONDON GROSSERS: Films

1. Men in Black

CRITIC'S CHOICE: Films

1. The Full Monty

CRITIC'S CHOICEPeter Conchie

1. Grosse Pointe

TOP 10 GROSSERS

1. Men in Black

ON FILM: TOP FILMS

TOP 10 GROSSERS

POP & JAZZ: THE CHARTS

SINGLES CHART

`Men in Black' sets box office record

The sci-fi action comedy Men In Black has broken British box office records in its opening weekend, makers Columbia Tristar claimed yesterday. The film starring Will Smith (left) and Tommy Lee Jones as men "protecting the Earth from the scum of the universe", took pounds 7,066,748 at the turnstiles up to Sunday night.

The man in black is laughing

Walter Parkes had spent the morning with his family at the Tower of London. "I introduced my five-year-old to the concept of beheading," he said with a grin as we sat in a room of his suite in a quiet hotel in Knightsbridge. It was an unintentionally apt remark, because as one of Hollywood's leading movie executives, the 46-year-old Parkes knows more than most that getting the chop is all part of the game. But at the moment he's flying high. He and his wife, Laurie MacDonald, were recently appointed as heads of the motion pic- tures division of DreamWorks, the company set up by Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg. More to the point, they also produced Men In Black, which opened in this country on Friday and will undoubtedly be this summer's blockbuster.

Cinema: It's an alien nation all right

Paranoia is last year's kick. The notion that sinister government agencies are in cahoots with aliens and have pirated their technology for state ends is such a widely touted theory that only Paul McKenna still considers it sexy. This is certainly a good thing. Area 51, Hangar 18 and assorted Roswelliana make seductive TV, but they also allow Americans to excuse themselves from taking responsibility for the governments they elect. If there is a smorgasbord of pickled alien DNA stored in the Pentagon, or if there are black-suited, Ray-Banned agents rubbing out Mulders and Scullies who know too much, then all political action is pointless. So drama about state sponsored UFO-abduction is more about comfort than terror: as for the idea that people get the governments they deserve, now that's terrifying.

Film: An alien act

Men in Black Barry Sonnenfeld (PG)

There's no business like UFO business

As The 4th of July holiday got under way this weekend, America was caught in a rush of alien fever. On Mars, Nasa successfully landed the Pathfinder probe, hoping for fresh evidence that the Red Planet could support life. Thousands of people jammed remote Roswell, New Mexico, for the 50th anniversary jamboree of the supposed crash landing of an alien craft. In Los Angeles, meanwhile, "Tony", a woman caller to one of the countless radio shows on UFOs, came up with a bizarre new twist by insisting that the US government was planting Hollywood science fiction films to soften us up for fresh revelations about extra-terrestrial life.

US storms back to the last frontier

Mars landing sparks patriotic new interest in space journeys, both real and slightly fictional

Words of the Week: The girl should be Grace but she is in Monaco being a Princess

Evan Hunter, aka Ed McBain, wrote the screenplay for the film `The Birds', starring Tippi Hedren, right. He discussed the movie - and Alfred Hitchcock - with Sheridan Morley, at the National Film Theatre

Cinemas enjoy blockbuster year

ENTERTAINMENT
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices