MOVIESBorn to Be No. 1: Oliver Stone’s...

Arts and entertainment reports from the Times, national and international news services amd and the nation's press


Born to Be No. 1: Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” murdered the box-office competition over the weekend. The new Warner Bros. release starring Juliette Lewis and Woody Harrelson opened in the No. 1 spot with a $10.6-million gross, according to early industry estimates. Paramount’s “Forrest Gump” dropped to second with $9.9 million. “Gump” has taken in a whopping $222 million to date. In third was the other Paramount powerhouse, “Clear and Present Danger,” with $8.2 million. New Line’s “The Mask,” was fourth with $5 million, and another New Line film, “Corrina, Corrina,” starring Whoopi Goldberg, came in fifth with $4 million despite being shown on only 698 screens. “The Mask” was on 2,516 screens.


Shazam, an Injunction: Magician David Copperfield’s secrets are safe for the moment. The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles last week issued a preliminary injunction against writer Herbert Becker and his publisher, Lifetime Books, in their attempts to reveal the secrets of Copperfield’s magic tricks in a book. The court ordered that the book manuscript’s chapters regarding the secrets be sealed, pending further court action. In addition, the court said that the author and publisher have no right to use Copperfield’s photograph or name in connection with the book. Copperfield called the court decision a victory for magicians everywhere.


Lloyd Webber vs. Dunaway: Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is considering a countersuit for defamation against Faye Dunaway, who is suing him after being dropped from his musical “Sunset Boulevard” in Los Angeles. Lawyers were to have met with Lloyd Webber and executives of his Really Useful Group during the weekend to consider how to respond to the lawsuit from Dunaway, who is seeking damages for breach of contract, fraud and defamation. Sir Andrew and the Really Useful Group issued a statement that said: “We will take the severest action against her insulting, damaging and defamatory remarks.”

Reaction to Voight: Jon Voight’s socialite business partner, Laura Pels, says his breach-of-contract lawsuit against her is a preposterous allegation flowing from a soured film venture. The actor filed the lawsuit Aug. 15, saying she backed out of a multimillion-dollar movie deal when he refused to get romantically involved with her. The two had formed Jon Voight Productions last year as full partners. Pels’ spokesman said the romantic overtures were made by Voight.


Cross-Cultural Beethoven: One thousand U.S. and Japanese singers will perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 8. The classic symphony is known as “Daiku” in Japan, where it is sung regularly by huge choruses. Many of the Japanese singers participating in the Bowl event are from Sumida, a suburb of Tokyo, which hosts its own “Daiku” concert annually. At Sumida’s last such concert, in February, more than $10,000 was collected from both singers and audience for victims of the Northridge earthquake.



House of Showcase: Five unsigned American bands chosen by Soundcheck--the Yamaha Music Showcase, which gives new bands exposure, will showcase their music tonight at the 8th annual National Soundcheck Finals at the House of Blues in Hollywood. The finalists: the Monets from Los Angeles; Day by the River from Miami; Love Riot from Baltimore; Iris Anvil from Kansas, and Caroline’s Spine from Cardiff, Calif. The bands will be vying for the grand prize, which includes consultations with record industry execs and the chance to represent the United States at the third annual MusicQuest, the International Pop and Rock Showcase ’94 in Japan on Oct. 10. The House of Blues event is open to the public.


Comedian Rich Little will record a live album featuring some of his famous impressions at the Ice House in Pasadena tonight in two shows at 7:30 and 9 p.m. . . . Tony Curtis, 69, and his fourth wife, Lisa Deutsch Curtis, 32, cited irreconcilable differences in divorce papers filed Friday in Los Angeles. . . . “General Hospital’s” Genie Francis and Jonathan Frakes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” are the parents of a baby boy, Benjamin Ivor Frakes. . . . Broadcasting executive Ted Turner announced at a graduation ceremony Saturday in Atlanta that he has a minor skin cancer on his lip, then left, saying he was scheduled for surgery. Turner, 55, was to give the keynote commencement address at Georgia State University, where his daughter Jennie was graduating.