‘SideShow': Studios suspend box office report; Where is Katherine Jackson??;

Posted: July 24, 2012

No official box office figures this weekend. In an unprecedented gesture of compassion, the major studios agreed not to release weekend grosses in light of the Aurora, Colo., shootings, which took place at a Century 16 Theater and had, at the time of this writing, claimed 12 lives. Warner, home studio of The Dark Night Rises, was first to go mum; it also canceled red-carpet Dark Knight openings in France, Japan, and Mexico. Other studios followed suit and withheld box office numbers.

Ah, but the walls will fall, and the New York Times did get some Moviedom Insiders to smuggle out some approximate figures. Seems Dark Knight did win the box office race, with $162 million in sales, down from an expected $190 mils, although in the circumstances, impressive. And, heck, that would place it third all-time for three-day-weekend openings, behind The Avengers ($207.4 mils) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($169.2 mils). According to the Times, Dark Knight dwarfed and belittled the rest of the weekend's offerings. The top five was rounded out by: (2) Ice Age: Continental Drift, $21 mils; (3) The Amazing Spider-Man, $11 mils; (4) Ted, $10 mils; and (5) Brave, $6 mils.

Three Dark Knight stars — Christian Bale, SideShow favorite Anne Hathaway, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt — jetted back to L.A. from the canceled Paris premiere. Missing? Found? What?

Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael and Janet Jackson, was reported missing in Los Angeles on Friday by nephew Trent. MJ's children have lived with Katherine since his death three years ago. But whaaat?, also on Friday, Jermaine Jackson tweeted that Katherine was "resting up in AZ on the orders of a doctor, not us." MJ's kids and sibs must not talk much, because on Sunday, Paris, Katherine's granddaughter and Michael's daughter, put out a tweet on Sunday: "yes , my grandmother is missing . i haven't spoken with her in a week i want her home now" and later, "if anybody sees my grandmother, please call the authorities." Sandra Ribera, Katherine's lawyer, issued a statement alleging nefarious underhandedness. Then L.A. police said Katherine was "safe" and with a "family member." The AP then said she was with daughter Rebbie in Arizona.

What's going on? A huge battle over Michael's will. Earlier this week, a letter signed by Janet, Randy, Tito, Rebbie and Jermaine Jackson alleged, in effect, that the will was a fake, that Katherine was being manipulated by the executors, John Branca and John McClain, and that she had suffered a mini-stroke. The will in question apparently says MJ's $$$ is to go into a family trust, and Katherine is to be guardian of MJ's children, Paris, Prince, and Blanket. Some reports say it stiffs the sibs, gives money to the kids, Katherine, and charities.

This article contains information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.

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