What the Phuket: Rihanna flirts with furry primate

Posted: September 24, 2013

WHILE MOST pop stars were rocking out at the iHeart Music Festival, in Las Vegas, the Music Midtown Festival, in Atlanta, or Farm Aid, in upstate New York, Rihanna spent a weekend at the beach in Thailand, leaving behind a trail of racy tweets and incriminating Instagram photographs that led police to arrest two men for allegedly peddling protected primates.

On a break from her Diamonds World Tour, Rihanna stopped at the Thai island of Phuket, where she posted a link on Twitter to an Instagram photo that showed her snuggling up to a furry primate called the slow loris, and tweeted Friday: "Look who was talkin dirty to me!"

The slow loris, a squirrel-like animal with big eyes, is native to Southeast Asia and is listed as a protected species.

"Phuket authorities were alerted to the picture [of Rihanna], and last night police arrested the two individuals who brought out the loris as a photo opportunity for tourists," a Phuket district chief, Weera Kerdsirimongkon, said by telephone yesterday.

Police confiscated two lorises from the pair who could face charges of possession of protected animals. The charge carries a penalty of up to four years in prison and a $1,300 fine.

Rihanna also posted pictures of herself playing with a herd of elephants in the street Friday night, after which she tweeted: "They all hail Empress when She walk by."

Huge Jackman

The more adult-oriented fall moviegoing season got off to a strong start over the weekend, as the Hugh Jackman kidnapping drama "Prisoners" opened with a box office-leading $21.4 million, according to studio estimates yesterday.

Following the robust business for " Lee Daniels' The Butler" (now up to $106.5 million), the large audiences turning out for adult fare bodes well for Hollywood's coming awards season.

Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., said the audience for "Prisoners" was 74 percent under the age of 50, with only 8 percent under 18. The film, he noted, was launched "very similarly" to Warner Bros.'s October-released "Argo," which, like "Prisoners," premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and then the Toronto International Film Festival.

In limited release, two other adult-oriented films opened well. Ron Howard's Formula One tale "Rush" opened in five theaters with a $40,000 per-screen average. And the romantic comedy "Enough Said," which co-stars James Gandolfini in one of his final performances, opened in four theaters with a per-screen average of $60,000. Both films expand to Philadelphia this week.

* Hugh Jackman didn't just help the box office for "Prisoners," he helped sell tickets for the historic Metropolitan Theater in Iowa Falls, which reopened Saturday.

Hugh's invitation to Iowa came from John Whitesell, a retired attorney from Iowa Falls who bought and restored the theater. Whitesell's son is Jackman's agent.

Hugh and his family spent much of the day in Iowa Falls, including doing some fishing in a city park.

He later greeted hundreds of people outside the theater, which was showing two of his movies, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported. He even sang briefly.

Whitesell said that he had memories of the theater back to his childhood and he couldn't let it close.

"When a town loses its theater, that's a blow," Whitesell said. "I couldn't see that happen, not in my town."

That's also how some people feel about a town's newspaper.


* Now that the Walt Disney Co. has Pixar, Marvel and "Star Wars," something had to go and that something looks like it's Jerry Bruckheimer.

The prolific, 69-year-old producer, who's made Disney gazillions with the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise and two "National Treasure" films, will end his first-look deal with the studio at the end of this contract.

"Jerry is one of the most respected and prolific producers working in the motion picture industry, and we have had an incredibly successful collaboration over the past two decades, and he is a friend to many of us here at Disney," said Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a statement.

Disney said that it will keep working with Bruckheimer on the fifth installment of "Pirates of the Caribbean."

As for that sequel to "The Lone Ranger" . . .

To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee is at odds with a museum in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala.

She is seeking to trademark the words "To Kill a Mockingbird" when they are used on clothing.

The Monroe County Heritage Museum is opposing the application, contending that the sale of "Mockingbird" souvenirs is vital to its continued operation.

Lee's attorney, Robert Clarida, says that the 87-year-old author has never received a penny from the museum's sale of T-shirts, caps and other souvenirs.

The museum's director and attorney say that the museum has been one of Lee's biggest supporters, with an exhibit dedicated to her. They are hoping that the legal dispute can be settled without damaging that relationship.

Ship. Sailed.

* The bad news is that the revenge thriller "Fatal Attraction" is going to be unnecessarily turned into a play, with a production opening in London's West End early next year.

The good news is it won't be a musical.

Producers announced Friday that former Royal Shakespeare Company chief Trevor Nunn will direct the drama, based on the 1987 potboiler starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close.

The movie's screenwriter, James Dearden, will write the stage version - and it will not be ignored.

- Daily News wire services contributed to this report

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