'Ride Along' makes Kevin Hart No. 1

Posted: January 21, 2014

PHILADELPHIA'S KEVIN HART is the new king of comedy.

"Ride Along," his buddy cop comedy with Ice Cube debuted with a staggering $41.2 million, according to studio estimates yesterday.

The strong opening for the movie marks the biggest debut for a film released during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and puts it on track to top the $40.1 million record set by 2008's "Cloverfield" for the biggest opening of January.

"Ride Along" is the first starring role for Hart, whose box-office status has been on the rise since the success of his 2013 stand-up film "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain" and memorable stints in such movies as "Think Like a Man," "This Is the End" and "Grudge Match."

"He's everywhere it seems," said the ubiquitous Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "There's no question he's a movie star now who doesn't require any qualifications before his name."

TV show sure to get Pan

Following up on the success of "The Sound of Music" last month, NBC said yesterday that it will broadcast a live version of "Peter Pan" in December.

It will be produced by the same team, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, that made "The Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood. That live musical reached 19 million viewers, surprising even NBC entertainment president Robert Greenblatt.

No cast members were announced yesterday.

"I have some dream choices, but I don't want to talk about it before approaching them," Greenblatt said.

Tattle thinks Kristen Bell would make a great Peter.

"Peter Pan," which opened on Broadway in 1954, has a strong history with NBC. The network aired a live broadcast of the show from its own studios in 1955 with Tony Award-winner Mary Martin in the title role and most of the original Broadway cast, reaching 65 million viewers. That was a record for television at the time.

NBC broadcast the show live again in 1956 and 1960, and it was the first broadcast of a musical on color TV.

TATTBITS

Tamela Mann won seven awards including top honor artist of the year at the Stellar Gospel Music Awards.

Mann broke down in tears as she spoke with the audience during the 29th annual ceremony at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. She also won major awards female vocalist and CD of the year for "Best Days."

Kirk Franklin's "Take Me to the King" was named song of the year, Tye Tribbett took male vocalist of the year and Tasha Cobbs won three awards including new artist of the year.

Hezekiah Walker and Anthony Brown & Group therAPy matched Cobbs with three wins apiece as well.

The two-hour awards were hosted by Sherri Shepherd and Rickey Smiley and broadcast on the Up Network.

Juan Pablo Galavis, the hunky, lunkhead star of "The Bachelor" made anti-gay comments that drew a swift rebuke from ABC and an apology from the bachelor himself on Saturday.

Juan Pablo told thetvpage.com that he didn't think a gay or bisexual bachelor would set a good example for kids. Galavis also told the site Friday that gays were more "pervert, in a sense," adding that he could be mistaken.

(He's certainly mistaken if he thinks ABC is going to be airing "The Gay Bachelor" anytime soon.)

On Saturday, Galavis posted an apology on Facebook, saying he respects gay people, has gay friends, including one "who's like a brother," and regrets using the word "pervert." Galavis, who is Latino, blamed that latter word choice on the fact that English is his second language, after Spanish.

Uh, yeah. Because in Spanish the word is pervertido.

"What I meant to say," he said, meaning what ABC meant for me to say, "was that gay people are more affectionate and intense and for a segment of the TV audience this would be too racy to accept. The show is very racy as it is and I don't let my 5-year-old daughter watch it," the single dad from Miami wrote online.

Seriously? Does anyone let their 5-year-old daughter watch "The Bachelor"? We hope not.

Madonna was also apologizing this weekend. Her transgression was using a racial slur on Instagram referring to her white son with a variation of the N-word.

On Friday night, Madonna posted a picture of her 13-year-old son, Rocco, boxing and included the comment, "No one messes with Dirty Soap! Mama said knock you out!" (Insert N-word here.)

She quickly deleted the comment when outraged Instagram users berated her, and was initially defiant. But in a statement to the Associated Press on Saturday, a contrite Madonna said: "Forgive me."

"I am sorry if I offended anyone with my use of the N word on Instagram. It was not meant as a racial slur. I am not a racist. There's no way to defend the use of the word. It was all about intention," she said. "It was used as a term of endearment toward my son who is white. I appreciate that it's a provocative word and I apologize if it gave people the wrong impression."

Nothing makes a white kid feel more loved than calling him a [bleep], especially on MLK Day.

Correction

There's one thing that always lets us know people are still reading our column: We make a mistake.

The mistake was in our photo of Meek Mill. Numerous readers commented that the person identified as Mr. Mill was not him. Some readers claimed it was an Atlanta-based rapper named Rocko. On behalf of photo and the copy desk and the wire service which incorrectly captioned the photo, we apologize.

Meekly.

- Daily News wire services contributed to this report


Email: gensleh@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5678

Twitter: @DNTattle

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