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March 7, 2000
Madonna fails to cast a spell, Kingsley goes unnoticed
Arthur J Pais
Yoga got shortchanged at the box-office in North America as The Next Best Thing opened in the second position but earning a paltry $ 6 million. Madonna played a yoga instructor in the film which cost a mid $ 30 million. Unless it becomes a big hit abroad, the film is going to be a loser.
Madonna returned to the big screen after three years following her impressive work in the musical Evita, which grossed a strong $ 120 million worldwide.
The Next Best Thing tells the story of a woman who is accidentally impregnated by her gay best friend and decides to keep the baby.
Ben Kinglsey (Gandhi and Schindler's List) had a bad box-office week. The Oscar-winner has not had a plum movie role in over seven years, even though he was outstanding in the Steven Spielberg movie that was a huge hit in Europe and a moneymaker in America.
Kingsley had a small role in What Planet Are You From? starring award-winning comedian Garry Shandling as an alien in search of a woman.
The $ 50 million film came down to earth with just about $ 3 million at the weekend.
"Kingsley is one of the greatest actors around but of late he has not made good career choices," says one Hollywood agent.
Meanwhile, the perennially popular The Sixth Sense is marching towards the $ 650 million benchmark. The big question is whether it will hit the $ 700 million jackpot. Some Hollywood experts believe it has not been able to capitalize on its multiple Oscar nominations.
"There is a perception that it is not going to win major Oscars," says one Hollywood insider. "Besides most viewers have seen it twice or thrice."
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