‘The Lorax’ jumps from page to screen

Dr. Suess tale “The Lorax” comes to the big screen this weekend with Danny DeVito voicing the tree-loving creature in the 3D movie version of the classic children’s book.   Distributor Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp, projects opening-weekend sales upwards of the $38 million domestic opening for the animated “Rango” during the same weekend last year.   The weekend’s other new wide-release movie is comedy “Project X” from Time Warner’s Warner Bros. studio, which forecasts $17 million to $19 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales from Friday through Sunday.   The film about three high-school students who try to throw a party to remember — and which proceeds to careen out of control — already took in $1.5 million at midnight showings early Friday.   Elsewhere, best-picture Oscar winner “The Artist” will expand to 1,756 theaters from 966, as independent film studio The Weinstein Co. tries to spin some of that Oscar gold into green.   Photo Credit: Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment.

Murphy’s ‘Tower Heist’ tries to steal box-office win

“Tower Heist,” an Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller comic caper, is poised to run away with the box-office crown this weekend.

Distributor Universal Pictures projects U.S. and Canadian ticket sales in the neighborhood of $25 million to $30 million for the movie about Manhattan high-rise residents who seek to recoup losses from a Wall Street swindler. That should beat the other big new release, the third installment from goofy, pot-smoking duo Harold & Kumar. “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” is expected to ring up $15 million to $18 million at domestic theaters, according to distributor Warner Bros.

The weekend also will determine if DreamWorks Animation’s two-week debut strategy pays off for “Shrek” spinoff “Puss in Boots.” The cat’s chart-topping $34 million in domestic sales last weekend failed to impress investors, who sent the company’s shares down nearly 8 percent on Monday. The studio planned a big push for the movie’s second weekend, given that Halloween activities occupied many families last weekend.

CW sticks with the young demo

katy perryThe CW network, the jointly owned venture of CBS and Warner Bros, was the last of the broadcasters to host its annual unveiling of new prime-time programming — otherwise known as the upfronts.  Judging from its programming schedule and slate of celebrity appearances, the folks at CW aren’t changing the formula of chasing young viewers.

Katy Perry was on hand at 11:00  this morning to kick off the program with two of her songs, “Hot N Cold” and “California Gurls” — which is going to be the CW anthem for its summer marketing campaign. Maybe it was the hour or the demographic, but audience members, many of whom were potential advertisers, sat during Perry’s performance. This  prompted her to admonish, “Is it too early for you to stand up on your feet and have some *!#$-ing  fun?” And then:  “Put your mother *!#$ hands up!”

With that, it was on the scheduling!

The CW introduced two new series. “Hellcats” is set to air on Wednesday nights at 9:00 p.m. EST right after “America’s Next Top Model” and stars Aly Michalka as  a pre-law student at a university located somewhere in the South. She lost her scholarship and turns to cheerleading when she learns the squad offers financial help. Ashley Tisdale of “High School Musical” is also in the show.