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Friday, 19 March, 1999, 14:21 GMT
Chinese unimpressed with Disney's Mulan
Mulan
Mulan gets a cool reception in her homeland
Disney's Chinese epic Mulan has proved to be a flop with audiences in the animated heroine's birthplace, according to reports.

The cartoon closed in Hunan province after taking just $30,000 at the box office in three weeks, China's official Xinhua news agency says.

The agency described the legendary heroine as "foreign-looking" in her Disney incarnation and said the heroine's mannerisms were too different from the Mulan of Chinese folklore for viewers to recognise.

In Shanghai, only 200,000 of the city's 14m population went to see the film, which was one of the most profitable movies in Disney history elsewhere in the world.

The poor performance is also blamed on bad timing, as the film was released just after schools re-opened.

With a population of more than 1.2bn, China represents one of Disney's biggest potential markets.

But relations between the two have been strained, particularly since Disney's release two years ago of Kundun, a movie about the life of the Tibetan spirital leader, the Dalai Lama.

Mulan is set to be released on 14 April in Beijing, but according to the Xinhua agency it is "unlikely to do well there either".


B*Witched in family battle for top spot

Bewitched
Bewitched: Going for a record
Irish pop act B*Witched could see their run of number one singles halted this weekend by their pals Boyzone.

Early sales figures show Boyzone's When The Going Gets Tough just ahead of the girl group's Blame It On The Weatherman, with around 1,000 sales separating the two.

B*Witched, whose twins Keavy and Adele are the sisters of Boyzone's Shane Lynch, shot straight to the top of the charts with their first three hits.

The foursome are now bidding to become the first band to debut at number one with their first four singles.

The Spice Girls went to number one with their first six singles, but their first - Wannabe - did not debut at the top.


Posh touch for Beckham's football boots

David Beckham
David Beckham was at his fiance's side during the birth
Posh Spice Victoria Adams' son Brooklyn is already following in his dad David Beckham's footsteps - after the soccer star had the boy's name stitched into his football boots.

Beckham, 24, had the Adidas factory stitch the name as a tribute to the baby, born to his fiancee two weeks ago.

His agent said: "He was just so excited - he thought it would be really nice to have Brooklyn's name in them."

"All the team only wear the same pair of boots three times, but I'm sure David will keep these because they are special."

Beckham wore the boots on Thursday when United secured a place in the European Cup semi-finals with a 1-1 draw at Inter Milan's San Siro stadium.


Star Wars chiefs enter publishing fight

The new Star Wars film will be released in Britain in July
Lucasfilm, the makers of the eagerly-anticipated new Star Wars film, is on the verge of a legal battle with an American book publisher.

George Lucas' company has filed a law suit against Little, Brown and Company after it published The Unauthorised Star Wars Compendium, by Ted Edwards.

A spokesman for Lucasfilm said: "Characters and events, as well as the name Star Wars, are Lucasfilm's valuable property."

"We can't sit back and let others tarnish, abuse or confuse the public about this property."

The first film in the new Star Wars trilogy will be released in the US on 19 May and in the UK in July.


Big-hearted Mick helps out schoolgirl

Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger: Impressed with Stacie's entrepreneurial skills
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger is helping a nine-year-old girl raise thousands of pounds for her school library.

Stacie French wrote to the rock veteran to see if he could assist in the fund-raising auction at Parcroft Junior School in Yeovil, Somerset.

She was amazed when a tour jacket from the Stones' 1997-98 world tour arrived through the post, signed by Jagger and the rest of the band.

The jacket will be auctioned along with other celebrity items collected by pupils, which include a book of Linda McCartney's photos donated by Sir Paul.

Stacey was thrilled with the donation, but admits she actually prefers B*Witched.


Cimino hired to make Brazilian epic

De Niro starred in Cimino's hit The Deer Hunter
Controversial director Michael Cimino has been hired to direct a Brazilian film, which is expected to be the most expensive in Latin American history.

The $25m film entitled 1500 will focus on the discovery of Brazil by the Portuguese. It is targeted for release next year, to tie in with the 500th anniversary of the event.

Cimino was director of Heaven's Gate, one of the most expensive flops in cinema history. His last film was the unsuccessful Sunchaser in 1996.

But Cimino is best known for his 1978 movie The Deer Hunter, which he conceived, directed, and produced, and which won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture.


Dr Quinn to be shot for the big screen

Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour returns for Dr Quinn film
CBS, the US TV network which cancelled its run of the show Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman, is to make a made-for-television film version with star Jane Seymour.

Dr Quinn and Sully - played by Joe Lando - face a personal crisis when their daughter is kidnapped.

The movie is currently shooting in Los Angeles and is expected to air in May.

Only one film has been commissioned so far, but reports say good ratings will mean more work for Dr Quinn.

Jane Seymour was nominated for an Emmy last year for her part in the series.


Actor Alfred to turn producer/director

British actor Alfred Molina has set up his own production company in Hollywood to allow him to branch out as a director and producer

"After 25 years in the business, the idea of just having the word 'actor' on my headstone doesn't thrill me and I've worked towards this for a long time," said Molina.

The actor is currently co-starring with Alan Alda in the Los Angeles production of stage play Art.

Molina will soon appear as Snidely Whiplash in the Hollywood movie Dudley Do-Right and has also landed the starring role in a new TV sitcom, Ladies Man.


Eagles to earn $7m for millennium gig

American supergroup The Eagles are expected to earn around $7m - about 4.4m - for their planned New Year's Eve concert in Los Angeles.

The 1970s country rockers - most famous for their hit Hotel California - are booked to mark the millennium at LA's Staples Centre.

Tickets for the show are reported be priced at $1000.

The 20,000-seater venue is still under construction but is due to open in October.

See also:

07 Dec 98 | Entertainment
Eagles fly high in Radio 2 chart
10 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Baby Brooklyn goes home
28 Feb 99 | Entertainment
Mulan bridges diplomatic divide
15 Mar 99 | Entertainment
New Star Wars trailer opens in US
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