Money Matters - Simplified


'Tangled' takes over from 'Harry' at No. 1

Los Angeles -- The animated "Tangled," with the voice of Mandy Moore, was No. 1 at the U.S. box office during the weekend with $21.5 million.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" was No. 2 with more than $16.73 million, knocked down after two weekends at No. 1. "Burlesque," with Cher and Christina Aguilera, was No. 3 with $6.1 million.

All estimated gross receipts by the studios are via Box Office Mojo.

'Megamind' has mega-weekend

Los Angeles -- "Megamind," with the voices of Will Farrell and Brad Pitt, claimed No. 1 at the U.S. box office during the weekend with more than $30.05 million.

It was the animated film's second weekend atop the box office.

"Unstoppable," with Denzel Washington, was third with $23.5 million. "Due Date," with Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, was third with $15.53 million.

All studio gross estimates are via Box Office Mojo.

"Skyline" was fourth with more than $11.67 million; "Morning Glory" fifth with more than $9.62 million; "For Colored Girls" sixth with $6.75 million; "Red" seventh with more than $5.11 million; "Paranormal Activity 2" eighth with $3.05 million; and "Saw 3D" ninth with $2.75 million.

Betty White to play Mrs. Claus in special

Los Angeles -- U.S. actress Betty White is lending her voice to the character of Mrs. Claus in a new animated Christmas special, ABC said Tuesday.

The 7-minute short, "Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa," is to premiere Dec. 7 during the holiday classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

The second installment in the "Prep & Landing" series once again follows the comic adventures of Santa's stealthiest elves, Lanny and Wayne.

'Social Network' rules weekend box office

Los Angeles -- "The Social Network," the purported saga of Facebook with an ensemble cast, took the No. 1 spot at the U.S. box office during the weekend with $23 million.

The animated "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" was No. 2 with more than $10.85 million. "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" was third with $10.1 million.
All studio estimates are gross receipts via Box Office Mojo.

Ben Affleck's "The Town" was fourth with $10 million; "Easy A" fifth with $7 million; "You Again" sixth with more than $5.55 million; "Case" seventh with $5.35 million; "Let Me In" eighth with $5.3 million; "Devil" ninth with more than $3.67 million.

"Alpha and Omega" rounded out the top 10 with $3 million.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

PBS to animate 'Cat in the Hat'

New York -- Children know and love the Dr. Seuss book "The Cat in the Hat," but until now there's never been an animated children's TV series, his former editor says.

Starting Monday, PBS will begin airing a series based on Theodor Geisel's wildly popular children's book, calling it "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That," the New York Daily News reported.

Geisel's last editor, Kate Klimo, said the cartoonist accomplished his goal of encouraging children to read, and later wanted to help them learn about science.

"Ted wanted to deploy the Cat to turn kids on to science. His great fear was that American kids were falling behind the rest of the world," Klimo said.

Gervais to appear on 'Simpsons' again

London -- British comedian Ricky Gervais says he will play himself on an upcoming episode of the animated U.S. series "The Simpsons."

The creator of TV's "The Office" first appeared on "The Simpsons" as an office manager in 2006.

The BBC said his next appearance on the show is to air in early 2011 and will be timed to coincide with the next Oscars ceremony.

"I recorded it last week. Didn't mention it as I don't like to show off. You know that. It's a fun episode," Gervais told the comedy Web site Chortle.

Live-action 'Fairly OddParents' on its way

Burbank, Calif. -- Nickelodeon says it has green-lit a live-action television movie adaptation of its animated U.S. series, "The Fairly OddParents."

Marjorie Cohn, president of original programming and development at Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, said Friday "A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!" is to premiere next year.

Based on the hit series from creator Butch Hartman, the TV movie will combine live-action with computer-generated animation and follow the adventures of a now 23-year-old Timmy Turner who refuses to grow up so he can keep his attentive, magical fairy godparents.

Avatar to soon break top grosser record

Los Angeles, CA, January 18 -- Director James Cameron’s mega-budgeted 3D epic, Avatar, has grossed 1.11 billion dollars till now and is about to cross the record made by his previous blockbuster film, Titanic.