HITS Daily Double
In the NBA finals, the Mavs have jumped out to a dominating 2-0 lead over the Heat, who appear to have wilted, especially the once-dominant, now-shvitzing Shaq, while this morning, the U.S. face the Czechs in the first-round for soccer's biggest prize. But the big question remains, is Heather a ho?


Cars Tops Weekend Box Office, AFI, Cube and Yung Joc Jockey for Top Spot, Jersey Boys Takes Tony, Mavs Best Heat, World Cup Kicks Off
June is busting out all over for Pixar’s Cars, AFI, Jersey Boys, the Dallas Mavericks and World Cup Soccer.

As we head into the summer, with schools out and execs heading for the Hamptons, here at HITS it’s business as unusual. In the NBA finals, the Mavs have jumped out to a dominating 2-0 lead over the Heat, who appear to have wilted, especially the once-dominant, now-shvitzing Shaq, while this morning, the U.S. face the Czechs in the first-round for soccer's biggest prize. But the big question remains, is Heather a ho?

Pixar’s animated Cars collected an estimated gross of $62.8 million this weekend, far and away the leader at the box office, but shy of the $70 million scored by its predecessors, 2004’s The Incredibles and 2003’s Finding Nemo. It is the first Pixar release since the animation studio was purchased by Walt Disney Co. for $7.4 billion earlier this year. Analysts expect the movie to ultimately gross $250 million to $300 million in the U.S. and Canada, and as much as $700 million worldwide. 20th Century Fox's horror remake of The Omen grossed an estimated $15.5 million, finishing fourth. Universal Pictures' surprise hit The Break-Up slipped 48% to $20.5 million at #2. Fox's X-Men: The Last Stand was third at $15.6 million, becoming the first movie to top $200 million this year in the U.S. and Canada, with a cumulative gross of $201.7 million. An estimated $156 million worth of tickets were sold, an 8% increase from the same weekend in 2005. Year to date box office is running 5% ahead of 2005.

Meanwhile, Jersey Boys, a show about the '60s pop group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons became the first so-called “jukebox musical” to win a Tony Award for best show over The Drowsy Chaperone, which received its U.S. premiere at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theater last November. Jersey Boys, which originated at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse, also earned Best Actor (John Lloyd Young) and Featured Actor (Christian Hoff). The original cast album is available on Rhino Records. The dramatic categories at the Tonys were dominated by The History Boys, a U.K. import which took six awards, including best play and actor for Richard Griffiths as a schoolmaster preparing a group of teenage boys for high-pressure entrance exams for Oxford and Cambridge. The Color Purple’s LaChanze won for leading actress in a musical over a field that included Sweeney Todd’s Patti LuPone and The Dancer’s Life’s Chita Rivera.

Look for Interscope’s goth-rockers AFI, Lench Mob/Virgin’s Ice Cube and Bad Boy South/Atlantic rapper Yung Joc to be the three leading newcomers on this week’s HITS chart (watch the building album sales on this site to stay on top of developments). Retail reports over the weekend peg AFI’s Decemberunderground between 210-225k, with Cube and Joc vying for the three and four-spot in the 130-150k range. The Dixie Chicks, subject of a N.Y. Times analysis of their success despite a lack of radio airplay, should do around 175-185k. See the Wall Street Journal's take on the band's disappointing advance ticket sales for their upcoming tour here.

The N.Y. Times analyzes the record-shattering digital sales success of Shakira’s hit single, “Hips Don’t Lie” here, and details how online blog sites are stealing the tabloid’s thunder, and exclusive pictures of the new Brangelina baby, here.

Beyonce is holding open auditions for an all-female band at Center Staging in Burbank today from noon to 9 p.m. Musicians must be at least 18 and play drums, keys, bass, guitar, horns or percussion. All candidates must bring a headshot and resume and be prepared to perform “Work It Out” for a minimum of a one-minute solo. They must be able to play by ear as well as read music.

The Fuse network has finally found a way to garner ratings for music videos. They’ve added a striptease to the equation. The channel’s new Saturday late-night show Pants-Off Dance-Off features fans dancing to their favorite videos while taking off their clothes. The camera cuts away before dancers remove their underwear, but viewers are directed to Fuse's Web site to see more. Traffic on Fuse.com has shot up 300% since the series' April 18 debut (the exclusive "nude" portions of the online videos are blurred). The net has ordered a 30-episode second season, signed Full House’s Jodie Sweetin to host some best-of specials and is planning to take Pants-Off on the road to various college towns.

Tower Records could have a new owner sometime this week. A second round of bids on the music retailer, being shopped by the Houlihan Lokey investment bank, has reportedly solicited five offers, all from private equity firms. One of them is HM Capital, formerly known as Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the firm that is believed to have placed the highest bid the last time Tower Records was being shopped, in the summer of 2004, when the board decided not to accept any offers.

The U.K. tabloids are reporting that Macca’s soon-to-be ex, Heather Mills, was a “high-class call girl,” who peddled sex to infamous Saudi-born arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi on a number of occasions for up to 10,000 pounds a night. The claims come just days after pictures of her posing naked for a pornographic German book were unearthed. Her lawyers insist the allegations are groundless. See the article here.

The Johnny Rockets faux ‘50s restaurant chain is hooking up with Cornerstone Promotion to connect their catalog of classic rock and roll and Motown music with current-day rockers, hip-hop artists and pop stars, featuring an online experience showcasing a comprehensive genealogy of current popular music in the form of an interactive display patterned after a traditional subway map that links today's artists to those that influenced them. Additional elements of this campaign will include custom iMixes complied by music experts featuring current artists alongside the classic artists who influenced them, free music downloads, radio, and online contests. The new branding initiative will launch this month at www.Johnnyrockets.com. The promotion will be supported by free music download cards which will be distributed to consumers at select retail outlets, special events, radio and online promotions.


In 1965: The Queen of England awarded The Beatles the title of Member of the Order of the British Empire. John Lennon later returned his in protest of the Vietnam War.

In 1965: Sonny and Cher made their television debut on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

In 1985: David Lee Roth confirmed he was leaving Van Halen.

In 1987: After a month-long investigation, the Los Angeles coroner concluded that blues singer Paul Butterfield died from ingesting a mixture of drugs and booze.

In 1992: In court, New Kids on the Block’s Jordan Knight and Danny Wood were cleared of copyright infringement for using a chorus previously recorded by Percy Sledge.

In 2000: Bruce Springsteen performed his police-shooting song “American Skin” at Madison Square Garden, where it was met with a smattering of boos and cries of “Bruce.”

In 2003: Metallica topped the American album chart with St. Anger, their first album in six years.

In 2003: 50 Cent and Nate Dogg topped the singles chart for a fourth straight week with "21 Questions."

In 2004: Courtney Love surrendered to police after being charged with assaulting a woman with a flashlight and a bottle at her ex-boyfriend's home in April. She was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and was released on bail.

In 2004: 50 Cent stormed off stage at Hot 97's Summerjam concert at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, after chairs were thrown during his set when he dissed headliner R. Kelly and old foe Ja Rule in a videotape shown on the big screen.