Celebrity Buzz: 'Dawn' opens amid high expectations; 'Glee'-related death

(Courtesy 20th Century Fox)

APE TALK: A lot of it, per the Los Angeles Times, “Highly evolved primates are set to unseat Optimus Prime and the Autobots at the top of the box-office charts this weekend. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," the 3D sequel to 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," should easily earn its place as the top-grossing movie at cinemas this weekend, continuing the strong draw for the rebooted franchise.

“Thanks to strong reviews, positive word of mouth and fondness for its predecessor, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" could gross $65 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada through Sunday, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys.”

MEANWHILE: High praise, per the New York Times, “. . . It’s a satisfying movie and an example — a dispiritingly rare one these days — of what mainstream Hollywood filmmaking can still achieve. That we have progressed from “Rise” only as far as “Dawn” suggests many future sequels, which may, in this case, be a source of hope as well as dread, provided that civilization doesn’t collapse in the meantime.”

ANOTHER GLEE TRAGEDY: Of Becca Tobin’s boyfriend, per The Insider, “Matt Bendik, the longtime boyfriend of Becca Tobin (who plays cheerleader Kitty Wilde on the Fox show), was found dead at the Monaco Hotel in Philadelphia on Thursday, the Philadelphia Police Department confirmed to The Insider With Yahoo. The 35-year-old nightclub owner was discovered by housekeeping at 12:56 p.m. and pronounced dead at 1:17.

"Bendik's cause of death remains a mystery pending an autopsy today by the medical examiner's office. According to the Philly PD, who would not comment on whether or not there were any drugs present at the scene, there were no obvious signs of foul play.”

GEORGE CLOONEY: Not backing down, per People, “Sorry, not sorry?

“That's true of Britain's Daily Mail, says George Clooney, who has rejected an apology from the paper over a story suggesting his fiancée's mother opposes their marriage and would prefer her daughter marry a member of the Druze religious group. The apology, says Clooney, is flatly disingenuous and only adds to the original offense.”

PLAYBOY: In several senses of the word, per Us Weekly, “Kendra Wilkinson may not be the Girl Next Door anymore, but she'll always have a friend in ex-love Hugh Hefner. As revealed exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly, the Playboy mogul has reached out to offer his support to Wilkinson, 29, amid the recent drama with her husband, Hank Baskett.
“Hefner, 88, has phoned the San Diego native several times since news of Baskett's alleged affair with transgender model Ava Sabrina London broke in June, a source tells Us.”

ACROSS THE POND: Of influences, per Rolling Stone, “Former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way detailed the heavy British influences of his forthcoming solo debut in an interview with NME, saying he was inspired by a litany of U.K. groups from Britpop era bands like Blur and Pulp to post-punk outfits like Wire and Gang of Four.”

FAST & FURIOUS: A bit too fast and a bit too furious, per TMZ, “A critical scene for the upcoming "Fast & Furious 7" came to a screeching halt Thursday ... after studio suits pulled the plug because it was just too dangerous ... too risky. Sources connected with the production tell TMZ ... the shoot was being prepped at the Willow Springs International Raceway near Palmdale -- 45 minutes from where Paul Walker tragically died.

“Members of the crew tell TMZ ... producers brought in drivers who are "authentic street racers" for the scene, where a souped-up yellow Chevelle races another car and dramatically pops a wheelie, as bystanders stand right by the track and cheer. A similar scene appeared in the first F&F. The scene was being prepped for several days. Vin Diesel and other stars were there. But just before filming, we're told the suits from Universal abruptly cancelled the shoot, saying it was too dangerous.”

KARDASHIAN ALERT: Sigh. . ., per Celebuzz!, “After being bombarded with nasty comments about her weight and fashion choices during her pregnancy, Kim Kardashian has quite the interesting advice for moms-to-be who are still trying to find maternity clothes to wear -- namely, just don't bother with wearing anything and just stay in your f**king homes. The reality TV star's latest interview with Elle magazine took a turn for the awkward when she told the reporter that pregnant women should "never leave the house." ’’

BEYONCE AND JAY Z: per Billboard, “HBO is expanding its partnership with Beyonce and Jay Z. The duo is teaming with the premium cable network to bring a concert special for their current worldwide On the Run Tour. Filming for the "On the Run Tour: Beyonce and Jay Z" special will be done during the Sept. 12 and 13 dates at Paris' Stade de France and will feature Beyonce and Jay Z performing more than 40 songs from their catalogue.”

DONE DEAL: She’s back, per Variety, “It’s official–Rosie O’Donnell will return as co-host of “The View” next season, according to ABC. O’Donnell will join moderator Whoopi Goldberg. ABC execs are in the midst of a extensive search for new producers to take the reins of “The View” as the show prepares to replace panelists Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, who recently exited the daytime program.”

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video.

--Skip Wood