FLOOD THE ZONE Rags • Always bet on Kazakh: As Borat continued to pummel the competition at the box office—even as its star took a real pummelling in New York—it's worth noting not everyone foresaw the monster hit it would become. In this week's special movie issue of the New York Times Magazine, Jon Gertner looks at the business of making and marketing comedies and met with Fox's Tom Rothman to compare the film to Fox's upcoming blockbuster comedy Night at the Museum:
And what about "Borat"? Rothman sighed. It was still six weeks before the film would open, on Nov. 3, and he thought it would do well, but he could not forecast how well. "As a matter of fact, I could predict the ultimate gross of 'Borat' probably less well than any movie we have for the rest of the year."Entertainment WeeklyWhitney Pastorek
• Oldest diss in the book: Rush & Molloy report that President Bush took a subtle dig at 60 Minutes by referring to it as "a television newsmagazine" in his letter of tribute to the late Ed Bradley.
• Sibling rivalry: Bauer Publishing's sister publications, In Touch Weekly and Life & Style Weekly go head-to-head with competing he said/she said Reese Witherspoon/Ryan Phillippe covers. Who loses in the equation? Anyone who actually cares about Witherspoon and Phillippe.
• Pioneer woman: New York's Daily Intelligencer blog sent Mary Reinholz to the memorial service for trailblazing New Yorker and Village Voice writer and critic Ellen Willis, who died last week. The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones also pays tribute.