Can Tina Turner work "Twenty Four Seven" for another career comeback? Watch this week for the 61-year-old pop legend to follow up Sunday's scheduled Super Bowl pregame performance with the release Tuesday of her 10th solo album, "Twenty Four Seven"--and the announcement on Thursday's "Oprah Winfrey" show of her upcoming U.S. tour dates. The new disc is already a hit in Europe--where it was released in October--and the song "When the Heartache Is Over" is getting airplay now on U.S. adult contemporary radio. Certainly the recent successes of Cher and Carlos Santana bode well for veteran artists hoping to add chapters to their success stories, but it will take more than that for Turner to score, says the president of her label, Ray Cooper of Virgin Records America. "The common link is that those artists and Tina have resonated over the decades and there is a tremendous awareness of them among the public," Cooper notes. "At the end of the day, however, it's a powerful single and dynamic video that matter the most." Momentum is also key, Cooper says, noting that the early release in Europe, the Super Bowl appearance and upcoming VH1 tie-in shows are intended to build a buzz for the album. Still, 40 years have passed since Turner scored her first hit ("A Fool in Love," with then-husband Ike Turner). And that may not be a strength in today's U.S. market, where youth pop holds sway. "For some audiences, there's a real question mark--is the new music released by an artist whose career spans decades still relevant?" Cooper says. So what's an artist like Turner to do? "On this album Tina collaborated with young producers and writers."
Trying to Scare Up Another 'Scream' Hit
Has the steam run out of "Scream"? In 1996, Miramax lit up the box office with a tongue-in-cheek horror thriller called "Scream," a film about a group of teenagers terrorized by a mad slasher who likes to taunt them on a cellular phone. Directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, the film playfully tweaked the slasher-horror genre and became an instant hit, taking in $103 million domestically. Its sequel, "Scream 2," was equally successful, grossing $101.4 million. Now, Craven is back with the third chapter, "Scream 3," which opens Friday. The film reunited Craven with "Scream" series stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox Arquette. The story picks up 3 1/2 years after Sidney Prescott (Campbell) leaves Windsor College for California. Her uneasy peace is shattered when terror erupts on the set of a Hollywood film called "Stab 3, Return to Woodsboro" and hotshot TV personality Gale Weathers (Cox Arquette) rushes to the crime scene as the ultimate expert on Woodsboro. But whether "Scream 3" is the hit its predecessors were remains to be seen. "I think this will be the make-or-break film of that series in terms of wanting them to continue," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. " 'Scream' sort of reinvigorated the teen-slasher genre, but tastes may have shifted to more cerebral horror movies like 'The Sixth Sense' and 'The Blair Witch Project.' " Miramax, which is releasing "Scream 3" under its Dimension Films banner, could use a big hit. The company, which operates as an independent banner in the Disney empire, has only had three films gross more than $100 million since 1997: "Scream 2," "Good Will Hunting" and "Shakespeare in Love." One of its current films, "The Talented Mr. Ripley," which Miramax co-produced with Paramount Pictures, has done reasonably well to date, taking in about $70 million. The jury's still out on "The Cider House Rules," which has so far grossed $15.5 million but hopes to get a boost from Academy Award nominations. Miramax releases from earlier in '99, such as "Walk on the Moon" ($4.7 million), produced lackluster results.
--Compiled by Times staff writers