News In Brief


industry sources insist there's no need for alarm. But just as statistics show the world's appetite for chocolate is growing at 3 percent a year - far faster than it's being produced - comes word that shortages and higher prices may be less than a year away. It seems a fungus that attacks cocoa trees, coupled with the effects of El Nio, is threatening the supply of beans from which the sweet stuff is made.


OK, one more update on "Baywatch." But this is positively the last! As cited in this space twice recently, the internationally popular TV series has been - um - making waves all the way across the Pacific in its search for a permanent new home - from southern California to Australia, then to Hawaii, then Australia again - leaving a trail of angry beachfront residents, anguished politicians, and offended union leaders in its wake. Well, now the issue appears finally to be settled. The series will be taped on location in ... Hawaii.

'Matrix' registers success at movie-theater box office

"The Matrix," a special-effects-laden action movie, had the most-successful opening so far this year, grossing $27.8 million over the Easter weekend. "10 Things I Hate About You," an updated, teen-centered version of the Shakespearean classic "The Taming of the Shrew," was a distant second. "The Out-of-Towners," a loose remake of the 1970 comedy about an out-of-town couple in New York, came in third. Two Oscar winners remained in the top 10: "Shakespeare in Love" and "Life Is Beautiful." Reported grosses for top films at North American theaters April 3-5:

1. "The Matrix" $27.8

2. "10 Things I Hate About You" 8.3

3. "The Out-of-Towners" 8.2

4. "Analyze This" 6.3

5. "Forces of Nature" 6.2

6. "EDtv" 4.4

7. "Shakespeare in Love" 3.1

8. "Doug's 1st Movie" 3.0

9. "Life Is Beautiful" 2.7

10. "The Mod Squad" 2.6

- Exhibitor Relations Inc./AP

Compiled by Robert Kilborn

and Lance Carden

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