Mar 10 - The day's top showbiz news and headlines including Sean Penn visits Caracas, Judi Dench gets an Olivier nomination, and ''Noah'' gets an early ban in some Arab countries. Bob Mezan reports.
Sean Penn was in Caracas where he met with Venezuela's president, Nicolas Maduro. Penn accompanied Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe in a visit aimed at commemorating the one-year anniversary of the death of Hugo Chavez. Judi Dench is among the acting nominees in the running for this year's Olivier Awards - the U.K.'s top theater honor. Dench is nominated for her role in the play "Peter and Alice." Also getting a nod was Jude Law, who's being recognized for his work in "Henry V." The awards will be handed out in London on April 13. The action film "300: Rise of an Empire" fought its way to 45 million dollars in ticket sales to win the weekend box office race. Set in ancient Greece, the film is a blood-splattered sequel to the 2006 blockbuster "300." It far exceeded predictions, which estimated the film to open in the 35 to 40 million dollar range. The film added another 88 million from foreign box offices, bringing its global haul to more than 132 million. In other movie news, three Arab countries have banned the Hollywood film "Noah" on religious grounds even before its worldwide premiere. According to Paramount Pictures, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE confirmed this week that the film will not release in their countries. Several other Arab countries are expected to follow suit. The film, which stars Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins, premieres in the U.S. on March 28.