The Proposal took in $34.1 million this weekend, making it Sandra Bullock's biggest opening ever, according to the Associated Press.

The summer's first romantic-comedy hit made nearly double that of Bullock's previous best of $17.6 million for the 2007 thriller Premonition.

Bullock stars as a publishing exec who coerces her put-upon assistant (Ryan Reynolds) into a fake marriage so she can avoid being deported back to Canada.

While summer ticket sales are running even with last year's, analysts expect that should turn around this weekend with the debut of the sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which could deliver the year's first $100 million opening.

You mean we couldn't vote?

Mix American Idol with classical music and you get the Jose Iturbi International Music Competition.

But instead of endless airtime with Ryan Seacrest, these winners - Leah Crocetto, a 29-year-old first-year fellow with the San Francisco opera, and Dmitri Levkovich, a 29-year-old pianist from Ukraine - got $50,000 and then some.

The weeklong competition, which took place in L.A., is named for the renowned concert pianist who appeared in several MGM musicals in the 1940s.

Would you like a movie with that?

Netflix Inc., the bearer of good tidings with its ubiquitous envelopes, is seeing red.

Once just an experiment amid the burgers and fries at McDonald's restaurants, Redbox has emerged as the largest operator of DVD-rental kiosks, with more than 15,400 vending machines set up to dispense $1-per-day discs in supermarkets and discount stores.

Netflix isn't doing so bad itself as one of the few companies to prosper during the worst economy in 70 years. But the kiosks, which also lure budget-conscious consumers, seem to be catching on.

"By the end of the year, kiosks will likely be our No. 1 competitor," said Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings. "There are already more kiosks in America than video stores."

Neck-and-neck with Brangelina

Three-year-old Chifundo "Mercy" James flew from Malawi to London this weekend to join mom Madge, according to the AP.

The toddler will be joining the rest of the Material Girl's brood, which includes daughter Lourdes, 12; son Rocco, 8; and David, 3, also adopted from Malawi. Mercy's adoption became official June 12.

Madonna, 50, runs a charity that helps feed, educate, and provide medical care for some of Malawi's orphans.

Goodbye for good actors

West Wing actor Bradley Whitford and Malcolm in the Middle star Jane Kaczmarek are getting a divorce, according to their publicist.

The couple, who have been married for 16 years (or 916 in actor years), have three children. Kaczmarek currently stars as a judge on TNT's Raising the Bar. Whitford starred in a Broadway revival of Boeing-Boeing last year.

Get your Salvador here

Fifteen drawings Salvador Dali made for a dermatologist will be on exhibit for the first time at the University of Buffalo.

The artist gave the late Dr. Edmund Klein the personalized drawings as payment for treatment over nearly a decade, beginning in 1972. They will be on display for two months this summer.

Klein and his family stored the drawings in a bank vault. His widow, Martha, revealed their existence last summer.

This column contains information from Inquirer wire services.