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The Newsdesk 01.08.10 – Avatar Is Second Biggest Grosser; Soderbergh Lines Up Big Names for Knockout

• The first trailer for She’s Out of My League, a romantic comedy which finds Jay Baruchel wondering why a generic hot girl would ever give him the time of day.

Steven Soderbergh has lined up an ace cast for Knockout, a spy thriller starring mixed martial artist Gina Carano. Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Dennis Quaid have been enlisted to make Carano actually seem like an actress.

Avatar has surpassed Lord of the Rings: Return of the King to become the second-highest worldwide grosser of all time. We need a Na’vi/elf fight to decide this. At least both sides are good at speaking gibberish.

• Summit will release Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer this February.

Avatar could take the top spot at the box office for the fourth weekend in a row. Hey, don’t discount Leap Year. It could– OK, maybe it’s wise to discount that one. 



BIZ

Record Food Network Ratings Ease Pain of Cablevision Blackout

from Advertising Age – MediaWorks by ahampp@adage.com(Andrew Hampp)

LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) — The ongoing dispute over
subscription fees between Cablevision and Scripps’ HGTV and Food Network has
upset a lot of customers, but it hasn’t hurt advertisers — yet.

Justice Dept. to review Comcast, NBC Uni deal

from Hollywood Reporter by Associated Press

The Justice Department said Wednesday that it will be the
agency to scrutinize Comcast Corp.’s plans to buy a controlling stake in NBC
Universal’s broadcast networks, cable TV channels and movie studios.


FESTIVALS

Mariah Carey explains Palm Springs speech

from Hollywood Reporter by Associated Press

Mariah Carey jokingly blames her loony acceptance speech at
the Palm Springs International Film Festival awards on director Lee Daniels.


AWARDS

Cameron, Tarantino score Directors Guild nods

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By DAVID GERMAIN

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The science-fiction blockbuster
“Avatar” has earned James Cameron his latest nomination for the top
honor from the Directors Guild of America.


Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep on tap for SAG Awards

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep, George
Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Jane Lynch will take the stage at the Screen Actors
Guild Awards later this month.


“An Education” Leads BAFTA’s “Long List”; “Nine” Snubbed

from indieWIRE News

The “Long List” for the Orange British Academy Film Awards
in 2010 has been released this morning.


FILM

Daily Box Office: Wednesday, January 6, 2010

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

Avatar tops Wednesday’s box office with $6.9 million

Will 2010 be year Iraqi film rises from the ashes?

from CNN.com – Entertainment

Mohamed Al-Daradji has cut something of a lonely figure in
Iraqi cinema over the past seven years.

‘Avatar’ is No. 2 all-time worldwide grosser

from Hollywood Reporter by By Carl DiOrio

“Avatar” continues to outperform expectations

James Franco to play mountaineer Aron Ralston

From Entertainment Weekly’s News Briefs by Wendy Mitchell

James Franco is set to star in Danny Boyle’s mountaineering
film 127 Hours, Variety reports.


TELEVISION

Hasselhoff quits US talent show

from BBC News | Entertainment | World Edition

America’s Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff announces he is
leaving the hit show after four years, People magazine reveal.

Lindsay Lohan to front BBC show

from BBC News | Entertainment | World Edition

Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan will front a new BBC Three
documentary which will focus on child trafficking in India, it has been
announced.

Ryan O’Neal signs on to ‘90210’

from EW.com: TV

By Michael Ausiello
Michael Ausiello confirms exclusively actor’s on board to play the super-famous
movie star father of Trevor Donovan’s Teddy


MUSIC

Swift has year’s top album; music sales up 2.1 pct

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By NEKESA MUMBI
MOODY

NEW YORK (AP) — Susan Boyle put up a strong challenge, but
Taylor Swift ended 2009 with the year’s best-selling album.

‘TiK ToK’ still No. 1 on U.S. record chart

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 7 (UPI) — Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” is
No. 1 on the U.S. record chart for a third week, Billboard.com reported
Thursday.

 

Underwood to guest-star on TV’s ‘Mother’

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 7 (UPI) — Country singer Carrie Underwood
has signed up to guest star on the U.S. comedy series, “How I Met Your
Mother,” CBS said Thursday.

Madonna Working With Kanye West’s DJ On Next LP

from MTV News

Singer is also working with David Guetta, and even Pearl Jam
producer Brendan O’Brien on yet-untitled project.

3 More Sundance Films Set for Immediate VOD Debut

from indieWIRE News

Three more films
from this month’s Sundance Film Festival will have an immediate VOD debut out
of this year’s event. Coming to Rainbow Media’s Sundance Selects label (run by
IFC Films)  during the Sundance fest are Michael Winterbottom and Mat
Whitecross’s “Shock Doctrine,” Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie’s “Daddy Longlegs”
(formerly known as “Go Get Some Rosemary”), and Daniel Grau’s “Les 7 Jours du
Talion” (7 Days).

Sundance ’10 | Alex Gibney Talks Scandal with Doc Competition
Film “CASINO JACK”

from indieWIRE News

Oscar-winner Alex
Gibney (“Taxi to the Darkside”) returns to Sundance with his latest film,
“CASINO JACK & The United States of Money,” a world premiere screening in
the festival’s U.S. Documentary Competition. The film is a portrait of
disgraced Washington super lobbyist Jack Abramoff beginning with his early
years as a “gung-ho” member of the GOP political machine to his final reckoning
as a disgraced, imprisoned pariah

Stewart Nusbaumer: New York Films Going to Sundance

from Entertainment on HuffingtonPost.com by Stewart
Nusbaumer
It’s inching closer. Only two weeks and then the nation’s premier showcase
for independent films, Sundance. One hundred and eighty-nine features and
documentaries and shorts and animations, the cream of the film crop, America’s
and the world’s cream, for ten days to vibrate the brain and jolt the emotions.
Forget Hollywood, and Bollywood, soon it will be quality time!

 

Sundance ’10 | “Bhutto” Producer Duane Baughman on His Portrait
of the Fallen Leader

from indieWIRE News

Duane Baughman
produced upcoming Sundance U.S. Documentary Competition feature, “Bhutto” –
directed by Johnny O’Hara, (whose film, “Fields of Fuel,” won the 2008 Sundance
Audience Award) and co-directed by Jessica Hernandez a veteran television
editor. The film turns the spotlight on the assassinated former Pakistani prime
minister with “exclusive interviews from the Bhutto family and
never-before-seen footage.

Sundance ’10 | “The Oath” Director Laura Poitras On Her
Portrait of Post-9/11 America

from indieWIRE News

Director Laura
Poitras’ documentary “The Oath” is the second installment in a planned trilogy
that includes her previous film “My Country, My Country” (2006), which was
nominated for an Academy Award, Independent Spirit Award, and Emmy Award. “The
Oath,” which is screening as part of the Sundance Film Festival’s U.S.
Documentary Competition, “is the interlocking drama of two brothers-in-law, Abu
Jandal and Salim Hamdam, whose associations with al Qaeda in the …

Sundance ’10 | “Blue Valentine” Director Cianfrance On the
Film’s 11 Year Road

from indieWIRE News

Filmmaker Derek
Cianfrance returns to Sundance with his U.S. Dramatic Competition film, “Blue
Valentine,” described as an “intimate, shattering portrait of a disintegrating
marriage.” Cianfrance won the Cinematography Award (Dramatic) for “Streets of
Legend” in 2003 and directed 1998’s “Brother Tied.” Cianfrance gave iW some
quick comments about his film,  which will have its world premiere later
this month at the festival.



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