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The Newsdesk 02.02.09 – Summer Movie Ads Storm the Super Bowl; Patel to Star in Airbender

Land of the Lost, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Star Trek, Year One are among the summer movies that debuted teaser ads during last night’s Super Bowl.

• Lionsgate is in talks to purchase Summit Entertainment. Getting ready for a Saw/Twilight crossover…

• Liam Neeson took the top spot at the weekend box office with Taken. Sorry, Paul Blart, but no one messes with Liam Neeson. Or his daughter.

Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel is joining the cast of M. Night Shaymalan’s adaptation of the anime series Avatar: The Last Airbender.

• Martin Scorsese is looking to make Silence with Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro his next film. The story involves Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution in Japan. Will it be The Last Temptation of Christ meets The Departed?

• SXSW has unveiled their 2009 film schedule. The line-up includes comedies (I Love You Man), documentaries, and, of course, plenty of “mumblecore” films.



Biggest January ever for Hollywood

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Seeking some happy endings, consumers weary of the recession
hand Hollywood
a billion-dollar January. The action-thriller ‘Taken’ is tops for the three-day
period.  Hollywood
did its part to stimulate the economy last month, producing the first
billion-dollar January with an eclectic mix of films including the surprisingly
popular “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” comedy and the Clint Eastwood drama
“Gran Torino.”

Record $1 Billion January Box Office — But Don’t Tell SAG!

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

Usually, my email is over-flowing with news of box office
records no matter how obscure. But the compliant Hollywood
news outlets are hardly publicizing the latest big bold movie
precedent set this month. was first to spread the news
Sunday: from January
1, 20
9 to February 1st, 2009, year-to-date North American
grosses were $1.028 billion.

Some showbiz firms hold on in tough times

from Movies

Despite the tough economic times, some in Hollywood are thriving, and a slim few might
actually be benefiting from recession-related shifts in consumer spending.


From the NFL to playing in Hollywood

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Once, football veterans were all over TV and films, bringing
their hard-hitting images with them. It’s a lot quieter presence nowadays.

Imax chief bullish despite recession

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By BRADLEY S.

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The CEO
of megascreen producer Imax Corp. said he was confident the movie business
would remain “fairly recession-proof” and that his company would
benefit this year from the release of the new “Star Trek” film and
the latest “Harry Potter” epic….

Lionsgate to Buy Summit Entertainment?

from /Film by

is reporting that Summit Entertainment is in negotiations to merge with
Lionsgate. According to the report, Lionsgate would pay Summit
an amount worth nearly two years of operation costs, in exchange for the rights
to Summit‘s
library of six films, a cable distribution deal through Showtime, and most
importantly, the rights to the Twilight franchise.

A Former MTV Executive Will Lead Oprah Network

from NYT > Television by By BRIAN STELTER

Christina Norman, a 17-year veteran of MTV Networks, will be
chief executive of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

New SAG committee meets Tuesday


Business News: John McGuire serves as chief negotiator —
The Screen Actors Guild is headed for another momentous week in the wake
of the firing of national exec director Doug Allen and replacing its
negotiating committee on Jan. 26.

Bizzers re-thinking career choices

from – Peter Bart

Peter Bart: Sherry Lansing leads career change pack — We’ve
all heard the legends, or at least their vague outlines: The CEO who drops dealmaking to become a therapist. The
studio chief who abandons movies to lead the charge on stem-cell research. The
agent who decides Broadway plays are more compelling than talent deals.


2009 SXSW Film Festival Announces Complete Line-Up

from /Film by
South By Southwest Film Festival has announced the complete line-up of films
for the 2009 festival which takes place March 13th to 21st in Austin, Texas.

Spike Lee doc makes cut on SXSW lineup

from Hollywood Reporter by By Jay A. Fernandez

Spike Lee, Sebastian Gutierrez, Kathryn Bigelow and Greg
Mottola will be representin’ at this year’s South by Southwest film festival in

‘Poppy’ picks up Santa Barbara fest award

from Hollywood Reporter by By Gregg Kilday

Benjamin Ross’ “Poppy Shakespeare” was named the
winner of the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema at the 24th annual
Santa Barbara International Film Festival.


Captures Super Bowl Weekend

from Box Office Mojo – Top Stories by by Brandon Gray

Taken grabbed an estimated $24.6 million to lead a solid
Super Bowl weekend box office, though most of the Oscar-nominated pictures

Minor bump for ‘Milk,’ ‘Reader’

from – Film News

Film News: Box office boost limited for best pic nominees —
While sustaining their target auds, Oscar best-pic contenders “Milk”
and “The Reader” did not gain B.O. momentum as they expanded
nationwide over the weekend.


‘Valkyrie’ repeats atop overseas boxoffice

from Hollywood Reporter by By Frank Segers

“Valkyrie,” which stars Tom Cruise as a rebellious
Nazi officer, has emerged as the No. 1 title on the international circuit for a
second consecutive weekend, taking in an estimated $18.6 million.


Clive Owen Talks ‘The International’

from Access Hollywood – Movies

Clive talks about the timeliness of this movie with the
economic crash that is being experienced around the world. Plus, why does he
have the reputation of being so prepared when he gets on set?

Naomi Watts Talks ‘The International’

from Access Hollywood – Movies

What was Naomi’s favorite part about working with Clive Owen
on their new thriller, “The International”? Plus, because Naomi had
just had a baby, did she find it more challenging to do the film?

Audiences love ‘Paul Blart’; security guards? Nah

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By DERRIK J. LANG

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Much like its goofy titular character,
“Paul Blart: Mall Cop” has defied expectations. The slapstick comedy,
which cost a mere $26 million to produce, is speeding toward the $100 million
mark following back-to-back weekends atop the box office….

Real mall cops don’t love ‘Paul Blart’

from Movies

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop” is a hit at the cineplex,
but real shopping-center security guards are less thrilled about the Hollywood comedy.


Slumdog Top Dog at DGA Awards

from E! Online – Movie News

There’s a reason oddsmakers don’t think Slumdog Millionaire
is an Oscar underdog. It’s not.  The India-set indie cemented its
front-runner status with a win tonight.

‘Slumdog’ scribes win Scripter Award

from Hollywood Reporter by By Borys Kit

Author Vikas Swarup and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Simon
Beaufoy won the 21st USC Scripter Award for Fox Searchlight’s “Slumdog

Is Slumdog a Victim, a User…or Citizen Kane?

from E! Online – Movie News

Move Over, Mickey Rourke’s Text Message: On Tuesday, the
London Telegrap stirred up the controversy of award season, reporting that two
young Mumbai-based Slumdog Millionaire stars “were paid less than many
Indian domestic servants,” and were “still liv[ing] in grinding

‘Slumdog Millionaire’: The love-it or hate-it ending

from Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar Watch by Dave Karger

Danny Boyle’s win at the Directors Guild Awards over the
weekend means Slumdog Millionaire is now only the fourth film to sweep the DGA,
PGA, SAG, Golden Globe, and Broadcast Critics prizes. The other three —
American Beauty, Chicago, and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
all ended up winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards.


‘Slumdog’ Star Dev Patel Joins Jackson Rathbone For ‘The Last

from MTV Movies Blog by Elisabeth Rappe

Dev Patel is on his way to becoming a real millionaire.
According to Variety, the “Slumdog Millionaire” star has just signed
onto M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action adaptation of “The Last
Airbender.” (Shyamalan has dropped “Avatar” from the title in
order to avoid confusion with James Cameron’s sci-fi film of the same name.)
He’ll be joined by Twilight’s Jackson Rathbone, and newcomers Noah Ringer,
Nicola Peltz, and Jessica Jade Andres.


Italian Writer Files Suit Against Benjamin Button

from E! Online – Movie News

If Benjamin Button traveled back in time just 15 years,
would he wind up in Italy?
An Italian woman filed a lawsuit on Friday claiming the 13-time Oscar-nominated
film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is based on a short story she wrote in
1994 called “Il ritorno di Arthur all’innocenza” (“Arthur’s
Return to Innocence”).

Chris Rock, ‘Good Hair,’ and the rise of black film in the age
of Obama

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Sean Smith

Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, won a Special Jury
Prize at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The film’s producer, Nelson
George, created this Sundance video diary about his experience at the festival:
screening the film to primarily white audiences

‘Kung Fu Panda’ tops 36th Annie Awards

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 (UPI) — The best animated feature of
2008 was “Kung Fu Panda,” ASIFA-Hollywood announced at the 36th
annual Annie Awards.


Morgan, Swank to co-star in ‘Resident’

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2 (UPI) — Jeffrey Dean Morgan has signed
on to reunite with his “P.S. I Love You” co-star Hilary Swank in the
New York-set thriller “The Resident.”

Cross: ‘Arrested’ film still a possibility

from Entertainment News –

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 (UPI) —
Comedian David Cross says there still appears to be a possibility of seeing a
film version of the defunct U.S. TV series “Arrested Development.”

‘Angelology’ picked up by Sony Pictures

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 (UPI) — Sony Pictures Entertainment
has purchased the film rights to “Angelology,” a novel about
destructive angel/human hybrids, industry sources say.

Giamatti comedy acquired by Samuel Goldwyn

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 (UPI) — The film studio, Samuel
Goldwyn, now owns the U.S.
rights to the film “Cold Souls,” a new comedy starring actor Paul
Giamatti, industry sources say.

Mickey Rourke to Gee Up for Broken Horses

from /Film by

The Gangster film Broken Horses is to be the
American film debut of Vidhu Vinod Chopra, and Indian director who
certainly likes to plan ahead. His official site lists no less than five
films.  Yahoo Movies India goes one step further by letting us know
Mickey Rourke has signed up for “one of the key roles”.

Will Robert Pattinson land lead in Kent State flick ‘Ohio’?

from Los Angeles Times – Celebrity News

The rest of the cast is rumored to include other hot male
stars Zac Efron and Justin Timberlake.

‘G.I. Joe’ Super Bowl Ad Kicks Off First Footage — Watch It

from MTV Movies Blog by Brian Jacks

It’s been nearly a year since we brought you the first image
of Channing Tatum in “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra,” and
now we have another first…the very first footage from Hollywood‘s ode to the iconic 80’s


David Carradine Contemplates ‘Kill Bill’ Anime Prequel And
Potential Sequels

from Splash Page by Brian Warmoth

It’s been six years since David Carradine’s voice first
introduced Quentin Tarantino’s title villain to audiences in “Kill
Bill.” When the blockbuster pair of films blew up at the box office in
2003 and 2004, the director said his next installment of “Kill Bill” would be 10 years
, but it’s also been reported that a potential anime prequel could be
in the works.


Super Bowl ratings down from last year’s high

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — Preliminary
Nielsen Media Research ratings show the Super Bowl’s audience was likely down
from last year’s peak, but about on par with the 2007 and 2006 games.

Go Daddy wins a Super Bowl advertising gamble

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — The Go Daddy
Web site’s “enhancement” ad with Danica Patrick was the most-watched
commercial in the Super Bowl.

Station says porn clip interrupts Super Bowl

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

PHOENIX (AP) — A Tucson television station
says its broadcast of the Super Bowl was interrupted for some customers by
about 10 seconds of pornographic material….

TV Review: NBC scores with Super Bowl

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By DOUGLAS J.

Nothing succeeds like excess for the network covering the
Super Bowl….

Defamer Rates The Super Bowl Movie Spots [Super Bowl]

from Defamer by Seth
In honor of Super Bowl/Puppy Bowl Sunday, we rate the commercials for studio
tentpoles running during the game. Much of this footage debuts in these ads.
And remember: Every 30 seconds cost $3 million.

Lars and the Real Girl director Craig Gillespie’s
Super Bowl Ad

from /Film by

After seeing the Wes Anderson-styled television
commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, I went on a mad search to try to
find out who directed it. Thankfully one of the crew members on the shoot
responded to my information request on Twitter (I’m loving twitter and
crowdsourcing more and more everyday). Turns out the spot was directed by Lars
and the Real Girl
director Craig Gillespie, who won a DGA Award for
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials in 2006.


CBS picks up arranged-marriage series

from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd

CBS is treading into potentially controversial reality TV
territory again. The network has ordered a new series from the producers of
“Top Chef” that puts lovelorn singles into arranged marriages.

Big pilot deals at ABC

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Jerry Bruckheimer, McG and Mark Gordon have landed pilots at

A debate over ABC Family values

from L.A. Times – TV News

Disney says shows like ‘The Secret Life of the American
Teenager’ are in sync with many families’ reality. Critics say such programs
don’t belong on a channel with the word ‘family’ in its name.

‘SNL’: Impeach Fred Armisen?

from Today’s Latest Headlines by Michael Slezak

Michael Slezak thinks the show that rocked pop culture with
Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin needs new Barack Obama

‘Project Runway’ Season 6 still tied up in court

from L.A. Times – TV News

While lawyers tailor their legal suits, the show’s L.A. scenes are in the can, and New York awaits.

Meet the Press #1 Last Week

from TVNewser

NBC’s Meet the press was the most-watched Sunday morning
public affairs program last week, winning in both Total Viewers and the A25-54


Television Review | ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: They Float Like the
Clouds on Air Do, They Enjoy …

from NYT > Television by By ALESSANDRA STANLEY

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” is a new reality competition
that explores what it takes to be a drag star today.



McCartney, Killers to play Coachella fest

from Entertainment News –

INDIO, Calif., Jan. 31 (UPI) — Organizers of the Coachella
Valley Music and Arts Festival say they have signed singer Paul McCartney and
the Killers to play at the Indio, Calif., event.

Steve Martin is serious about ‘The Crow’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

The actor-comedian wrote or co-wrote all the songs and enlisted
some heavyweight help for his debut album as a musician.

New Releases, Feb. 3: The Fray, Willie Nelson and Asleep at the
Wheel, Dierks Bentley

from Top Stories from

( Plus: Graham Nash [ tickets
], Melinda Doolittle [ tickets
], more… continued


Obama’s half brother George popped for pot possession

from Los Angeles Times – Celebrity News

Seems like every president has an embarrassing black sheep

Heath Ledger’s family will accept Oscar if late actor wins

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Adam B. Vary

If Heath Ledger wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor on
Feb. 22, his family will accept the award on his behalf, Dark Knight director
Christopher Nolan told at the DGA Awards Saturday night.

Man selling 867-5309 number on eBay

from Entertainment News –

Feb. 2 (UPI) — A New York area disc jockey said he is selling his 867-5309 phone number
on eBay because too many fans of the 1980s pop song, featuring the number, call


Torre defends tell-all Yankees book

from – Entertainment

Los Angeles Dodgers baseball manager Joe Torre’s new book
about his old club has been burning up best-seller lists even before it hits

Snoop Dogg coaches team to victory

from Entertainment News –

TAMPA, Fla.,
Feb. 1 (UPI) — Rapper Snoop Dogg has coached his Snoop Youth Football league
team to a championship in Tampa,
, attendees say.

Read More