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The Newsdesk 03.09.09 – Fanning’s in New Moon; Everyone Watches Watchmen

Watchmen topped the box office with $55.7 million. The movie fell short of expectations that it would score in the $60 million-plus range. But it didn’t disappoint in the “naked blue man” rankings, forever topping that chart.

• MGM and WWE Films are coproducing a remake of the Chuck Norris action epic Missing in Action. Unless it’s Norris teaming up with Hulk Hogan to hunt down Osama Bin Laden, we’ll pass.

Dakota Fanning will play Jane in New Moon, the second film the Twilight franchise.

• The producers of Terminator Salvation are embroiled in a lawsuit over compensation and other issues. Please, we geeks can’t handle another lawsuit. That Watchmen hold-up nearly gave us a collective ulcer.

• Julia Roberts is reteaming with the director of her upcoming film Fireflies in the Garden for the comedy Jesus Henry Christ. Somebody please tell Roberts to start choosing better movie titles if she ever wants to be America’s sweetheart again.

• John Woo is developing a sequel to his beloved action movie Hard Boiled

• New photos have been released of Jake Gyllenhaal in the video game movie Prince of Persia.



Nielsen IAG Product Placement Activity Report

from Advertising Age – Madison+Vine

NEW YORK — “American Idol” was the
highest-scoring show and Coca-Cola the top brand in the latest Nielsen IAG
product-placement activity report.


Economy Accelerates Shift Away From Upfront Buying

from Advertising Age – MediaWorks

NEW YORK ( — With the economy flailing, it
doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that TV-ad sales for next fall’s
prime-time schedule are primed to droop. Behind the scenes, however, lies
something potentially more drastic. The dreary financial climate could trigger
a permanent transformation in how shows such as “Lost” and
“American Idol” are bought and sold.

‘Terminator’ producers in legal battle

from – Film News

Film News: Moritz Borman sues Halcyon duo for fraud — A
lawsuit has been filed over the “shady” background of two
“Terminator: Salvation” producers.


Market Plunge a Cautionary Tale for Media Companies

from Advertising Age – MediaWorks

Last week kicked off with a stock-market plunge that
returned the Dow Jones Industrial Average to 1997 levels. Newspapers, of
course, would be lucky to regain their stock prices from the 1990s.

Networks condemn Busch ad directive

from Hollywood Reporter by By Anthony Crupi, Mediaweek

Ad sales execs are defying an Anheuser-Busch InBev directive
that would have them wait as many as 120 days to be reimbursed for airtime,
telling the brewing giant to stick its ultimatum where the zon don’t schijnen.

Lionsgate And Icahn Talking Board Seats

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

No surprise there, since corporate raider/shareholder
activist Carl Icahn made clear in an SEC filing February 23rd that he was going
to add and/or subtract directors from Lionsgate’s board now that he owns almost
15% of the company.

Movies with ‘legs’ keep industry running strong

from L.A. Times – Movie News

More hold up past debuts, helping box office race past last
year.  Hollywood is witnessing a phenomenon it hasn’t seen in more than a
decade — movies with legs.

Endeavor And WMA Meeting Over Merger

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

There continue to be conversations, as recently
as Thursday.


SXSW festival unfazed by economic woes

from Entertainment News –

AUSTIN, Texas, March 8 (UPI) — The 2009 SXSW music festival
in Austin, Texas, has not been significantly impacted by the recession, a South
by Southwest organizer says.

Kings of Leon among Lollapalooza acts

from Entertainment News –

CHICAGO, March 8 (UPI) — The Kings of Leon will perform
when the Lollapalooza music festival hits Chicago this summer, an industry
source says.

Beasties, Jane’s Addiction, Depeche Mode Set for Lolla?

from Pitchfork Media – Today by Tom Breihan

Earlier this afternoon, the Chicago Tribune’s Greg
Kot reported three of the headliners for this year’s Lollapalooza
Festival: the Beastie Boys, Depeche Mode, and Jane’s Addiction. Reps for the
festival and the bands wouldn’t confirm Kot’s info, which Kot claims he got
from “multiple sources inside the industry.” What can we say? The man
is connected.

The 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival Starting Lineup!

from Pitchfork Media – Today by Tom Breihan

Last week, we announced that the fourth annual Pitchfork
Music Festival would jump off at Chicago’s lovely Union Park July 17-19.
If the mere fact that our festival is happening again wasn’t enough to convince
you to save the date and book any necessary flights, this should.

Musicals festival sets season

from – Music News

Music News: Event to run April through July in So.
California — The second annual Festival of New American Musicals will run
April through July in venues across Southern California.


Weekend Box Office: March 6-8, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

Watchmen tops the box office with an estimated $55.7 million

‘Watchmen’ rules overseas boxoffice

from Hollywood Reporter by By Frank Segers

It was all “Watchmen” on the international circuit
during the weekend as director Zack Snyder’s sci-fi fantasy, launching
simultaneously with its domestic debut, grossed an estimated $27.5 million from
5,097 screens in 45 markets, easily finishing No. 1 overall.

‘Watchmen’: Political lightning rod?

from Movies

Ken Tucker notes audience reaction to themes in Zack
Snyder’s film, and thinks it’s bound to set pundits off.

Elisabeth Moss assists ‘Morgans’ film

from Hollywood Reporter by By Borys Kit

“Mad Men” co-star Elisabeth Moss has been cast
opposite Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant in the romantic comedy “Did
You Hear About the Morgans?”

Two join Chris Rock for ‘Funeral’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Borys Kit

Tracy Morgan and Martin Lawrence are joining Chris Rock in
Screen Gems and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment’s remake of “Death at a


‘Twilight’: Dakota Fanning will star in ‘New Moon’

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Joshua Rich

Dakota Fanning is set to star in the Twilight sequel New
Moon, EW has confirmed. The actress will play Jane, a member of Italy’s evil
Volturi, in the anticipated movie, which opens in November.

Kristen Stewart: The Truth About Twilight, Rob Pattinson and
the Fans

from E! Online – Movie News

Good news, fanggirls: Kristen Stewart says there will be a
fourth Twilight movie.

Newsweek: Is Julia Roberts’ box-office reign over?

from Movies

Julia is still the biggest female star of all time; her
films have grossed $2.3 billion in the United States, with 10 hits topping $100
million. But the multiplex is a different beast now, dominated by 3,000 screens
of dude movies like “Friday the 13th” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.”
As audiences fall out of love with the romantic comedy, some in Hollywood are
wondering, is Julia Roberts over?


Julia Roberts On Home Life And “Duplicity”

from Entertainment on by The Huffington Post
News Team

“Not many paparazzi follow me now,” she laughed,
ensconced in a suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Julia Roberts finds ‘Christ’ comedy

from Hollywood Reporter by By Borys Kit

Julia Roberts is reteaming with her “Fireflies in the
Garden” director for “Jesus Henry Christ,” a feature comedy
Roberts will produce via her Red Om Films.

Rita Wilson cast in Nancy Meyers pic

from Hollywood Reporter by Staff report

Rita Wilson has been cast in Universal’s untitled Nancy
Meyers project, which stars Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

N.W.A. biopic, ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ in development

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Christine

Rap is finally getting the Ray treatment. New Line is developing
Straight Outta Compton, an urban drama about N.W.A. the hip hop group that
helped pioneer the gangsta rap movement in the ’80s and early ’90s.

Alan Doyle Cast as Allan A’Dayle in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood

from /Film

Do you remember the musical rooster with a lute in the
Disney Robin Hood toon? That was Alan-a-Dale, the narrator-sidekick and a
character who has had a fairly minor role, if any role at all, in most versions
of the legend. He’s going to turn up in the new Ridley Scott rendition,
however, and the part has just been cast.

Oscilloscope Tunes in “Burma VJ” for the U.S.

from indieWIRE News

Oscilloscope Laboratories has picked up U.S. distribution
rights IDFA and Sundance ’09 doc “Burma VJ” by Danish director Anders


‘Role Models’ Director David Wain Confirms He’s In Discussions
to Helm ‘Little Fockers’

from MTV Movies Blog by Eric Ditzian

After much delay and at least one abandoned script, “Little
Fockers” looks to be moving forward.

Vachon takes on ‘Lullaby’

from – Film News

Film News: Duo reunite to produce romantic drama —
Christine Vachon of Killer Films is reteaming with her fellow “Far From
Heaven” producer Jean-Charles Levy to produce “Lullaby for Pi.”

DreamWorks grabs college comedy

from – Film News

Film News: Script penned by newcomer Chris McCoy —
DreamWorks has acquired an untitled college-set comedy script by newcomer
scribe Chris McCoy.

Akerman, Phillippe set for ‘Bang’

from – Film News

Film News: Duo to star in indie drama —
“Watchmen” star Malin Akerman and Ryan Phillippe will star in
indie drama “The Bang Bang Club,” set in apartheid-era South Africa.


‘Breaking Bad’: the EW review

from Today’s Latest Headlines by Ken Tucker

Ken Tucker: Season 2, premiering tonight, is a doozy of
dysfunction, and Bryan Cranston is man of the moment

Bryan Cranston of ‘Breaking Bad’: On the Set

from L.A. Times – TV News

He has an Emmy to show for his painstaking work playing poor
Walter White on the well-regarded AMC series.


Reruns and Reality Derail TV’s Dramas, Sitcoms

from Advertising Age – MediaWorks

MINNEAPOLIS ( — Based on internet buzz, radio
chat and water-cooler talk, many were upset after “Bachelor” Jason
Mesnick — who toted his tot to work his way into contestants’ and viewers’
hearts — jilted his first choice, Melissa Rycroft, in favor of his newfound
flame, Molly Malaney. And all on national TV. Now they all know how TV writers

Ashlee Simpson joining ‘Melrose’

from Today’s Latest Headlines by Michael Ausiello

Michael Ausiello: She’ll play small-town girl/sex kitten in
CW’s reboot; Heather Locklear/Mischa Barton next?

‘Burn Notice’ finale tops cable ratings

from – TV Ratings

TV Ratings: USA spy thriller hits series high — USA Network
spy thriller “Burn Notice” is now the hottest show on cable. The
skein finished its second season Thursday with two series highs: 6.1 million
total viewers and 2.7 million adults 18-49.


Can late night shift survive?

from – Peter Bart

Peter Bart: NBC’s Conan manuever triggers uncertainty — In
retrospect, this was a lousy time for the networks to mess around with the
world of latenight TV.


U.S. pork producers brace for HBO special on cruelty

from Reuters: Entertainment News

DALLAS (Reuters) – U.S. pork producers, already worried that
high prices for their product may chase pinched shoppers to the chicken
section, are facing another possible hit – an HBO special on animal cruelty in
factory farming.

‘View’ ratings riding high

from – TV Ratings

TV Ratings: Show enjoys most-watched season yet — Last
year’s presidential election was a boon for cable news networks, but it also
proved to be quite a windfall for daytime’s hottest show — “The
View.” Talker is enjoying easily its most-watched season to date: Its
average aud of 4.2 million viewers is well ahead of last year’s 3.5 million.


Kanye West booked with Clarkson on `American Idol’

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — “American Idol” is about to get a
double dose of star power: Kanye West and Kelly Clarkson.

Spurned “Bachelor” Fiancee Melissa To Join
“Dancing With The Stars”

from Entertainment on by The Huffington Post
News Team
Jilted by Jason Mesnick on the season finale of The Bachelor, Melissa Rycroft
will rebound nicely — on Dancing With the Stars, PEOPLE has learned.


Nate Corddry, Molly Parker cure ‘Maladys’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Nate Corddry and Molly Parker have been tapped to play Sarah
Michelle Gellar’s siblings in the HBO comedy pilot “The Wonderful

The CW bets its future on young women viewers

from Television

Struggling network hopes to build identity based on teen


Rock Hall of Fame puts focus on Springsteen

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By M.R. KROPKO

CLEVELAND (AP) — Seeking something fresh and exciting to
complement its upcoming induction ceremony, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and
Museum has gotten its fondest wish – the cooperation of 1999 inductee Bruce
Springsteen in launching a new exhibit solely dedicated to the Boss.

Spears visits Miami hospital during tour

from Entertainment News –

MIAMI, March 8 (UPI) — Pop star Britney Spears took a break
from her Circus tour to visit with sick children at a Miami hospital, a
hospital representative says.

U2 to begin world tour in Barcelona on June 30

from Reuters: Entertainment News

NASHVILLE (Billboard) – U2 will kick off its world tour in
Barcelona on June 30, and will begin the North American leg at Chicago’s
Soldier Field on September 12, sources told Billboard.

New wavers Devo to perform 1978 album in London

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LONDON (Reuters) – American new wave band Devo will perform
their debut 1978 album “Are We Not Men?” in full for the first time
at a concert in London in May, their publicist said on Friday.

Interpol “Feel Like a New Band,” Start Work on Fourth Album

from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Daniel Kreps

The big news: the band is working on new songs. Interpol
tell fans that after a break to get their personal lives in order, they’ve
reconvened and gotten down to business.

Former ‘Idol’ Kelly Clarkson has all she ever wanted

from Life – Top Stories

Kelly Clarkson can’t stop saying she’s sorry. Having shown
up 10 minutes late for a morning interview she had trouble dozing …


DiCaprio heads up celebrity cycling jaunt

from Entertainment News –

NEW YORK, March 8 (UPI) — U.S. actor Leonardo DiCaprio and
three of his celebrity friends took time to go on an “un-cool” bike
ride through New York, a witness says.

‘Retraining’ New York Times Reporters: A Raw Deal

from The Wrap RSS by admin
The New York Times, my former mother-ship, is offering to “retrain” its
reporters and turn them into new media whiz-kids. Only one problem with that.
Nobody wants to do it.

Stars throw one ‘Enchanted’ event for Kennedy’s birthday

from Life – Top Stories

Sen. Ted Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, was in high
spirits at a star-studded birthday celebration in his honor Sunday

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