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Wash Post: Jennifer Hudson To Perform At Obama’s First White House State Dinner

By | Monday November 23, 2009 @ 6:16pm PST

UPDATES: Obama Sends Hollywood Invites To 1st White House State Dinner

Story is here about the entertainment Tuesday night. A Chicago native, Jennifer Hudson belted out the national anthem for the Obamas at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

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FX Buys ‘Twilight Saga’ Broadcast Rights

By | Monday November 23, 2009 @ 5:30pm PST

fx_logo_150FX has acquired the television broadcast premiere rights to THE TWILIGHT SAGA series from Summit Entertainment. Twilight will air in late 2011, New Moon in late 2012, and Eclipse in early 2013, with Breaking Dawn to be determined by its theatrical release date. FX also has purchased the broadcast rights to The Hurt Locker for mid-2012, Knowing in mid-2012, and Push in 2012. All the pics will broadcast on FX after Summit’s Showtime pay TV window.


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‘New Moon’ International Take: $132.1M

By | Monday November 23, 2009 @ 3:19pm PST

NEW MOON grossed an estimated $132.1M overseas from 6,672 prints in 24 markets. A number of markets are still to report. Actuals tomorrow.

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VIDEO: Behind-The-Scenes Of ‘Avatar’

By | Monday November 23, 2009 @ 2:15pm PST

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‘New Moon’ Weekend Actual: $142.8M

By | Monday November 23, 2009 @ 12:59pm PST

The actual weekend gross for NEW MOON in North America is $142.8 million playing at 4,024 theaters for a per theater average of $35,497.

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Marc Shaiman To Be Oscars’ Music Director

By | Monday November 23, 2009 @ 9:18am PST

Beverly Hills, CA — Oscar®-nominated composer Marc Shaiman will serve as music director for the 82nd Academy Awards, telecast producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic announced today.

“With Marc on board, we are sure to have some great musical and, hopefully, hysterical moments,” said Mechanic.

“Marc was my inspiration and musical partner on ‘Hairspray’ and he has been responsible for some of the most memorable moments in Oscar history, like Will Ferrell and Jack Black’s comedy numbers,” said Shankman. “He’s a genius! And he’d be the first to tell you!”

Shaiman is a prolific music composer who has earned five Academy Award® nominations. He received Original Score nominations for his work on “The American President” (1995), “The First Wives Club” (1996) and “Patch Adams” (1998), and he received nominations in the Original Song category for “A Wink and a Smile” from “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993) and for “Blame Canada” from “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” (1999). Shaiman has also been nominated for four Emmy® Awards, three of which were for his work on Oscar telecasts. He won the Emmy in 1992 for co-writing Billy Crystal’s “Oscar Medley” for the 64th Academy Awards. Shaiman’s other film credits include “The Bucket List,” “Bee Movie,” “Hairspray,” “A Few Good Men,” “Sister Act” and “City Slickers.”

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Producers Guild To Honor Joss Whedon

By | Monday November 23, 2009 @ 9:05am PST

joss whedonLOS ANGELES (November 23, 2009) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA), a national non-profit trade group committed to protecting the rights and credits of producers in film, television and new media, announced today that award-winning science-fiction and fantasy storyteller Joss Whedon will be honored with the 2010 Vanguard Award at the 21st Annual PGA Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at the Hollywood Palladium.

Whedon is a producer, writer, director, and creator for such hit television programs as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Firefly,” and “Dollhouse.” He has written several feature film scripts including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Alien Resurrection and Titan A.E. and is author of the cultish Dark Horse comic book series “Fray.” Whedon also created and produced an Internet sensation with the musical superhero spoof “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog,” which stars Neil Patrick Harris.

The PGA’s Vanguard Award recognizes achievements in new media and technology. Previous recipients of the prestigious Vanguard Award include George Lucas, James Cameron, and John Lasseter, who is also being awarded the 2010 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures by the PGA this year, MySpace CEO and co-founder Chris DeWolfe and president and co-founder Tom Anderson, YouTube founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Will Wright.

“Joss Whedon has mastered the art of melding the newest technology with inspired storytelling, truly exemplifying the spirit of the Vanguard Award,” said David Friendly and Laurence Mark, co-chairs of

Read More »

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Obama Thanks Hollywood With Coveted Invites To First White House State Dinner

By | Monday November 23, 2009 @ 8:28am PST

TUESDAY 5:45 PM: Hollywood VIP David Geffen was seated at President Obama’s table.

TUESDAY UPDATE: The White House announced today that also invited from showbiz were GE chairman Jeff Immelt whose corporation runs NBC Universal, Oprah Winfrey galpal Gayle King, director M. Night Shyamalan, and actors Alfre Woodard and Blair E Underwood.

Entertainers: Jennifer Hudson, AR Rahman, Bay Area Empire Bhangra, Kurt Elling, Marvin Hamlisch

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EXCLUSIVE: If tradition stands, the details of the guest list will be revealed only a few hours before the Obama administration’s first state dinner tomorrow. The welcome for India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be the biggest social event of the Obama White House. Already the Washington DC press corp is buzzing about the “got-to-be-there” fever. But this first dinner is primarily a thank you to the Obamas’ most important political supporters. So I’ve learned that, among the Hollywood contingent asked to attend, are onetime DreamWorks partners David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg; Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton; and WME Entertainment Agency co-CEO Ari Emanuel.

spielberg turbanSpielberg’s inclusion is interesting since he was a much ballyhooed Hillary Clinton supporter during the first months of her primary campaign when she looked like a sure thing, then quietly threw his clout behind Obama after he became the clear winner. But, given that the guest of honor is India’s highest ranking statesman, Spielberg’s new financial relationship … Read More »

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FT: News Corp Talking With Microsoft To “De-Index” News Websites From Google

By | Monday November 23, 2009 @ 7:35am PST

newscorpThe Financial Times is reporting this morning that Rubert Murdoch’s company initiated the discussions still only in the early stages. However, the paper has learned that Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google’s search engine. Microsoft seems intent on a direct assault on Google because it puts pressure on the search engine to start paying for content. Murdoch has said that he would use legal methods to prevent Google “stealing stories” published in his papers. Meanwhile, Microsoft has said it’s prepared to spend heavily for many years to make its new search engine Bing a serious rival to Google.

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PHOTOS: ‘New Moon’ Twi-Hard Fan Frenzy

By | Sunday November 22, 2009 @ 3:50pm PST


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‘New Moon’ Breaks International Records

By | Sunday November 22, 2009 @ 2:55pm PST

newmoon_international_posterNEW MOON grossed $118.1 million from 6,681 prints in 25 markets in its first 5 days of release. That brought its worldwide gross to $258.8 million so far. A number of markets are still to report:

ARGENTINA
Argentina launched at No. 1 with 1,23M pesos (325K USD) capturing 82% of the audience with 85K admissions. It is the second best opening of the year, behind Harry Potter 6, and the 10th best opening ever in Argentina, outperforming the opening of Harry Potter 1-5. Market cume is $1,6M.

AUSTRALIA
NEW MOON grossed $15M AUD ($13.33M) from the 4-day weekend. It was the biggest industry opening, beating Harry Potter 6 which grossed $14.33M AUD. Opening day was the 3rd highest of all time. Midnight results were the highest since Star Wars: Episode 3 that garnered A$1,260M ($1.2M USD) in May 2005. NEW MOON played on 466 screens and grossed A$1.7M AUD ($1.6M). Market cume is $13.3M.

BRAZIL
The opening day grossed an estimated 3.7M Reals. Market cume is $7.4M.

BELGIUM
NEW MOON opened at No. 1. It is the second Opening day of all time, right after Harry Potter 5 (which was released on a Wednesday but during the summer) and outperformed Harry Potter 1-4.
Market cume is $2.6M.

CROATIA
NEW MOON had a record opening in Croatia, No. 1 with $225K from 15 screens. Its 3-day opening weekend is No. 1 for 2009, No. 1 opening 3-day weekend for all time.

FRANCE
NEW MOON launched at No. 1 with an estimated $17.04M from 1.9M admissions. It opened with 488K admissions on its first … Read More »

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‘NEW MOON’ SHREDS MOVIE RECORDS! $258.8M Worldwide 5-Day Total! $140.7M Domestic Weekend Is All-Time 3rd Biggest; ‘Blind Side’ Big, Too

By | Saturday November 21, 2009 @ 6:45am PST

Photos Of ‘New Moon’ Twi-Hard Fan Frenzy
‘New Moon’ Broke International Records

new-moon-poster-teaserBREAKING NEWS! SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Twilight Saga moviemaker Summit Entertainment said this morning that NEW MOON opened with a phenomenal performance of a gargantuan $140.7 million first weekend in North America and, $118.1M from 25 international markets from Wednesday through Sunday, and a worldwide 5-day total of $258.8M. These numbers may change as Sunday actuals come in Monday.

The Twilight sequel’s vampires and werewolves shattered the All-Time 3rd Biggest Opening Weekend record of $135.6M, as well as the All-Time Single Day and Friday Opening records. It also  set the record for Biggest 2-Day Total with $115.9M, passing The Dark Knight’s 2-day take of $114.8M.  It was the Biggest November Opening in history besting Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire‘s $102.7M. (See below for details.)

P1000718Hollywood was stunned as night after night the New Moon numbers kept breaking even four-quadrant Dark Knight and Harry Potter film records. Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight Saga” novels — New Moon is the second in the series — are now proving as much of a phenomenon as comic books and J.K. Rowling for source material at the box office. And two-quadrant New Moon also has shown that when female audiences support a film, it can absolutely dominate box office. (With the audience exactly split under and over age 21, … Read More »

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“Richard, This Is Bryan. I TOLD You Not To Buy A Jet From Nic Cage.”

By | Friday November 20, 2009 @ 5:10pm PST


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Actually, this Compagnie Africaine d’Aviation passenger plane yesterday missed the runway in eastern Congo. But it’s Friday afternoon. And this is what the CAA jet would probably look like. I’m no comedian. What’s your best caption?

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10 Animated Shorts Advance For Oscars

By | Friday November 20, 2009 @ 3:37pm PST

Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 82nd Academy Awards®. Thirty-seven pictures had originally qualified in the category.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company:

“The Cat Piano,” Eddie White and Ari Gibson, directors (The People’s Republic of Animation)

“French Roast,” Fabrice O. Joubert, director (Pumpkin Factory/Bibo Films)

“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty,” Nicky Phelan, director, and Darragh O’Connell, producer (Brown Bag Films)

“The Kinematograph,” Tomek Baginski, director-producer (Platige Image)

“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte),” Javier Recio Gracia, director (Kandor Graphics and Green Moon)

“Logorama,” Nicolas Schmerkin, producer (Autour de Minuit)

“A Matter of Loaf and Death,” Nick Park, director (Aardman Animations Ltd.)

“Partly Cloudy,” Peter Sohn, director (Pixar Animation Studios)

“Runaway,” Cordell Barker, director (National Film Board of Canada)

“Variete,” Roelof van den Bergh, director (il Luster Productions)

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting in screenings held in New York and Los Angeles.

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in January 2010.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday,

Read More »

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Anna Kendrick Exits APA For CAA

By | Friday November 20, 2009 @ 11:51am PST

Yes, she’s in the Twilight movies. But right now she’s best known within the Industry as the actress who steals the probable Oscar nominated Up In The Air. This is the time of year when the major agencies hunt for awards-touted talent.

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Oprah Tells Studio Audience Today “Much Prayer And Months Of Careful Thought” Led Her To Stop Syndicated Show In 2011

By | Friday November 20, 2009 @ 9:06am PST

UPDATES: Oprah Promises Cable Show “Smaller & Different”; Wants Biz In LA Not Chicago; “Why Would Anybody Stay? It’s Freezing Here, And I Have A Mansion In Montecito That I Haven’t Been Able To Enjoy”

Hollywood is convinced her decision was all about the bottom line. (After all local TV stations were ready to balk at paying any more cash raises for more seasons of her syndicated daytime talk show.) But this morning, Oprah Winfrey held back tears but her voice was thick with emotion as she told her studio audience in Chicago that she would end The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011:

Here are here remarks, which came at the end of Friday’s show:

“After much prayer, and months of careful thought, I’ve decided that next season — Season 25 — will be the last season of The Oprah Winfrey Show. And over the next couple of days, you may hear a lot of speculation in the press about why I am making this decision now, and that will mostly be conjecture. So I wanted you to hear this directly from me.

“Twenty-four years ago, on Sept. 8, 1986, I went live from Chicago to launch the first national “Oprah Winfrey Show.” I was beyond excited and as you all might expect, a little nervous. I knew then what a miraculous opportunity I had been given, but I certainly never could have imagined the yellow brick road of blessings that have led me to this

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Oprah Promises Cable Show “Smaller & Different”; Wants Biz In LA Not Chicago; “Why Would Anybody Stay? It’s Freezing Here, And I Have A Mansion In Montecito That I Haven’t Been Able To Enjoy”

By | Friday November 20, 2009 @ 4:13am PST

NEW: Oprah Says “Much Prayer And Months Of Careful Thought” Led To Her Decision

UPDATES TOLDJA! Oprah Exits Syndication In 2011
UPDATES THE END OF ‘OPRAH’: Daytime Diva Giving Up Syndie Talk Show

EXCLUSIVE: This morning I have more information behind the scenes and about the future of the daytime diva’s decision to end her syndicated The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011. (I was first to report this back on November 5th, and she’ll announce the news on her show today – her last live show of the calendar year.) Yesterday, Oprah called the two Hollywood moguls who needed to know. First, her close friend Disney CEO Bob Iger whose owned-and-operated ABC affiliates long have made up Oprah‘s core station group. And then CBS Inc chairman Les Moonves whom she reached Thursday night (NY time).

“I just announced it to my team and I feel great about it,” sources tell me Winfrey said to Moonves.
“So you’re going to do the show on Discovery?” he asked.
“No,” Oprah assured him. “I’m not bringing The Oprah Winfrey Show to cable. I’ll do something else with that channel.”

So what is that “something else”? Besides overseeing programming, my sources say that, instead of a carbon copy of her longtime daytime talker, she’s now privately talking about hosting a show “that’s smaller and … Read More »

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TWI-HARDS TURN OUT: “Team Edward” vs “Team Jacob” T-Shirts, Long Lines, Huge Crowds, At ‘New Moon’ Midnight Shows

By | Friday November 20, 2009 @ 4:00am PST

“PHENOMENAL! BREAKING RECORDS!” ‘New Moon’ Doing ‘Dark Knight’ Midnights

Here are New Moon anecdotal reports from theaters around North America (photos coming):

MIAMI – AMC SUNSET: The lines were impressive because the venue had a TWILIGHT Event. They showed TWILIGHT first at 9PM and then NEW MOON at midnight. The crowd was huge with the line wrapping down the stairs, taking up two floors. People were in Team Edward and Team Jacob shirts, some homemade. People even dressed as wolves.

MIAMI – REGAL SOUTH BEACH: There were many teens, male and female, waiting for the opening of NEW MOON. Many had been there since 5PM waiting for their chance to see it. Most were in their Team Jacob or Team Edward shirt. The line was both on the upstairs floor and the downstairs floor.

SEATTLE – AMC CINERAMA: Early in the evening, there are about 30 people in line waiting to see the film. One group decorated their car and parked it right next to the theatre. The first fan in line has been camped outside the theatre since 4PM even through the rain and cold weather.

KANSAS CITY – AMC BARRYWOODS 24: At 7:15pm CST there were about 100 people waiting in line for the midnight shows. The general manager said that the earliest people arrived at 3:30PM today. Those waiting in line were looking through magazines (with NEW MOON actors on the cover) and chatting about the new movie. Several of those waiting were also shopping at AMC’s NEW MOON … Read More »

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TOLDJA! Oprah Exits Syndication In 2011; Announcement Live On Her Friday Show

By | Thursday November 19, 2009 @ 3:56pm PST

oprah_wideweb__470x3120UPDATE (includes Harpo letter): Both Broadcasting & Cable & Variety, followed by The New York Times and The Washington Post, and every other media outlet just came out today with news headlines reporting what I did first on November 5th: That Oprah Winfrey will end her long-running talk show in 2011. They say she’ll air this on her program Friday. Here was my original scoop: THE END OF ‘OPRAH’ AS WE KNOW HER: Daytime Diva Giving Up Syndie Talk Show & Moving It To Her Cable Network In 2011. Before I recap the news from my story 14 days ago, here is the letter which Harpo Inc President Tim Bennett sent out to affiliates and others today:

Dear Friends:

Over the past several weeks, my team and I have had conversations with many of you to help address your questions about the future of “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Of course, the one question we couldn’t answer was the one that only Oprah could. And tomorrow, she will do just that.

But before she speaks to her loyal viewers, we wanted to share her decision first with you­ our valued partners for more than two decades.

Tomorrow, Oprah will announce live on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that she has decided to end what is arguably one of the most popular, influential

Read More »

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