Showbiz Sandbox 29: Camped Out For “Twilight: New Moon”

There was a debate over titling this week’s episode “The Profanity Podcast “due to some various disagreements and the name of a new sitcom. Intrigued? Read on.

Harry Medved from Fandango.com joins us briefly to talk about next week’s number one movie at the box office, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” (Did we get the name right? Can’t we just call it “New Moon” or “Twilight 2”?) Yes, that’s right, we’re prognosticating next week’s number one movie in North America. Hey, when women of all ages are lining up just to catch a glimpse of Robert Pattinson and/or Taylor Lautner at the premiere, you know you might have a hit on your hands.

Speaking of hits, is Twentieth Century Fox taking a huge risk by bankrolling a film based on an unfamiliar story with no Hollywood superstars and a budget approaching $500 million? We’re talking about “Avatar,” and particularly Michael Cieply’s article in the New York Times’ on the film directed by James Cameron. (So, is Cameron himself not a superstar?) John Horn and Claudia Eller from the Los Angeles Times write that the movie’s price tag continues to climbe and that its global marketing campaign could cost as much as $150 million, “Avatar” won’t have to do “Titanic” business to make money, but it will have to fill auditoriums around the world for weeks to become profitable.

A genre that has proven to be very profitable is animation and family films. But how many of these are really suitable for kids? AO Scott from the New York Times points out that some of the best films are too scary for adults but kids enjoy them just fine. Maybe parents will change their mind if one of these scary animated films wins an Oscar; there are 20 animated films in contention this year for Best Animated Feature.

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is one of the animated titles vying for an Academy Award. Sony is using the movie as a guinea pig for a new way to distribute entertainment directly to consumers. They’re offering the film online via Internet-TVs, the Play Station 3 and specially equipped Blu-Ray players a month before it is released on DVD. This has movie theatre owners steaming. But is this really an experiment in distribution, or just a way for Sony to sell more televisions, Blu-Ray playes and video game consoles?

Speaking of television, Fox cancelled Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” and ABC canceled the sitcom “Hank” starring Kelsey Grammer. Bet that’s the last time Whedon does a show for Fox. Also meeting their demise are some of the employees at Al Gore’s Current TV. The network recently let 80 staffers go, as it shifts away from in-house production and towards out sourcing segments, which will be done via acquisitions, co-productions, and the use of outside studios.

In music news, John Mayer’s new album “Battle Studies” was leaked online, followed by a battle of his own with a reporter for New York Magazine. Karen Woodward and Michael Giltz have their own battle over who was in the right – Mayer or the newbie journalist, Christianna Ablahad.

We cruise through our favorite segment Big Deal or Big Whoop this week covering a wide range of topics; from a new sitcom based on a Twitter poster whose crude username we won’t mention here to Omarosa of “The Apprentice” returning to reality television.

Finally, we discuss yet another executive shift at Disney. Mark Zoradi the president of Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group and who had been with the studio for 29 years has been ousted. It looks like new studio head Rich Ross is bringing in his own team.

‘New Moon’ Fans Camping Out In Westwood
http://community.livejournal.com/taytay_daily/114637.html

For Avatar Budget Pops From The Screen
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/business/media/….

Hoping ‘Avatar’ Is The New Face of Filmmaking
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/l…

Would You Take Your Kids To See Fantastic Mr Fox? Where The Wild Things Are? Coraline?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/movies/08scot.html?pagewanted=1&hpw

Anatomy of Fantastic Mr. Fox
http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2009/11/antatomical.php

Twenty animated films submitted for Oscar consideration
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news….

Sony To Offer “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs” Online via Internet-TVs and PS3s One Month Before It Comes Out On DVD
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/business/media/10sony.html?hpw

Exhibitors Steaming Over ‘Meatballs’
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/….

On The Other Hand, GI Joe Released To DVD Only 88 Days After It Opened And Does Very Well
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/….

‘Dollhouse’ and ‘Hank’ Get The Ax
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118011179.html?categoryid=1417&cs=1

Current TV Staff Suffer A “Major Bloodbath” As 80 Employees Lose Their Jobs
http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/11/current-tv-staff-suffer-a-major….

John Mayer’s Highly Anticpated New Album Leaks Online, John Reacts
http://outliered.com/outliered/en/Entries/2009/11/10….

John Mayer Has Upset Us Today
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/10/….

“Sh*t My Dad Says” Will Become A Sitcom
http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/11/10/the-end-of-the-world….

ABC Considering A Charlie’s Angels Pilot
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118011272.html?categoryid=1237&cs=1

MGM For Sale
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118011324.html?categoryid=1043&cs=1

Ratings Soared 20% For Gossip Girl’s Threesome With Hilary Duff
http://www.mediafreakblog.com/

Cirque Du Soleil Pursuing Michael Jackson Estate To Build A Show Around His Music
http://showbiz411.blogs.thr.com/cirque-du-soleil….

Hollywood Reporter Says Big Stars Are Passe!
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/….

New Reality Series For Omarosa From The Apprentice
http://www.tvsquad.com/2009/11/10/all-you-guys-who-wanted….

American Idol Showdown: Kris Allen’s Single vs. Adam Lambert’s Single
http://music-mix.ew.com/2009/11/06/kriss-allen…
http://www.shallownation.com/2009/10/10/adam-lambert….

Mark Zoradi Out As Disney Continues To Shuffle The Pack
http://www.screendaily.com/news/corporate/mark-zoradi….

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