Showbiz Sandbox 31: Blind Sided By Adam Lambert’s Double Standard

November 30, 2009


While we all still may be sluggish from all the turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving, the North American box office sure wasn’t. It set a record for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as once again “The Blind Side” surprises everyone. The Sandra Bullock movie defied expectations to earn another $40 million over the five-day period, almost topping “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” as the winner this weekend. Proof positive that Sandra Bullock is a movie star.

So is George Clooney, whose “Up In The Air” opens on Friday. According to Claudia Eller of the Los Angeles Times the film is proving to be a marketing challenge for its distributor, Paramount. Apparently the studio is afraid Jason Reitman’s humorous drama about corporate downsizing may touch a raw nerve. But how could this critically acclaimed movie be a marketing challenge? We’ve got two words that might help Paramount’s advertising campaign: George. Clooney. Sheesh, maybe we should be marketers.

Actually, maybe we should become linguistics experts instead. USC linguistics professor Paul R. Frommer was brought in by James Cameron – writer and director of a little upcoming release called “Avatar” – to develop the language of the 10-foot tall blue Smurfs – um. . . aliens – who inhabit Pandora, the setting for the film’s conflict.  Frommer will continue to develop the language he created from scratch in the hope that it will be needed for sequels and prequels, and because Hollywood pays better than teaching. Okay, so he didn’t really say that last part, but he’s probably thinking it. “Avatar” has generated so many news stories that the Los Angeles Times is keeping tabs through a weekly roundup. Perhaps the biggest story is whether ‘Avatar’ will get finished before its scheduled to hit theatres?

Speaking of finished, Jay Leno is losing his audience not to competing shows on at the same time, but to shows airing at a different time. Viewers are using their “DVR machines” (their terminology, not ours) to watch time-shifted shows in the ten o’clock hour. Was the Jay Leno gamble the “biggest gamble in television history”?

Also in television news, “FlashForward” shut down for six days to take a “creative break.” Does this mean ABC is giving up hope on the show? If only we could see into the future.

“American Idol” runner up Adam Lambert undoubtedly still has a bright future despite his risqué performance at the American Music Awards. “I’m a performer, not a babysitter,” he told fans, also pointing out the double standard that exists between watching women kiss and watching men kiss. The former is accepted, even titillating, while the latter turns out to be something that gets edited out of a broadcast.

Also in music news is YouTube sensation and “Britain’s Got Talent” contestant Susan Boyle. She is poised to enter the record books as her album outsells Eminem’s. We’d love to see them sing a duet together. Maybe Slim Shady could join in by giving Adam Lambert a big kiss.

We cruise through some Big Deal or Big Whoop stories including some news about how much money Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are donating to charity. (Hint: It’s more than filmmaker Roman Polanski is posting to get bailed out of a Swiss jail while awaiting extradition to the United States).

Finally, we end with a little Inside Baseball: Lachlan Murdoch (son of media giant Rupert) is poised to purchase Nielsen Business Media, publisher of the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard magazine. Interesting that he is interested in taking charge of magazines that could critique his father’s empire, no? This is the younger Murdoch’s most significant U.S. business move since quitting News Corp. four years ago. We just love seeing a scrappy kid succeed.

‘Up In the Air’ Gives Paramount A Marketing Challenge….

USC Professor Creates An Entire Language For ‘Avatar’….

‘Avatar’ News Weekend Roundup….

‘Avatar’: A Race To The Finish….

‘Avatar’ May Debut At Knowles Butt-Numb-A-Thon….

Jay Leno Loses is Audience to DVR Machines

FlashForward Shuts Down Production….

Adam Lambert on Outrage:”I’m not a babysitter, I’m a performer”

Adam Lambert Asks And Answers “Whataya Want From Me” On The Early Show….

Susan Boyle Outsells Eminem For Best Sales Week In 2009….

Disney Channel Names New President,0,725988.story

Technics To Stop Making Turntables

Brad & Angie Send More Than $6.4 Million To Charities

Roman Polanski Has Been Granted Bail

Neve Campbell Confirms Wes Craven For Scream 4

Lachlan Murdoch Eyes Hollywood Reporter, Billboard