Showbiz Sandbox 33: “Avatar” Is A $100 Hamburger

James Rocchi was one of the lucky entertainment journalists invited to the “Avatar” premiere and press junket in London and he joins us this week to tell us all about it. Rocchi also helps us dissect all those year-end “Top 10” critics lists, not to mention one that rates the year’s best unproduced screenplays. Who do you think will be on the red carpet at Oscar time?

And the Best of 2009 lists extend into television and music territory as well. The Los Angeles Times rounded up the TV winners and losers for the season (and we compare them to our own predictions for this year’s television series from Episode 22). Meanwhile, SoundScan released the best selling albums and artists of the decade. Guess how many of them were released before 2002? Listen to the podcast to find out.

We sail through some of the week’s top entertainment news headlines in our Big Deal/Big Whoop segment, including the possibility of a “Ghostbusters 3” sequel in the works. We close out the show with some seriously insider Inside Baseball: Daily Variety got a new editor, and the Finkelstein Group bought the Billboard (hey, maybe Michael Giltz can take over their website), The Hollywood Reporter, and a few other trade publications. Lachlin Murdoch, however, was not a part of the group purchasing Nielsen Business Media, as he opted to buy a 50% stake in an Australian Radio Station. What does this say about the future of print?

“Avatar” Embargo Smashed
http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/archives/2009/12/avatar_embargo.html

Critics Group Awards Roundup: ‘Avatar’ and ‘Hurt Locker’ Win Accolades
http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/12/13/critics-group-awards-roundup-avatar….
http://www.afi.com/

Muppet Fur Flies Over Jim Henson Script
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2009/12/muppet-fur….

The Black ist – Top 11 Unproduced Screenplays of 2009
http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2009/12/11/black-list-2009-screenplays/

New Paramount Division Will Think Small
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-paramount11-2009dec11,0,155266.story

Network TV Winners and Losers
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-winners-losers16….

MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ Garners Critics Over The Use Of The Term ‘Guido’
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/mtv-show-jersey-shore-angers-italian….

ABC Rolling Out ‘Conveyor Belt Of Love’
http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/12/abc-rolling-out-conveyor-belt-of-love.html

Billboard’s Year End Lists
http://www.billboard.com/#/charts-year-end/hot-100-songs?year=2009
http://www.billboard.com/#/../../charts-year-end/the-billboard-200?year=2009

Flight Of The Conchords Is Grounded
http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2009/12/flight-of-the-conchords….

Academy Screenings of “Invictus” and “Nine” Rained out
http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2009/12/invictus-nine-oscars….

Fuddy Duddies at MPAA Saddle “It’s Complicated” With R Rating Thanks to Reefer Madness
http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/12/fuddy_duddies_at_mpaa….

Al Pacino to Star In Merchant of Venice In Central Park Next June
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=afPEuSWfj5IU

Sigourney Weaver Gives ‘Ghostbusters 3’ Spoilers
http://screencrave.com/2009-12-11/sigourney-weaver-gives-ghostbuster-3-spoilers/

Daily Variety Gets A New Editor
http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/daily-variety-gets-a-new-editor/

Deal Done: Finkelstein Group Buying Billboard, THR, Other Mags From Nielsen Without Murdoch
http://paidcontent.org/article/419-finkelstein-group-buying-billboard-thr….

Inside The Hollywood Reporter Sale
http://www.thewrap.com/ind-column/analyzing-hollywood-reporter-sale….

Play