Oh, it’s really not so bad, but I’ve been working the big post below this all day and there’s still a bit more work ahead, so let’s get started and make it snappy.
* Domestic ticket sales for movies this year are expected to top a whopping $10 billion, I guess proving the old adage that the relatively cheap entertainment of movies is a good business to be in tough economic times. If a studio exec takes you to lunch, you have my permission to order an appetizer.
* The Wall Street Journal has anecdotal reports of kids asking Santa for items like socks, school shoes, and eyeglasses. The recession affects everyone. So, out goes the glitz, in comes the chic intimate soirees for Hollywood awards promotion which still sound bloody expensive to me. But, note the item above. Also, it’s not like all that money would go to charity if they weren’t having the parties. It keeps caterers and bartenders working.
* In a move that could impact both the cable TV and movie business in a fairly big way, highly lauded former HBO head Chris Albrecht is joining Starz TV and will oversee new original content there. Nikki Finke has the (self-confirmed) scoop. Albrecht, who had been at HBO for 22 years, lost his job in 2007 when he was arrested after a violent public incident with his girlfriend, which he blamed on a relapse in his recovery as an alcoholic. La Finke says his personal problems are behind him; I’m certain the Starz folks think that’s true.
* Anne Thompson has some interesting, if somewhat in-the-weeds, details on the fall out of the Dreamworks/Paramount divorce.
* There’s an old joke along that lines of “that movie wasn’t released, it escaped!” Well, apparently the new Kevin Costner supernatural thriller is being given a token release that’s practically a state secret. So says the Playlist. I’m not convinced he’s washed up, though I suppose his leading man days could be more or less behind him and his character actor days ahead of him — but another old joke, updated: the four stages of an actor’s career. “Who’s Kevin Costner?” “Get me Kevin Costner!” “Get me a young Kevin Costner! “Who’s Kevin Costner?”
For a contrasting, somewhat NSFW, point of view, see below.