Entertainment behind the scenes
It is fitting for director James Cameron that 20th Century Fox is pulling out all the stops to promote his new 3-D, effects-filled spectacle of a movie, “Avatar,” which will land in theaters on December 18. After all, Fox released Cameron’s “Titanic,” and 12 years after its release it continues to be the highest-grossing movie of all time with $1.8 billion in global ticket sales. Nothing else even comes close.
But Cameron hasn’t made a big-budget Hollywood flick since “Titanic,” so “Avatar” comes with some risk. To mitigate the possibilty of a big ol’ box office dud, Fox is promoting the heck out of “Avatar.” It was featured at the recent Comic-Con event in San Diego and on Monday, Fox said it is holding a worldwide “first look” day for “Avatar” anticipators on Friday, Aug. 21. That’s this coming Friday.
Fox will debut the movie’s promotional trailer’s in theaters around the world, and in some Imax and other venues equipped for 3D, Fox will show select scenes from the film in three dimensions. The trailer will be in all formats and can be seen online. An upcoming video game and toy action figures will be unveiled, too. It’s an “Avatar” extravaganza – Fox style.
The studio describes the film by saying: “Avatar takes us to a spectacular new world beyond our imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption, discovery and unexpected love as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization.”
It was a night of celebration and tears at the Kodak Theater as contemporary performer Jeanine Mason was crowned “America’s Favorite Dancer” on season five of Fox’s summer hit “So You Think You Can Dance.”
“I never ever imagined this,” the 18-year-old said following the announcement, adding she never thought she would be giving an acceptance speech on the same stage that hosts the Academy Awards.
The search for America’s favorite dancer kicked up a notch with the top 10 dancers now vying individually for viewers’ votes with three separate performances: a group number, a couples dance with new partners, and a solo.
A year ago, the big story around Emmy nominations was the acclaim showered on cable programs like "Mad Men" and "Damages." A quick glance at today's nominations indicates little has changed.
Just look at the best drama category, where Fox's "House" and ABC's "Lost" will face stiff competition from cable's "Big Love" (HBO), "Mad Men" (AMC), "Damages" (FX), and "Breaking Bad" (AMC).
The lovelorn vampires of “Twilight” will vie for top honors at the Teen Choice Awards on Aug. 9 with the singing stars of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.”
Actor David Carradine, who police said on Thursday was found hanged in his Bangkok hotel room, is best known for playing Shaolin martial arts master Caine in the 1970s television series “Kung Fu,” but he had shining moments in a number of more artistically challenging projects, such as the 1976 movie “Bound for Glory” that saw him play folk legend Woody Guthrie and as an expatriate American watching Germany go fascist in the 1977 film “The Serpent’s Egg”.
Reviewing “Bound for Glory,” film critic Roger Ebert of newspaper the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “David Carradine’s performance as Guthrie finds just the right balance between his pride and innate simplicity.”
In the high stakes battle over piracy in Hollywood, a Fox News columnist lost his job on Monday after he reviewed a pirated copy of the upcoming movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Roger Friedman is a big name in Hollywood entertainment news, but media reports say that fact did not protect his job when his corporate colleagues at 20th Century Fox called for his head, nor did it help that Friedman wrote a positive review of the movie (which has since been removed from the Fox website).
The New York Daily News reports that an estimated 75,000 people have downloaded the free, illegal copy of “Wolverine,” which stars Hugh Jackman, and the studio is concerned that the high interest in the film online could slash its box office appeal. But no one is saying that Friedman leaked the movie, he just reviewed it. In that sense, was his punishment too harsh?
The Fox variety program “Osbournes: Reloaded” has run into a buzzsaw, with the Washington Post reporting that at least 16 stations refused to air the Tuesday night gross-out show from heavy metal king Ozzy Osbourne, his wife Sharon and children Kelly and Jack.
Medium-sized market Cincinnati, Ohio, was among the stations that declined to air it, while the Fox affiliate in Denver, Colorado, was one of 10 stations that bumped it to a late-night time slot, when few young viewers were tuned in.
It’s been six years since the critically acclaimed cult fave “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” went off the air. Since then, the television show’s creator Joss Whedon has released a thriller movie called “Serenity,” directed a couple episodes of U.S. comedy series “The Office” on NBC and created the Web sensation “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”
Whedon’s latest project is the sci-fi TV series “Dollhouse” starring the 28-year-old Eliza Dushku, a former “Buffy” cast member. The show began playing earlier this year and has posted mediocre ratings on Fox, which has aired the series in the Friday night dead zone, a time period with typically low viewership. Last Friday, “Dollhouse” ended its weekly erosion and climbed slightly in the ratings to 4.3 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Jackman will star on the Fox channel in a series of three, 60-second spots that together form a storyline tied to the movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” Fox said on Thursday. The movie comes out on May 1.