Oscar Brand Still Good For Something

· The five Best Picture nominees have earned $97 million since they were announced, more than twice what last year's nominees made in the same time period. Expect a two-page trade ad from the Academy touting that sum in 248-pt. font over the words "BIGGEST. OSCAR. BUMP. EVER." [Variety]
· Former Hobbit Dominic Monaghan has been cast in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He won't be subjected to further brutal spirit-gumming sessions, however, as he doesn't play a mini-Wolverine, but "a mysterious character...who has the ability to manipulate energy and electricity." Aw, we wanted a Wolverinezuki! [Variety]

· Edie Falco follows in Mary Louise Parker's footsteps, starring in a half-hour comedy for Showtime produced by Lionsgate, about "an iron-willed Gotham nurse balancing the challenges of work in an urban hospital and a difficult personal life." No title yet, but may we suggest Needles? Then they can plug it as the "Weeds n' Needles Comedy Hour." [Variety]
· Discovery Channel got cold feet about airing Oscar-nominated documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, about the murder of an Afghani cab driver at a U.S. air base, so HBO scooped it up for a September airing. [Variety]
· THR questions if the lack of post-strike activity suggests "the calm before the storm or the calm before more calm?" Not to criticize their coverage, but they completely left out the possibility of it being the calm before the storm before another brief period of calmness before a steadier storm front moves in. So many possibilities! [THR]