In a few months, after New Moon leaves the theaters, we will celebrate the milestone of being halfway through our national Twilight journey, with only two more films to go. But first we have to get through this weekend.
• After all the build-up, the actual film seems rather beside the point. But New Moon is here and looking to do the box office what vampires do to their victims, except not leaving them dead, but rather filled up with money. The second installment of the Twilight series has already become the all time online ticket sales champion. In it's opening weekend it is expected to rake in in the range of $85 million domestic, although there is some buzz that it could, just possibly, if we can dare to dream, break the magic $100 million opening weekend figure. [Hollywood Reporter]
• And if you are worried that what with there only being a couple Harry Potter movies left and Twilight being half over, that we might soon be running out of fantasy mega-cycles at our multiplexes, set your mind at ease, help is on the way. Lorenzo di Bonaventura yesterday nailed the rights to produce a film adaptation of the six chapter literary fantasy series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Bonaventura, Variety notes, presided over the launch of the Potter series which has currently grossed $5.38 billion worldwide while he was head of production at Warner Brothers. [Variety]
• Oscar's got a new director. The fantastically named Hamish Hamilton, veteran of directing live concert events will take the Academy's baton under producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman. [Variety]
• The Academy however, majorly dissed its once darling Michael Moore. His latest installment of the Michael Moore Yells at The Rich cycle Capitalism, A Love Story, failed to make the short list of 15 films up for the Best Documentary prize. The list which included favorites Valentino: The Last Emperor, The Cove and Every Little Step, will be winnowed down to five nominees in February. [The Wrap]
• Forbes has done the math on the most-overpaid stars in Hollywood, coming up with a showbiz equivalent of a PE ratio, calculating how much their movies gross for every dollar they are paid. Topping the list: Will Ferrell whose films earn a mere $3.29 for every dollar he has paid. [Forbes]
• The New York Times reports on how early very obscure Oscar buzz for Jeff Bridges' performance as a country singer in Crazy Heart transformed a movie that its distributor had deemed unreleasable into a major awards contender. [NY Times]
• Asked in an interview with CNBC's Erin Burnett about the pending sale of NBC/Universal to Comcast, CEO Jeff Zucker was tight lipped, saying "I'm incredibly interested to see what will happen...Time will tell." Asked about his decision to upend NBC's schedule with the Jay Leno Experiment, Zucker deflected the question, focusing on the show's spin, saying he thought it was unfortunate that the move had been portrayed as part of a cost-cutting strategy and that its just about making great shows. His team is focused on doing "whatever it takes to put on the best television," he said, which is something less than saying either "We are committed to giving Jay as long as he needs to find an audience" or, on the other hand, "What the hell have we done!?" [Hollywood Reporter]