Hollywood Wants to Take All Your Christmas Money

This year's record profits weren't enough: Hollywood wants the $20 grandma gave you for Christmas, too, with a raft of big films slated for Christmastime release. "Sherlock Holmes," "It's Complicated" and... uh "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel."

Of course all three will be facing down "Avatar", which The Hollywood Reporter says is in position for an unusually strong second week, as SNOWPOCALYPSE '09 dampened first-week ticket sales. But it should be a pretty big Christmas non-denominational holiday festival week for movies. [THR]

•These film will push Hollywood's collective domestic box office take even higher than the record $10 billion already made this year. It's the first time Hollywood breached the $10 billion mark. They will be celebrating all the money they made next year by giving away statues made of gold. [THR]

•Former HBO chairman Chris Albrecht has been named CEO of Starz. Albrecht played a large role in developing some of HBO's most successful original series: "Sex and the City", "The Sopranos", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", etc. So, look for some more quality series from Starz. [Deadline]

Simon Cowell's brother is publicly hinting Simon will be leaving "American Idol" at the end of 2010 in order to help develop an American version of the British talent show "X-Factor"—a show which sounds exactly like "American Idol". [EW]

•Horse news! Stephen Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios has bought the rights to the hit play "War Horse," now running in London. Lee Hall, who wrote the screenplay for "Billy Elliot" will adapt "War Horse." [NYT]

•Joan "smoothface" Rivers is back on E! She has a smooth face! She will be hosting "Fashion Police" specials! Her face is so smooth you could roll out some clay on it with which to make a beautiful traditional Japanese Raku vase. [THR]

•We half-joked that "Videocracy," the new Silvio Berlusconi documentary, was picked up for U.S. distribution as a result of his famous face-smashing. Now, a spokeswoman for Lorber Films wants to point out that the company in fact announced the film before the souvenir-to-the-face incident. Also, that they "deplore such violence." Ho hum. [NYT]