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Dan Cox

CNN’s Top 10 Stories, According to CNN

cnnlogo.jpg
CNN wanted to alert FBLA to its Top 10 Stories, so it sent out notice.

We said where do we salute.

CNN.com’s Top 10 Stories in 2008 (and corresponding Page Views)
1. Obama: ‘This is your victory’ Nov. 5: 4.8 million page views
2. Actor Heath Ledger dies at 28 Sept. 22: 4.4 million page views
3. Cops: Why we think skull is Caylee’s Dec. 12: 3.9 million page views
4. Hurricane Ike Sept. 12: 3.7 million page views
5. Economic Stimulus Jan. 24: 3.6 million page views
6. Body in SUV is Hudson’s nephew, FBI says Oct. 27: 3.5 million page views
7. Spitzer’s escort: ‘I love who I am’ March 13: 3.4 million page views
8. Body proves Bigfoot no myth, hunters say Aug. 15: 3.3 million page views
9. Palin’s ‘going rogue,’ McCain aide says Oct. 26: 3.2 million page views
10. Some remains found in Fossett plane wreckage Oct. 3: 3.1 million page views

Franken Stirring It Up: The Repubs Love This Guy

alfranken.jpgAl Franken took his “Saturday Night Live” gig to the next level when he was officially was announced the winner in the Senate race in Minnesota.

But the Repubs are pulling out the stops. Dick Morris, who believe it or not was an extreme Democrat when he worked for Pres. Clinton, has taken arms against the Franken sea of troubles. (See more below:)

Morris wants him dead. Dead.

Just politics, we hope.

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National Autism Society Reaches Out To Travolta Clan

jetttravolta.jpgAutism United, a nationwide group of parents of more than 15,000 children with autism, wants John Travolta and Kelly Preston to join its cause.

The group sent the Travoltas an open invitation in the form of a press release (see below).

Read more

Producers Guild Nominees Just Like Globes

bbut.jpgThe Producers Guild, that robust 3,600-member org announced its nominations for best picture, or as they term it, the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year award.

They include: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Dark Knight,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk” and “Slumdog Millionaire” as the nominees for its Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award.

The winners, determined by voting of the members of the PGA, will be announced Jan. 24 at the Hollywood Palladium.

Hmmmmm. Sounds a lot like the Golden Globes.

Except, of course, for “Dark Knight” and “Milk.”

Hollywood Still Going To The Dogs

frankel.jpg“Marley and Me,” a loveable bowser of a movie about a pooch and his itinerant relationships, continued to dominate the box office this weekend, pulling in some $24 million to reach a cumulative of $106 million, says FBLA box office guru Steve Mason.

Mason continues that the movie is on track to rake in some $160 million domestic making it the No. 1 live-action dog movie of all time. Won’t touch the Dalmations, as they’re animated, but for live-action, Marley is taking top slot.

The film means big money for Fox, but the real winner may be director David Frankel (see pic at left), who chalks the film up as his second $100 million-plus earner after “Devil Wears Prada,” which closed at $124.7 million.

Frankel also happens to be the son of Max Frankel, a longtime editor of the New York Times.

National Critics Society Gets Political — Why Exactly?

waltzbashir.jpgThe National Society of Film Critics, normally an apolitical bunch, decided to make a stand against Israel on the same day that the embattled nation launched a ground attack on Hamas in Gaza, IndieWire reports.

Not that anyone in Israel or Gaza give a hoot, but the Critics Society gave its best picture award to the film “Waltz with Bashir,” a documentary directed by Ari Folman about the the atrocities the Israeli army perpetuated during the early 80s Lebanon War.

Sony Pictures Classics opened the anti-war film in U.S. theaters last week.

Film critics voted Saturday afternoon at Sardi’s in New York City’s Times Square.

So much for critics who claim they don’t care about politics.

Foreign B.O. Climbing To $1 Billion Per Studio

indijones.jpgWhile 15 years ago, overseas box office would account for 10% to 20% of a film’s worldwide B.O. tallies, in recent years that figure has skyrocketed, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Now, foreign (as it is normally, if not pejoratively described) is accounting for half if not more of worldwide box office receipts. Who’s to say why those fuzzy furreners are so hot for American product?

But they are.

Paramount, who led worldwide revenues with $2.037 billion, was bolstered by the astounding, yet expected performance of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” at $469.5 million against $317 million domestic.

Maybe they just love Indy.

IndieWire Top 10 Always A Hoot!

indiewire.gifIndieWIRE, under the watchful eye of Eugene Hernandez, has been eager to back underdog films and support anything that goes against the grain for more than a decade. They probably voted for Dennis Kucinich, but you ever know.

That said, the round-up of IndieWIRE staffers and contributors is always a good read. Here it is.

Take a look and see if your indie IQ is anywhere near the experts. My feeling is no. But if you have to indulge, buy yourself a black beret and foreign cigarettes and rent a few dozen indie films and dig right in.

At best, an education. At worst, a half-day you’ll never get back, but you’ll always remember.

Bart Becomes A Softie Re: Will Smith

asmith2.jpgVariety editor Peter Bart, who has had his share of those nasty little “Memo to” columns over the years has certainly turned his naysaying around with the latest.

Suddenly, Bart is puckering up and smacking one on Will Smith‘s very wealthy behind.

Whether Smith actually needs such accolades is a question for the ages. But his movie “Seven Pounds” isn’t exactly tearing ‘em up at the box office.

Maybe it’ll help.

Bacon/Sedgwick The Latest Madoff Victims

baconsedg.jpgKevin Bacon and wife Kyra Sedgwick (who is now with “The Closer” definitely the bread-winner in that household) were taken by Bernie Madoff and his $50 billion Wall Street swindle, New York mag reports.

They join an illustrious list of such Hollywood royalty as Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

But FBLA can’t figure out how much BacWick might have lost. Maybe “The Closer” is taking off. We know it’s not $50 billion. “The Closer” ratings aren’t that good.

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