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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"We know all too well the unraveling that has gone on since the crash. Tiger’s little car ride was as pregnant with imminent implosion as the one taken by another sports celebrity on the San Diego Freeway, followed by a convoy of Los Angeles police cars, in 1994. Tiger’s story has been driven by sex, tons of it, in allegedly all different varieties: threesomes in which he greatly enjoyed girl-on-girl, and mild S&M (featuring hair-pulling and spanking); $60,000 pay-for-sex escort dates; a quickie against the side of a car in a church parking lot; a preference for porn stars and nightclub waitresses, virtually all of them with lips almost as thick as their very full breasts; drug-bolstered encounters designed to make him even more of a conquistador (Ambien, of all things); immature sex-text messages ('Send me something naughty ... Go to the bathroom and take [a picture],' 'I will wear you out ... When was the last time you got [laid]?'); soulful confessions that he got married only for image and was bored with his wife; regular payments of between $5,000 and $10,000 each month to keep his harem quiet." (VanityFair)



"Soon-to-be New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is hosting Russian leader Vladimir Putin at his $30 million French Alps chalet as a thank you for officially clearing his name. The billionaire Russian invited Putin to stay at his chalet in Courchevel after the Russian prime minister secured an apology from French authorities for dragging Prokhorov's name into a prostitution scandal. Now Prokhorov -- Russia's richest man -- and Putin have returned to celebrate in the same resort where the false claims were made, and to ski on mountains that will be closed to the public amid tight security. A source told Page Six: 'Putin arrived on Saturday with an entourage of 100 people. He is staying at Prokhorov's chalet, which is surrounded by a ring of tight security. 'Prokhorov invited him as a thank you for officially clearing his name. It is intended to be a very secret and private visit.'" (PageSix)



"One way to avoid all the hassle of going out on New year's Eve is to hold your own party, and it's safe to say that no other private celebration in the world could have rivalled Roman Abramovich's celebrity-packed event.
The billionaire Chelsea owner organised the extravagant do to usher in the new decade on his new (USD $87.5 million) estate on the Caribbean island of St Bart's. Guests including Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and his girlfriend Miranda Kerr were in attendance at the Gouverneur Bay estate — a 70-acre cove surrounded by hills that lead down to a beach. The budget for drinks, food and transport is believed to have been a staggering (USD $2.9 million) and fees for the performers totalled (USD $1.9 million). Performers on the night are said to have included Beyonce, Gwen Stefani and Prince, who was reportedly paid a (USD $811,000) fee. Beyonce was pictured on stage earlier in the night at the island's Nikki Beach restaurant, where husband Jay-Z and R&B singer Usher were also spotted. It is thought all three stars made their way to the oligarch's party after Beyonce's performance." (DailyMail)



"Over the first weekend of 2010, moviegoers still had their minds on the year 2154 as James Cameron's futuristic 3D adventure Avatar easily remained number one for a third consecutive frame breaking records and smashing the $1 billion global box office milestone in the process. With no new releases, the top ten was filled with the same movies as some dropped harder than others while a small handful enjoyed sales boosts thanks to Friday being a holiday for New Year's Day. The Top 20 grossed a scorching $220M kicking off the new decade on the right note. Dipping a mere 10% from its busy Christmas weekend haul, Avatar grossed a sensational $68.3M propelling its 17-day total to an eye-popping $352.1M. The sci-fi epic broke the record for the best third-weekend gross ever beating Spider-Man's $45M from May 2002. Even with today's higher ticket prices and 3D surcharges, Avatar still sold more tickets than the first webslinger pic - approximately 8.4 million vs. 7.8 million. Spider-Man was not helped by any holidays in its third weekend, however. The Na'vi pic also became the second fastest film in history to break the $350M mark. Only The Dark Knight did it quicker in 14 days on its way to a $533.3M final. Of the five films in the top ten that suffered declines this weekend, Avatar enjoyed the lowest drop meaning audiences are still happy with the product and spreading positive buzz. Many of the top-grossing movies of all-time started out with gargantuan numbers but then faded quickly. The mega-budgeted actioner has also grossed more than $10M each day of its release across 17 consecutive days - also a record. Avatar has hauled in the second largest 17-day start for any film and only trails The Dark Knight which made $393.8M last year by the end of its third weekend." (BoxOfiiceGuru)



"Neither a cold-blooded realist nor a bleeding-heart idealist, Barack Obama has a split personality when it comes to foreign policy. So do most U.S. presidents, of course, and the ideas that inspire this one have a long history at the core of the American political tradition. In the past, such ideas have served the country well. But the conflicting impulses influencing how this young leader thinks about the world threaten to tear his presidency apart -- and, in the worst scenario, turn him into a new Jimmy Carter." (Walter russell Meade/ForeignPolicy)



"It's all the rage at the moment to denounce the president's cool and his 'inability to connect.' Where did the inspiring Obama of the campaign go, that Facebook pied piper who friended the whole world with this update: Change you can believe in. What happened to him? Nothing, as it turns out... Obama was always this guy. When I met him in 2007 along with a small group of New York donors, he was just the same as he is as president. A bit wordy, a bit aloof, a bit theoretical. There was a hint of truculence when challenged to be specific on policy. The gaggle of demanding Park Avenue big shots who shared the elevator with me on the way down were underwhelmed. They also felt vaguely dissed. He had failed to make a fuss of any of them." (Tina Brown/TheDailyBeast)



"A brutal year was 2009, one of the scariest Hollywood and the world economy has seen in decades. And yet 2010 dawns with what should be a sense of optimism. In 2009, Hollywood underwent a vitally necessary correction, one that was painful but which places the entertainment industry on much healthier footing as it faces the future. The dark news came all year as production companies closed, independent movie studios floundered and studios and networks cut hundreds of jobs. People were eliminated at Warner Brothers (800), News Corp (400 at MySpace), Disney (1,900), Sony (300) and Lionsgate (45).DreamWorks sat idle for months as it struggled to close its funding from a reluctant Indian partner. That, after giving up its dreams of being an independent studio. MGM began its downward slide toward a still-unresolved end game. Universal and Disney both underwent clean sweeps of their top executive ranks, and brought in younger and – in Disney’s case – more aggressive change agents. Both Hollywood news trades went through serial cutbacks. Senator films sunk. Weinstein shrunk. The indie world sat there and shivered, as a whole." (Sharon Waxman/TheWrap)



(image via NYSD)

"New Year's Eve was a blast with fetes all over the place in all different sizes: Alfred Taubman and his beautiful wife Judy gave a small black tie seated dinner with treats such as caviar, vintage icy champagne, Chateau Margaux, mariachis and more." (PalmBeachSocialDiary)



"THE BEST BALL: By a mile, this honor goes to the annual Meridian Ball. For one thing, it drew a contingent of elusive young White House staff, but for another it was off the hook. From the dinners at embassies to the ball itself, everyone got loose, which is healthy, and into the wee hours, which means way past Washington’s official bedtime." (WashingtonSocilDiary)



"Not that it did cost $500 million to make -- but so what if it did? James Cameron’s 'Avatar' grossed a box-office-leading $25.2 million on New Year’s Day Friday, putting the Fox epic on pace to pass $300 million domestically on Saturday, according to studio estimates. And the 3D film is still picking up steam. It actually grew its total audience 9 percent from a week-two Friday, when it also shot up from its premiere. 'Avatar' is on pace to finish the three-day weekend with over $60 million in North America. With $476.2 million in foreign grosses coming into the weekend, it’s easily set to pass the $1 billion global benchmark within the next several weeks. Other highlights amid Friday’s buoyant New Year’s Day box office included Warner’s 'Blind Side' finishing fifth in its seventh week with $4.5 million, and crossing the $200 million mark in the process." (TheWrap)

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