Summer is a lazy time of the year for some, like the television industry. Summer is a busy time of the year for others, like movie executives and anyone involved in a potential summer blockbuster, and for any media that covered the death of Michael Jackson.Regardless, summer is as busy a time of year in entertainment news as any other season. From the drama of Jon and Kate to the unexpected sophomore year success for “True Blood” to the bold comments of Megan Fox and to the death of Jackson, this has been a busy summer for entertainment.
The break-up of Jon and Kate Gosselin interrupted those said lazy days for the folks at TLC. Following the announcement of their separation, the show “Jon & Kate Plus 8” went into a month plus long hiatus. Jon Gosselin then continued to make headlines with his poor choices and hasty decisions, becoming one of “The Soup’s” favorite targets. TLC and Jon and Kate had to decide how to re-tool their show without damaging the lives of their children nor damaging their bank accounts. Things were worked out and new episodes of the show are currently airing.
Speaking of television shows, no television show this summer took off quite like HBO’s “True Blood.” Its ratings increased week-by-week. Its overall viewership increased by nearly one million people. Entertainment Weekly ranked Vampire Bill and Vampire Eric in the top five of their “coolest vamps” countdown. Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse) and Stephen Moyer (Bill) even became engaged. Most importantly, for HBO, they have found their next “Sopranos.” Life is good for vampires.
As for the hard-working movie studios, “Transformers 2” left all other summer movies in the dust as it easily grossed over $395 million. Despite the massive amounts of money made by this movie, movie critics have never collectively reacted so harshly and bitterly to one movie. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers trashed it in his review and then trashed it again in his “Harry Potter” review.
Director Michael Bay even made some news as he criticized his lead actress Megan Fox, stating that she has “a lot of growing up to do” after Fox criticized Bay for relying on special effects rather than acting ability. Fox also made more news as she claimed Diablo Cody’s upcoming film “Jennifer’s Body” failed to challenge her as an actress.
As for the other biggest movies of the summer, “Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince” is the second biggest movie of the summer. The movie grossed 290 million dollars and will probably earn over $300 million.
Pixar continued its success with “UP,” which grossed 288 million dollars.
The surprise of the summer, “The Hangover,” which made stars of Zach Galifinakis and Ken Jeung, grossed 268 million $.
J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” grossed $256 million.
As for the most important entertainment news this summer, well, Wolf Blitzer was in his Situation Room. CNBC was busy updating the goings-on in the stock market. Headline News was reporting on the various news stories that surfaced throughout the day. All of that stopped when news of Michael Jackson being rushed to a hospital with cardiac arrest broke. Blitzer began updating the viewers every five minutes that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital.
When he died, Twitter crashed, Facebook suffered massive lags, and MTV began playing music videos for the first time in years.Radio stations played Michael Jackson only as news traveled that the King of Pop had passed away.
His death was and continues to be the biggest news in entertainment. His passing overshadowed the protests in Iran, the war in Afghanistan, and Kim Jong-Il launching four nuclear missles on the Fourth of July as a ‘message’ to the United States. His memorial service had the same amount of coverage as the Richard Regan funeral. No other celebrity will ever be remembered like Michael Jackson.
He dominated the charts for the first time in over a decade. Three of his records remain in the Billboard Top Ten. A parade of friends, lawyers, and former employees sat down with Larry King to talk about the life and death of the King of Pop. E!’s “The Soup” spent five of the show’s first eight minutes making fun of the overwhelming media coverage of his death the week after his death.
A&E is reportedly re-tooling a Jackson Brothers reality show that was originally to focus on Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon, and Randy as they light-heartedly pursued a Jackson Brothers reunion with their brother. In light of his death, the show plans to air with the focus on the brothers grappling with the sudden death of their brother.
Footage of rehearsals for his final tour were bought for $60 million by Sony to be edited into a movie that will run in a limited release for two weeks. The movie’s pre-sale opens a month before the movie’s opening. Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) is helming the project.
Chris Monigle is a fifth-year student majoring in Literature. He can be reached at CM660983@wcupa.edu.