Star Scoop: Beyonce Breaks Record, Avatar’s Next Move, Critics’ Choice Announces Nominees

By  December 16, 2013

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We kept calm. Beyoncé delivered. Not only did she finally soothe our new music pangs with the stealth release of BEYONCÉ, she made history in the process. Her digital release broke the U.S. iTunes sales record, and sold an astonishing 828,773 copies in just three days. #BowDown. [Entertainment Weekly]

Pining for Pandora? Brace yourself for another two years to three years of waiting. James Cameron‘s highly anticipated Avatar sequels will be shot in New Zealand with projected release dates around the 2016, 2017, and 2018 holiday seasons. [Reuters]

With film awards season in full swing, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle will be duking it out for top honors at just about every ceremony, including the 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. Both films lead the pack with 13 nominations apiece including bids for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Acting Ensemble, and Best Director. [The Hollywood Reporter]

If you’ve longed for a sequel to 1996′s Swingers or 1998′s Shakespeare in Love, you’re in luck. Brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein of Weinstein Co. have reunited with Miramax—the company they founded in 1979 and subsequently sold in 2005—with a 20-year production and distribution deal that will explore Miramax’s archives and develop new works. [L.A. Times]

Hollywood said goodbye to two greats over the weekend. Alfred Hitchcock leading lady Joan Fontaine and Lawrence of Arabia legend Peter O’Toole passed away at 96 and 81 years old. Relive moments from the latter’s five best films, including his 1962 breakthrough, here. [CNN]

All Family Guy fans want for Christmas is for Brian to come back. Consider last night’s episode, which registered a ratings hike for the show, an early present. [USA Today]