FOOTBALL GOES TO THE MOVIES

The first full-scale 3-D presentation of a football game on movie screens throughout the country is scheduled to take place on Thursday when some 80 theaters nationwide carry the BCS National Championship Game between Florida and Oklahoma. The feed will be provided by Fox Sports, which will use Burbank, CA-based Sality Digital to shoot the game and Cinedigm Digital Cinema of Morristown, NJ to transmit it to the theaters. Fox will provide the play-by-play announcers and commentators. Reporting on the test, today's Wall Street Journal observed, "Some industry observers wonder if fans will be willing to sit still in a theater and snack on popcorn while watching the game. Technical glitches have occurred in previous tests, such as an interruption in the satellite feed. In short, it's unclear if the game will be merely a novelty, or a whole new way to experience game day." The newspaper said that pre-orders for tickets, which are selling for $18-22 have been strong.

DARK KNIGHT DVD SALES SET HOLIDAY RECORD

In an otherwise dismal holiday shopping period, sales of The Dark Knight DVDproved to be an exception, with Best Buy, Virgin Megastores and other retailers reporting record sales of the disc, according to Video Business. Best Buy said that sales of the Batman movie were the best in its history. "It was the most units we ever sold in a week," Best Buy spokesman Brian Lucas told Video Business. "It's a case where our core customer demographic was really drawn to the title." Virgin Megastores reported that Blu-ray sales of the movie at its stores were the best in the high-definition format's history. It also noted that sales of the multi-disc special-edition version nearly equaled those of the single-disc.

WARNER'S AGREES TO LET JUDGE DECIDE ON WATCHMEN RELEASE

Rather than ask for a jury trial that would likely have postponed the release of Watchmen, Warner Bros. has agreed to let a federal judge who has shown the studio little sympathy decide whether 20th Century Fox could prevent it from distributing the movie on March 6 as scheduled. Last month U.S. District Judge Gary Feess agreed that Warner Bros. had not properly obtained the movie rights to Watchmen and advised the two studios to settle the matter. They were unable to do so, however, and the case now appears to be heading toward the appellate courts.

SAG LETTING CONTRACTS LAPSE, SAYS LAWYER

Even as the Screen Actors Guild continues its battle with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (and fights a civil war among its own membership to boot), it has allowed other significant contracts to expire, entertainment attorney Jonathan Handel has observed on The Huffington Post blog. "Where do SAG contracts go when they expire? Who knows, but wherever it is, it's getting more crowded by the day," he writes. Among those already expired are the union's agreement with talent agents and its basic cable agreement. About to expire are the TV animation agreement and the basic cable animation agreement, which run out on January 15 and the contract for commercials, which winds up on March 31.

L.A. D.A. OPPOSES DISMISSAL OF POLANSKI CASE

Los Angeles prosecutors have filed court documents indicating that they will oppose efforts to dismiss the statutory rape case against director Roman Polanski, who has been living as a fugitive in France for more than 30 years. They also argued that the request to dismiss the case can't be heard without Polanski's appearance in court. His lawyers argue otherwise and point out that if he returns to Los Angeles he could be arrested. A hearing on the matter has been set for Jan. 21. On Monday, Polanski's attorney asked that the case be heard in another county, claiming bias on the part of Los Angeles judges and judicial misconduct on the part of the judge who presided in the original case.