Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas TV guide

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$132 million for Police

Police Collar Top Tour of 2007

12/24/2007 4:00 AM, E! Online
David Jenison

In a classic case of role reversal, it was the Police who topped this year's most-wanted list.

The trio's reunion tour, which kicked off May 28 in Vancouver, finished 2007 as North America's number one top grossing tour, per year-end figures released Friday by the concert trade Pollstar. Sting & Co.'s 41-city, 54-show outing grossed $132 million in ticket sales, nearly double the amount of country star Kenny Chesney, who finished second with $71 million.

The Police had the highest average per-concert take, with $3.2 million per gig. The reunited rockers also sold the most tickets, just over 1.15 million, followed closely by Chesney's 1.14 million. But the Police only had the fifth highest average ticket price ($114.32), behind Barry Manilow ($141.72), Celine Dion ($141.26), Genesis ($130.39) and Elton John ($126.76).

The Police were also the top ticket seller internationally, bringing in a grand total of $212 million worldwide. The trio, who finished the tour's Latin American leg earlier this month, restarts the tour Jan. 17 in New Zealand.

The reunited Genesis proved it could still turn it on again. Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford kicked off their North American jaunt Sept. 7 in Toronto and finished the year as the eighth highest grossing tour at $47.6 million. Genesis cracked the top 10 with the fewest number of shows, 25, but the band's high seat prices made up the difference. Genesis also scored the second highest grossing international tour, selling $129 million in tickets worldwide.

Showing that reunion tours were the rage this year, Van Halen finished in the fifth spot. On the heels of their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the L.A. rockers launched their reunion tour last September, selling nearly $57 million in tickets to date.

The fourth highest grossing act wasn't really a tour at all. Celine Dion did 113 performances of A New Day at Caesar's Palace this year, with the Canadian chanteuse finishing her remarkable five-year run just last week. Her Las Vegas residency brought in $65.3 million in its final year.

Since opening her show in early 2003, Dion sold more than $400 million in tickets to nearly 3 million fans. The casino's 4,100-seat Colosseum, built specifically for her performances, limited her tickets-per-show average, but she led the pack in total number of shows.

While many singers would take a break after such a grueling schedule, Dion appears anxious to get on the road. Her yearlong Taking Chances tour kicks off Valentine's Day in South Africa.

Chesney's second-place finish kept Justin Timberlake at third, with about $500,000 separating them. The country star also exacted some revenge by topping Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's Soul2Soul 2007 tour, which finished sixth with $52.3 million. Last year, the Soul2Soul tour grossed $88.6 million, topping Chesney's 2005 Somewhere in the Sun as the highest grossing country tour of all time.

Among the other top-10 finishers, Rod Stewart and current Christmas king Josh Groban finished at seventh ($49 million) and ninth ($43 million), respectively. With $41.5 million in sales, Rascal Flatts finished 10th, giving country music three of the year's top-10 tours.

Just outside the top 10 were a clutch of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, with Billy Joel finishing 12th ($39.1 million), Roger Waters 13th ($38.3 million) and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band coming in 14th ($38.2 million). Elton John finished at 16th with $35.7 million, thanks to his Red Piano show, which he performed in the Colosseum during Celine Dion's breaks.

Tween concertgoers were represented by Miley Cyrus. The Disney Channel star's Best of Both Worlds Tour, one of the year's hardest tickets to come by, finished 15th, with $36 million in gross ticket sales.

Finally, Mexican rockers ManĂ¡ had the top Spanish-language tour, and the 20th highest grossing overall, moving nearly $34 million in tickets over 46 shows.

Per Pollstar, the top 20 tours grossed $996 million, down nearly 16 percent from 2006. Total North American ticket sales hit $2.6 billion for the year, according to Billboard. That's a drop of 10 percent from last year's record-setting mark, while the actual number of concertgoers—51 million—was also down 19 percent.

Here's a recap of 2007's top 10 highest grossing North American tours, per Pollstar:

1. The Police ($131.9 millon)

2. Kenny Chesney ($71.1 million)

3. Justin Timberlake ($70.6 million)

4. Celine Dion ($65.3 million)

5. Van Halen ($56.7 million)

6. Tim McGraw/Faith Hill ($52.3 million)

7. Rod Stewart ($49 million)

8. Genesis ($47.6 million)

9. Josh Groban ($43 million)

10. Rascal Flatts ($41.5 million)

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Brad pitt, Katie Holmes & Christina Aguilera Birthday Fun

See how Christina Aguilera, Brad Pitt, and Katie Holmes celebrated their shared birthday. see it here:


Did a Ghost visit a Gas Station?

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Top Videos of 2007

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Best Shopping Deals found after Christmas

The Real Savings Start After Christmas
by Suzanne Kapner
Monday, December 24, 2007

If you thought the discounts were big before Christmas, just wait until after Christmas. That's when retailers will really slash prices.

But not all products will be discounted equally. Expect the biggest deals post-Christmas on women's apparel and consumer electronics; toy prices, which were slashed sharply in the last few weeks, have less room to fall, according to Dan de Grandpre, the founder and editor of Dealnews, which tracks holiday discounts.

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De Grandpre said he has seen toy prices fall 60 percent in the past three weeks, including discounts on popular toys such as Fisher Price's T.M.X. Tickle Me Ernie and Cookie Monster. One reason for the heavier-than-usual discounting: Amazon.com. Until recently, Amazon had a partnership with Toys "R" Us to sell playthings online. That relationship ended in a lawsuit, with a New Jersey Superior Court Judge ruling that Amazon violated an agreement to make Toys "R" Us the exclusive toy retailer on the site. Now on its own, the site has gone on a discounting tear. "Amazon has aggressively cut prices this year, most likely to establish market share," de Grandpre said.

Apparel, particularly women's clothing, is likely to see bigger markdowns after Christmas. Apparel has been one of the weaker categories this holiday season, but many retailers held off on big clothing discounts until recently. "We only started to see 50 percent off sales on apparel in the last week, so apparel prices have further to fall," de Grandpre continued.

Historically, January was a sleepy month for retailers. Following the Christmas rush, most stores used the month to clear excess winter goods and get ready for spring. But with the rise of gift cards, January has becoming increasingly important in calculating overall holiday sales. "January used to be a throwaway month," said Marshal Cohen, a senior analyst with the NPD Group, a market research firm. "Now it's become a very important month."

Gift card sales are expected to total $26.3 billion, up from $24.8 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Because consumers who redeem the cards tend to spend more than the value of the gift, retailers will be pulling out the stops to get shoppers back in stores as soon as possible. (Retailers typically do not count the money on gift cards as revenue until the cards are redeemed.)

"Retailers could encourage consumers to redeem their unused gift cards for this year's gift purchases by offering a dollar amount or percentage off the purchase, free gift wrap or some other bonus," according to a recent holiday shopping survey by Deloitte & Touche. "If retailers are not thinking of specific promotions around gift cards, they should be," said Stacy Janiak, Deloitte's U.S. retail practice leader. "Because more of the holiday wallet is not going to get spent in their stores until after the holidays."

Circuit City, for instance, is offering shoppers who redeem gift cards by Jan. 13 the chance to enter into a sweepstakes. Prizes include an Olympus camera and the chance to win further gift cards worth up to $500.

Most retailers are secretive about their post-holiday promotions and only reveal them in newspaper circulars on Christmas Day. But some online retailers are getting a jump on post-holiday promotions. De Grandpre said he has noticed a growing number of Internet retailers having post-Christmas sales as early as Dec. 21, the shipping deadline for products guaranteed to arrive by Christmas Day.

So if you don't need to buy that gift (for yourself, perhaps) for a few more days, it might pay to wait.

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