America's financial crisis hasn't stopped studios from dropping big money in their quest for Oscars, Nikki Finke writes on Deadline Hollywood Daily. Amid layoffs and cutbacks, Paramount took out 7 full-page ads for Revolutionary Road in the New York Times, and Disney spent $675,000 for a Wall-E insert in the LA Times. "So a $675,000 insert is falling out of newspapers sent to 1 in 10 homes in foreclosure," one insider said.
"It's so unbelievably pretentious and self-promoting and self-aggrandizing that I just can't not comment on it," said one recipient of a making-of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button coffee table book. Paramount placed a double-page spread promoting Button in Variety the same day the Viacom layoffs were announced, Finke notes, for a cost of around $250,000—or about 5 assistants' salaries. (Read more Oscars stories.)