Senate Axes Hollywood Help

Hollywood was hoping a bailout to call its own would be written into the stimulus package, but the Senate sunk its hopes with a vote of 52 to 45 against a proposed tax break that would have offered studios a 50 percent write-off on new film projects. Senators John McCain and Tom Coburn argued against the break, noting that Tinseltown is (at least for now) weathering the economic storm with $1.03 billion ticket sales posted for January. Coburn of Oklahoma spearheaded the efforts, saying, "They had their best January ever." All is not roses, though, as the credit crunch has eliminate financial backing for new projects—even the stalwart Walt Disney Co. announced its profits were down by a third.