Sofia Vergara: 'Modern Family' star sends warm-weather greeting

CREDIT: Sofia Vergara/WhoSay

Today’s roundup of the pop-culture world finds Sofia Vergara rubbing it in, Britney Spears possibly losing a gig, Taylor Swift, other things, and an old-school mystery music video.

MEET YOU IN MIAMI: So says Sofia Vergara, per E!, “The Columbian actress added some heat to the winter season when she posted this photo of herself soaking in the sun in Miami while rocking a sexy, black and white cutout bathing suit on her WhoSay page. "Holyday," she wrote.”

THE HOBBIT IS DOWN: But certainly not out, per The Wrap, “Even though projections for “Les Miserables” and “Django Unchained" have been raised after their knockout Christmas debuts, “The Hobbit” An Unexpected Journey” could be back on top of the box office when the dust clears this weekend. It should be close. Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth epic will take in north of $30 million for Warner Bros., industry analysts predict, with Universal’s musical “Les Miz” at $29 million and the Weinstein Company’s “Django” doing around $24 million.”

LIFE AS ART: For that matter, art as life, per the Washington Post, “At a time when pop culture is awash in a sea of random-but-connected data points — touching on everything from torture, the war on terrorism and self-censorship to gun violence, race and history — leave it to the audience to provide clarity and consensus. That, at least, is the cautiously optimistic message of the past week, when movies as diverse as “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Jack Reacher” and “Django Unchained” have provided filmgoers with ways to process and respond to contentious current events.”

SWIFT CURRENTS: Playing catch-up is futile, per the New York Times, “Taylor Swift held on to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart for a sixth week, beating releases by T.I. and Bruno Mars, as well as the “12-12-12” charity album, in one of the biggest sales weeks of the year for the music industry. Ms. Swift’s “Red” (Big Machine) sold 276,000 copies in the week that ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the period when most — but not all — last-minute holiday shopping took place.”

BRITNEY SPEARS: Reportedly out of a job, per Us Weekly, “As the new issue of Us Weekly reveals, the "Hold It Against Me" singer is on her way out as a judge for Fox's hit reality competition, which wrapped its second season on Dec. 20. . . One reason? Spears' $15 million contract, which sources say the low-energy mentor hasn't earned. "They paid all that for her to say 'amazing' and offer half-claps," a second insider tells Us. Adds a third source of show co-creator Simon Cowell, who is leading the charge to axe the performer: "He wanted crazy Britney, but he got boring Britney."

OBIT: Just the facts, per Rolling Stone, “St. Louis-based R&B singer Fontella Bass – best known for her 1965 hit "Rescue Me" – died Wednesday after a heart attack, KSDK reports. She was 72. Born in St. Louis in June 1940, Bass first reached ears earlier in 1965 with the successful single "Don't Mess With A Good Thing," with Bobby McClure. "Rescue Me" topped the R&B charts for a month and held steady in the top five of the pop charts as well.”

GOOD START: But after that. . .per the Los Angeles Times, “ "Promised Land" certainly sounds promising. It's got a strong cast and an intriguing premise that has the added bonus of real-world relevance. But, good intentions and good work aside, the film flounders before it reaches its conclusion. The film, which stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski, who co-wrote the script (from a story by Dave Eggers), ends up too gimmicky for its evident earnestness.”

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video.

--Skip Wood (Follow me on Twitter @DaybreakSkip)