Taylor Swift: 'Red' debut nets record 1.2 million sales in first week

Today’s roundup of the pop-culture world finds a red-hot Taylor Swift, Oliver Stone talking Hurricane Sandy, Snooki, many other items, and the mystery music video.

NOT A BAD LITTLE DEBUT: And a shrewd marketing campaign certainly hasn’t hurt, per the Los Angeles Times, “The tally is in, and Taylor Swift’s “Red” album sold 1.208 million copies during its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the biggest single-week sales figure in more than a decade. It’s Swift’s second consecutive album to top the 1-million mark in its debut week, joining — and surpassing — her 2010 album “Speak Now,” which bowed with 1.047 million copies out of the gate.”

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: However you so choose, per the New York Times, “Like a ragtag band of Rebel pilots making their assault on the Death Star, the news that the Walt Disney Company was buying Lucasfilm — and with it, its valuable “Star Wars” film franchise — took lifelong fans of that George Lucas space-adventure series by surprise on Tuesday. While these devoted aficionados could have just used the Force to make peace with the acquisition, many of them preferred to register their opinions at that modern-day Creature Cantina known as the Internet.”

SANDY: “A punishment,” per the Huffington Post, “Ever-honest director and author Oliver Stone stopped by HuffPost Live on Tuesday to discuss Barack Obama's presidency, climate change and his new book and documentary series, "The Untold History of the United States." Stone is an equal opportunity critic, arguing that neither Obama nor Mitt Romney tackled climate change in a substantive way. "I was a little disappointed at the third debate when neither of them talked about climate control and the nature of the situation on Earth," Stone said. "I think there's kind of a weird statement coming right after ... this is a punishment ... Mother Nature cannot be ignored. That's all I thought about."

MEANWHILE: An industry stifled, per Rolling Stone, “In addition to drowning subways, knocking down trees, exploding transformers and generally disrupting life in New York and the East Coast, Hurricane Sandy has scrambled the entertainment business, particularly music. Broadway shows and performances at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall and Lincoln Center were canceled on Monday and Tuesday; late-night hosts Letterman and Jimmy Fallon performed their regular shows yesterday with no live audiences, while Jimmy Kimmel nixed a live taping of his show in Brooklyn.”

HOWEVER: Signs of a return to relative normal, per The Hollywood Reporter, “Entertainment companies on Wednesday started reopening their New York offices following Hurricane Sandy-related closures, even though staff in most cases had the option of working from home amid questions about the public transportation system and traffic. Many of the Big Apple's on-air TV personalities have figured out a way to get into the office, including Katie Couric who tweeted she had made it to ABC's studios on the Upper West Side of Manhattan."{ }

LIKE CLOCKWORK: Orange, that is, per Deadline, “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the life and career of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.”

SNOOKI: And Sandy, per Us Weekly, “As New Jersey struggles to pick up the pieces in the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the Seaside Heights, N.J. pad that Snooki and her Jersey Shore cast mates called home is still standing. The iconic beachfront town made famous by MTV's reality hit was virtually decimated by Hurricane Sandy and fires continued to burn Oct. 31 as the area remains underwater.”

A TRIBUTE: On the big screen, per Entertainment Weekly, “Levon Helm is truly the man of the hour. The late drummer for The Band, who passed away on April 19 at 71, is seeing a spike in popularity. First there was the star-studded “Love for Levon” benefit concert in New Jersey; now, a 2010 documentary called Ain’t In It For My Health is set to hit theaters nationwide next year.”

CMA AWARDS: And a familiar pair, per Access Hollywood, “Spend a lot of time with a guy over five years and you get to know him pretty well. In the time Carrie Underwood has spent co-hosting the Country Music Association Awards with Brad Paisley, she’s learned there’s nothing fake about the man with the white hat.”

HEY, WAIT A MINUTE!: Like, that’s not cool, per the AP, “A county commissioner in Las Vegas says she regrets the board renamed a street in honor of Guns N' Roses after finding out about the band's suggestive promotional poster. An ad promoting the band's four-week run at the Hard Rock Hotel depicts a woman who appears to be sexually assaulted beneath the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.”

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video.

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