s Paramount Pictures worried that Beyoncé Knowles' heavy hype for her new album — released yesterday — is hurting promotional plans for the December blockbuster "Dreamgirls"?
A knowledgeable insider insisted yesterday that Beyoncé's album "B'Day," marking the singer-actress' 25th birthday Monday, could threaten the movie, which Paramount acquired last December when it absorbed DreamWorks SKG.
"Beyoncé's oversaturation in the marketplace has thrown a major monkey wrench in the 'Dreamgirls' rollout campaign," the insider told Lowdown, claiming that her album was originally planned for next year, but Beyoncé — concerned that the film won't be the star vehicle she'd hoped for — secretly recorded it this summer, without the knowledge of Paramount or even her manager-father, Matthew Knowles.
"It will take away from the anticipation of the 'Dreamgirls' soundtrack," said my source. "She has left Paramount with not a lot of options for rolling out this film. … All her solo attention is making Paramount reposition their strategy at the last minute."
Yesterday, a Paramount spokesman scoffed at this account, claiming, "The buzz created by the album's release has only raised awareness of the film," noting that Beyoncé's "Dreamgirls" original tune, "Listen," is on her new CD. "Paramount and DreamWorks are nothing but thrilled with Beyoncé," the flack said.
Beyoncé's PR rep, Alan Nierob, also disputed the insider: "I guarantee you that the publicity campaign for the film is in place, and nothing relating to the publicity for her solo album has affected that campaign."
But the insider insisted: "She rushed that album out in part because she realized she's not going to be the one to shine in 'Dreamgirls.' Apparently she didn't come to terms with the fact that the Effie White character" — played by "American Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson — "is the focal point of the film."
Nierob countered: "The movie is not only the vehicle she'd hoped it would be, it has surpassed what she hoped it would be."