Never let it be said that PopWatch doesn’t doggedly work to bring you news you can use. Today’s breaking story: Barking is hot in Hollywood.

Think about it: Eight Below is freezing out the competition at the box office, and another canine-heavy flick, The Shaggy Dog, is set to open next Friday. On last night’s American Idol, front-running contestant Mandisa showed off a surprisingly funny practical joke called ”dog jaw” (that was later imitated by Paula Abdul). And capping off our trend, there’s Oscar nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman, who recently told David Letterman that back in the day, he promised his buddies if he ever won an Oscar, he’d woof his way through his acceptance speech. Sounds like Sunday’s telecast might be Rated Arf!