By Joe Flint
7:05 AM PDT, May 20, 2013
After the coffee. Before going through two weeks' worth of mail.
The Skinny: Well, I didn't win the Powerball lottery, which means I'll be heading back to the office today after a long trip to New York. Ask me around Thursday if it's good to be home. Monday's headlines include a recap of the weekend box office, Yahoo's purchase of Tumblr and the question of whether there are clouds over Warner Bros. movie chief Jeff Robinov. If you are so eager for the Morning Fix that you must know exactly when it is available online, please send me a note.
Daily Dose: Now that the upfronts are over, everyone around town will start scrambling to see the pilots for all the new shows. In the past, pilots were passed around like gossip, but now even top studio chiefs have a hard time getting a hold of pilots from rival studios. It's made placing writers on shows difficult for some agents. After all, how can you tell your client if it's a good show if you haven't seen it? The lockdown has more to do with fears of bad buzz than piracy.
Not quite warp speed. "Star Trek Into Darkness" took in just over $70 million in its opening weekend. Though it was a respectable number, it was also about $10 million less than what industry watchers had projected. On the plus side, "Star Trek Into Darkness" is performing much better overseas than previous movies in the franchise. Finishing second was "Iron Man 3" followed by "The Great Gatsby." Recaps of the weekend box office from the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter.
Tumblr for you. Yahoo is spending $1.1 billion for the blogging site Tumblr. Although this story is a little out of our wheelhouse, I couldn't resist the chance to use a Culture Club reference. The price tag will likely seem steep to many because Tumblr has revenues of about $13 million. But its more than 100 million users no doubt have Yahoo thinking that it can find ways to monetize the site. More from the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.
The revolution will be televised. You know how when you log on to Amazon, it starts selling you stuff based on what you previously purchased? Well, one day soon your TV may do the same thing. The televisions of the near future want to make viewing life even easier for people. Not everyone -- including me -- will be on board with this. "The TV's heightened awareness of your viewing habits might send an Orwellian chill up the spine of some viewers," notes the Los Angeles Times.
Under the microscope. Hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb's interest in persuading Sony Corp. to spin off its entertainment assets has shined a light on the movie and TV studio. The New York Times said, "Sony finds itself at a troubled crossroads." Sony's television arm is carrying much of the load for the studio. On the movie side, Sony has a solid track record but it doesn't generate as much money as rival studios because of "steep production and infrastructure costs."
Next to go? Is Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov on thin ice at the studio? That's what Variety says. Robinov, known for a testy personality, wasn't happy he was passed over as CEO for the studio. The job went to home entertainment head Kevin Tsujihara. Now people are wondering whether Robinov will be able to make nice with his new boss. Bruce Rosenblum, the head of the TV group and another who was passed over for the top job, has already said he is resigning from the studio.@JBFlint
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