Kevin Reilly exits Fox. 'Maleficent' to put spell on box office.

Kevin Reilly exits Fox. 'Maleficent' to put spell on box office.
Seth MacFarlane's "A Million Ways to Die in the West" opens this weekend. (Universal Pictures)

After the coffee. Before applying to be head of entertainment for Fox.

The Skinny: If you want to know why reporters are often cynical, it's because when we try to get the story we often end up getting the runaround. It's been that kind of week and I'm glad it's over. Friday's headlines include the box office preview and the departure of Fox's head programmer Kevin Reilly.

Daily Dose: Fox Sports executives have already talked with the potential new owner of the Clippers about the team's TV deal. Steve Ballmer's $2 billion offer to acquire the Los Angeles Clippers is no doubt at least partially a bet on TV money. But there could be a rude awakening coming. The Clippers are not the Lakers when it comes to ratings.

A million ways not to finish first. Walt Disney Co.'s "Maleficent" starring Angelina Jolie is expected to unseat the latest "X-Men" movie for the top spot at the box office and easily beat "A Million Ways to Die in the West, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane's comic take on the west. "Maleficent," a twist on "Sleeping Beauty," is expected to take in $60 million. MacFarlane's movie is projected to pull in $25 million. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

Early vacation. Just a few weeks after laying out a new fall schedule to advertisers, Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly is out at the network. Speculation that Reilly was headed out the door had been heating up over the last month although as recently as late last week company insiders were dismissive of the rumors. Fox is coming off a particularly tough season in which only two new shows survived. "American Idol," which Reilly had little oversight of, has also tumbled dramatically. Fox did not name a replacement for Reilly, who had been in the post for seven years. More on the shakeup from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Vulture, TV Guide and Deadline Hollywood.

New role. Nicole Seligman, one of the most senior executives of Sony's U.S. operations and its longtime general counsel, has been named president of entertainment. The new post will give Seligman a lot of say in Sony's movie and TV operations although she will report to Michael Lynton, chief executive of Sony Entertainment. Details from Reuters.

Catch fire or burn out. This Sunday AMC premieres "Halt and Catch Fire," a new drama about the development of the personal computer business in the early 1980s. Will it be the next "Mad Men" or the next "Low Winter Sun." AMC hopes the former not only because it needs a new hit to replace "Mad Men," which ends next year but also because unlike most of the shows it airs, "Halt and Catch Fire" is owned by the network. The Wall Street Journal on why AMC wants to own rather than rent.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on "Maleficent" and "A Million Ways to Die in the West."

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