After the coffee. Before deciding who to root for in the Stanley Cup.
The Skinny: I'm not a hockey fan, but I did watch the Kings' overtime win. Now I have a dilemma. Do I root for the Kings or do I root for the Rangers because in my heart I'm a New Yorker? I'll let you know after Game 5. Today's headlines include the weekend box office roundup, NBC's Super Bowl sales effort and Amazon teaming up with Mattel on kids' content.
Daily Dose: In a sign that many of its future fights will be on Capitol Hill, Netflix is beefing up its public relations presence in Washington, D.C. The company has hired Anne Marie Squeo as a director of corporate communications specializing in regulatory issues. Squeo, a PR vet whose resume includes a stint at Lockheed Martin, is also a former Wall Street Journal reporter.
Casting a spell. "Maleficent," Walt Disney Co.'s twist on "Sleeping Beauty," took in almost $70 million at the box office. That was stronger than expected but given the movie's expensive production and marketing costs, Disney still needs a few more strong weekends from "Maleficent." Firing blanks was "A Million Ways to Die in the West," a comedy starring "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane that made less than $20 million. Taking a tumble in its second weekend was "X-Men: Days of Future Past." Last weekend's champ took in $32 million, a drop of 64%. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter.
Slow start. So far, advertisers are holding their powder when it comes to buying commercial inventory on the broadcast networks for the fall TV season. Normally, some deal-making is done in May after the schedules are unveiled but not this year. That may mean the broadcast networks may be in for some tough negotiations. Fox in particular probably didn't do itself any favors by announcing its longtime entertainment chief Kevin Reilly was exiting just weeks after he pitched that network's new schedule. That's like a general manager leaving a football team right after the draft. The Los Angeles Times on the lack of action in the so-called upfront advertising market.
Big ask. Football season is months away but NBC is already selling spots in the Super Bowl. It is hoping to sell some commercials for as much as $4.5 million, which would be a new record, according to Variety. That figure is a 12.5% increase from what Fox got for commercials in last season's game, which had a record audience despite being a blowout.
Everyone wants kids. Netflix isn't the only streaming service aggressively going after kids. Amazon is now teaming up with toy company Mattel to create content, according to the New York Times. This is not the first time a toy company has gotten into the programming game. Hasbro is partner with Discovery Communications on the Hub, a cable network that has struggled somewhat to compete against Nickelodeon and Disney Channel.
A long history. Broadcasters don't feel they have a friend in new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. It's not just because his agency has created tougher new rules that TV station owners feel put them at a disadvantage, it is also his past life as a lobbyist for the wireless industry that has them concerned. TVNewsCheck on Wheeler's wireless past and the threat that industry now poses to broadcasters.
Remember what we said about a renewal? Never mind. Earlier this year, CBS Television Distribution said Arsenio Hall's late-night talk show would return for a sophomore season. But late last week CBS apparently had a change of heart and canceled Hall's show. Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. was also a partner in the show, carrying it on its local TV stations. More from Broadcasting & Cable.