The Morning Fix: Total ‘Eclipse’ of box office! Big piracy bust. Tyler Perry not happy with TBS


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After the coffee. Before figuring out who should be cast as alleged Russian spy Anna Chapman.
Total eclipse of the moon. Looks like the latest chapter of ‘Twilight’ could be the biggest yet. Tuesday’s midnight premiere of ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ took in more than $30 million, breaking the record that ‘New Moon,’ the previous ‘Twilight’ movie, set last fall. By the time this holiday weekend (can you believe it’s already July 4?) is over, ‘Eclipse’ could end up in the $200-million range. Also opening is Paramount’s ‘The Last Airbender,’ which is expected to take in about $50 million. Not a bad number, but considering the cost of the movie, not spectacular either. More box office projections from the Los Angeles Times.

Busted! Just a week after tough talk about piracy, the government shut down nine sites in a big crackdown. Some of the sites are based in the U.S., but others were abroad, including in Germany and the U.K. Interestingly, these sites were not offering downloads of stolen movies but instead were streaming them and had sold commercials on the site. Details on the bust from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.


Redbox rates test. As had been expected, Redbox, the DVD kiosk operator known for its $1 rentals, is experimenting with higher rates in five markets, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The prices range between $1.15 and as much as $1.50 (can you believe I just typed ‘as much as $1.50’ to describe the cost of renting a movie for a night?).

Radical move. News Corp. will start charging to read its London papers The Times and The Sunday Times online. The thinking seems to be that if readers pay for the paper, why give it away for free online? Shocking idea that flies in the face of the newspaper industry’s current approach, which is: Let’s charge people to get our product in one form but give it away to them in another and see how that plays out. More from Bloomberg.

Anderson flying the coup? The Wrap says CNN’s Anderson Cooper -- who by default becomes the face of the network with Larry King headed to the exits -- isn’t playing well with others at the channel and also is looking for a new gig. Not sure how seriously to take a story that says at one point that Cooper’s ratings are ‘in the doldrums’ and then a few paragraphs later says Cooper’s numbers are ‘one of the only bright spots’ at the network. Uh, it can’t be both, guys. Maybe the writer meant to say that while in comparison to other networks, Cooper’s ratings are weak, at CNN he is still strong. Also, if you are going to tell us he’s ‘entertaining offers’ from ‘potential suitors,’ how about naming some of the suitors?

Inside the Los Angeles Times: John Horn on ‘Love Ranch.’ Turner Broadcasting is scrambling to make peace with producer Tyler Perry (he makes ‘House of Payne’ and ‘Meet the Browns’ for TBS). He is furious about a parody of him that played on an episode of ‘The Boondocks,’ which airs on Turner’s Cartoon Network.

-- Joe Flint

Can you believe it’s already July and you’re still not following me on Twitter?