The Morning Fix: Big reception for ‘Inception.’ Comic-Con craziness starts. Disney takes shot at Time Warner Cable


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After the coffee. Before deciding if I really need to see ‘Inception’ again.
Stop the presses! A movie that wasn’t a sequel, a cartoon or a big-screen version of an old television show finished first at the box office this last weekend. ‘Inception,’ director Chris Nolan’s mind-bending movie about dream infiltrators took in just over $60 million. Critics were mixed on the movie, which for this viewer went on about one level of dreams too many, and how it will play next weekend will be key in determining the movie’s success for Warner Bros. ‘Inception’ cost $160 million to make and another $100 million to market. Flaming out at the box office was Disney’s ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,’ which took in just $17.4 million in ticket sales. Box office coverage from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Hot Blog and the Hollywood Reporter.

Will there be a trophy for Chris Nolan? Critics and consumers have been mixed about whether ‘Inception’ worked and now the industry will start to debate about whether the Academy will throw some Oscar love at director Chris Nolan after pretty much snubbing him for ‘The Dark Knight.’ Frankly, he should get an Oscar for getting Hollywood to take a risk. Kind of sad that a movie that’s not a retread or something based on a toy is now seen as a risk. Analysis of how ‘Inception’ will fare in the Oscar race from the Hollywood Reporter.


Studios take over Comic-Con. The gathering of geeks known as Comic-Con gets going this week down in San Diego and the movies studios will likely have as big a presence as ever. ‘I feel like one Comic-Con fan is worth 100 moviegoers,’ director Zack Snyder told Variety. The television industry will be there in force as well. Some of the shows being hyped at Comic-Con don’t seem to actually fit the crowd, but hey, you have to tell those producers you’re doing something to reach young viewers. Here’s a day-to-day rundown from Deadline Hollywood.

Sunny days! Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal says the movie industry is not broken. That said, there does seem to be a creative drought. In a long interview with the Wrap, Pascal says: ‘If you look at what’s made money last year and this year, in 2008 and 2009, and what been true so far, all the movies that make all the money are brand names. You know, except for maybe ‘The Hangover,’ and ‘Up,’ and ‘2012,’ and ‘Blind Side.’’

The attacks have started. With less than two months before an agreement that allows Time Warner Cable to carry Walt Disney Co.'s ABC television stations and some ESPN channels ends, the propaganda wars are taking shape. Disney has launched a website touting other services that will have its channels should Time Warner Cable pull the signal. These feuds are becoming so commonplace that so far consumers are kind of yawning. That will change come September if there is a chance that some football will be missed. Here’s what the Wall Street Journal is reporting on the latest shot in the Disney-Time Warner Cable battle.

Put away the AARP card. The Nielsen Co. is once again going to try to make the case that consumers older than 50 should matter to advertisers. Of course, advertisers are stuck on youth even though the plus-50 crowd has more money to spend. The argument though has never been that older consumers don’t have cash, it’s been that they are set in their ways when it comes to what they buy. Not sure that is really the case but convincing Madison Avenue of that will be no small task. Advertising Age on Nielsen’s latest research.

Why I’m tired. Today’s journalists -- stuck at a desk scrambling to fill the Web -- are in danger of burning out at a much earlier age than their predecessors. The New York Times looks at Politico, the political news site that has broken a lot of news, but also is fighting a reputation for being a sweat shop. Reporters now are often measured as much for their quantity as for their quality. Breaking any sort of news, no matter how trivial, has become crucial while analysis and in-depth reporting that goes beyond the what and gets to the why is in danger of becoming extinct.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mel Gibson’s rants have further established RadarOnline in the world of celebrity scandal. Has Comic-Con jumped the shark?
-- Joe Flint

I’m tired of coming up with reasons to follow me on Twitter. Just do it!