The Morning Fix: Is there life after Oprah? ‘Pirates’ sails abroad, sinks here. ‘Tree of Life’ wins at Cannes.

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After the coffee. Before filing upfront expense reports.

The Skinny: Saw ‘Bridesmaids’ on Saturday and can give it a thumbs up. Didn’t see the latest ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ and I can give that move a thumbs up as well. John Malone may have more than books on his mind with his bid for Barnes & Noble. Daytime TV prepares for the departure of the queen.


Ahoy, matey. The fourth ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ sailed to an impressive $256.3 million in global ticket sales over the weekend. In the U.S., the movie took in $90.1 million, a figure that was seen as soft by industry observers. ‘Bridesmaids’ continued to deliver, taking in $21.1 million, which is only 20% less than what it made in its opening weekend. Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ also delivered very impressive numbers in its limited opening. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

It’s about the Nook, not the book. Media mogul John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media and the godfather of the modern-day cable industry, raised a lot of eyebrows last week with his company’s offer to buy Barnes & Noble. After all, an old-school business like a bookstore chain didn’t seem something that would interest Malone, who’s always focused on the future. But turns out the crafty deal maker may want Barnes & Noble so he can get his hands on their e-reader device, the Nook, and perhaps turn the tablet into a stronger rival to Apple and Amazon, among others. Variety with a look at what might be Malone’s endgame.

Inside the sleaze factory. Jim Rutenberg, who used to cover media for the New York Times before moving on to politics, returned to his old stamping grounds Sunday with an exposé about the inner workings of TMZ and Radar, the kings of tabloid. It will probably come as little surprise that those who seem to hold the most interest for these two voyeurs and vultures operations are also often in on the coverage. Still, there is much to be disturbed about in how they operate in this detailed look inside. The government is also poking around in an effort to find out about leaks of health records and police reports, which TMZ and Radar thrive on.

End of an era. Oprah Winfrey ends her daytime talk show on Wednesday to focus on her cable channel, OWN, and an industry fears that when she goes, so will millions viewers. For 25 years, Winfrey has owned a huge chunk of daytime TV. Although her own audience has eroded over the last several seasons, she is still the ratings champ, and so far no one else out there seems to have the chops to step up and fill the void. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal look at what Winfrey’s exit will mean. The Los Angeles Times already did this story a few weeks ago.

The kingmaker. Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes doesn’t just run one of the most important units in media-mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire, but also his coverage can sway politics, particularly within the Republican party. New York Magazine looks at what the lackluster stable of Republican candidates for 2012 says about Ailes and his network.

Better luck next year. Consumer-electronics giant Sony Corp., whose holdings include Sony Pictures as well as PlayStation, said the company will lose money for the third straight year. The new forecast is much more downbeat than what Sony had been telling the street as the company is predicting a loss of more than $3 billion. More from Bloomberg. The new forecast is the latest of several stumbles for Sony. Reuters takes a look at CEO Howard Stringer’s stewardship of the company.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on the big winners at Cannes. Mary McNamara on the ‘Glee’ tour.

-- Joe Flint

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