The Morning Fix: Latest ‘Harry Potter’ soars! Murdoch scandal expands.


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After the coffee. Before seeing if I can use Carmageddon fatigue as an excuse to call in sick.

The Skinny: I saw ‘Horrible Bosses’ over the weekend. It was enjoyable, but Kevin Spacey played a better evil boss in ‘Swimming with Sharks.’ While I was at the movies, top executives from News Corp. were resigning and being arrested and the commissioner of Scotland Yard also quit in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. If you weren’t reading about or staying clear of the 405, you were probably at the movies watching the latest Harry Potter.


I said I’m sorry! There was no weekend off for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. or anyone with ties to the phone hacking scandal that shut down the News of the World tabloid after revelations that the paper broke into the voice mail accounts of not only celebrities and royal family members but also crime and terrorism victims. On Friday, Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton, two top executives at News Corp., resigned from the company. On Saturday, Murdoch took out ads in all the big British papers to apologize for News of the World. On Sunday, Brooks was arrested and the head of Scotland Yard also resigned because of his ties to the media conglomerate. This is the gift that keeps on giving. Coverage of the last few days from the Los Angeles Times, News York Times, Bloomberg, The New Yorker, Buzz Machine, and the Guardian. Also, an editorial from News Corp.’s Wall Street Journal defending Murdoch’s other assets that takes some shots at their competitors’ glee over the mess. Finally, this column from New York Times columnist David Carr, who notes that infiltrating phones and computers is not limited to just News Corp. reporters.

Going out with a bang. The latest and final ‘Harry Potter’ movie from Warner Bros. took in almost $170 million at the box office. That beat the record held ‘The Dark Knight,’ also from Warner Bros. Of course, there is a 3-D factor to consider when comparing the two movies. More than 40% of attendees saw the latest ‘Potter’ with glasses on. Overseas, the movie took in more than $300 million. If you were wondering, I kept my word and did not see the movie. Box office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Now what? The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at what the stars of the Harry Potter franchise have in the works now that the big meal ticket is coming to an end. My advice: Save lots of money and find lives. Nobody wants to see Daniel Radcliffe on ‘Celebrity Rehab’ in 15 years hanging out with Steven Adler.

TKO. Ross Greenburg, the longtime head of HBO Sports, is leaving the pay cable channel. He says he’s tired of dealing with boxing promoters. Boxing promoters say HBO is tired of him. HBO has lost some ground to Showtime in terms of boxing coverage, but Greenburg says he was not pushed out. Coverage from the New York Times and Boxing Scene.

Falling down on the job. Broadcasters are doing a better job than cable networks are at following rules regarding commercials in programs aimed at kids, according a recent study from the General Accounting Office. Of course, broadcasters barely program for kids anymore so it’s easier for them to keep tabs. That’s a joke but what is not is broadcasters can face more severe penalties than cable networks for not following the rules. More from the Washington Post.

These our are geeks too! Movie studios aren’t the only ones invading San Diego later this month for the Comic-Con convention. Video game companies also will be showcasing their latest releases to the fanboy crowd. I had assumed this was already the case, but apparently this is something of a new development that is picking up steam, according to Variety.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at ‘Cowboys & Aliens,’ which will either be the next big summer movie or an epic flop. Patrick Dempsey plans his big screen career.

-- Joe Flint

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