The Morning Fix: U2 tops concert acts, N.Y. Times’ email snafu

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After the coffee. Before adding to my spam block list.

The Skinny: The news pickings are getting more and more sparse during this holiday week. Tomorrow I may have to throw in a few made-up items just to round out the list and keep you guys on your toes. But Thursday’s headlines include the most popular concert acts of 2011, an 8 million person email mistake from the New York Times, and what was popular on Redbox this year.

Concert moolah: The top-grossing music act in concert in 2011 was U2, demonstrating that it’s not teenagers driving what is fast becoming the record industry’s most important source of revenue as album sales head south. The Irish rockers were the only group to sell more than $100 million worth of tickets and were followed on the list by Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Lady Gaga, and Bon Jovi. The Los Angeles Times has all the details.

Email oops: On Wednesday more than 8 million people who had given their email address for one reason or another to the New York Times got a note informing them they had canceled home delivery and offering a chance to renew at 50% off. First the paper said the note was spam from another company, but it soon changed the story and admitted that in fact it had sent the email in error. To me, a mistaken email is hardly a big deal, but not knowing you sent it is a little bizarre. Coverage from the New York Times and PaidContent.


Cruise’s box-office boom: ‘Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol’ has taken in $86 million at the domestic box office through Tuesday but about twice that overseas, demonstrating that Paramount has a worldwide hit on its hands with the fourth entry in its Tom Cruise action series. ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ was the first movie to cross $100 million domestically, but that’s only because it opened first. ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,’ meanwhile, is making up a bit of ground after its weak opening. Box-office details during the critical Christmas-through-New-Year’s week from the Hollywood Reporter.

Red-hot on Redbox: Redbox renters across the U.S. preferred comedies in 2011, making their top choices Adam Sandler’s ‘Just Go With It’ and Ashton Kutcher’s ‘No Strings Attached.’ The same was true in Los Angeles, though our top 10 contained a few movies the rest of the country wasn’t as excited about, such as ‘Bad Teacher’ and ‘The Social Network.’ The full lists and some analysis from the Los Angeles Times.

A cure for sequelitis? Summer 2012 will bring some significant bets on non-sequels at the box office, giving moviegoers a chance to prove they like original ideas after the highest grossing movies of 2011 were all follow-ups, reports the New York Times. Of course, whether ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ based on the bestselling book, is really more ‘original’ than ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ or ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is a debatable point in my book.

Also in the Los Angeles Times: Some recent handprint ceremonies at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre were marketing stunts only and won’t result in chipmunk handprints on Hollywood Boulevard. A profile of ‘Pariah’ star Adepuro Odoye. Patrick Goldstein on ‘relationship movies.’

— Ben Fritz