The Morning Fix: ‘Grey’ to top box office. Will HBO’s ‘Luck’ win?

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After the coffee. Before deciding whether to commit to HBO’s ‘Luck.’

The Skinny: I have to report the box-office results this Sunday, so I’m lacking my usual Friday enthusiasm. Headlines today include previews of the weekend box office, NBC’s Super Bowl hype machine, and the latest from the legal battle between the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Productions over the TV rights to Golden Globe Awards.

The Daily Dose: Even though the results of a trial over who controls the television rights to the Golden Globes could potentially see the awards show’s relationship with NBC go up in smoke, that didn’t stop the network’s sitcom ’30 Rock’ from taking a shot at the credibility of the event. It was one of the few funny moments in an otherwise so-so episode.

Going grey. Liam Neeson, who has emerged as a formidable middle-aged action star over the last few years, is expected to take the top spot at the box office this weekend, with his latest movie, ‘The Grey,’ projected to take in as much as $14 million. The other major releases this weekend are the Katherine Heigl comedy ‘One for the Money’ and the thriller ‘Man on a Ledge.’ Neither are expected to top the $10-million mark. Looks like I’ll be a man on a couch this weekend. Box-office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.


The art of the deal. The courtroom battle between Golden Globes owner the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and producer Dick Clark Productions over who controls the television rights to the event turned into a lesson on the fine art of negotiation. Recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Overkill? NBC, which has the rights to next weekend’s Super Bowl match-up between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, is going to saturate its channels with hype for the big game. Of course, the Super Bowl is the one thing that doesn’t require hype, so this is really about promoting NBC and its various properties more than it is about plugging the game. Heck, even the Weather Channel, which NBC owns a chunk of, is getting into the act despite the fact that the game is being played indoors. An look at all NBC has in store from Entertainment Weekly.

Win, place or show? On Sunday, HBO premieres its latest drama, ‘Luck,’ an inside look at horse racing whose stars include Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. The slow, sometimes plodding nature of the storytelling has led to mixed reviews. USA Today looks at whether HBO will get lucky with ‘Luck’ or if it will be a scratch.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Geoff Boucher on Liam Neeson’s hot streak.

-- Joe Flint

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