‘Gravity’ to take off; what’s behind Hollywood’s shakeups?

After the coffee. Before getting my World Series tickets.

The Skinny: I’m a little disappointed Twitter hasn’t reached out to me yet to buy shares in advance of the IPO. I feel like all my tweeting has been for nothing. Friday’s report includes the weekend box office preview and a look at what is driving many of the executive shifts at the movie studios around town. Also, Sony may be getting some more movie financing.

Daily Dose: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent an email to the media Friday talking about all the league is doing these days to try to improve player safety. “Increased safety for players has been an essential part of the evolution of football dating back to its early days more than 100 years ago. We are proud that the game is safer and more exciting today than ever, but we are never satisfied.” Why the letter right now? Because the publicity push for “League of Denial,” a Frontline documentary that is critical of the league’s response to concussions, is starting to get attention.

PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot moments

Houston we have a hit. “Gravity,” the space drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, is expected to blast off at the box office this weekend with a projected take of $45 million. Also opening is the Ben Affleck-Justin Timberlake thriller “Runner Runner.” However, that movie, about a guy who gets caught up in an online gambling scheme, is expected to only limp to about $10 million. The Tom Hanks movie “Captain Phillips” will get a sneak peak in about 800 theaters. Weekend previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.


Revolving door. The recent shakeup at Universal Pictures was just the latest in a series of executive shuffles at many of Hollywood’s biggest movie studios. “It’s open season on movie moguls,” writes the Hollywood Reporter in a think piece that tries to see the forest through the trees to determine if there is a broader shift going on in the industry.

ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll

New money. It hasn’t been a fun year at Sony, what with investor Daniel Loeb questioning their strategy and a summer of flops. But the studio is getting some good news. According to Deadline Hollywood, Sony is getting some co-financing money from an outfit called Blue Anchor Entertainment that will cover the studio’s movies for the next few years.

Just what the world needs. As if there weren’t enough set-top boxes one can plug into a television (Apple TV, Roku), Amazon is preparing to launch its own by the end of the year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the new device would “broaden Amazon’s reach into the living room, where today it is dependent on other hardware makers to reach consumers watching video on TV sets. Providing a device of its own is a potentially crucial component to Amazon’s ambition of expanding beyond its core online marketplace business.”

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on “Gravity.” Betsy Sharkey on “Runner Runner.”

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