‘Ender’s Game’ wins at box office. Netflix gets ‘The Square.’
After the coffee. Before resetting the clock in my car.
The Skinny: Finally made it to The Last Bookstore in downtown L.A. Very cool place. Now I know where to go when I have to escape from the newsroom, which is every day. Monday’s roundup (or is it round-up, I’m never sure) includes the weekend box-office recap. Also, Netflix makes it first big original-movie deal and a new chairman of the FCC gets ready to start while the departing chairwoman goes out with a bang.
Daily Dose: NBC is prepping how it will spread out its Olympics coverage on its various platforms. While NBC and NBC Sports Network will do most of the heavy lifting, CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network will carry a combined 124 hours of live coverage of the Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, this February. In other words, there will be no escaping the Jimmy Fallon promos.
Game over. “Ender’s Game” took in $28 million in its opening weekend. Though that’s nothing to sneeze at, it also wasn’t exactly “The Hunger Games” either. Coming in second was “Bad Grandpa,” which showed lots of staying power after its big opening weekend. The big surprise was “Last Vegas,” which took in almost $17 million. Guess old people (and I’ll be one of them soon enough) can get to a movie on opening weekend. Box-office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Pay me now, pay me later. With more people recording TV shows and watching them later -- sometimes several days later -- the networks want advertisers to start coughing up the bucks for delayed viewing. Currently, advertisers pay for viewing done up to three days after an initial airing. The networks want that extended to at least seven days. Advertisers are not exactly jumping up and down about this. The New York Times looks at the issue.
Party crasher. Not content to just be a streaming service of acquired content, Netflix started making its own TV shows. Now it is getting into the movie business by acquiring the documentary “The Square.” The movie will still be screened in theaters (it has to if it is to qualify for awards), but you can bet it will be on Netflix at or around the same time. Variety on the deal.
First day on the job. Tom Wheeler is expected to be sworn in as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission today. He’ll have lots on his plate, including managing so-called spectrum auctions in which local broadcasters are being asked to give up some of their waves for wireless devices. If that’s not enough, there are several big deals that are waiting approval, and then there are all those indecency complaints that come in every day. The Hollywood Reporter looks at Wheeler’s to-do list.
Last-second push. Mignon Clyburn, who steps down as acting FCC chair as soon as Tom Wheeler is sworn in (see above) isn’t taking it easy in her last days in office. Last Friday, she circulated a memo proposing to remove the so-called sports blackout rule. I don’t have enough space here (or anywhere, really) to explain how this arcane rule works and both sides of the debate over it. Here’s coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Broadcasting & Cable.
Quid pro quo? NBC News scooped its rivals when it landed exclusives with Hannah Anderson, the San Diego teen who was kidnapped by the accused killer of her mother and brother this past summer. Though the network says it didn’t pay Anderson or her father to talk, the two are in a negotiations with an NBC-owned company to be involved in the production of programming related to their case, which could bring them big bucks. The Washington Post looks at the ethical questions these relationships raise.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Susan King on Turner Classic Movie host Robert Osborne.
Follow me on Twitter before the Christmas rush! @JBFlint.
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