The Skinny: I hope everyone had a good break. I used the past few days to watch a bunch of pilots in preparation for the TV press tour that kicks off this week. Now I need another vacation. Today's roundup includes the Fourth of July weekend box-office recap, a preview of the Allen & Co. conference and some suggestions for Fox, which will cover the next World Cup.
Daily Dose: If you are thinking of inviting a Justice Department lawyer to one of your events, perhaps do it by phone instead of email. The website MuckRock got a hold of correspondence between Comcast and a DOJ lawyer about an event Comcast was having. While the emails are fairly benign, they also show the friendly relationships between government staffers and industry executives.
More fizzle than flash. Apparently folks had better things to do over the holiday weekend than sit inside an air conditioned movie theater. The Fourth of July box office was down more than 40% compared with last year and summer box office is also down. Finishing first over the long weekend was "Transformers: Age of Extinction." Melissa McCarthy's "Tammy" came in second but finished below industry projections. Box-office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Summer camp. The titans of media and telecommunications will gather this week in Sun Valley, Idaho, for the Allen & Co. conference. The annual event has sparked deals in the past including Comcast's takeover of NBCUniversal a few years ago. The sessions are closed to the media, which only makes the business press more obsessed over the conference. It's their turn to play TMZ and stalk moguls as they walk to and from meetings and dine together. Look for lots of breathless tweets like, "John Malone and Barry Diller just ordered eggs, precursor to a big deal?" A preview from the Wall Street Journal.
Tough act to follow. ESPN has been widely praised for its coverage of the World Cup and has scored record ratings for its efforts. It has also raised the bar pretty high for Fox, which takes over coverage starting in 2018. Not only will Fox have to try to top ESPN's efforts, but the 2018 World Cup also will be played in Russia, which means a huge time difference that will probably lower ratings because there won't be live coverage during the day or prime time. Sports Illustrated on the challenges Fox will face and some suggestions.
Trying to stand out in a crowd. The good news for TV watchers is that there is plenty of original content on both broadcast and cable this summer. The bad news is coming up with catchy marketing campaigns to get people who are used to tuning out in the summer to tune in. The New York Times on how marketers are trying to get more creative with their promotional efforts.
She had trouble marketing movies but she can definitely design a home. Remember M.T. Carney? She had a brief, unsuccessful stint as head of marketing for Walt Disney Studios Worldwide. Here's a Vogue spread on her new luxury pad in Soho. I'm guessing the Disney severance package paid for the bulk of the construction.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The involuntary manslaughter charges brought against the producers of "Midnight Rider" for the accident that took the life of camera assistant Sarah Jones may finally force the movie and TV industry take safety more seriously. Mark Olsen on the documentary "Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger."