Morning Fix: ‘Apes’ still on top. ‘Sex Tape’ fails to arouse. James Garner R.I.P.

James Garner
James Garner in 1983.
(Associated Press)

After the coffee. Before being grateful I don’t go to Comic-Con. 

The Skinny: One of my happier childhood memories was watching “The Rockford Files” every Friday night with my father. We’d predict when Rockford would get beat up and when the inevitable car chase was coming. In college, my roommates and I patterned our answering machine message after Rockford’s, complete with theme song. He’ll be missed. Today’s roundup includes the weekend box office recap, Fox’s day at press tour and two appreciations of James Garner.

Daily Dose: Wall Street analysts have pegged the value of Time Warner’s CNN at $6 billion to $7 billion. But current and former Time Warner executives argue that range is low and isn’t fully appreciating the global reach and value of CNN, whose international channel is in more than 200 countries. A more accurate valuation, these people say, is $8 billion to $12 billion. If 21st Century Fox does succeed in its attempt to buy CNN parent Time Warner we’ll find out since CNN is expected to be sold as part of any purchase.

Going ape for “Apes.” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” continued its box office domination this past weekend taking in $36 million. Coming in second with $28.4 million was “The Purge: Anarchy,” the sequel to last year’s surprise hit “The Purge.” The animated family film “Planes: Fire & Rescue” finished in third place with almost $20 million. The big flop of the weekend was “Sex Tape,” a raunchy comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel that failed to arouse viewers. Projected to take in $30 million and battle for first place, “Sex Tape” ended up making only half that. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Variety


A little help please. Fox Networks Group Chairman Peter Rice issued his marching orders to the leadership at Fox Broadcasting. “We need some new hits,” Rice said Sunday at the semi-annual Television Critics Assn. press tour. The new people in charge of finding those hits -- 20th Century Fox TV Co-Chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden -- are on summer vacation so they got to dodge the press. Fox is coming off a tough season and many of its veteran shows are starting to fade. Coverage of Fox’s media day from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter

What about us? As Time Warner tries to dodge 21st Century Fox’s takeover attempt, some are wondering what all this consolidation and potential consolidation mean for those who may be left out of the dance. In particular, are independent cable programmers such as Discovery Communications and AMC Networks (both of which seem too big to me to be considered indies) vulnerable? The New York Times looks at whether a smaller media landscape could leave some wanting.

Yahoo takes chance with “One Chance.” In its latest push to establish itself as a video platform, Yahoo has struck a deal with the Weinstein Co. to debut its new movie “One Chance” 10 days before it hits theaters. “One Chance” is based on amateur opera singer Paul Potts. Yahoo wooed Katie Couric away from TV and is also bringing back the canceled NBC sitcom “Community.” More on Yahoo and Weinstein Co.'s deal from the Los Angeles Times.

Get real. Netflix will release its second quarter earnings this afternoon and if history is any guide, subscriber growth will rise and Wall Street will react enthusiastically. The company now has a market cap of more than $25 billion and its original shows are critical successes. But there are still a few out there who think there needs to be a reality check done on Netflix stock. The Wall Street Journal looks for the cloud in the silver lining.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd and Mary McNamara on the legacy of James Garner. Cable network HGTV has lasted 20 years, to the surprise of many.

Follow me on Twitter or there will be consequences! @JBFlint.

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