After the coffee. Before seeing how “Manhattan” did in the ratings.
The Skinny: I was on TV on Sunday and realized I look older than I feel. It may be time for an eye job. Since this is Hollywood, I’m sure there are plenty of people my readers can recommend who will do a good job. Today’s roundup includes the weekend box office recap and Fox’s latest effort to woo Time Warner shareholders.
Daily Dose: The seven lawmakers looking for the Federal Communications Commission to help get Dodgers games on TV for all of Los Angeles (see below) may be disappointed. The FCC has shown little willingness to weigh in on or try to resolve disputes between programmers and distributors. However since Time Warner Cable, which distributes the Dodgers channel SportsNet LA, is in the process of being acquired by Comcast, the agency might be more inclined to at least look at the situation.
No contest. “Lucy,” the science fiction/action thriller starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, blew away the competition at the box office with a take of $44 million. The movie drew a large female audience, proving once again that Hollywood ignores women at its own peril. The other big opening this past weekend, “Hercules” starring Dwayne Johnson, took in just under $30 million. Weekend box office recaps and analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Please help. A group of Southern California lawmakers led by Congressman Tony Cárdenas are asking the Federal Communications Commission to get involved in the Dodgers television fiasco. Time Warner Cable, which is distributing the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA, has been unable to sign deals with other area pay-TV distributors including DirecTV. Cárdenas wants the FCC to mediate talks, which are at a standstill. Details from the Los Angeles Times.
Are meals and air travel included? Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is said to be open to offering board seats to large Time Warner shareholders should it succeed in acquiring the media giant. The move is seen as a way to convince shareholders to support Fox’s efforts and ease concerns Time Warner has raised about a sale to Murdoch. However, given that there are three people on the Fox board with the last name Murdoch and the family controls 40% of the voting stock, a few extra seats for Time Warner shareholders may not mean much in the grand scheme. Coverage from Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.
A big boost. Al Jazeera America, which has struggled to attract viewers since its launch almost a year go, has seen its ratings surge from its coverage of the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas. To be sure, the numbers are still tiny but the bad news out of the Middle East has definitely put a spotlight on Al Jazeera America. The big question is whether this ratings growth causes Al Jazeera America to rethink its strategy, which was to focus its coverage on America. The Baltimore Sun on the numbers.
Big spenders. It shouldn’t come as a shock that many of the folks who put on superhero costumes and parade around San Diego for three days don’t have a lot of discretionary income. Although other film and television festivals attract big-name sponsors, top brands steer clear of Comic-Con. Also, attendees aren’t known for blowing through wads of cash at local restaurants. They are there to geek out and then return to their parents’ basement. The New York Times on tight-fisted Comic-Con attendees.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Josh Rottenberg on Comic-Con.
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