The Morning Fix: Strong start for Batman. DreamWorks gets Casper!


After the coffee. Before Fox’s TV press tour.

The Skinny: The summer TV press tour has started. I’ve gone from being an obnoxious kid in a room of old reporters to an obnoxious older reporter. But I still have my hair! Monday’s headlines include a recap of the box office, DreamWorks buys Classic Media, and NBC and Twitter team up to promote the Olympics.

Daily Dose: The Olympics will start this week and with the games streamed online and social media doing its part to report results before the masses have actually seen the events, how NBC does with its prime-time package of taped highlights will be very telling. Will social media build anticipation for events and drive viewers to see what they missed or will online viewing skyrocket and cannibalize the evening ratings and diminish the value of the games as a TV platform? I’m an optimist (yes, I said that with a straight face) so I am hopeful it will be the former and not the latter.


Strong start. The movie industry was officially keeping quiet about weekend box office totals in the wake of last week’s shooting rampage at a Colorado theater screening “The Dark Knight Rises.” When numbers are issued, “The Dark Knight Rises” is expected to have taken in just over $160 million. While that is a little under what projections were, it is hard to determine whether the shootings were a factor in keeping people away from the theater. Some theater owners were doubtful. “I think there was a perception among our guests that they weren’t going to allow the horrific act of one deranged individual stop them from living their lives,” said Paul Glantz, chairman of Emagine Entertainment — which has six theaters in Michigan. Box office recap from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Hollywood Reporter.

Dream deal. As expected. DreamWorks Animation is acquiring Classic Media, home of “Casper the Friendly Ghost” and “Lassie.” The deal was announced early Monday and the price tag is $155 million. Details from the Los Angeles Times.

Sesame Street or Sponsorship Street? Public Broadcasting System Chief Executive Paula Kerger is worried that PBS could lose its funding in a Republican administration. Speaking to reporters at the Television Critics Assn. press tour here in Los Angeles on Sunday, Kerger warned that if the 15% of funds PBS gets from the government were to be removed, many of its stations would have to go off the air. More from Variety.

Gold medal for tweeting. NBC, home of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in London, has entered into a broad marketing agreement with the social networking site Twitter. The move is also an effort to create a single home on Twitter for Olympic-related material from athletes, commentators and fans. Twitter hopes the games will give it a chance to showcase its platform to advertisers. Details on the agreement from the Wall Street Journal.

Defining Yahoo. As former Google executive Marissa Mayer prepares to become chief executive of Yahoo, one of the first things she’ll need to do is figure out just what the company is about. Is it a search engine? Is it a Web portal? New York Times columnist David Carr suggests if anything, Yahoo is a news company and that it shouldn’t squander the opportunity that it has.

Nothing to see here. Over the weekend, some breathless headlines emerged about News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch resigning from the boards of some of his newspaper units. Don’t read much into it, says Murdoch watcher Andrew Neil in the Daily Beast. Neil notes that the boards had “no power and very rarely meet. They’re boilerplate corporate structures masking the fact Murdoch is in complete control of his U.K. papers.” Now that Murdoch is splitting News Corp. into two separate companies -- one for publishing and one for entertainment -- the need for these mostly symbolic boards will no longer exist.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on the connection between art and tragedy.
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