‘Expendables 2' cleans up in China. Cable gets political dollars.

After the coffee. Before getting a new BlackBerry.

The Skinny: My BlackBerry is on the fritz and needs to be replaced and no, I don’t want an iPhone. Some great baseball last night, even if none of the teams I wanted won. So come on Detroit, Baltimore and D.C., lets get it together today. Thursday’s headlines include a look at the surprising success of “Expendables 2" in China, the growth of regional sports channels and a review of the CW’s remake of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Daily Dose: If you ever doubted that the big shots get the best seats in the house, look no further than Wednesday night’s playoff game between the Orioles and Yankees on TBS. When a batter hit a foul ball toward the third base line, the cameras caught Turner Broadcasting Chief Executive Phil Kent and Turner Sports head David Levy moving aside to allow the Yankee third baseman to make the catch. Guess Kent and Levy didn’t know I was rooting for the Orioles and would have appreciated a little fan interference.

Geezers take China. The battle for box-office supremacy in China between “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” was won by ... “The Expendables 2.” The action flick starring a cast the AARP would love (Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger) has grossed $54 million. That’s more than either “The Dark Knight Rises” or “The Amazing Spider-Man.” A look at China’s surprising box-office results from the Los Angeles Times.


Size doesn’t matter. Are television and movies finally starting to embrace female characters and performers who aren’t stick skinny? “There was always room in comedy for a fat friend, but it’s only recently that overweight women started being cast as romantic heroines or sexual temptresses.” observes New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley. 

Houston, we have a cable problem. We’re not the only ones with a ton of regional sports cable networks. Earlier this month, Comcast launched a sports channel in Houston that carries baseball’s Astros and basketball’s Rockets. Those teams were previously on a Fox Sports channel there. Did the Fox Sports channel fold? No, it’s still there and has the Rangers baseball team and other sports. Sounds like Los Angeles, where Time Warner Cable launched a channel with the Lakers, which had been on Fox Sports West. A look at the Houston situation from the Philadelphia Inquirer

Geeks invade New York. The New York version of Comic-Con starts today and while it is still a distant rival to the original in San Diego, it is starting to develop a personality all its own. Variety looks at how New York Comic-Con has grown and at the entertainment industry’s need to embrace it as it has San Diego.

Lee vs. Disney. Stan Lee Media has filed a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Walt Disney Co., which is parent of Marvel Entertainment. The complex case is part of an ongoing fight Stan Lee Media has waged to claim the copyright to Marvel characters. More from the Hollywood Reporter.


Cable gets vote. This year’s presidential race is turning out to be a gold mine for the cable television industry. While local broadcast TV stations still score the majority of political advertising dollars, pay-TV distributors have seen such revenue climb too, most likely at the expense of newspapers and radio. Details on the spending trends from the New York Post.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: When it comes to excessive violence, “Seven Psychopaths” wants to have its cake and eat it too. Mary McNamara on the CW’s new version of “Beauty and the Beast.”

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