'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' to burn up box office. Sony talks TV.

After the coffee. Before buying my "Catching Fire" tickets.

The Skinny: I've been tired all week and Friday morning is no exception. Was out late at premiere for TNT's "Mob City." The party was nice although some of my fellow ink-stained wretches were griping that the bartenders were a little tight with the Maker's Mark. Friday's roundup includes the weekend box office preview and a recap of Sony's investor day.

Daily Dose: Sony Corp. held its investor day Thursday (see below) and talked about making TV the priority over movies. What that means for the media giant's lone U.S. cable channel -- the Game Show Network -- isn't clear. Bernstein Research analyst Todd Juenger notes that there are few benefits to owning just one cable channel and that the studio indicated it might be in the market for other cable channels to add to its portfolio.

Hungry for more. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is expected to smoke everything else at the box office this weekend. The sequel to last year's "The Hunger Games" could take in as much as $180 million in the United States, which would give it the biggest opening of any movie this year. The battle for second place might be more interesting as "Best Man Holiday" will duke it out with "Thor: The Dark World." My money is on "Best Man Holiday." Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

REVIEW: 'Hunger Games: Catching fire' burns bright with fiery Katniss

Small screen dreams. Sony Corp.'s entertainment unit, which is about to start making cuts, held an investor conference Thursday to calm concerns that it is in a downward spiral. Studio brass said it would shift its focus more toward television and also scrutinize its movie efforts more closely. Part of the push into television will be to take advantage of the growing international market for U.S. shows. Details of investor day from the Los Angeles Times and Reuters.

Penalty box. With more outlets (Netflix, Amazon, cable) looking to make their mark with original shows, studios are leveraging that into getting networks to agree to pay more penalties if a project doesn't get turned into a pilot. Great, the cost of failure keeps going up. TV Guide looks at how the penalty box works.

Look under the cushions for change! Charter Communications is working closely with banks to borrow money for its much-anticipated run at Time Warner Cable. The Wall Street Journal says Charter, which is much smaller than Time Warner Cable, is negotiating with Bank of America, Barclays and Deutsche Bank to put together financing for the acquisition. Time Warner Cable has indicated it is not interested in a merger. But Charter is backed in part by cable mogul John Malone, who usually gets what he wants.

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Not as easy as it looks. Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios will duke it out Saturday night for HBO pay-per-view. But while we will all be watching in the evening, the two fighters will be battling at lunchtime because the fight is being held in China. The New York Times looks at all the challenges in producing the fight from there.

Inside the sausage factory. Since it's Friday and you might want some reading material for the weekend, here's a look at the battle between the entertainment trades from Los Angeles Magazine. If you already know all the players, this will confirm your suspicions. If you don't, you'll be glad you don't live in this world.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."

Follow me on Twitter. Now! Hurry! Please! @JBFlint.


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