The Morning Fix: Disney buys Marvel; Robinov to be renewed by Warner Bros.; Viacom's Beatle bet; Paris Hilton in Dubai
After the coffee. Before deciding if your Marvel Comics just shot up in value.
Disney buys Marvel. Walt Disney Co. announced a deal this morning to buy Marvel Entertainment for about $4 billion. Marvel's characters include Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk. Early details from the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.
Warner Bros. renewing Robinov. Warner Bros. is expected to renew Jeff Robinov's deal as president of its Warner Bros. Picture Group on the heels of the studio's very strong summer. Dirt from Deadline Hollywood Daily and Daily Variety, as well as a snarky evaluation from David Poland's Hot Blog on the evolving coverage of Robinov by Hollywood's most-scrutinized blogger.
Betting on the Beatles. Viacom's hoping Beatles: Rock Band will not only boost its struggling franchise but also provide a lift to the video-game industry overall. The Los Angeles Times reports that Viacom will pay the rights holders of Beatles songs a guaranteed $10 million and could shell out $40 million in royalties. Who says money can't buy love?
"The Final Destination" reaches top spot. Warner Bros.' "The Final Destination" finished first at the box office with $28.3 million. The Weinstein Co.'s "Halloween II" was No. 3 with $17.4 million while the production company's "Inglourious Basterds" fell only 47% in its second weekend and finished second with $20 million. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
Mapping out media's future. The Financial Times launches a weeklong series looking at the challenges facing the media industry. It's sure to be a cheery read. Is Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter really "mournfully eyeing the stir fry" in the Conde Nast cafeteria? Separately, the Wall Street Journal reports that Freedom Communications, parent of the Orange County Register, is preparing to file Chapter 11.
Sony's secret plan. Sony is looking at using its Internet-connected Bravia TV to carry movies after their theatrical run but before the DVD window. The move, reports Business Week, is an effort to create a new marketplace. Last year, Sony tested the idea with its Will Smith movie "Hancock."
Pros and cons of Dubai. The lure of top-notch facilities and a glamorous backdrop clashes with culture when it comes to Hollywood's efforts to make movies and television in the Persian Gulf. No racy swimsuits for Paris Hilton. A first-hand report from the New York Times' Brian Stelter.
Inside the Los Angeles Times. Can another ugly SAG election be avoided? Something else to distract you from actually watching TV as Fox will test on-screen "tweeting" during a couple of shows this week.
-- Joe Flint