The Morning Fix: 'Little Genius' in a little trouble? 'Shutter Island' gets crowded. It's pilot season! Univision goes online.
After the coffee. Before boning up on the FCC's Communications Act.
All aboard! Martin Scorsese has managed the impossible. He made a movie that had broad appeal across all demographics. "Shutter Island" opened to $40.2 million and attracted the young, the old, men and women. At a time when most studios make movies aimed specifically at young men and every now and then throw in the occasional adult drama, "Shutter Island" showed you don't need to have an action doll or a known brand or huge effects to make a winner. Of course, you still need money and although the opening weekend was nice, Paramount spent between $75 million and $100 million making the movie (depending on whom you believe) and has a ways to go to make that back. Box office details from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Dave Poland's Hot Blog.
So let's get this straight. A couple of months ago, Fox says it will not air a quiz show called "Our Little Genus" featuring kids showing us how smart they are because the producers said there was some funny stuff going on behind the scenes. Now comes word that the Federal Communications Commission may investigate the mess. Problem is, as far as this old FCC reporter can see, since Fox never aired the show, what exactly can the FCC probe? The agency regulates television stations, not production companies, and if the stations never aired it, well you get the idea. The FCC is responding to a complaint it got from a parent of one of the kids on the show and as a matter of course it can't just ignore it. Still one has to wonder if the agency is really going to start digging or decide that until something airs, it can't really get involved. More from the Los Angeles Times.
Pilot preview. Variety offers up a lengthy take on pilot season. The good news: NBC's decision to push Jay Leno out of prime time has opened up more space for producers. The bad news: More production is going out of state and as costs continue to rise, the networks are trying to hold the line on license fees. That said, one studio executive raved that "the business is very strong." Why said studio executive couldn't make this bold statement on the record is beyond me.
Weinstein Co. sets DVD deal. Mike Fleming of Deadline Hollywood reports that the Weinstein Co. has set a DVD distribution deal with Sony. Alas, the initial movies it will get include "Nine," "The Road" and "Youth in Revolt" and other titles that don't have theatrical dates yet. If you're wondering, Universal Pictures has the DVD distribution rights for "Inglourious Basterds."
History lesson. The Financial Times offers up a profile of the big Hollywood talent agencies that, though not breaking much new ground, does provide a pretty comprehensive overview of how the current landscape of ten percenters (what Variety used to call agents) came to be.
Will they be called webnovelas? Univision, the top-rated Spanish broadcaster, is planning on putting episodes of its popular telenovelas online. Univision, reports the Wall Street Journal, will ofter both shows it makes and those it acquires from outside suppliers free online and on mobile devices. How do you say good luck getting that toothpaste back in the tube in Spanish?