The Morning Fix: Tame opening for 'Dragon.' Did CBS want Conan to host Emmys (instead of NPH or Craig Ferguson)? The '80s are back
Tame "Dragon." DreamWorks' 3-D "How to Train Your Dragon" took in about $43.3 million in its opening weekend. Considering that 3-D movies cost more to see and that several theater chains upped their prices this weekend, the number is something of a letdown. Also somewhat disappointing was MGM's "Hot Tub Time Machine," which made just under $14 million. Maybe opening a movie aimed primarily at boys and young men on a weekend when many were watching the NCAA tournament wasn't such a hot idea. Box office analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and the Hollywood Reporter.
Did CBS want Conan O'Brien to host the Tony Awards? That's what Deadline Hollywood reported Sunday. Lots of posts about whether O'Brien's exit package from NBC would allow it. Although Conan would certainly generate a lot of attention, one has to wonder why CBS wouldn't promote one of its own -- as it did successfully last year with Neil Patrick Harris. Conan will end up back on TV, but CBS isn't going to be his home. Of course, it could be CBS is just having fun with rival NBC.We suggest having Charlie Sheen host. Now that would get some attention. Or Craig Ferguson, which actually makes some sense.
One less distraction at work. You know those "red-band" movie trailers you sneak peeks at when you should be doing work? The ones with the raunchy footage and the good scenes you don't see at the theater? Well, they could be facing scrutiny. This story is from Friday's New York Times (we missed it for Friday's roundup, sorry) and definitely worth a read.
Small bucks for "Smallville"? The original creators of "Smallville," which is set to enter its 10th season in the fall are suing Warner Bros. TV, charging that the studio cut sweetheart deals for the show first with the WB Network and, later, the CW. Warners owned all of the WB and shares the CW with CBS. Details from Variety.
Going out with a bang. Advertising Age reports that spots in the final episode of ABC's "Lost" are going for $900,000 per 30-second spot. Sounds kind of pricey for a show with a small, albeit loyal, audience.
To shoot a man who shoots elephants. The New Yorker has a lengthy story on Mark and Delia Owens, Americans who went to Zambia some 20 years ago and ended up fighting poachers. In the mid-1990s, ABC News did a profile on their efforts, which included footage of the killing of an alleged poacher by an unidentified man working for their cause. Why are we linking to this? Because the piece goes on to say that the ABC News team that did the story had a deal that stopped them from really investigating the shooting itself or naming a gunman. That is raising questions over what kind of confidentiality agreement covers death, says the New York Times. The piece also lifts back the cover on some pretty typical TV news practices, including that, often, the correspondent reporting the story is not really all that involved in the reporting of it. The reporter in this particular story was Meredith Vieira, now host of NBC's "Today."
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The '80s are back. Rachel Abramowitz looks at all the remakes of movies and TV shows that rose to fame in the 1980s. (Is it nostalgia or more proof that Hollywood is out of ideas? You know what I think: Why not just merge all the movies into one big project and call it "The '80s II.") Can the Fairfax Theater be saved?
-- Joe Flint