The Morning Fix: Hit the ATM before the movies! Thumbs down for good. MGM may hit pause on sale
After the coffee. Before the dreaded 7 a.m. flight to D.C.
Recession? Who cares? Several movie chains are raising their prices, primarily but not exclusively on 3-D movies. The Wall Street Journal reports that Regal, Cinemark and AMC are among the operators jacking up prices. Variety also has a piece on the price increases. Yeah, this will really get people not to wait for the DVDs!
King of the Hill. Fox Sports CEO David Hill would like to see the NBA on Fox, isn't sure how aggressive the network will be in going after the 2014 and 2016 Olympics and promises that next year's Super Bowl halftime show will have musical acts under the age of 60. A lively question-and-answer session with one of Rupert Murdoch's top lieutenants in the Los Angeles Times.
Production shutdown! Looks like the future of foundering movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer won't be resolved anytime soon. According to the Wall Street Journal, hedge funds that control a bunch of MGM's debt are not interested in selling the studio at the prices that have come in so far. Earlier this week, bids were submitted for the studio. Time Warner said it would cough up $1.5 billion, well below the more than $2 billion MGM's creditors were seeking.
No fun! The Motion Picture Assn. of America, the movie industry's lobbying arm in D.C., is asking the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to pull the plug on plans by two companies to create a movies futures exchange. According to the New York Times, MPAA interim Chief Executive Robert Pisano said in a letter to the commission that the “reputation and integrity of our industry could be tarnished by allowing trading in the movie futures contracts in a manner which allows them to be viewed as the economic equivalent of legalized gambling on movie receipts.” The commission responded that if plans for a new "Ghostbusters" were killed, it would take the MPAA's request into consideration. Yes, I'm joking.
This could be awkward. Although a long shot, there is a possibility that both Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" and Conan O'Brien's "Tonight Show" could be nominated for Emmys. If that were to happen, it would be pretty amusing for us folks on the sidelines but not so for NBC. Would the network support O'Brien, or would he have to fund his own marketing campaign? Hmmm, let me guess. And if he won, how funny would that be since NBC will be airing the Emmys this year. Yeah but who are we kidding. Jon Stewart's going to win as usual, but that doesn't stop the Wrap from fantasizing.
Thumbs down, for good. The long-running movie review show "At the Movies," which made Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel household names, has been canceled. The Hollywood Reporter quotes the show's syndicator, Disney, as saying that after almost 25 years, the program is no longer economically viable. The last program will be in August, and after that, the balcony will be closed. Yes, everyone used that line in their stories about this.The Wrap's Joe Adalian has a few choice words for the local stations not interested in keeping the franchise around. Lets just say they get a thumbs down.
Soggy serials. ABC is bringing back "V" and already has relaunched "FlashForward," but can they be relaunched and bring in both new viewers and the people who got hooked in the first place? USA Today on the challenges serial dramas face when they go away for awhile.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: "I Spy" star Robert Culp dies. Another woman emerges to say she also slept with Sandra Bullock's husband, Jesse James. Man,talk about a blind side. (Yes, the only reason I'm linking to this is so I can use that blind side line.) Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon together?
-- Joe Flint