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The Morning Fix: 3-D turf war turns ugly! MGM bids coming due, anyone care? You Tube-Viacom dirt to be spilled. Win an Oscar, get cheated on!

March 18, 2010 |  7:59 am
After the coffee. Before figuring out how to slip out early to watch the tournament.

3-D turf war gets dirty. Paramount Pictures is playing hardball with theater owners over its upcoming 3-D movie "How to Train Your Dragon," which the studio is distributing for DreamWorks Animation. According to the Los Angeles Times, Paramount is telling theater owners if they don't take the 3-D version, they won't get the 2-D version when the movie opens March 26. Ouch. Theater owners don't have enough screens for the glut of 3-D films coming out. Disney's "Alice in Wonderland' is still doing strong numbers, and Warner Bros. has "Clash of the Titans" opening in early April. This year, the number of 3-D movies is expected to jump to almost 20, from fewer than 15 a year ago.

CTlogosmall Do they accept pennies? The field of potential bidders for the struggling MGM studio is getting smaller. With the deadline a day away, Bloomberg reports that John Malone's Liberty Media is not going to make a play for the studio, and neither is the hedge fund Elliott Management Corp., which had been aligned with producer Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity. Time Warner is still in the hunt, as is Len Blavatnik, a Ukrainian-born billionaire. However, it seems less and less that MGM will get the $2 billion it wants. More details from the Wrap.

No, really, I was there for the funny clip of the cat, not that scene from "The Godfather." You know the long-running legal battle between Google's YouTube and media giant Viacom Inc.? Well, previously confidential documents are about to be released that should be good reading material. Viacom has charged that YouTube knowingly allowed copyrighted material on the video site because the company knows that is what would drive traffic. YouTube wanted to keep the documents sealed, but a judge backed Viacom. The Associated Press with a preview.

That Ovitz was a crafty one. New York magazine's entertainment blog Vulture reports that it will be pretty difficult to make a "Ghostbusters" sequel without director Ivan Reitman involved. Apparently, Reitman's former agent Michael Ovitz cut the director a deal some 20 years ago that gave him approval over a director for future "Ghostbuster" projects. Now, my question is, does that include a remake or just a sequel? My second question is, why do we need either anyway?

Win an Oscar, get cheated on. In the aftermath of reports that Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock's husband, Jesse James, allegedly had been cheating on his big-screen star with an ink-stained gal, the the Daily Beast smells a trend.  After all, didn't Reese Witherspoon get cheated on after she won? And Halle Berry? Or the marriage or relationship can just go away. Yes, there is the obligatory picture of Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: John Horn on Hollywood's love-hate relationship with foreign films. Julianna Margulies is riding high. RIP, Alex Chilton.

-- Joe Flint

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