The Morning Fix: 'Shrek' soft. 'MacGruber' bombs! Miramax mess. 'Glee' gets year three. Kerry (Bob, not John) top choice for MPAA gig
Hold off on that "MacGruber" sequel. There is hope for our little world yet. "MacGruber," the latest "Saturday Night Live" skit to be mistakenly turned into a movie, bombed big time. It took in only $4.1 million in its opening weekend, the lowest debut for any major release this year. With hope, "SNL" executive producer Lorne Michaels will finally get the message and put this tired skit to sleep next fall when the show comes back. Yeah, the fourth installment of "Shrek" didn't do so hot either, but I'm too happy about "MacGruber" flaming out to focus on why "Shrek Forever After" only took in about $71 million, compared with $121.6 million for "Shrek the Third." Oh wait, just answered my own question. People saw "Shrek the Third" and said, "Enough." More box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and the Hot Blog.
Miramax mess. The convoluted deal in which supermarket magnate Ron Burkle would have put up a big chunk of the funds to buy Miramax from Walt Disney Co. and then hire the production company's founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein to manage it appeared to be in dire straits late last week. The Los Angeles Times reported that talks were breaking down over the fine print as well as how the production company would be integrated into the Weinstein Co. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal quickly followed with their own stories. Deadline Hollywood's Mike Fleming and the Wrap then carried some water for the Weinstein Co., which issued a statement saying talks were ongoing. Fleming's post also took shots at the reporting of the Los Angeles Times. Strangely, over the weekend, he or someone at Deadline changed the post and took out the digs at us. Look, this deal could still get done, but clearly Disney is losing patience with the Weinsteins and Burkle. As for those who criticize other reports, to borrow from Ricky Roma in "Glengarry Glen Ross," never open your mouth until you know what the shot is.
Nothing to laugh about. Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy were both pretty busy with the "Shrek" franchise, but what about their own on-screen careers? The Daily Beast's Kim Masters says the lifespan of comic actors is shrinking. As usual, the Internet is blamed. There is also the tendency of comic actors to suddenly decide to become serious actors. Then those efforts flop, and when they return to comedy, they find the momentum they had built is gone.
But what if the show hits a bad note in Season 2? How confident is Fox about "Glee"? So confident that the network has ordered Season 3 before Season 2 has even started. Entertainment Weekly breaks the news of the unusual year three pick-up. No doubt Fox and studio Twentieth Century Fox Television also will be sweetening the paychecks of the cast, if they haven't done so already. Of course, if for some unforeseen reason "Glee" bombs next season, Fox will find a way to weasel out of the deal.
Will they call it "Toronto Five-0"? Now that the fall schedules are announced, the studios are busy selling their shows abroad. Canadian TV programmers already have swooped into town and sealed a bunch of deals, per Variety. Disney also unveiled its slate, and Hollywood Reporter has details on that.
Hey hey Paula, I want to dance for you. Looks like Paula Abdul's next gig will be as a judge on the CBS dance-contest show "Got to Dance," according to Vulture. She'll also get an executive producing credit. Guess that means Simon Cowell may have to find a new second banana for "X-Factor."
Kerry for MPAA? There were rumors that John Kerry could be the new head of the MPAA. Well, the rumors were half right. Bob Kerrey has emerged as the top candidate to run the movie industry's Washington lobbying arm. A former senator, Kerrey is exiting his post as president of the New School in New York City. The MPAA job pays well, and you get to hang out with movie stars sometimes (that's nothing new for Kerrey, who once dated Debra Winger). The downside is you have five bosses with five different agendas bugging you all day. More on Kerrey and the MPAA from the Los Angeles Times and Wrap.
-- Joe Flint
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