The Morning Fix: Pixar's getting more into sequel game. ESPN toots its vuvuzela! IMDB birthday controversy
Pixar: The sequel. Pixar still makes hits, but nowadays they seem more focused on making hits based on their hits. Yes, the home of great original animation is relying increasingly on that old Hollywood standby known as the sequel. Not only is "Toy Story 3" coming out this weekend, but the two movies that follow that one also are followups, to "Cars" and "Monsters, Inc." Pixar's next original movie won't be until 2012's "Brave," about a Scottish girl's quest to become a champion archer. Under Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger, the focus is on brands and franchises. More on what all this means for Pixar from the Los Angeles Times.
Tooting their (vuvuzela) horn! Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN and ABC are enjoying strong ratings for its World Cup coverage, as is Univision. Whether the excitement of the tournament will translate into a new audience for soccer in the U.S. remains to be seen. The world's game is not exactly built for U.S. TV networks accustomed to lots of commercial breaks (which pay the bills but annoy the viewers). Although many academics will say it is our viewers who have to adjust to a game that does not play out on TV the way other sports do, most sports fans are tired of the overload of commercials and TV timeouts. More on the ratings from the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times look at advertisers who are not official sponsors of the World Cup but are trying to find ways to get their message out in South Africa, much to the chagrin of FIFA, the association that oversees the event.
Next chapter for Lions Gate. Carl Icahn has just confirmed that he has a 31.8% stake in Lions Gate, and the activist investor is poised to launch his proxy war and try to take control of the studio's board of directors. The Los Angeles Times and Variety look at what's next for both Icahn and the management of Lions Gate.It's not polite to ask. The Wrap reports that some of the guilds (Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild) have approached IMDB, the Internet database of actors, writers and producers that is used by everyone in the business, about removing birthdays from the information that can be found. The reason is fear that it can lead to age discrimination.
Singing the blues. Cablevision Chief Executive James Dolan, who is often a punching bag for New York sports fans (Cablevision owns the Knicks and Rangers) and is no stranger to tussles with local politicians and the media, sometimes gets his revenge on stage with his blues band JD & the Straight Shot. The New York Times looks at Dolan's second career as a musician.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Joel Surnow, one of the masterminds of Fox's "24," has some new plans for making TV shows. John Horn on "The Kids Are All Right," which opens the Los Angeles Film Festival.
-- Joe Flint
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