The Morning Fix: Polanski staying put! 'Despicable Me' cleans up. Comcast and NBC strike deal with indie producers
Not a despicable showing. Universal Pictures' "Despicable Me" took in a huge $60.1 million in its opening weekend. The remake of "Predator" made just over $25 million, which also was not bad, while "Eclipse" continued to roll with $33.4 million. Still, attendance this summer is off about 2.5% from last summer. Analysis of the weekend from the Los Angeles Times and Hot Blog.
Tutor talks. Ron Tutor, the construction magnate who is part of a group that is trying to acquire Miramax from Walt Disney Co., tells the Hollywood Reporter that David Bergstein, the controversial investor with whom he has worked in the past, will have no role at Miramax.
Green with rage. A shouting match broke out over the weekend between Marvel Comics executive Kevin Feige and Ed Norton's agent over the actor's exclusion from the next "Hulk" movie. Was it a creative move or a business move? Lots of back-and-forth, which is always fun to read. HitFix kept score.
Comcast and NBC reach accord with indie producers. Comcast and NBC Universal said they have a pact with the Independent Film and Television Alliance to provide opportunities for indie producers after the cable and content giants merge. Details of their agreement can be found at the Federal Communications Commission's website; the docket number is 10-56. Happy hunting.
You're next, William Morris. Celador, the production company that last week won a battle over profits from the ABC game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," may now turn its sights on the William Morris agents who packaged the show, says the Hollywood Reporter. ABC parent Walt Disney Co., meanwhile, will appeal the verdict against it.
Malone bullish on cable but not on Obama. Liberty Media Chairman John Malone, the godfather of the modern-day cable industry, thinks cable has the edge over satellite in the long term. Of course, Malone sold all of his U.S. cable systems years ago, but he still has holdings abroad and owns a stake in Time Warner Cable. While he's optimistic about cable, he's less so about America. "We have a retreat that's right on the Quebec border. ... Anytime we want to, we can get away," the mogul told the Wall Street Journal. President Obama, he said, "is incompetent."
As if cellphones weren't annoying enough. Movie theaters and studios, desperate to boost attendance, are trying new gimmicks to fill seats, including encouraging audience participation. The New York Times looks at some of the strategies, a few which may remind some of midnight screenings of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Personally, I think too many people already act like the movie theater is their living room. Just don't throw any toast at me.
The man in the middle at Fox News. Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz (who moonlights at CNN), profiles Bill Hemmer, the co-anchor of Fox's "America's Newsroom." While Hemmer gets high marks for putting the fair in Fox's fair and balanced, Kurtz still hammers the show for a guest list that tilts a little to the right.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The Swiss said they are not sending director Roman Polanski back to the United States to face the music for fleeing the country and avoiding sentencing for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. Mary McNamara on TNT's new female detective drama "Rizzoli & Isles."
-- Joe Flint
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