The Morning Fix: Hulu's latest pay plan! 'Expendables' chews up 'Eat Pray Love.' Sony's hot summer.
After the coffee. Before deciding if "Entourage" is picking up steam or throwing stuff at the wall.
Hulu going public? Hulu, the video website whose owners include Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and NBC Universal, is considering an initial public offering that could put a $2-billion value on the company, according to the New York Times. The move comes as Hulu is shifting to a pay model. Although it will continue to have free content, it also is adding a pay wall and likely increasing the amount of advertising on the site. Given the clouds around Hulu's future -- including whether owners NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co. are truly committed to the service and whether content providers will continue to supply shows to the site -- potential investors may have a lot of questions before ponying up for an IPO.
Over-the-hill gang finishes on top at the box office. Lionsgate's "The Expendables," the throwback action flick starring Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and a host of other big names from the 1980s and 1990s, took first place at the box office over the weekend with $35 million. That was more than enough to crush Sony's chick flick "Eat Pray Love," the Julia Roberts feature based on the bestselling book, which took in $23.7 million. Meanwhile, once again, Michael Cera has proven to have little draw outside his core geek following as Universal's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" made only $10.5 million. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Hot Blog.
Summer of Sony. Although it has steered clear of big special effects-driven films and had no new Spider-Man to offer, Sony Pictures has still had a strong summer. Thank Adam Sandler (who probably doesn't remember me from NYU) and "Grown Ups," as well as the remake of "The Karate Kid" and Angelina Jolie's "Salt." Variety looks at Sony's recent track record.
We'll follow the rules, we just don't need rules. The Wall Street Journal sits down with Glenn Britt, the chief executive of Time Warner Cable, one of the nation's largest cable and broadband providers, to discuss net neutrality and government regulation. In the interview, Britt says that, although he is in favor of the concept that all traffic on the Web should flow at the same speed, he doesn't want there to be regulation to enforce that principle. "The more extensively you write things down, with the world changing so quickly, the more you risk having unintended consequences," Britt said. There may be some truth to that, but net-neutrality advocates would likely note that it's not like the rules would be coming down from a mountain written in stone.
The twisted tale of movie futures trading. The Wrap looks at how the idea of a movie futures trading market went from being a slam dunk to history. It was a rare win for the Motion Picture Assn. of America.
Hope MTV isn't picking up the bill for all these busts. Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, one of the cast members of MTV's reality hit "Jersey Shore," was busted over the weekend for allegedly unpaid tickets. It was his second arrest, the first for fighting. A few weeks ago, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, another member of the show, was busted on charges of public intoxication. Too bad, because getting wasted seems to be the one skill that all the cast has. Well, that and how to use hair product. More from the Associated Press.
As long as they don't bite. Time Warner has acknowledged it has a bed-bug problem in its corporate headquarters in New York. Wait, they have beds in their corporate headquarters? Wow, and we thought Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone was a wild man! In all seriousness, bed bugs have been causing real headaches all over New York this summer. More on Time Warner's unwelcome visitors from Dow Jones Newswires.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara's diagnosis on Showtime's new drama "The Big C."
-- Joe Flint
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