The Morning Fix: Cruel summer! Will the hype live up to 'The Event'? Hollywood loves a good reboot.
After the coffee. Before deciding that coming up with something new for this every day is harder than it looks!
No "Hangover" means a hangover. The Wall Street Journal is the latest to weigh in with an analysis of the summer box office. Looking at the glass half full, revenues were up. On the half-empty side, that's because tickets for 3-D movies boosted prices and in reality attendance was off about 3%. Although that doesn't seem like a huge figure, summer is Hollywood's most important season and drops in attendance are big news. "The two things this summer was missing were a huge surprise hit and a weekend," Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures told the WSJ.
Rebuilding the franchises. When Sony was having trouble getting a Spider-Man movie together that would keep Tobey Maguire and everyone else involved happy, it decided to start over from scratch. Warner Bros. did the same thing years ago with the Batman franchise and more recently with Superman. The Los Angeles Times looks at Hollywood's latest obsession: rebooting. Are those behind reboots being creative or just showing their utter lack of creativity. Guess what? If it pays off, it doesn't really matter.
Evil ready to take residence. Here's a prediction: "Resident Evil: Afterlife" will be the biggest new movie at the box office this weekend. Of course, it's the only film opening wide. Because it's in 3-D and this will be a slow weekend, projections are that the Sony-distributed horror flick should take in about $25 million. Summit, meanwhile, figures it can drain a little more blood out of the box office and is re-releasing "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse." Analysis and projections from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Will it really be an event? NBC is hoping a promotional push for its new drama "The Event" has just enough mystery to lure viewers in and not so much that it confuses potential viewers so much they decide to skip it. These days, getting a big opening number is much more important than it was a decade ago, and NBC officials know that if they can't grab viewers right out of the box, there won't be much of an event. At the same time, they need to also convince viewers (like this one) that they will stick with the show. There's nothing people hate more than investing in a show that's gone after a month. The pilot for "The Event" grabbed me, although there are a few tweaks producers could make that would make it less confusing. I need to see the second episode before deciding if it is DVR worthy. More on NBC's promotional strategy from the New York Times.
Job opening. The writers and producers of "The Office" will take their time figuring out who will replace Steve Carell in the NBC sitcom after this season. The Hollywood Reporter says episodes will focus on various characters that could end up with the big office after the Michael Scott character hits the road for good. Of course, there will still be lots of speculation that the show will bring in a new character. My advice, not that anyone is asking, is to stick with the cast you have, and if it becomes clear that something new is needed in the mix, bring it in. Truth is, "Cheers" never needed to replace Diane with Rebecca. I know, Sam Malone is the more apt comparison, but hey, Ted Danson didn't go anywhere, so that won't work -- and it's Friday, so leave me alone!
Fine line between reporting and illegal snooping. News Corp. and its chief, Rupert Murdoch, are catching a lot of heat for accusations that one of his British tabloids broke the law in its efforts to get information on celebrities and members of the royal family. The New York Times did a comprehensive story last Sunday, and now the Associated Press reports on the aftershocks.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "I'm Still Here," Casey Affleck's "documentary" on Joaquin Phoenix.
-- Joe Flint
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