The Morning Fix: Box office looks better in 3-D! OWN countdown marches on. Report card time.
After the coffee. Before wondering why you'd go to an airport in a blizzard without checking first online to see if your flight is canceled.
The Skinny: It's looking like a slow week around here, so enjoy yourselves while you can. Thank goodness OWN is launching on Saturday; otherwise, we'd really be scrambling for stories.
Put an asterisk next to that number. Box-office revenue is almost flat with the $10.6 billion generated a year ago, which, given the economy, is no small feat. But look closer and the picture is grimmer. The number of actual tickets sold is off by 4% to 6%. The reason the numbers don't look worse is all the money brought in by ticket sales for 3-D movies. Although some 3-D films live up to the hype, lots don't, and sooner or later, the movie public will catch on and stop shelling out the extra bucks. The Los Angeles Times and New York Post look at the year in numbers, and the Daily Beast recaps what scored with audiences.
Can they do something about the bathroom lines at ballgames next? While you're standing in line with your screaming kid at Walt Disney World, wondering what you did in a previous life to deserve this, Walt Disney Co. is watching you from a command bunker. No, they're not drinking beers and woofing down hot dogs and laughing (at least we hope not), they are analyzing crowds to try to determine how to make lines move faster. "Their clandestine mission: to get you to the fun faster," says the New York Times. Well, that may be true, but it's also true that the faster you can move, the more money you can spend.
Your daily dose of OWN. On Monday, we promised you a story about OWN every day this week. Here, we offer you up this story from Sunday's Washington Post about the launch of the new cable network from Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications. Hank Stuever sees OWN as just the beginning. He wrote: "There will be Oprah churches all over the world. OWN is just one step in a process that will more fully (and valiantly, it turns out) spread the Oprah worldview." Hmm, if the lines for churches are really long, maybe Winfrey can hire Disney to analyze how to shorten them and make more money while they're doing it.
Report cards. Seems to me there is not a whole lot to celebrate in network TV. Has any new show really broken through? Vulture offers up a series report card on the first four months of the season for each network. Here's their take on CBS. On the movie side, the Wrap is offering its own end-of-the-year results with a look at Paramount.
Comedy is dangerous. There was an accident and a stuntman seriously injured during filming of the sequel for "The Hangover." According to Deadline Hollywood, a car crashed into a truck during a stunt, and that was not supposed to happen.
Isn't this over yet? The Federal Communications Commission has told a court that broadcasters give up their rights to full 1st Amendment protection by operating with licenses provided by the government. The filing is the latest in the back-and-forth between the FCC and CBS over Janet Jackson's Super Bowl mishap in 2004. Broadcasting & Cable has the latest details on the case, which is being heard in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The Library of Congress has released the list of films that have made the cut to be in the National Film Registry.
-- Joe Flint
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