The Morning Fix: 'Fockers' fizzles, 'Grit' is the shizzle. Jon Stewart: Advocate. OWN media hysteria reaching peak.
After the coffee. Before the leftover eggnog.
The Skinny: We're here, you're still on vacation. The decision by the NFL (made after being encouraged to do so by the city of Philadelphia) to pull the plug on Sunday night's Philadelphia-Minnesota game because of the snowstorm has me wondering what the league will do if faced with a similar situation with the Super Bowl is played in New York in 2014. In box-office news, "Little Fockers" finished first but was not as strong as Universal Pictures might have hoped while "True Grit" delivered.
Santa didn't deliver good box office. With Christmas Eve falling on a Friday, it was pretty much assured that this was not going to be a huge weekend for Hollywood. "Little Fockers," as expected, finished first. But its take of $48.3 million over five days (Wednesday through Sunday) was below expectations. Perhaps that means we can stick a fork in the franchise. While Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro might have been disappointed, Jeff Bridges and Ethan and Joel Coen were not. The Coens' remake of the John Wayne classic "True Grit" took in almost $37 million over the same period. Overall, Christmas-weekend grosses were off 45% from 2009. We'd talk about the opening numbers for Jack Black's "Gulliver's Travels," but there wasn't much to say. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Murrow. Cronkite. Stewart? The New York Times looks at the role "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart played in guilting Congress into passing a bill that promises federal money to police, firefighters and others who got sick after working on the cleanup of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11 attacks. Stewart blasted Republicans for initially campaigning against the bill. The article certainly makes valid points about the push Stewart made in getting the bill passed and the lack of coverage on the issue from traditional media more obsessed with Beatles songs being made available on iTunes. But did they have to quote ubiquitous Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson throughout the story?
Wait, Oprah's launching a cable network? There are only five more days before OWN, the cable network being launched by Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications flips the switch. Let's see if we can find an article to link to every day leading up the launch. I think we've already had five or six so far, and now the Wall Street Journal is weighing in with its third OWN story in, I believe, the last six months. Wonder if anyone will be blogging it live the first day. I know it won't be me.
This 3-D not worthy of Oscar? One might think, with all the 3-D movies released in 2010, the visual-effects category of the Oscars would be overrun with entries. But Variety reports that a few of the major 3-D movies of the last 12 months will be submitted in 2-D. The movies in question are the so-called conversions, films that were converted to the format versus being conceived and produced as 3-D. That may make consumers wonder why they were paying extra to see the films in 3-D if their creators didn't even enter them for awards in that format.
The new reality. DVD sales for 2010 will take a hit from Netflix, Redbox and a still struggling economy. Personally, I think most people no longer feel the need to own DVDs, the way they did in 2006. How many did you buy that are now just taking up space? The Hollywood Reporter looks at the year in home entertainment.
Tell us how you really feel. The Boston Herald editorial page blasts the Federal Communications Commission's new Internet rules. Writes the Herald: "The so-called 'net neutrality' Internet rules promulgated by a divided Federal Communications Commission last week are an undesirable, unworkable, almost unmitigated hash of do-gooder dreams that should not survive court challenges and the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives."
-- Joe Flint
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