The Morning Fix: 'Little Fockers' holds off 'True Grit.' OWN launches and Earth still orbits sun! How do you know when your movie is going to flop?
After the coffee. Before figuring out how many New Year's resolutions I already broke.
The Skinny: Welcome to 2011. So far, my mornings in the new year are the same as they were in the old one. Some critics wasted no time giving their assessment of OWN and why not? It's already been a couple of days. You know all those celebrity rehab shows? They are probably doing more damage than good. Facebook has a valuation of $50 billion dollars. Wait until the site actually starts doing something other than providing a platform for the truly narcissistic.
"Little Fockers" has big numbers. The critics hated it, but Universal Pictures' "Little Fockers" finished in first place for the second weekend in a row, taking in $26.3 million. Still, it is trailing previous entries in the franchise. Coming in second was the Coen Brothers' remake of the John Wayne classic "True Grit," which made $24.5 million in its second weekend. The strong performance of "True Grit," which is from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions, has caught many industry observers by surprise. The movie has scored far beyond the loyal following of the Coens. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News and a year-end wrap from Variety.
It's not a dream anymore, OWN is really here. We ended the year by offering you an OWN article every day of the week. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. OWN is less than 3 days old, but that's long enough for TV critics to weigh in with their takes on the new cable channel from Oprah Winfrey and Discover Communications. Here's the early verdicts from the New York Times, Boston Globe and Salon.
Where's my cut? Goldman Sachs has made a $450-million investment in Facebook, according to the New York Times. The entire social networking site was valued at $50 billion, which makes me wonder a couple of things. First, when Facebook starts up a news service, sign me up. Second, what portion of that $50 billion can be attributed to my page and where's my check?
Lackluster first half. Deadline Hollywood offers up its report card for the first four months of the TV season and it's nothing any Big Four broadcast network exec would want to take home to their parents. Fox, as usual, is off to a slow start and is banking on "American Idol" for a lift. Guess again this year. NBC is struggling and, while I'm no critic, having seen the pilots for three of their mid-season shows I fear things will get worse before they get better. ABC is limping along while CBS can smile a little bit thanks to "Blue Blood" and "Hawaii Five-0."
Crystal ball time. Last week everyone was reflecting on 2010 and trying to connect random events into broad trends. Now we look ahead to 2011 and make absurd predictions that no one will remember 12 months from now. Here are two attempts at telling our fortunes from the Wrap and Daily Beast.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: When it comes to TV rehab, it's personalities before principles. Michael Hiltzik says the Comcast - NBC deal will be a bust for the public and the industry. The movie industry is wondering how you know when your film is going to be a flop.
-- Joe Flint
Make 2011 a year to remember. Follow me on Twitter. Twitter.com/JBFlint