The Morning Fix: 'The Roommate' pays rent at box office. Super Bowl good, ads not so much. Disney goes after babies. Big prize for X Factor winner.
After the coffee. Before seeing whether the Super Bowl topped last year's record audience.
The Skinny: I know the Super Bowl was close, but I never felt as if it were a hugely exciting match. That's just me. Of course, the lack of exciting ads didn't help. Meanwhile, "The Roommate" took advantage of a slow weekend at the box office to finish No. 1.
Great game, not-so-great ads. The Super Bowl turned into a down-to-the-wire affair, but did any of the advertisements really keep you glued to the set? I thought the best one was Eminem's spot with Chrysler, but then I was born in Detroit so it hit home. The VW ad was cute, the Doritos spot grossed me out and I do wonder what Bud Light was thinking. Oh, and I never need to see an E-Trade baby again. Analysis of how those $3-million commercials played from Ad Age, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and New York Times.
Enjoy this short-lived glory. "The Roommate," a lazy-looking rehash of "Single White Female," came out on top at the box office this weekend taking in $15.6 million. Coming in second was "Sanctum," which made $9.2 million. Ticket sales were down 25% from a year ago as the Super Bowl and bad weather in much of the country kept people inside. Box office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Start the brainwashing early. You've just given birth. It's the biggest moment in your life. You cradle your newborn and look up and see your husband, your parents, a doctor and a Disney representative. Huh? Yes, that's right, Disney is now hitting maternity wards offering a free "Disney Cuddly Bodysuit." “If ever there was an opportunity for a trusted brand to enter a market and provide a better product and experience, it’s this,” Disney CEO Robert A. Iger told the New York Times. Can't argue with that. He's right, there is no better time to expose a kid to commercials than right after he's popped out of the womb. Let's shatter that innocence early.
Lifting the veil slowly. J.J. Abrams is starting to talk about his summer thriller "Super 8," which was the subject of an intriguing Super Bowl spot. He tells the Los Angeles Times that "all people need to know is that it’s an adventure about a small town and it’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s scary and there’s a mystery."
Big payoff. Fox and Simon Cowell announced early Monday that the winner of his musical talent show "The X Factor" will get a $5-million record deal with Sony. That's good enough for me. Just make sure if the winner gets to sing the National Anthem at a Super Bowl that they actually know the lyrics. Details from USA Today.
Maybe now they can start paying writers. AOL is shelling out $315 million for the Huffington Post, the website started by Arianna Huffington best known for commentary and occasionally breaking news although primarily just rehashing news content from elsewhere. Huffington Post has done a good job getting big names to contribute to it -- usually more for prestige than a paycheck. One of the knocks on the site has been that it doesn't pay much to its contributors. For AOL, it's their biggest deal since being cut lose by Time Warner. Coverage from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Huff post founder Arianna Huffington herself.
Spinners play musical chairs. Normally, it's big-shot executives moving around that make news, not their public relations people. However, the Wrap looks at several flacks switching jobs. Great, now the person who misled me at one company while bad-mouthing another can do the same for another company. I kid, I love my PR brothers.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Al Jazeera's coverage from Egypt has been praised, but the network is still struggling to open doors here in the U.S. "Cowboys & Aliens," which sounds like a game I played as a kid, is working the grass-roots angle to hype the flick.
-- Joe Flint
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