The Morning Fix: 'Hop' stays on top! Lauer and Couric again? RIP Sidney Lumet.
After the coffee. Before the flight to Vegas.
The Skinny: Time for a road trip. Headed to Vegas for the National Assn. of Broadcasters show. I watched episode three of AMC's "The Killing" and I'm still not 100% there yet. I stand by my first assessment, which is it's trying to be "Twin Peaks" meets "The Wire." In real news. "Hop" is still on top of the box office. Now "Today" co-anchor Matt Lauer is being dragged into Katie Couric speculation and legendary director Sidney Lumet died over the weekend. "Dog Day Afternoon" is one of the greatest movies ever. If only I could quote my favorite line here. Let's just say it has to do with being kissed.
"Hop" stays on top. Universal's "Hop" jumped its way to another $21.7 million at the box office, which was enough to keep the animated bunny in first place. The remake of "Arthur" (after plenty of promotional help from "Saturday Night Live," which had co-stars Russell Brand and Helen Mirren as hosts in recent weeks), took in $12.6 million. That has to be a disappointment. A surprise (to me anyway) third-place finish went to "Hanna," which made $12.3 million. "Soul Surfer," the inspirational story of a girl surfer who sticks to the sport after losing an arm in a shark attack, was strong as well with $11.1 million. Apparently fans of Danny McBride and James Franco were too relaxed or perhaps hungry to go see "Your Highness" as it took in only $9.5 million. Box office coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Together again? The media industry is abuzz that "Today" co-host Matt Lauer wants to team up with his old partner Katie Couric on a daytime talk show. Couric is expected to leave CBS News in June while Lauer's contract still has close to two years left on it, so this seems a little bit of a reach, unless Katie wants to sit on the sidelines for 18 months. Lauer and Couric were a successful team at "Today,"but behind the scenes they were not exactly buddy-buddy. Guess if you wave enough money in front of people they will tend to forget everything bad about the last time they worked together. If the two do reunite, clearly they will do a show designed more for mornings than afternoons. With Regis Philbin leaving "Live with Regis and Kelly" later this year, there is a sense that that franchise is vulnerable. Still, this seems more fantasy than reality and spin from the Couric camp. Coverage and speculation from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Even though Lauer has a long way to go until he's a free agent, the New York Post jumps in and declares that ABC News talent Chris Cuomo is the leading candidate to replace him in 2013. OK guys, take a chill pill.
Time Warner considering new home. Let me get this straight. Time Warner, which tore up New York's Columbus Circle to make its new headquarters in a building that now houses a shopping mall and is something of a symbol of the corporate gentrification that has overwhelmed the city, now wants to move? According to the Wall Street Journal, Time Warner is thinking of moving to the far west side of Manhattan. The company has not even been in its current home for 10 years yet and now wants to ruin another neighborhood? That's progress.
Expensive stationery. Media big shots Peter Chernin, Terry Semel and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt are among those investing in a merchant bank headed by media bankers Jeff Sine and Joe Ravitch, along with William Morris partner Ari Emanuel. The bank's name is Raine. I guess that beats Siravi. Details from the Financial Times.
First America, then the world. Netflix is gearing up for a big push abroad. Variety looks at hurdles the company will face as it tries to extend its reach.
Comeback time. Disney wants to reinvent the Muppets. "The Muppets Show," a TV staple of the 1970s and early '80s, also spawned several movies and now Disney will try another one. The New York Times on the behind-the-scenes plans to give Kermit and Miss Piggy another chance.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: An appreciation of legendary director Sidney Lumet, who died over the weekend at 86.
-- Joe Flint
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