The Morning Fix: 'Rio' is Real! NBC not rooting for Trump to run. Sheen fight heats up Tuesday.
After the coffee. Before wondering why this night is different from all other nights.
The Skinny: I want to change my American Airlines flight back to Los Angeles and I have two choices: Change it now at a cost of $750 a day or wait 12 hours before the flight I want to catch leaves and pay $50. Yeah, that makes sense. Unfortunately for me, the flight I want to catch leaves at 2:30 p.m., which means calling at 2:30 a.m. I just hope they have more than 17 sandwiches on board. And I thought the media business was crazy. As for media. "Rio" had a strong debut, but "Scream" was silent. Charlie Sheen's fight with Warner Bros. and Chuck Lorre hits second gear Tuesday with the actor getting a day in court to see if he'll get his day in court.
Rocking "Rio." Who knew it'd take a bunch of animated birds to lift the box-office blues? Twentieth Century Fox-distributed "Rio" flew to $40 million in box office, easily taking the crown for top movie of the weekend. The big numbers for "Rio" were solid enough to help the industry break an almost 2-month-old slump. Ticket sales were up 12% compared with a year ago. Unfortunately, "Rio" did not have a trickle-down effect. The latest "Scream" could only scare up a little over $19 million, which was below most industry estimates. Overall, revenue for 2011 is down 19%, and attendance is off 20%. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
There is a bright side. Although odds are he'll wimp out, if Donald Trump does decide to run for president there could be a silver lining in the cloud that would hang over the political process. That's because should he become a candidate, odds are NBC would pull the plug on his fading show, "The Apprentice." It would be bad news for NBC, which still counts on "The Apprentice" because so few of its other shows are working, but good news for everyone tired of that program. More on what a Trump run could mean for NBC from the New York Times.
They're in! They're out! They're back in! News Corp.'s FX and Fox News and Discovery Communications' TLC and Animal Planet are among the networks back on Time Warner Cable's iPad application. Frankly, it's getting hard to keep track of whom Time Warner Cable is fighting with over its app at any given time. Viacom is still off the app, and those two are duking it out in court. It seems pretty clear this is just media giants battling over money and little else. Coverage from Multichannel News.
Get there early for a good seat! On Tuesday morning, lawyers for Charlie Sheen, Warner Bros. and "Two and a Half Men" co-creator Chuck Lorre will gather in a courthouse in Santa Monica to argue whether the actor can sue the studio and Lorre for firing him from the CBS hit sitcom. Warner Bros. and Lorre argue that Sheen's contract calls for arbitration to resolve disputes like firing an actor for bad behavior. The Hollywood Reporter has a preview.
Another makeover for VH1. Once a strong sibling to MTV, VH1 has seen its ratings and stature fade away over the last several years. Formerly a music channel aimed at those who had outgrown MTV, it morphed into a Bravo and E! wannabee with tacky reality shows focusing primarily on fading celebrities with drug problems. Now, it's going to try to dress itself up as a channel aimed at women (a demo that Bravo also does well in) with ... tacky reality and talk shows. Spin on the "new" VH1 from the Wall Street Journal.
Remembering when. Later this year, Fox will celebrate its 25th anniversary. AdAge looks at the network's humble roots (who can forget "Beans Baxter"?) and how the Fox strategy then should be used by the network now.
-- Joe Flint
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