The Morning Fix: 'Hangover II' cures Hollywood blues. PBS hacked! Dauman made how much?
After the coffee. Before pretending to be excited about going back to work.
The Skinny. I went into "Hangover II" not expecting much and I wasn't disappointed. I walked out after about an hour. My rule is: You may steal my money, but you won't steal my time. Nonetheless, it and other movies led Hollywood to a huge weekend.
What did you do this weekend? Seems most of us went to a movie. Maybe some of us even enjoyed the experience although I was not one of them. Hollywood took in a record $280 million, almost half of which was collected by Warner Bros.' incredibly lame sequel to "The Hangover." Somewhere H.L. Mencken is having a good laugh. The big weekend helped give the industry something to smile about in an otherwise lackluster year. Attendance is still down 10%, compared with 2010. Meanwhile, I may have to see "Bridesmaids" again just to get the taste of "The Hangover Part II" out of my mouth. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg and Deadline Hollywood.
Nothing to see here folks. Is 3-D a flash in the pan? The New York Times writes that "ripples of fear" spread across Hollywood after the latest "Pirates of the Caribbean" flick didn't generate a ton in 3-D box office. This past weekend, "Kung Fu Panda 2" also under-delivered in terms of 3-D box office. “Audiences are very smart,” Greg Foster, president of Imax Filmed Entertainment, told the paper. “When they smell something aspiring to be more than it is, they catch on very quickly.”
Overhauling YouTube. Seeking to improve relations with Hollywood and bring some order to the chaos that is video site YouTube, the company tapped former Netflix executive Robert Kyncl as its vice president of content partnerships. Hired about eight months ago, Kyncl has struck deals with Warner Bros., Universal and Sony Pictures that brought 3,000 movie titles to the site's on-demand rental service. More on Kyncl's mission from the Los Angeles Times.
Pay to play. Activision Blizzard Inc., the video game company behind Call of Duty, wants to take the business to the next level with an online pay model for the latest entry in the franchise. The Wall Street Journal says that this is a "potentially risky bet by Activision that it can further milk profits from consumers, who could feel the $60 they spend on 'Call of Duty' in stores is enough."
Comcast to stay on roller coaster. The Wrap is reporting that Comcast is going to buy the stake in Universal's Florida theme parks it didn't already own for $1.5 billion. Of course, it'd be news if Comcast wasn't buying the stake from private equity firm Blackstone.
Perhaps best drama is a better fit. Hardly a shocker here. Deadline Hollywood says Warner Bros. is not going to submit "Two and a Half Men" for a best comedy Emmy. If they had, that would have been news. The show didn't even finish the season and its best moments were going on behind-the-scenes.
Tree of confusion. "Tree of Life," the big winner at Cannes, didn't just come together overnight. The Daily Beast looks at the making of the movie, which it said is perhaps the "most convoluted production in the history of movies."
Hope they at least left a donation. Hackers broke into PBS' website and posted a bogus story about late rapper Tupac Shakur resurfacing. The hacking seems to be in retaliation for a PBS piece on "Frontline" about WikiLeaks. More from Wired.
-- Joe Flint
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