The Morning Fix: Dim 'Green Lantern'! Keith Olbermann's back. SAG and AFTRA talk merger.
After the coffee. Before hopefully getting my car out of the body shop.
The Skinny: Before we get into the headlines, a moment to remember Clarence Clemons, legendary sax player for Bruce Springsteen who passed this past weekend. Headlines include the somewhat disappointing opening of "Green Lantern," the search for a successor for Regis Philbin and how Comcast is trying to bring a common-man approach to NBCUniversal.
Dim lantern. Warner Bros. "The Green Lantern" starring Ryan Reynolds took in $52.7 million. While that's nothing to sneeze at, it is also below expectations. Warner Bros. was saying last week it thought the superhero film would make $55 million its first weekend. That figure was seen as too modest and other industry observers said the flick, which cost more than $200 million to make and another $125 million or so in marketing, needed to take in north of $60 million to be considered a success. The other big movie opening -- 20th Century Fox's "Mr. Popper's Penguins" starring Jim Carrey -- made $18.2 million, which beat predictions. Box-office coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Variety and Movie City News.
There's a movie in here somewhere. The latest movie from Disney's Pixar, "Cars 2," may set a record for product tie-ins, according to the Wall Street Journal. One might get the impression that selling products was the main motivation here. "The decision about making the sequel was very much an extension of the franchise discussion," Disney CEO Bob Iger said. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times weighs in with a profile of Pixar's John Lasseter, who said his love of cars came from his father, who worked in the business.
He's baaack! In case you haven't heard or perhaps have been under a rock, Keith Olbermann returns to work this week with Current TV, the little-watched cable channel founded by Al Gore. There has been a slew of hype regarding Olbermann's new gig and now the challenge for the mercurial host will be whether he can live up to it. Olbermann had found success with MSNBC, but his constant clashes with management led to his exit earlier this year. A look at Olbermann's return to television from USA Today and how Current hopes to take on MSNBC from the New York Times.
Replacing Regis. This year Regis Philbin will hang it up as co-host of "Live With Regis and Kelly" and Disney, which syndicates the show to television stations around the country, needs to find a replacement. The Wall Street Journal says there are three potential candidates: "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, Bravo executive and on-air personality Andy Cohen, and Mark Consuelos, an actor and entertainer who happens to be married to "Live" co-host Kelly Ripa. While all are known names, two seem very unlikley to this cynical reporter. Seacrest is based in Los Angeles and "Live With Regis and Kelly" is done out of New York. Would Seacrest really relocate to New York? Given his "Idol" duties, radio gig and production work, that seems unlikely. If Seacrest wants to do daytime TV, he can get his own gig. Cohen also seems like a long shot. That leaves Consuelos, no doubt Ripa's choice. My hunch: Other names will come up long before November.
Can you spare a square? As part of its effort to change the corporate culture at NBCUniversial, new owner Comcast is trying to bring a common touch to the entertainment it acquired earlier this year. The top brass will no longer reside on the cushy 52nd floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. They'll move down to the 51st floor. That doesn't sound like much, but the offices are smaller there and some people -- gasp -- actually share bathrooms. The Wrap has more on the interor decorating plans of Comcast.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Dan Patrick's sports talk show goes against the grain. Winners from a particularly depressing Daytime Emmy Awards. Actors unions SAG and AFTRA have started formal merger talks.
-- Joe Flint
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