The Morning Fix: No cheap seats! MTV scores. Murdoch court date?
After the coffee. Before buying a new coffee maker. No, I'm not joking.
The Skinny: The end of August is when Hollywood tends to grind to a halt, which is why this week's editions of The Morning Fix will seem lighter than usual. Tuesday's stories include a debate over cheap seat sales for movie theaters, more drama for Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. and MTV's Video Music Awards, still going strong.
No cheap seats! These days you can find deals on just about anything -- airfare, hotels, ballgames, you name it. But a new service called MoviePass that wants to offer discounts on movie tickets is meeting resistance from theater owners, who fear having their seats devalued. "I just don't want third parties setting our ticket prices," Ted Mundorff, chief executive of Landmark Theatres, the chain co-owned by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, told the Los Angeles Times. "We want to run our own business."
Day in court. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son James, who is deputy chief operating officer of the media giant, may have to appear in England's High Court to testify about the phone hacking scandal at the now-closed News of the World tabloid that has rocked the entire company. Unlike the Parliament hearing, this time the two are to answer questions under oath. The latest from The Telegraph.
Odd couple. General Electric Co. is the kind of company one might expect to see running away if filmmaker Morgan Spurlock came calling. Instead, General Electric is providing financial backing to a trio of documentary makers including Spurlock, the director of “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” and "Super Size Me." More on the partnership from the New York Times.
Big show. The MTV Video Music Awards still pack a punch. Sunday's show drew a record 12.4 million viewers. The show did that without having a big-name celebrity host or big stunts, unless you count Lady Gaga's new look, which was a combination of Ralph Macchio's Pony Boy character from "The Outsiders" and Andrew Dice Clay. Details on the ratings from Bloomberg.
Here comes Yahoo ... again! Web portal Yahoo, which has tried in the past to make a big splash in Hollywood, is going to launch a slate of original shows this fall. Most of the shows will be unscripted lifestyle fare. More on its plans from Variety.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: DreamWorks Animation has formed a partnership with Youku.com, which is China's version of YouTube. An arcane but crucial piece of copyright law may get a new look. Spike's show "Bar Rescue" is getting some buzz.
-- Joe Flint
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