The Morning Fix: Netflix drops Qwikster. 'Real Steel' TKO. Roseanne again?
After the coffee. Before wondering why I don't get Columbus Day off.
The Skinny: That amazing season finale of "Breaking Bad" felt more like a series finale. Very curious to see where the show goes next season. In the headlines, Netflix drops the Qwikster idea. "Real Steel" knocks out "The Ides of March" at the box office. NBC wants to take a chance on Roseanne Barr.
Knockout. Hugh Jackman's "Real Steel" easily beat the competition, taking in $27.3 million in its opening weekend to finish first at the box office. The other big movie making its debut was "The Ides of March," a political drama starring Ryan Gosling and George Clooney that took in $10.4 million. You may recall that last Friday my "after the coffee" line was a joke about whether I'd see "The Ides of March Now" or wait 15 years for the 3-D re-release. Well, I should have waited the 15 years. Tepid performances, predictable plot and boring direction (sorry, Clooney) made this the movie to miss. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Never mind. Netflix is abandoning that silly Qwikster idea that it announced several weeks ago as part of a plan to create two separate brands -- one for streaming content and one for renting DVDs. All it did was further confuse and alienate customers already annoyed at the company's recent decision to jack up its prices. As usual, the company made the announcement on its corporate website. By the way, dropping the Qwikster idea does not mean that Netflix is abandoning its price increases. The company's announcement said "the July price change was necessary."
Those who do not study history. Roseanne Barr's latest television effort, a reality show for Lifetime, flamed out, so naturally NBC has now given her a deal to develop a sitcom about folks struggling to get by in a mobile home community, according to Deadline Hollywood. I'm not Barr's agent, but if I were, I'd tell her to take some small roles and build herself back up (guest star on "Harry's Law" or "Modern Family" or something) before throwing herself into another sitcom. Barr has become a polarizing figure, and those that she annoys far outnumber those who like her. NBC may learn this the hard way.
Slow start. The broadcast season is entering its fourth week, and although there have been some individual standouts -- Fox's "New Girl" and CBS' "Two Broke Girls" among them -- overall the numbers are not inspiring. The Wall Street Journal looks at the early numbers.
Sticking around. Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger signed a new five-year deal with the media giant that will see him become chairman as well. The deal also sets a process for naming a new CEO to succeed Iger, and now the corporate bake-off can start. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on HBO's new series, "Enlightened."
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter. There's no Columbus Day holiday for me. Twitter.com/JBFlint