Morning Fix: 'Puss in Boots' has claws! Disney & YouTube team up
After the coffee. Before hoping for the best for ailing Joe Frazier.
The Skinny: Finally some good tension on CBS' "The Good Wife" on Sunday night. Monday's headlines include the box-office roundup, a profile of Liz Murdoch and an appreciation of Andy Rooney. Oh, and apparently NBC is struggling in the ratings this season.
Sharp claws. The animated "Puss in Boots" stayed on top of the box office, taking $33 million, a drop of just 3% from its opening weekend take. Coming in second was "Tower Heist," which made off with $25.1 million. However, that was less than the so-called industry experts had predicted. Of course, one has to wonder if they'd seen the trailers for the movie or really thought about whether Eddie Murphy still had the chops for an action movie. Also opening was "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas," which made $13.1 million, also lower than anticipated. If I were releasing that one, I'd have waited until we were perhaps a few weeks away from Christmas and not almost two months away. Box-office coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Getting real. Time Warner Inc. made an unsolicited $1.4-billion bid for reality and game show production giant Endemol late last week. Time Warner is after Endemol because the media giant wants to make more original content for its international channels. With Endemol struggling with a heavy debt load and fighting with creditors over a restructuring, Time Warner figured this was the time to make a play. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Keep your friends close. And your enemies closer is how the rest of that saying goes. Walt Disney Co. has struck a deal with Google's YouTube to make programs for the online video site's original content efforts. According to the New York Times, the money being spent is only in the $10-million-to-$15-million range, but it is still noteworthy. Disney has struggled to build its own online presence and can hedge its bets by making friends with YouTube.
What about Wilma? Discovery Communications announced Monday that it has bought British reality and documentary production company Betty. No price was included, but Variety pegged the deal at $16 million.
The age of Elisabeth. Liz Murdoch, the daughter of media mogul and News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, is seen by many as having the best business chops of Murdoch's four adult children. Now her own ambitions are in jeopardy because of the controversy surrounding her brother James' handling of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. New York Magazine takes a look at Liz and how the scandal is affecting her and what's she is trying to do about it.
Branching out. Satellite broadcaster Dish Network is thinking about starting a broadband programming service, according to the New York Post. Of course, getting those rights from programmers won't be easy and one has to wonder what such a move says about Dish's belief in its core satellite business.
Piling on. The New York Times adds to the number of stories about how NBC is struggling. Of course, NBC has been struggling for years. Real news might be when NBC stops struggling. That said, the network has a new owner in Comcast so this season's woes are under a particularly bright light. On a side note, I'm starting to like NBC's sitcom "Up All Night." Maya Rudolph does a perfect Oprah Winfrey type.
Can I get a refund on "Cowboys and Aliens" then? Universal Studios head Ron Meyer spoke candidly about the movie producer's performance as of late at the Savannah Film Festival. Let's just say "stink" was the polite word he used. More from Movieline.
-- Joe Flint
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