The Morning Fix: 'Hunger Game' unstoppable. Political-ad ruling.
After the coffee. Before finally watching some baseball this weekend.
The Skinny: I'd like to be all cool and say I'll see you at Coachella this weekend, but I'm too old for that stuff. Stay away from the brown pacifiers. Friday's headlines include a look at the weekend box office, which again will likely be dominated by "The Hunger Games" despite the arrival of "The Three Stooges." Also, a big exit at DreamWorks and a review of HBO's "Girls," which is sort of like "Sex and the City" but with STDs. Happy Friday the 13th.
Daily Dose: The Paley Center in Los Angeles on Thursday premiered an exhibit of artifacts from Warner Bros. television shows. And just to show that there are no hard feelings, there is even a display of one of Charlie Sheen's bowling shirts that he wore on "Two and a Half Men," which the studio makes for CBS. Chuck Lorre, the co-creator of "Two and a Half Men" who endured vicious barbs from Sheen during the battle to oust him from the hit show, was unaware that some of the wardrobe from his star-turned-nemesis was on display. But he took it in stride, saying, "It's appropriate."
Devouring the competition. "The Hunger Games" looks poised to take the weekend box office crown for the fourth weekend in a row. Among the major releases premiering this weekend, only "The Three Stooges" is given any shot at scoring an upset. Industry watchers have "The Three Stooges" taking in between $15 million and $18 million while 20th Century Fox is trying to lower those expectations. I was never a fan of the Stooges and I'm not sure anyone under 30 knows who they were or that anyone over 40 will rush out to see the movie. Last thought: Don't underestimate "The Cabin in the Woods." Box office projections from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
No escape! The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has tossed rules that prohibited political advertising on non-commercial radio and television stations. The decision was quickly blasted by media watchdogs fearing that public broadcasting will no longer be free of nasty political attack ads. The Justice Department said it is reviewing the decision. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Broadcasting & Cable.
Big exit. Steve Molen, the head of physical production for DreamWorks, is leaving the movie company. The exit comes after DreamWorks signed a new financing agreement with India's Reliance Entertainment that will likely lead to the company making fewer movies. More on the significance of Molen's departure from the Hollywood Reporter.
Titanic obsession. The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is this Sunday. Not only has James Cameron's epic "Titanic" been re-released in 3-D (and I still haven't seen it), television networks and book publishers are also looking at the tragedy. The New York Times looks at how the media industry is trying to cash in on the anniversary of the sinking of the ill-fated ship.
Comedy comeback. People of a certain age (my age) will remember listening over and over to records by comedians like George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. Then cable television came along and stand-up specials took over. Now, though, comedians are again releasing CDs and finding an audience. The Wall Street Journal looks at whether a trend is emerging.
-- Joe Flint
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Photo: "The Three Stooges." Credit: Peter Iovino/20th Century Fox/MCT.