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The Morning Fix: 'Hunger Games' dominates! RIP Mike Wallace

April 9, 2012 |  7:08 am

After the coffee. Before getting over jet lag.

The Skinny: I went to Newseum while I was in Washington, D.C. Nice place but the $21.95 cover charge is a little steep, especially since I can visit it online for free. Get it? That's a little old media/new media humor for you. Monday's headlines include the continuing dominance of "The Hunger Games" at the movie theater, cuts coming at Sony and the passing of TV news legend Mike Wallace.

Mike Wallace in a quiet moment
Daily Dose. Like any airline, Virgin America is looking to squeeze every dollar it can out of its customers. That includes charging to watch some shows on its little screens. While broadcast shows are shown free and apparently without commercials (at least the episode of "The Good Wife" I watched had no ads), cable shows such as HBO's "Game of Thrones" cost a few bucks. Interestingly though, there is one cable show being offered to fliers for free -- AMC's red hot "Mad Men." Can't imagine Don Draper would feel happy knowing some money is potentially being left on the table.

'Hunger Games' sinks 'Titanic' and eats 'American Pie' reunion. "The Hunger Games" continued to dominate the competition, grossing $33.5 million and remaining in first place for the third weekend in a row. The big take was enough to push "The Hunger Games" past the $300 million mark in the U.S. alone, making it bigger than any of the "Twilight" films. Coming in second was "American Reunion," the latest in the "American Pie" franchise, which took in $21.5 million. The 3-D release of James Cameron's "Titanic" sailed to $17.4 million. Box office coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News. Separately, scheduling issues are a potential dark cloud over a sequel for "The Hunger Games," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

 What's in a name? 20th Century Fox has a headache on its hands. The movie studio's summer comedy about an alien invasion, starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, has the unfortunate title of "Neighborhood Watch" and its first trailer showed its white stars driving around looking like tough guys. Given all the attention around the Trayvon Martin case, the studio is starting to tweak its marketing strategy and already pulled the teaser trailer. More on the eggshells 20th Century Fox is walking on from the New York Times.

Whatcha gonna do? Fox is cutting back on its long-running reality show "Cops" to make way for more sports on Saturday night. Looking to boost ratings on a night most of the broadcast networks long ago stopped investing in, Fox is putting a heavy slate of college football and Major League Baseball on Saturday. "Cops" isn't going away all together yet, but it will mean fewer episodes and bad boys. Details from Vulture.

Sony making cuts. New Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai is going to cut as many as 10,000 jobs over the next few years as part of a plan to give the consumer electronics and entertainment giant a makeover. Some of the cuts may come as the result of Sony spinning off some units it no longer feels are necessary. None of these cuts seem aimed at Hollywood, so breathe easy, Culver City. More from the Wall Street Journal and Reuters.

Epic marketing. Epix, the pay movie channel launched by Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM that has struggled to make a name for itself against bigger rivals HBO, Showtime and Starz, is launching a big promotional campaign to try to beef up subscriptions. But the New York Post said CBS rejected one of the TV spots hyping Epix because it took a shot at Showtime, which is a unit of CBS.

Conflict of interest? Daytime TV star Dr. Phil McGraw has been busy touting a diet book. The problem: His son has a financial stake in the book. The Daily Beast looks at Dr. Phil's conflict of interest and whether he is being less than truthful with his loyal audience. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Pioneering television broadcaster and CBS legend Mike Wallace died at 93. An obituary,  an appreciation of the TV newsman and a look at some of his work.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. I stick up for the little guy. Twitter.com/JBFlint

Photo: Mike Wallace in 2006. Credit: Bebeto Matthews/AP.

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