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Morning Fix: 'Ice Age' is rolling in cold, hard cash; 'Mad Men's' big (for them) numbers; DreamWorks gets dough

August 18, 2009 |  6:30 am

After the coffee. Before deciding if the USOC or Comcast has more egg on its face.

Move over, Will Smith. The hottest international stars of the moment are a woolly mammoth, a squirrel and a sloth from 20th Century Fox's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs." The animated movie has taken in an unprecedented $600 million abroad and in some countries has even topped "Titantic," reports Claudia Eller of the Los Angeles Times.

CTlogosmall DreamWorks gets cash. Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios wrapped up its much-anticipated $825-million financing deal. India's Reliance ADA Group is investing $325 million, JP Morgan Chase raised $325 million in debt, and Disney, which will distribute, kicked in a loan of $175 million. The studio will release about 20 movies over the next three years. Details from the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Mad about "Mad Men." The premiere of the third season of AMC's "Mad Men" attracted 2.8 million viewers. Though Don Draper would probably want a make-good for that kind of number back in 1963, it was a record for the show, which is already a critical darling. More details from the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, the LA Times' Show Tracker.

TV in turmoil. The Wrap weighs in with Part 2 of its look at the woes facing the TV industry and says, as audiences continue to fragment, "soon there will be no critical mass." That means a cash crunch and even less risk-taking on the kinds of shows that might, at least temporarily, reverse the trends.

Remake risks and rewards. USA Today looks at the track record for movie remakes this summer and notes that a diet of the familiar is "not always tasty."

Tennis anyone? Cablevision, the New York-based cable giant that also owns Newsday, rejected an advertisement for the paper from the Tennis Channel, a cable channel that does not have a carriage deal with the operator. The ad, which says "Thanks for nothing" and shows a tennis racket smashing a television, according to the New York Times, has raised questions about the independence of Newsday.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Producers of "Terminator Salvation" have filed suit against the hedge fund Pacificor, the latest in ongoing skirmishes involving producers of the movie. A look at LACMA director Michael Govan's hefty pay package. Patrick Goldstein on the dangers of getting tough with Redbox.

-- Joe Flint

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