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The Morning Fix: 'Dark Knight' still rising, Best Buy sale, Roseanne roasted

August 06, 2012|By Amy Kaufman
  • Kate Beckinsale in "Total Recall."
Kate Beckinsale in "Total Recall." (Michael Gibson / Columbia…)

After the coffee. Before praying that K.Stew and R.Patz get back together this week.

The Skinny: Man, it has not been a good summer for heartthrobs at the box office. First Taylor Kitsch, then Johnny Depp and now Colin Farrell? It's hard knocks for hunks in Hollywood these days — unless you're Channing Tatum, of course. Monday's headlines include the weekend's box office results, a possible Best Buy sale and some positive news for books and newspapers online.

The Daily Dose: Who caught the Mars rover landing live-stream last night? I know this so-called Curiosity-bot is making history, but I have to be real — I just couldn't find the whole ordeal as exciting as the NASA employees in the control room. While they were jumping around embracing one another after the "seven minutes of terror," I was left staring at a blurry, black-and-white image from the Red Planet. Where were the aliens? Where was John Carter?!?

Memory loss. "The Dark Knight Rises" was the No. 1 movie at the box office for the third consecutive weekend, as the final film in the Batman trilogy easily beat the reboot of 1990's amnesia classic "Total Recall" at the multiplex. The superhero film took in $36.4 million this weekend, raising its overall total to $354.6 million — about $39 million less than "The Dark Knight" made during the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, the pricey "Total Recall" — this time starring Farrell instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger — debuted with a lackluster $26 million. The third entry in the children's franchise "Wimpy Kid" also struggled. Box-office coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly.

The best buy? How much is the electronics retailer Best Buy worth? About $8.8 billion, according to the company's founder, Richard Schulze, who on Monday offered to purchase the chain for that sum. Shareholders would receive between $24 and $26 for each of their shares in the company, Schulze said. The businessman resigned from the company's board in June, and is its largest shareholder, with a 20.1% stake in Best Buy. Shares are up 19% on the news. More from the New York Times and Bloomberg.

Empty bookshelves. In the U.K., Amazon is now selling more e-books than printed hardbacks. The company, which owns the digital e-reader Kindle, says it sells 114 e-books to every 100 physical books. Paperbacks have been less popular than their online counterparts since 2010 in the U.S. So why are online sales up so much? For one thing, the year's most popular seller is E.L. James' "Fifty Shades of Grey," which many have said they are reluctant to admit to reading in plain view. The Telegraph has additional details.

A light at the end of the tunnel? Since the New York Times unveiled its pay wall in March 2011, it's been unclear whether or not the plan would prove to be a viable business model. But the company said on Monday it now has more than 530,000 paying subscribers — a figure that could grow to surpass print subscriptions by early 2014, according to analysts. But is that enough to save the newspaper biz? Maybe. Many of the Web readers are new customers, which is good news — but the company can't discount the subscriptions too much if it wants to reap a profit, as AllThingsD explains. 

No bueno. "Modern Family" may star one of the most popular Hispanic actresses on television — Sofia Vergara — but the sitcom doesn't attract a big Hispanic audience. Of 12.9 million viewers, on average the show pulled in 798,000 Hispanic viewers — a measly 6%. The comedy is one of a handful of network programs that are struggling to appeal to the demographic, which is still opting to watch Spanish-language television instead. The New York Times reports on how the networks are attempting to address the issue.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: After quitting "American Idol," Steven Tyler is ready to put his energy back into Aerosmith. NBC Sports may have lost the television rights to Wimbledon, but it will broadcast the French Open through 2024. Tom Arnold makes a surprise appearance at his ex-wife Roseanne's Comedy Central roast.

Follow me on Twitter @AmyKinLA, because Joe doesn't sarcastically live-tweet "The Bachelorette."

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