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The Morning Fix: 'Expendables 2' is No. 1. RIP Tony Scott.

August 20, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "The Expendables 2" muscled its way to the top of the box office.
"The Expendables 2" muscled its way to the top of the box office. (Lionsgate )

After the coffee. Before complaining about the broken elevator at the L.A. Fitness in Hollywood.

The Skinny: I know I sound silly griping about a broken elevator at a gym. But if you have ever worked out at the L.A. Fitness at Hollywood and Sycamore Street, you know how ill-conceived that building is and what a hassle it is when the elevator is out of service, which is usually the case. Monday's headlines include the weekend box office recap; budget cuts at NBC's "Tonight Show;" big media companies are turning to education as their next profit center and a look at why the NC-17 rating has mostly been a failure. Also appreciations of director Tony Scott who died Sunday.

Daily Dose: Body parts aren't the only things getting pixilated on TV these days. Sunday night's episode of"Breaking Bad" featured pixilated words. The character of Mike left a note to the DEA officers tailing him. One agent picks up the note and the viewer can clearly see the word "you" but the word that precedes it only shows a couple of letters clearly including the first one, which is the letter between "E" and "G."  You get the idea and so did the viewers.

Not so expendable. "The Expendables 2" easily dominated the weekend box office, but its take of almost $30 million was less than what the industry had been expecting. The projections last week had "The Expendables 2" hitting the $40 million mark. Did the movie under-deliver or do the so-called experts need to check their methods? The animated movie "ParaNorman" made about $14 million while "Sparkle," starring the late Whitney Houston, sold $12 million worth of tickets. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Taking one for the team. "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno took a big pay cut to help save jobs at the NBC late night talk show. Leno, who had been making $25 million to $30 million a year, offered to take the reduction if it would prevent layoffs. The network still cut about two dozen staffers. While the show is No. 1 in late night, it was not making money for the network. The main reason for that is that the show was still operating with the buget it had when Leno was on in prime time. More from Deadline Hollywood and the Los Angeles Times.

Hitting the books. Big media companies are trying to find new revenue streams to offset challenges in the traditional television and movie business. News Corp., Walt Disney Co., Comcast's NBC and Discovery Communications are among the media companies who see big bucks in education. As long as Discovery sticks to real knowledge and isn't trying to sell "Here comes Honey Boo Boo" as educational, I guess that's OK. Details from the New York Times.

What's next for Hulu? Variety has obtained an internal memo that outlines the issues facing Hulu, the online video site owned by News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Comcast. Not only are there concerns about how long Chief Executive Jason Kilar will stick around given that he'll soon be able to cash out of the venture, but the parent companies are also rethinking just how much exclusive content the site will get.

Cracked dish. Since going off of satellite broadcaster Dish Network Corp., the cable channel AMC has seen its ratings take a big tumble and its parent company AMC Networks is warning Wall Street that profits would definitely take a hit. Dish dropped AMC six weeks ago after the two could not come to terms on a new deal. Besides AMC, parent AMC Networks also owns WE, IFC and Sundance Channel. A look at what the fight with Dish means for AMC from the Wall Street Journal.

RIP Tony Scott. Director Tony Scott ("Top Gun," "True Romance," "Unstoppable"), who officials say leapt to his death Sunday afternoon from a bridge in San Pedro, had been active in TV with "The Good Wife" among his current credits. He was the brother of director Ridley Scott. More on his death and an appreciation from the Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The NC-17 rating was supposed to solve the stigma of the X rating. Instead it has become a stigma.

Follow me on Twitter. It may seem meaningless now but years from now it will seem really meaningless. Twitter.com/JBFlint

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