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'Hobbit' tops box office! HGTV on a roll. ITV gets 'Duck Dynasty.'

The Morning Fix

December 24, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "The Hobbit" stayed on top of the box office.
"The Hobbit" stayed on top of the box office. (Warner Bros. )

After the coffee. Before the last-minute run to the mall!

The skinny: If you're reading this it means you're like me and had to do some work today. Well, we will try to make this a quick read so you and I can sneak out early and enjoy the evening. Monday's headlines include a box office recap and a review of "Django Unchained." Merry Christmas to all my readers (I know you're out there) and also to fellow aggregators, especially I Want Media and Media Gazer.

Daily dose: The National Football League stuck it to Fox and granted NBC's request to move next Sunday's much-anticipated Cowboys-Redskins game to prime time for its Sunday Night Football franchise. This was the second week in a row that NBC cherry-picked a Fox game. Sunday night, NBC aired San Francisco at Seattle, which was scheduled for Fox. As part of its TV deal with the NFL, NBC gets to switch games it is carrying toward the end of the season if the matchup is not as compelling as had been hoped when it was scheduled.

Slow weekend. Looks like everyone was too busy shopping to see movies (I went to The Grove on Sunday just to people-watch). "The Hobbit" stayed in the top spot with a take of $36.7 million, not a bad drop from its Week 1 numbers. But none of the new movies -- "Jack Reacher," "This is 40" and "Guilt Trip" -- set the world on fire. The 3-D re-release of "Monsters Inc." also was a disappointment. Bad news for all since "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables" open on Christmas. Also opening is "Parental Guidance," but I can't say with a straight face that it will do any real business.  Here are recaps of the weekend box office from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News

Hobbit world. "The Hobbit" didn't just rule the box office in the United States. It was the No. 1 movie overseas for the second-straight weekend too. The Hollywood Reporter said it took in over $90 million in 59 markets.

Fixer-upper. Ratings for HGTV, the cable channel that focuses on making your home and garden nicer, are on the rise. The numbers took a hit when the economy went south, but this fall there has been a resurgence at HGTV, a shift that some feel bodes well for the overall economy. The Wall Street Journal looks at the turnaround at HGTV, a channel I don't watch since I have neither a home nor a garden. 

Expensive duck. British TV company ITV is acquiring a majority stake in Mark Gurney Productions, which makes the A&E hit "Duck Dynasty," for a price tag of $40 million, says Deadline Hollywood. Other Gurney shows include "American Digger" and "Auction Hunter." ITV has options to acquire the rest of the company in the next few years.

Connected reporter. CBS reporter John Miller stood out for his coverage of the Newtown, Conn., shootings. One reason for that is that Miller has been a lifelong law enforcement reporter who even spent some time working for police departments in New York and Los Angeles as well as the FBI. New York Times columnist David Carr writes about Miller who, I'm pretty sure lived down the street from me when I was a kid in Montclair, N. J. There's your bit of Morning Fix trivia.

Castle for a king. John Malone, considered by many to be the godfather of the modern-day cable industry, has bought a little weekend hideaway in Ireland. By little we mean a castle and an estate with more than 400 acres. Malone, chairman of Liberty Media, is already the largest private property owner in the United States. Wonder what it costs to wire the property for cable. More on the purchase from the Denver Post.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on "Django Unchained."  If you are a little twisted (like me) here's a look at some non-traditional Christmas offerings on TV.

Follow me on Twitter. It's the best Christmas gift you can give yourself. @JBFlint.

The Morning Fix is off tomorrow. Merry Christmas!

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