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The Morning Fix: Big web for 'Spider-Man' and 'Ted.' WikiLeaks race.

July 06, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "Ted" will likely have a strong second weekend.
"Ted" will likely have a strong second weekend. (Universal Pictures )

After the coffee. Before getting my cable TV fixed.

The Skinny: For some reason, my Time Warner Cable is on the fritz so I'm not a happy camper this morning. Friday's headlines include a preview of the weekend box office, a look at why some big movies have put the brakes on their release dates and a review of Oliver Stone's"Savages."

Daily Dose: A little bit of history will be happening in Burbank on Friday as the last tour of the famous NBC Studios will be happening at noon. For decades, tourists have been able to pop in on NBC's Burbank lot and get visits to sets including"The Tonight Show" from willing and cheerful pages. But the studio has been sold and most of NBC has or is moving over to the Universal lot so the tours are ending.

Worldwide web. Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man" is expected to add $70 million this weekend to the $60 million it has already taken in since Tuesday. The reboot of that franchise and a strong performance by the comedy "Ted" are expected to keep the new releases -- including Oliver Stone's kidnapping drama "Savages" and Katy Perry's concert film "A Part of Me" at bay. Weekend box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

Bad timing. Several high-profile movies including "G.I. Joe: The Retaliation" and Keanu Reeves' "Ronin" that were supposed to be out in 2012 have had their release dates pushed to 2013. Part of the problem is that the studios behind these various movies wanted to lock in a release date before being sure the film would be ready, a move the Los Angeles Times calls "the moviemaking equivalent of sending out birth announcements before you've managed to get pregnant."

Keeping score. So far, it's been a hot summer for ESPN, TNT, History, A&E and Lifetime and a not so hot one for ABC Family, FX, Discovery and Comedy Central. Variety looks at how the cable networks did through the first five weeks of summer. Most interesting is that USA's original programming has dipped 11% in the ratings compared with the same period a year ago.

Wiki race. HBO, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks are among the companies looking to make a movie about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Of course, having several movie projects about the same subject is nothing new. Remember the dueling Truman Capote movies? The Assange story is complicated by his ongoing legal woes. If I had to bet, I'd say the HBO movie is the only one that sees the light of day. More on Hollywood's WikiLeaks obsession from the Wall Street Journal.

Next for the hot seat. The search for a permanent chief executive for web portal and search engine Yahoo is narrowing. According to Reuters, the final two candidates are interim Chief Executive Ross Levinsohn and Hulu chief Jason Kilar. Yahoo, Reuters notes, has had four CEOs in the last four years and is likely regretting passing on that Microsoft offer to buy the company back in 2008.

Change of story. Thursday's Deadline Hollywood story on HBO planning to make a movie based on a book about Fox News chief Roger Ailes has been updated to say that the pay cable channel isn't going forward on such a project after all. The new story says HBO's ties to CNN (both are owned by Time Warner) was the reason the movie won't happen there. My own gut tells me someone jumped the gun on what was likely a pitch meeting with no deal in the works.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on Oliver Stone's "Savages."

Follow me on Twitter. It's the best deal going. Twitter.com/JBFlint

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