Steven Tyler is out as a judge on "American Idol." (Associated Press )
After the coffee. Before figuring out what that wet stuff coming from the sky was last night.
The Skinny: It's Friday the 13th, so take the proper precautions. Friday's headlines include the weekend box office preview, a story on how China is opening two U.S.-made animated films opposite each other, much to the chagrin of Hollywood, and the latest on the DirecTV-Viacom feud.
Daily Dose: It used to be if one distributor was in a fight with a programmer that caused channels to come down like the one DirecTV is in with Viacom, rival distributors would try to steal away some subscribers. But no more. Cox Cable has come out in support of DirecTV, and privately other distributors are pulling for the satellite broadcaster. They all know that sooner or later they too will be negotiating with Viacom.
Face off. In China, the U.S. films "The Lorax" and "Ice Age: Continental Drift" will open opposite each other at the end of the month. That's not some new Hollywood strategy, since both animated movies will likely appeal to families and could end up hurting each other by opening on the same day. But it may help boost Chinese films, which have seen their box office numbers take a hit as more American films come into the region. Needless to say, the Hollywood folks behind "The Lorax" and "Ice Age: Continental Drift" are not too thrilled with this development. Details from the Los Angeles Times.
Stomped by mammals. "Ice Age: Continental Drift" will put a chill on the box office this weekend. The fourth chapter in the animated series is expected to take in north of $50 million, and that will send "The Amazing Spider-Man" scurrying back to his web. The studio behind "Ice Age," 20th Century Fox, is lowering expectations, saying the film will make less than $40 million. Weekend box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Walk this way. Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler is out as a judge on Fox's musical talent show "American Idol." While Tyler was hoping to stay, people close to the show said Fox wanted to make a change. It is also looking less likely that Jennifer Lopez will be back, and even Randy Jackson's gig could be on the line. "American Idol" is still a popular show, but Fox wants to overhaul it. The risk is, of course, that if everyone is gone (except Ryan Seacrest, of course), you're basically starting from scratch. More on the shakeup at "American Idol" from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Malone vs. Mel. John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media, which is trying to take over Sirius XM Radio, had some harsh words for Mel Karmazin, the satellite radio operator's chief executive. Malone, speaking at a scrum with reporters at the Allen & Co. conference at Sun Valley, said he did not think Karmazin was forward-thinking enough. Coverage from the Wall Street Journal.
He did say he'd be back. Done playing politics, Arnold Schwarzenegger is storming back into the movies in a big way. The questions are, does he still have a strong fan base and can he pull off being an action star as he starts to push 70? A look at Schwarzenegger's comeback attempt from the New York Times.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: No deal yet between DirecTV and Viacom, but the two companies are talking to each other and at each other.
Follow me on Twitter for all the latest on the DirecTV-Viacom fight. Twitter.com/JBFlint