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The Morning Fix: Big weekend for 'Dark Knight.' Olympic hype!

July 27, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "The Dark Knight Rises" should cruise this weekend.
"The Dark Knight Rises" should cruise this weekend. (Warner Bros. )

After the coffee. Before seeing if I catch Olympics fever.

The Skinny: I've never been much of an Olympics watcher so this will be a true test of the power of social media to drive me to the television. Friday's headlines include a look at the weekend box office (man, how many times have I written that sentence?), concerns about whether NBC is overdoing on the Olympics, Google Fiber's TV lineup and how an Indian movie star is trying to turn into Edward R. Murrow. And yes, I know that last reference dates me.

Daily Dose: NBC is gearing up to pummel us with the Olympics for the next two weeks. After that, though, it will be the network's own finances that take a beating as the brass calculate the losses. The network has already acknowledged it won't make money off the London Games but won't say what it is anticipating in red ink. However, industry estimates from rival sports executives and analysts suggest the network could lose $250 million in London. That's on top of the $80 million it lost on Beijing and $220 million on Vancouver in the last two Olympics. Ouch.

Bright weekend for 'Dark Knight.' "The Dark Knight Rises" is expected to dominate the box office for the second straight weekend. According to industry estimates, the latest in the Batman franchise will make between $65 million and $70 million. I was hoping to see it this weekend but I don't have three hours to spare because of the TV press tour. Opening against "The Dark Knight Rises" is the raunchy comedy "The Watch" starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, which is expected to make between $20 million and $25 million although some have it taking in far less (I'm among that group). Also opening is "Step Up Revolution," the latest in the dance franchise. A look at the weekend from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! With the Summer Olympics getting underway in London, NBC, its cable networks and local stations are sparing nothing when it comes to hyping the Games. But is it overkill? Are corporate interests taking precedence over the public interest. The Washington Post looks at whether NBC is overdoing it on the Olympics at the expense of other news and entertainment. 

Now that you mention it. NBC isn't the only one using its media platforms to drive interest in the Olympics as well as in its own assets. The network's parent, cable giant Comcast Corp., will spend millions promoting its Xfinity brand, which is the name the company uses for its packaged phone, broadband and TV services. The problem with Xfinity is that everyone knows what Comcast does, but no one is quite sure what Xfinity is about. Maybe if the company had just changed its name to Xfinity it would have been easier. The Wall Street Journal with details about the campaign.

Who's fault? in the wake of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., filmmaker Harvey Weinstein wants tougher gun laws, but he also said Hollywood has to look at the violence it puts in movies. He tells the Huffington Post, "It’s a question that I wrestle with all the time." I agree with Chris Rock, who after Columbine riffed on everyone looking for a reason or scapegoat for the shooting and then finally said, "Whatever happened to crazy?" 

A bigger platform. Aamir Khan is one of the biggest movie stars in India. But now he is transforming himself from Bollywood big shot to crusading reporter. He's got a weekly talk show that looks to take on both political and social issues and it has developed a huge audience. The New York Times looks at Khan's new role and what's driving him.

Google is here! Google unveiled its much-anticipated Google Fiber service that is launching in Kansas City,  Mo. Besides super fast broadband, Google Fiber also will compete with cable TV and has deals with most programmers. However a few are still missing, including ESPN, HBO and CNN. More on Google Fiber from All Things Digitial and the Los Angeles Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A guide on all you need to know about Olympic coverage.

Follow me on Twitter. I'm a gold medal tweeter.

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