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The Morning Fix: 'Brave' dominates. Movie knockoff biz growing.

June 25, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "Brave" dominated the box office.
"Brave" dominated the box office. (Pixar )

After the coffee. Before learning how "The Newsroom" did.

The Skinny: I saw Louis CK testing new material Sunday night at Largo. One of his funnier bits was about a trip to China and the censorship requirements there that he said had people telling him he couldn't even tell those China jokes when he was back in the U.S. CK then wondered why Hollywood is so eager to trade its freedom for entry into China. Monday's headlines include a look at the weekend box office and how the movie knockoff business is on the rise.

Daily Dose: On Sunday, HBO's premiered Aaron Sorkin's cable news drama "The Newsroom," which critics either love or hate. But regardless of how it performed in the ratings, HBO is likely to announce this week (maybe even Monday) that it has renewed "The Newsroom" for a second season. The pay cable channel has tended to do that with shows that have big names attached (Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston) to it ("Luck" had a dismal premiere and still got a quick renewal).

Vampire hunter slayer. Pixar's "Brave" dominated the weekend box office, taking in $66.7 million and easily beating the competition. Coming in a distant second was "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," which has made almost $160 million. Among the new movies, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" slayed just a few, making a disappointing $16.5 million while the comedy "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" made a weak $3.8 million. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Movie City News.

Read before renting. That movie "Kiara the Brave" on Netflix that looks like that new Pixar movie "Brave" on Netflix? It's not. It's a knockoff. Long a staple of Hollywood, knockoffs of popular movies are enjoying a comeback. One reason is people browsing through selections at Netflix or Redbox see what looks like a current release and rent it before realizing they've been had. The Los Angeles Times looks at the knockoff business and how its annoying some consumers who get fooled by the titles.

In the slow lane. General Motors, which has steered clear of making big commercial buys on the broadcast networks for the fall TV season, is putting some of its money on cable channels owned by Discovery and Hallmark. The car manufacturer has been griping about how the cost to advertise continues to rise even though most of the big networks have seen ratings decline. More on General Motors from the New York Post.

Still working the phones. Oprah Winfrey may have given up her afternoon show, but she's still busy as ever trying to land "big" interviews. Winfrey, who was hoping to step into an executive role when she and Discovery Communications launched the Oprah Winfrey Network, is instead spending a lot of time on the air hoping to boost ratings for the network. A look at Winfrey's growing on-camera presence on OWN from the Associated Press.

Helping hand. Last year, after receiving an appropriation of almost $500 million, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was asked by Congress to determine if public TV and radio could live without government funding. So CPB hired consulting Booz & Co. to determine if the 15% of revenue that the government provides to public broadcasting could be replaced. But the report determined that more than half of public stations are operating at a loss and removing government money would put more than 100 TV and radio stations in danger. More on the study from the New York Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at Awesomeness TV, a YouTube kids network. A look at whether the library at Dick Clark Productions will be music to the ears of potential buyers.

Follow me on Twitter and learn from the master. Twitter.com/JBFlint

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