The Morning Fix

'Taken 2' takes top spot. Michael Strahan is a morning man.

October 08, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • Liam Neeson's "Taken 2" finished No. 1 at the weekend box office.
Liam Neeson's "Taken 2" finished No. 1 at the weekend box… (20th Century Fox )

After the coffee. Before finding out why we don't have Columbus Day off.

The Skinny: You know baseball has an older demographic when every other advertisement during the games is for Viagra. Monday's headlines include a recap of the weekend box office, a look at how video on demand is becoming a viable option for indie producers, speculation about who will succeed Barry Meyer as head of Warner Bros. Entertainment, and how Michael Strahan is taking over morning TV.

Daily Dose: Satellite broadcaster Dish Network struck a deal to continue distributing TV stations owned by Gannett. The two had been taking shots at each other in the press, but in the end the channels were not removed even after their deal expired Sunday, and now peace has been reached. All will be quiet until the next fight between a programmer and distributor, which will likely be, oh,  later today or this week.

Taking command. "Taken 2" may be as unimaginative a title for a sequel as there has ever been, but that didn't keep movie-goers away. The Liam Neeson thriller took in $50 million in its first weekend. That's more than double what the original made in its debut weekend. Coming in second was "Hotel Transylvania," which rounded up more than $25 million in guests. Not having a great weekend was Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie," which made $11.5 million. Weekend Box office coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News

Demand options. As more small movie theaters fold and big chains focus on carrying Hollywood blockbusters, independent movie producers are starting to turn to video on demand. More movies are debuting on VOD either before or at the same time they hit the theaters. It can pay off. "Bachelorette" took in $5.5 million in VOD compared to less than $500,000 at the box office. Pay-TV distributors are also eager for new product it can use to promote VOD. A look at the platform and what it means for the independent movie industry from the Los Angeles Times

Bruce!!! No, I didn't suddenly flash back to a Bruce Springsteen concert. The New York Post said what most industry insiders have been thinking for months now,  which is that Bruce Rosenblum, head of Warner Bros. TV, is the leading candidate to succeed Barry Meyer as head of all of Warner Bros. Entertainment. Of course, Meyer is not due to retire until the end of 2013, and a lot can happen between now and then. Time Warner said exactly what one would expect it to say, which is that no decision has been made.

Fueling a debate. The Matt Damon drama "Promised Land" about fracking, which is a form of drilling for natural gas,  doesn't debut until the end of December, but it is already causing a stir in the petroleum industry. The Wall Street Journal looks at the movie and the concerns of the petroleum officials, who fear it will give the industry and fracking a bad name.

If it quacks. Apparently there is no shortage of ideas for reality TV shows. Later this week, the second season of "Duck Dynasty" -- A&E's program about an eccentric Louisiana family that manufacturers duck-calling devices that hunters use to, uh, shoot ducks --  premieres. A look at "Duck Dynasty" and all the other bizarre reality shows that have emerged from the world of outdoor recreation from the New York Times. Speaking of outdoor sports, survivalist Bear Grylls has, according to Variety, signed on for a competition show on NBC called "Get Out Alive." It will premiere next summer. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Michael Strahan is taking morning TV by storm. David Chase, creator of "The Sopranos," hits the big screen with "Not Fade Away."

Follow me on Twitter and I promise to get to the bottom of all this! @JBFlint.

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