Natasha Calis stars in "The Possession." (Lionsgate )
After the coffee. Before deciding if I need the new Kindle.
The Skinny: In yet another sign that I'm getting old (as if I needed it), last night was the first time in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards that I didn't tune in for one second. What I won't do is now write a story saying the show is passe because I'm no longer the target audience. Friday's headlines include a grim look at the weekend box office, new contract talks for Fox News chief Roger Ailes, and Christopher Nolan being caught up in a fight between two big Hollywood talent agencies.
Daily Dose: ESPN reached a new long-term deal to carry Big 12 college football. While terms were not disclosed on the agreement, which runs through the 2024-25 season. the deal -- coupled with Fox's Big 12 agreement -- values the TV rights for the conference at over $2 billion, people familiar with the pact said.
Stay home and watch football. For reasons unknown to me, this is traditionally the slowest movie weekend of the year. Maybe in the past it was because kids were in back-to-school and college mode, but these days, school starts in August for many. Maybe it's the return of the NFL or the baseball pennant races heating up. Or maybe Hollywood has decided for some reason not to release good movies on the weekend after Labor Day just for the heck of it. I'm still waiting for an answer. Anyway, "The Possession" is expected to stay on top for the second week in a row. If you want to know anything else, you can read a preview in the Los Angeles Times.
Show me the commissions! "Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan, who agent jumped from Creative Artists Agency to WME, is trying to figure out which shop will end up with the commissions from his work. So he did what any normal Hollywood guy does. He filed a lawsuit against both agencies. In this crazy world, that actually makes a little sense because Nolan needs this resolved and wants to be in the driver's seat instead of being caught in the middle. Details from Deadline Hollywood.
Look out, Pandora. Apple is looking to launch a music streaming service to rival Pandora and other services such as Spotify and Clear Channel's iHeartRadio, reports the Wall Street Journal. Apple, the article says, has had talks with record labels to figure out terms of such a deal, which, like Pandora, would include commercials.
New contract. Although his current contract still has close to a year left on it, Fox News chief Roger Ailes is looking to sign a new deal. Ailes already makes north of $20 million and is the highest-paid unit head at the company. Fox News is a big engine at parent company News Corp. The question is whether there is other turf Ailes wants to get his hands on or is it just about the bucks. More from New York magazine.
Big game! The football season is not even through its first weekend and CBS has already sold 90% of the advertising inventory available for the Super Bowl, which it will air in February. USA Today says CBS is getting as much as $3.8 million per 30-second spot. Last year, NBC took in an average of $3.5 million. Last year's Super Bowl drew just over 111 million viewers, making it the most-watched TV event in U.S. history.
Blah. Foreign buyers of U.S. television shows are apparently less than thrilled with the new comedies and dramas coming out this year, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Well, join the club. Of course, that didn't slow down sales. The issue really is whether any of the new shows have the staying power to generate big bucks for Hollywood studios and production companies.
A new alliance. Movie distributor eOne has acquired Alliance Films for $229 million. The deal will make eOne the biggest independent film distributor in Britain and Canada, according to Variety.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Working the film fesitival circuit is not all fun and games. Just ask writer-director Ariel Vromen. A recap of the MTV Video Awards.
Follow me on Twitter. It'll put hair on your chest. @JBFlint.