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'Looper' vs. 'Hotel Transylvania'! News Corp. keeps rolling.

September 28, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "Hotel Transylvania" is expected to scare away the competition.
"Hotel Transylvania" is expected to scare away the competition. (Sony Pictures )

After the coffee. Before wondering if fall will ever come.

The Skinny: While I'm thrilled to be going to a good friend's wedding Saturday, I'm wary about getting to Sherman Oaks in the midst of "Carmageddon II" on an incredibly hot day. I hope "California formal" means shorts and a T-shirt! Friday's headlines include a box office preview, a look at Hollywood's newfound love of the Bible and reviews of "Looper" and "Made in Jersey."

Daily Dose: On Thursday, I said the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was expected to finally decide whether CBSwould hold onto its contract to sell ads on county buses and trains or whether it would be awarded to outdoor advertising rival Titan. Well, typical of local politics, a consensus couldn't be reached and now the vote has been rescheduled to the next board meeting.

Scaring up box office. "Hotel Transylvania," an animated 3-D film, has been projected to finish first at the box office this weekend with a take of $35 million. "Looper," the time-travel thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, is expected to pull in $22 million. Since these projections are wrong as often as they are right, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that "Looper" will do better than the experts think. It's just a hunch. Also opening is "Won't Back Down," a drama about two women who take on the school system. Since this covers real issues that may lead to thinking, the movie is not expected to do well. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety

Hollywood embraces the Good Book. It's a classic that everyone is at least somewhat familiar with and it is ripe with good script material. No, we're not talking about baseball. We're talking about the Bible, which has once again become source material for Hollywood, according to the Wall Street Journal. Besides "Noah," starring Russell Crowe, Warner Bros. is working on a Moses movie. Sony has a Cain and Abel flick in the works.

No worries. Its CEO is 81 years old and there is uncertainty about who will succeed him. One of its units is mired in a scandal that could spread elsewhere in the company. Lastly, its core businesses are in traditional media at a time when there is great concern about the future of the eco-system for movies and television. But is Wall Street worried? Not at all. Rupert Murdoch's media giant has seen its stock grow by more than 53% in less than a year. The Economist on how News Corp. has defied the odds.

"Homeland" returns. Showtime's "Homeland" returns this Sunday fresh off of big Emmy wins for drama series and acting. In this behind-the-scenes look at the show, USA Today notes that if producers had their way, the character of Brody would have succeeded in his terrorist mission in the last episode of Season 1. I know that's what I was hoping for and was disappointed when that didn't happen. Still, I watched the first two episodes of Season 2 and I will keep tuning in as long as it doesn't turn into another "24" with outrageous twists and near-misses.

Bad boys, bad boys. Langley Productions, which makes the long-running Fox show "Cops," has been sued for alleged age discrimination by one of the producers of that show. The Hollywood Reporter said 57-year-old Steven W. Kiger is claiming he was fired for being too old and making too much money, which is also the fear of many journalists. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "Looper." Betsy Sharkey on "Hotel Transylvania." Robert Lloyd on "Made in Jersey." A look at why we shouldn't spend too much time obsessing over TV ratings. 

Follow me on Twitter. It makes everything seem just a little bit better. @JBFlint.

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