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The Morning Fix

'Evil' triumphs at box office. Chernin courts Hulu.

April 08, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "Evil Dead" clawed its way to the top of the box office.
"Evil Dead" clawed its way to the top of the box office. (Sony )

After the coffee. Before making sure to get home in time for the game.

The Skinny: I couldn't help but notice that some of the "Mad Men" recaps I read last night seemed longer than the script for the two-hour season premiere. I like "Mad Men" and have never missed an episode but the obsession with the minutiae is exhausting! Monday's headlines include the box office recap; a potential suitor for Hulu and how ABC is looking to Disney for inspiration.

Daily Dose: While lots of people binge-viewed the Netflix political drama "House of Cards," I chose to nibble at it. I finally finished and wonder whether releasing all the episodes at once has some cons to it when it comes to promotion and marketing. Think about all the hype "Mad Men" will get over the next three months as opposed to a week or so for "House of Cards." Here are my thoughts, and feel free to disagree with me.

'Evil' triumphs. "Evil Dead" had plenty of life at the box office, taking in more than $25 million and finishing first. As usual, the industry projections were off base as "Evil Dead" was supposed to battle "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" for the top spot. Instead, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" took in $21 million and ended up tying "The Croods" for second place. A 3-D version of the 20 year-old "Jurassic Park" made just over $18 million, showing that dinosaurs can still rule the earth. Weekend Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

PHOTOS: Scenes from 'Evil Dead'

Maybe I'll bid. Chernin Group, the media company run by former News Corp. President Peter Chernin, put in a bid of about $500 million for Hulu, according to Reuters. That's a far cry from the $2-billion valuation some were putting on Hulu, which is owned by News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Comcast, just a few years ago. Since Chernin helped build Hulu when he was at News Corp., he probably has a pretty good idea of the economics of the online site, especially if long-term access to programming from its current owners isn't part of the deal. More thoughts on the offer from the Financial Times and All Things D.

How about a show about disgruntled Mouseketeers? It's the time of year when TV networks are developing new shows for the fall TV season. For most executives, that means reading lots of scripts and making big bets. But at ABC, owned by Disney, it apparently means a trip to Disneyland. The New York Times says ABC is trying to develop a show based on its Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster. The theme parks aren't the only places Disney is looking for inspiration. The network is also working on "Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Disney owns Marvel. Nothing wrong with it -- if it works and it doesn't look like an advertisement disguised as a TV show. 

Wanda wants more. Dalian Wanda Group Corp., the Chinese company that bought movie theater chain AMC Entertainment last year is looking to buy a chain in Europe as well. The Wall Street Journal reports that Wanda Group has "shown interest in at least two of the continent's largest chains, Odeon & UCI Cinemas Holdings Ltd. and Vue Entertainment Ltd., both based in the U.K. and with thousands of screens in multiple countries." 

PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times

Can you spare a dime? While there may be a lot more platforms for original content, that is not translating into a huge paydays for writers. The glory days of the '90s are gone and jobs that might have been worth seven figures now may only get six figures for a lot more work. Variety opines on writers working more for less. All I can say is welcome to my world.

Court will stay in session. Judge Judy Sheindlin has signed a deal to keep her daytime TV hit going through 2017. Although "Judge Judy" doesn't get the attention of other daytime shows, it is a huge hit even after 17 seasons. More on her latest deal with CBS (which distributes the show) from the Hollywood Reporter

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Jackie Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, thinks "42" hit it out of the park. Ellen DeGeneres is hitting her stride

Follow me on Twitter and join the fight. @JBFlint.

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