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'The Butler' kicks 'Kick-Ass 2.' Fox buys stake in Vice.

August 19, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "The Butler," starring Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, was on top of the weekend box office.
"The Butler," starring Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker,… (The Weinstein Co. )

After the coffee. Before gettng ready to watch the Redskins tonight. 

The Skinny: I never get tired of watching old episodes of "The Job." If you never saw the short-lived ABC series starring Denis Leary, go find the DVDs. Monday's headlines includes the weekend box office recap and a smart piece about how radio broadcasts of baseball games are being overwhelmed by in-game advertisements.

Daily Dose: Andy Heller, a former top executive at Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting, has joined the board of pay-TV programmer Starz. Heller spent much of his career at Turner focused on distribution agreements and has been one of the driving forces behind "TV Everywhere," the pay-TV industry's effort to build a subscription model to view online content.

"The Butler" kicks "Kick-Ass 2." It was supposed to be a tight race for first place but instead "The Butler," starring Forest Whitaker as longtime White House butler Cecil Gaines, easily trounced "Kick-Ass 2." "The Butler," which costars Oprah Winfrey, took in $25 million, almost twice as much as "Kick-Ass 2." Maybe Lionsgate made the right move by passing on the sequel. Also flopping was "Jobs," the Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter

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This pitch brought to you by ... If you're like me and you still enjoy listening to a baseball game on the radio, you've no doubt noticed the increase of what are known as "drop-in" ads. That's when the announcer not so subtly inserts a plug for an advertiser into the calls for the game. It used to happen occasionally but now seems to take place with every other pitch. The New York Times looks at this annoying trend, and that story is brought to you today by the Morning Fix. See? That's how you do it.

A new vice. 21st Century Fox has acquired a 5% stake in Vice Media for $70 million, according to the Financial Times.  Vice is the media company behind the magazine and HBO show of the same name. Vice is popular in part because of its strong digital presence, which attracts the 18-to-34-year-old  demographic.

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A tough sell. On Tuesday, the news channel Al Jazeera America launches in almost 50 million homes and with bureaus all around the country. However, its advertisers will remain a mystery for a few more hours. The cable network has already said it will carry only 50% of the commercial load that other news networks have, but the New York Post said Al Jazeera America will initially have a tough time wooing sponsors.

Staying put. NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke has signed a five-year extension with the Comcast-owned media giant and also got a $5-million bonus. Personally, I'd have waited to see how the Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon transition goes. Details from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Steven Zeitchik on the long road from script to movie for "The Dallas Buyers Club."

Follow me on Twitter now and beat the Labor Day rush! @JBFlint.


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