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'Giant Slayer' not so big. Tension expected at Disney annual meeting.

March 01, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "Jack the Giant Slayer" may get slain at the box office.
"Jack the Giant Slayer" may get slain at the box office. (Warner Bros. )

After the coffee. Before trying to beat D.C. traffic.

The Skinny: I just realized that I haven't seen a movie since "Silver Linings Playbook" in December. Either Hollywood's getting lazy or I have. Friday's headlines include a preview of the weekend box office, some tension between shareholders and Walt Disney Co. and a review of "Jack the Giant Slayer."

Daily Dose: A fight in San Diego between Fox Sports and Time Warner Cable has reached the mayor's office. At issue is a sports channel that Fox owns which has rights to the San Diego Padres that Time Warner Cable isn't carrying. With baseball season nearing, Mayor Bob Filner wrote Time Warner Cable brass noting that every other pay-TV distributor is carrying the channel which leaves one "questioning Time Warner Cable's true motivations." Time Warner Cable spent billions to outbid Fox for rights to carry the Dodgers in Los Angeles, which Filner noted may be a factor but has nothing to do with his town. “Rest assured, I will continue to monitor the situation and am prepared to take the steps necessary to bring about resolution prior to the 2013 baseball season," he said.

Giant will be slayed. "Jack the Giant Slayer" will be humbled at the box office this weekend. The 3-D movie about a guy battling giants is only projected to take in $25 million. Given that it cost almost $200 million to make, "Jack the Giant Slayer" may turn out to be "Jack the Egg Layer." Other movies opening this weekend include the teen comedy "21 & Over" and the horror flick "The Last Exorcism Part II." Previews of the weekend box office from the Los Angeles Times and Variety

Tense times. Walt Disney Co. has a had good run under chief Bob Iger. But his large pay package and dual role as chairman and chief executive has some of the company's shareholders upset. Disney's annual meeting is next week and a few of the pension funds that hold big chunks of Disney stock are expected to vote against Iger's reelection to Disney's board of directors. A preview of the annual meeting from the Wall Street Journal.

Field narrows. The list of potential suitors for AEG, the Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment giant, is narrowing. Bloomberg reports that Guggenheim Co., the deep-pocketed investment firm that last year bought the Dodgers and Dick Clark Productions, has dropped out of the bidding. Private equity group Colony Capital and Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong are still in the running. However, no one is approaching the $8 billion AEG owner Philip Anschutz is seeking, so who knows if a sale will ultimately go forward. 

Was it worth it? Satellite broadcaster Dish Network won almost $5 million in a breach of contract against Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN. At issue was the contract Dish had for carriage of ESPN's channels compared to agreements it had with other big pay-TV distributors. While Dish technically won some cash, it had been seeking north of $150 million and lost on three of the four claims it made against ESPN. Wonder if its reward will cover its legal fees. More on the verdict from the Hollywood Reporter.

A new dynasty? A&E's "Duck Dynasty" a reality show about a family that runs a business selling equipment for duck hunters, is poised for a strong third season. The Wednesday premiere drew over 8 million viewers and even got more viewers in the 18-49 demographic than that night's "American Idol." More on the numbers from the New York Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "Jack the Giant Slayer. David Lazarus on what the Cablevision - Viacom legal battle could mean for consumers who dream of choosing their own channels.

Follow me on Twitter and feel my power. @JBFlint.

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