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'Oz' is great and powerful at box office. How 'Bachelor' came back.

The Morning Fix

March 11, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "Oz the Great and Powerful" was just that at the box office.
"Oz the Great and Powerful" was just that at the box office. (Walt Disney )

After the coffee. Before the dentist and lots of pain and blood.

The Skinny: On Saturday night, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes showed up in a dream. Last night it was CNN chief Jeff Zucker. Don't let anyone say I don't take my work home with me. Monday's headlines include the weekend box office report and a look at the ratings comeback of ABC's "The Bachelor."

Daily Dose: Graphic sex is no big deal on HBO's "Girls" but Sunday's episode was a bit over the top even for a TV show on pay cable. A scene between Adam and his new girlfriend included a shot of his bodily fluid at the conclusion of the act. Although not an HBO first ("Sex and the City" showed fluid but played it for laughs a la "There's Something About Mary"), it was a jarring end to a rather violent and hard-to-watch scene. Even movies and adult pay-per-view channels typically steer clear of such displays, especially if it's not for comic relief.    

'Oz' cures box office blahs. "Oz the Great and Powerful" was just that at the box office. The Walt Disney Co. movie, a prequel to the Warner Bros. classic, took in $80.3 million here and $70 million overseas. The strength of Oz gave the 2013 box office a much-needed boost. So far, 2013 has been a year to forget for Hollywood. Speaking of things to forget, the only other new movie opening wide this past weekend -- Colin Farrell's "Dead Man Down" -- bombed. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

Who will yell "surrender Dorothy" first? Walt Disney Co.'s "Oz the Great and Powerful" cleaned up at the box office (see above). Are the folks at Warner Bros., home of the original classic wondering, "What if?" The studio passed on another Oz film and now Disney may have a new franchise based on the property. Well, Warner Bros. isn't throwing in the towel yet and has movie and television projects related to Oz in the works. The Los Angeles Times looks at the battle for supremacy in the Emerald City.

A year to forget. Comcast's cable channels are supposed to carry NBCUniversal while the NBC broadcast network tries to rebuild. But in 2012, ratings at three of NBCU's biggest networks -- USA, Syfyi and E! all took a tumble. The declines couldn't have come at a worse time given how poorly NBC itself is doing. the Wall Street Journal on NBCU's under-performing cable networks.

Making a comeback. Tonight is the season finale of "The Bachelor." Whoever gets a rose, the real winner will be ABC. The show had been getting a little long in the tooth and ratings seemed to be on that inevitable and irreversible decline. But this season, ratings have jumped up. Since I don't watch the show I can't tell you why. The New York Times takes a whack at explaining the comeback of "The Bachelor."

Seller's market. The co-opting  of the South by Southwest festival (SXSW to the cool kids) by the entertainment industry is pretty much complete. I mean when the Weather Channel has a presence at SXSW, how hip can it still be? But that's a discussion for another day. Variety on what movies are selling at the festival.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The movie "Bless Me, Ultima" had a long journey to the big screen and got a big boost from a Wal-Mart heiress.

Follow me on Twitter as I fight for truth or make jokes. I can't remember which one. @JBFlint.

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