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'Transcendence' may not rise; Fox pulls 'Animation Domination'

April 18, 2014|By Joe Flint
  • Johnny Depp's "Transcendence."
Johnny Depp's "Transcendence." (Warner Bros. )

After the coffee. Before deciding if I should just shave my head.

The Skinny: A very nice touch in this week's episode of "The Americans" when a Jhoon Rhee Self Defense ad was on a television in the background. Anyone who grew up in D.C. in the 1980s like me had to get a chuckle out of that as those ads with their "nobody bother me" tag were a staple of local TV back then. Friday's roundup includes a preview of the weekend box office and more on tax credits for the entertainment industry.

Daily Dose: The standoff between the Dodger-owned, Time Warner Cable-distributed channel SportsNet LA and area pay-TV distributors including DirecTV and Charter drags on with little progress. Remarkably silent on the matter are area politicians, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In other cities where similar disputes have taken place, politicians have at least tried to use their clout to get the parties back to negotiations and in some cases actually managed to inspire (or at least instill some fear in) the companies to get deals done.

Not likely to transcend expectations. Johnny Depp's new science fiction movie "Transcendence" is projected to take in about $20 million, which probably won't be enough for a first-place finish. Expected to duke it out for first place instead are returning movies "Captain America: Winter Soldier" and "Rio 2." Both are likely to make as much as $25 million. For Depp, "Transcendence" may be the latest in a string of disappointments, although producer Warner Bros. thinks the international box office for the film could be big. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety

PHOTOS: Box office top 10 of 2013 | Biggest flops of 2013

Give me some credit. Don't know about you, but I never get tired of reading stories about tax credits and film and movie production. I kid, I kid. The reason why there are so many stories on this topic is it is a big deal not only to the industry but the state of California, which has seen a lot of production move elsewhere because of lucrative tax breaks. But do those breaks really amount to much? The New York Times takes its shot with the tax credit story.

A lot at stake. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Aereo, the startup that streams local TV signals via the Internet, and broadcasters, who argue that the new service violates copyright law. If the Supreme Court decides in favor of the broadcasters, Aereo founder Chet Kanojia could see a $100-million investment go down the drain. He chats with the Associated Press and GigaOm.

Ugly accusations. A man has accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him 15 years ago. The suit comes just weeks before the release of the latest "X-Men" movie. Singer's lawyer said the lawsuit is without merit. Details from the Hollywood Reporter. As a result of the accusations, ABC has pulled Singer's name from promos for the upcoming drama series "Black Box," for which he has an executive producing credit, according to Deadline Hollywood.

No domination for this animation. Fox is pulling its Saturday night "Animation Domination" block of programming from its schedule at the end of June. Designed to counterprogram NBC's "Saturday Night Live," the raunchy content was a constant target of the Parents Television Council, a watchdog group. Broadcasting & Cable says some Fox affiliates won't miss "Animation Domination." Fox says the show wasn't canceled, it just won't be on Saturdays anymore and doesn't have a future home at the moment. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "Transcendence." Betsy Sharkey on "Fading Gigolo.

Follow me on Twitter. It might be the only laugh you get all day. @JBFlint.


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