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Friday, June 24, 2011

Pinto or Racecar? Cars II, iPad TV, don't feed the dinosaurs, Tea Party the Movie

Pixar's Pinto? "Cars 2" is expected to finish in first place at the box office this weekend, but the Pixar film won't be cruising in the fast lane, according to box office estimates. The movie is expected to "only" take in between $50 million and $55 million. Sony's "Bad Teacher" is expected to pull in $25 million. I wouldn't be surprised if the raunchfest does a little better. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety. "Cars 2" will certainly line Pixar and parent Disney's pockets with merchandising loot, but at what price to the brand, wonders the New York Post. An interview with Pixar's John Lasseter from Vulture.
See you in court. Viacom is taking on another cable operator over an iPad app that streams live television. The media giant, parent of cable networks MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, filed suit against Cablevision Systems Inc., which launched its app in spring. Viacom already filed a similar suit against Time Warner Cable. Details from the Los Angeles TimesReuters and GigaOm. If all this sounds confusing, just remember that it is about money and ultimately you'll pay.
Ganging up on Google. The Federal Trade Commission is preparing to launch a wide-ranging probe into Google to determine if the search engine and advertising giant has been abusing its power and engaging in anti-competitive practices, according to the Wall Street Journal. The White House's close relationship with Google is also raising eyebrows at a consumer advocacy group, adds Politico. The media industry also thinks the White House is too cozy with Google, but those guys won't go on the record.

Spielberg's return to dinosaurs with 'TeraNova'. The start of a new television season is akin to a meteor shower. Shows come flying out of nowhere, lighting up the sky and screaming for attention.
Traditionally, dinosaurs haven't fared well with meteors. But News Corp.'s Fox is betting that "Terra Nova," its highly anticipated new program about a family that travels from the year 2149 to prehistoric times as part of group trying to save the planet, can survive the craziness that is the fall television season. The show, which counts Steven Spielberg and former News Corp. president Peter Chernin as executive producers, is scheduled to debut Sept. 26, right in the thick of the opening of the new season. It will then settle into an 8 p.m. time slot on Mondays as a lead-in to the medical drama "House."

Tea Party Productions. "Courage, New Hampshire" a one-hour soap which will debut in a movie theater, may be the first official "tea party" production. It's from a company, Colony Bay, whose backers are members of the political movement. The Hollywood Reporter looks at Colony Bay.
Start counting those commissions. ICM has snagged former CNN talk show host Larry King away from WME, which had recently landed Regis Philbin. Abe Vigoda, this might be the time to get a little bidding war going. More on this news from Deadline Hollywood.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "Cars 2" A look at the complex relationship between Starz, Sony and Netflix and why 250 movies disappeared from the service last week. Even more coverage of a possible Hulu sale.
-- Joe Flint
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