‘Smaug’ stock soars! A&E caves on ‘Duck Dynasty’

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Phil Robertson won't miss any action on "Duck Dynasty."

Phil Robertson won’t miss any action on “Duck Dynasty.”

After the coffee. Before figuring out who should coach the Redskins next.

The Skinny: This time last year, I was excited about the Redskins making the playoffs. Now I’m just excited that I won’t have to watch them lose every Sunday for another nine months. It will be a short week for the Morning Fix as much of the industry is still on holiday and soon I will be joining them. Monday’s headlines include box-office recaps for the weekend and the year. Also, A&E caves on “Duck Dynasty.”

Daily Dose: Though there’s no new deal between the Weather Channel and DirecTV, talks are progressing and it is unlikely the network will be dropped from the satellite broadcaster on New Year’s Day. The two have quietly agreed to an extension, which will allow the two companies to keep negotiating on a new contract into next year.

‘Smaugy’ Christmas. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” took in $30 million over the weekend, which was more than enough for first place at the box office and gives me yet another day to make lame “Smaug” puns. “Frozen” showed no signs of melting as it took in over $28 million. If “The Wolf of Wall Street” was a stock, investors who sold it short would have cleaned up. Martin Scorsese‘s deep dive into debauchery and fraud took in less than $20 million over the weekend. Box-office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

PHOTOS: Billion-dollar movie club

If it worked once. The end of the year means end-of-the-year box-office stories. Sequels including “Iron Man 3,” “Despicable Me 2″ and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” helped drive the box office to $10.9 billion, a 1% gain over 2012. Other hits of 2012 included “Gravity” and “World War Z.” Of course, there were some big flops too. It only seems like “The Lone Ranger” was five years ago. A look at 2013 from the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Associated Press.

Duck and run. Remember when A&E said it was indefinitely suspending Phil Robertson, patriarch of the family that stars in the cable network’s hit show “Duck Dynasty?” Well, you can forget it. First, A&E caved to pressure groups upset with Robertson’s remarks regarding gays and blacks in the current issue of GQ and suspended him. Then, last Friday afternoon, the network caved to the Robertson family and its supporters and ended the suspension. For all you kids studying public relations, this wasn’t crisis communications at its finest. More on “Duck Dynasty” from the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

Billable hours. The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the biggest legal battles of 2013, including the fight between Aereo and the broadcast industry and about half a dozen suits involving Harvey Weinstein. Hopefully, there will be a Part Two about the most frivolous entertainment lawsuits of the year.

RIP in 2013. The entertainment industry lost a lot of giants in the last 12 months, in front of and behind the camera. Variety takes a look at all the stars who departed for the stars.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Here are the faces to watch in moviestelevision and digital in 2014.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

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