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'Gravity' to soar over 'Captain Phillips.' Hulu wooing Hopkins?

After the coffee. Before trying to score Dodgers-Cardinals tickets.

The Skinny: Even I'm starting to feel sorry for the New York Giants, and I'm a die-hard Washington Redskins fan. It's Friday so let's make this fast and furious. Today's roundup includes the box office preview, Warner Bros. firing back at a charge of theft and Hulu possibly having a new boss soon.

Daily Dose: Want to lead the conversation on media? The Paley Center for Media is looking for a new chief executive to replace Pat Mitchell, who steps down next year. Formerly the Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center tries to be both fan club to TV shows through its Paley Festival and an industry think tank. Lots of bigwigs are on the board of trustees. Oh, but you also have to spend a lot of your time asking people for donations to the nonprofit. More on the Paley Center from our Company Town blog.

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Fighting "Gravity." Can "Captain Phillips" -- a dramatic retelling of the hijacking by Somali pirates of Maersk Alabama cargo ship starring Tom Hanks -- rise up against "Gravity" this weekend? Box office watchers say that's highly unlikely. "Gravity" should take in $40 million while "Captain Phillips" will be in choppy waters and likely take in only half that. Still, since adults are expected to flock to "Captain Phillips," the movie might have some staying power in the weeks ahead since us older folks don't feel the need to rush out on the first weekend to see a movie. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Hopkins hopping? Mike Hopkins, who oversees distribution for Fox's broadcast and cable properties, is on the short list to be the new chief executive of the online video platform Hulu, according to Bloomberg. Hulu, which is co-owned by Fox parent 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney Co. and Comcast, was recently up for sale, but the owners changed their minds and opted instead to invest $750 million more in the company. The hiring of Hopkins would indicate that the mandate at Hulu is to build a stronger subscription business.

Chin music. Warner Bros. threw a brushback pitch at the producer accusing the studio and Clint Eastwood's production company of stealing the idea for the baseball drama "Trouble With the Curve." The studio called a suit filed by Ryan Brooks "reckless and false." Claims of theft in Hollywood are as common as claims of credit, but this one is getting some attention, probably because of Clint Eastwood and all the baseball puns we can make. More on the bean-ball brawl (see what I did there?) from the New York Times.

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Battling Netflix. John Malone, the godfather of the modern-day cable industry and chairman of Liberty Media, thinks cable operators should figure out a way to team up to launch their own national online video service to rival Netflix. The challenge, of course, would be getting distributors on the same page in terms of strategy. More on Malone's thoughts from the Wall Street Journal.

Magic gone. Earvin "Magic" Johnson is exiting his role as an analyst on ESPN's "NBA Countdown." Although Johnson certainly has enough on his plate with all his business activities, including owning a stake in the Dodgers, speculation from Deadspin is that Johnson wasn't thrilled with Bill Simmons'  expanding role on the program and the cut in time for Michael Wilbon. The news from the Associated Press and the dirt from Deadspin.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on the high seas drama "Captain Phillips." Betsy Sharkey on "Romeo & Juliet."

Follow me on Twitter. I'm the constant in an ever-changing universe. @JBFlint.


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