Showbiz Sandbox 16: Hollywood Thinks Outside The Redbox

August 17, 2009


David Poland of Movie City News joins us this week.  You might know Poland from his days at the Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly or Roughcut, but he is most known as the columnist behind The Hot Button which has morphed into his blog, The Hot Blog.  He can also be seen on DP30 or his new video podcast Super Movie Friends.  You can follow Poland on Twitter by visiting

“District 9” topped the box office in North America over the weekend with $37 million, but will it have legs?  Warner Bros saved a New Line movie once again with “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which had been sitting on the shelf since last year.  It made a respectable showing with $19.2 million.

Some interesting/baffling/exciting movie news this week. Aaron Sorkin uh, is writing, uh, a draft of the Facebook movie, which, um, is a movie about social networking.  (Listen to the episode to, ah, get the joke).  And if you think that’s crazy, Warner Bros is putting together a movie based on the Legos toys, and Bryan Singer is directing a big screen version of “Battlestar Gallactica.” Will Starbuck still be dead? Does anyone care?

Harvey and Bob Weinstein are hoping people will care about “Inglorious Basterds,” their Quentin Tarantino-directed, Brad Pitt-starring (well, sort of) WWII movie. The Weinstein Company is in serious need of a hit and some friends — half the movie industry seems to be hoping the brothers’ new mini-major fails according to the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

Speaking of failure, Fox Television Studios has pulled the plug on “Saving Grace,” the TNT drama starring Holly Hunter.  Why? Because it was too costly to produce and not making enough money in DVD sales.

Which brings us to Redbox, those movie kiosks at grocery stores and fast food restaurants which are “proving the power of in-between technology.” Or are they screwing the studios by undervaluing their product? Poland believes studios start undervalued their product first with their greedy desire to get as much money as fast as possible by shortening the theatrical release window.

Finally, if studios and the city of Los Angeles are supposed to be such lovers of film, why is the film program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is being shuttered? Hey filmmakers, if you care enough to write a letter to LACMA, you can care enough to open your wallet.  (Yes, that means you Mr. Scorsese).

In a special update this week, our co-host Michael Giltz has finally caved in and set up a Twitter account.  He can be found at at

Humans Welcome ‘District 9’

Warner Builds Pic with Lego

Aaron Sorkin Talks Facebook Movie

Bryan Singer To Direct Battlestar Movie

Weinstein Co. Has A Lot Riding On Tarantino’s Campy WWII Movie,0,4803745.story

Weinsteins Struggle To Regain Their Touch

Leno Books Seinfeld As First Guest

TNT’s ‘Saving Grace’ Has Plug Pulled By Producers

Little Known Redbox Proves The Power of In-Between Technology

DVD Kiosks Like Redbox Have Rivals Seeing Red

Beware The Redbox

Films AT LACMA: A Thing Of The Past or The Future?

Martin Scorsese: An Open Letter To Michael Govan and LACMA

A Music Lesson For LACMA’s Film Program



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