Showbiz Sandbox 28: Why Spider-Man Is Hard Up For $52 Million

We don’t always talk about theater on the podcast, but Los Angeles Times staff writer John Horn wrote a story too good to resist. The Broadway debut of “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” has found its greatest enemy is the budget. Horn joins us to talk about the story behind one of the most troubled productions in Broadway history and how he got the scoop (not to mention the musical’s script, soundtrack and a video promo reel).

But first, Michael Giltz eats another serving of crow this week, as the Michael Jackson rehearsal documentary “This Is It” held up respectably and indie-darling “Precious” grossed a stunning $1,800,000 on just 18 theaters over the weekend. “Precious” will no doubt be nominated for a few Oscars come awards season. Speaking of the Academy Awards, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are teaming up to host next year’s Oscar telecast. Karen Woodward though the decision to go with Martin and Baldwin was dated and hopes they don’t hijack the show. On the other hand, Michael and J. Sperling Reich thought it was a good choice.

In more frivolous news, Nicolas Cage is suing his former money manager, Samuel J. Levin, for $20 million in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming he enriched himself while “sending Cage down a path toward financial ruin.” Granted, this is probably not a frivolous topic for Mr. Cage, although he was not exactly careful with his money, Sperling (who once worked as an executive at Cage’s production company) explains. As much as his NDA will allow.

Technology and reality reared their ugly heads this week and movie studios are wondering how to benefit. Is the MPAA betraying theater owners? Are day-and-date release windows a good idea? If you have no idea what that even means, listen to the podcast.

Were you one of the 13.9 million people who tuned in to watch the series of premiere of “V”? Michael and Sperling were. Will you continue watching? Did ABC do the show a favor by rolling it out in stages by airing a handful of shows in November, and the rest of the season in January)? Maybe this belongs in a future Big Deal/Big Whoop.

We cycle through the rest of this week’s top entertainment news stories in our popular Big Deal or Big Whoop segment, and end on a positive note: Oprah may leave daytime, but that’s only so she can take over the world.

“Precious” Stuns With $100K Weekend Average
http://www.indiewire.com/article/box_office_precious_stuns_with_100k….

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin Will Team As Hosts Of The Oscars
http://theenvelope.latimes.com/la-et-oscarhosts…..

On Broadway, Spider-Man’s Greatest Enemy Is The Budget
http://www.latimes.com/la-et-spider-man…..
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/06/….

Nicolas Cage Compulsive Spender
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-11-03/nicolas-cage….

The MPAA’s Motive In Upsetting Exhibitors Over Release Windows
http://celluloidjunkie.com/2009/11/09/the-mpaas-motive….
http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/archives/2009/11/what_does_the_m.html

V Debuts With Massive Ratings
http://scifiwire.com/2009/11/v-debuts-with-massive-rat.php

Groups Urge CW Stations To Stop Airing Gossip Girl
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091104/us_tv_gossip_girl_complaint

The Hollywood Hills Burgler Bunch
http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2009/10/rachel-lee-hollywood-hills….
http://www.tmz.com/2009/11/04/burglar-bunch-suspect….

Oprah Leaves Daytime
http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/the-end-of-oprah-as-we-know-her/

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