Showbiz Sandbox 34: Hollywood’s Box Office Billions Set New Record

December 21, 2009

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We are joined this week by two of the film industry’s top box office pundits, Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com and Daniel Frankel of TheWrap.com. They help us understand how the North American box office surpassed $10 billion in 2009 while releasing few films during an economic recession. Of course, we also touch on “Avatar’s” opening weekend box office and the worldwide spin it’s distributor claims makes the film a huge hit.

But we promise this week’s episode won’t be entirely about Avatar! We also discuss the untimely death of actress Brittany Murphy and the rumor mongering it set off among online tabloids. The Golden Globe nominations were announced mid week. Were there any surprises? What about snubs? Which noms will carry over to the Oscars, and what can be done to get audiences to actually watch the Oscars?

There’s also a ton of television and music news, such as the rumor that Simon Cowell might leave “American Idol” (oh no!), the list of next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees (ABBA!) and an old Rage Against The Machine song beating out this year’s winner of “X Factor” on the U.K. singles charts during Christmas week (huh?!). We even have time for a little theater news. (That’s right, theater! With real live actors!). In fact, we get a proper briefing on audience participation at English holiday pantomimes, or pantos, and a lesson from singer Amy Winehouse in how not to behave at one.

We finish with a special Inside Baseball Christmas card from our friends at Fox TV. And don’t worry if you don’t understand the studio’s sentiment. It’s an inside joke.

2009′s Box Office Paradox: Fewer Movies, Record Revenues
http://www.thewrap.com/article/domestic-bo-shatters-revenue-record-11626

Actress Brittany Murphy Dies at 32
http://www.tmz.com/2009/12/20/brittany-murphy-dies-cardiac-arrest/

Brittany Murphy Dead; Drugs Among Rumored Causes
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2512557/brittany_murphy_dead….

Perez Tells Linday Lohan, Courtney Love To Learn From Murphy’s Death
http://www.popeater.com/2009/12/20/perez-hilton-lindsay-lohan….

Golden Globe Nominations
http://www.goldenglobes.org/nominations/

New Movie Trailers Could Boost Oscar Ratings
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/awards….

Simon Cowell May Leave American Idol
http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/the_end_of_idol….

YouTube Video Leads To Contract
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8417789.stm?ls

YouTube’s Most Watched Videos Of 2009
http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2009/12/youtubes-most-watched-videos….

Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced
http://www.billboard.com/#/news/stooges-genesis-abba-get-rock-hall-of-fame….

Amid The Many Bloated Musicals, Originality Sneaks In
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/arts/la-ca-mcnultyessay20….

Michael Jackson’s Death Voted Top Entertainment News Story
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g3lGx7GBpN1xv….

Chris Brown Leaves Twitter
http://newsroom.mtv.com/2009/12/15/chris-brown-leaves-twitter/

‘Demonic Child’ Amy Winehouse Out of Control At Pantomime
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,20797,26513445-7642,00.html

Rage Against The Machine Beats X Factor’s Joe To Christmas No. 1
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/dec/20/rage-against-machine….

Nancy O’Dell Says Adios To “Access Hollywood”
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gossip/2009/12/nancy-odell-leaving….

California Court Refuses to Dismiss Polanski Case, But Comments are Encouraging for Him
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/movies/22polanski.html….

Have You Seen Fox TV’s Xmas Card?!
http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/gary-newman-dana-walden….

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