Showbiz Sandbox 62: The Secret Behind Hollywood’s Accounting Practices

How is it the last Harry Potter film can gross $938 million but still lose $130 million? Journalist and author Edward Jay Epstein joins us to unravel some of Hollywood’s quirky accounting practices. He’s written two books on the subject; The Hollywood Economist: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies and The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood.

“Despicable Me” topped the box office though the amount it took in from 3D screens was rather low. Could audiences be tiring of paying exorbitant 3D ticket prices? Meanwhile, Miramax finally seems to have found a buyer and Lions Gate is trying to make piece with activist investor Carl Icahn.

The Emmy nominations were announced last week and we’ll fill you in on whose up for the television’s big awards. Over in the world of music Pollstar announced that concert ticket sales are down 15% for the first half of the year.

During our Big Deal or Big Whoop segment we race through a number of top entertainment headlines, including Roman Polanski’s release, Lindsay Lohan’s jail time and Mel Gibson getting dumped by his agency. Maybe Gibson can find some work on YouTube, which plans to offer $5 million in grants to select content partners.

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‘Despicable Me’ Dominates
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=2858&p=.htm

Lions Gate and Icahn Sign 10-Day Truce To Work On Deals
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/07/lions-gate….

Miramax Sold To Ronald Tutor, Colony Capital
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i76b4….

Emmy Nominations 2010: Your Water Cooler Cheat Sheet
http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/07/08/emmy-nominations-2010-snubs-trends-facts/

Emmy Snubs! Master Grouse List
http://livefeed.hollywoodreporter.com/2010/07/emmy-snubs-master-grouse-list.htm

ABC News Nightline Is #1 Among Total Viewers
http://tvbythenumbers.com/2010/07/09/abc-news-nightline-is-1-among….

Saturday Night Live Breaks An Emmy Record
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/saturday-night-live-breaks….

Concert Tickets Down 15% in First Half of 2010
http://www.pollstar.com/blogs/news/archive/2010/07/09/731238.aspx

‘American Idol’ Eliminates Seven Tour Dates and Reshuffles Others
http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/2008-12-6-the-beat-goes-on/posts/american….

YouTube Announces Partner Grants Program, Support For 4K Video Resolution
http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/09/youtube-partner-program-4k

YouTube Leanback Launches, Takes Aim At Your Television Set
http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/07/youtube-leanback-tv/

Hulu’s CEO Is Not Averse To Even Pricier Ad Free Subscription
http://www.fastcompany.com/1668367/hulu-ceo-is-not-averse-to-an-even….

Swiss Refuse To Extradite Roman Polanski; Director Is Freed
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/movies/13polanski.html?hp

Lindsay Lohan Sentenced To 90 Days In Jail and 90 In Rehab
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/07/local/la-me-0707-lohan-20100707

Willilam Morris Endeavor Dumps Mel Gibson As Client
http://www.deadline.com/2010/07/wme-dumps-mel-gibson-as-agencys-client/

Audio: Mel Gibson’s Explosive Racist Rant
http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/07/world-exclusive-audio….

Prince Says The Internet Is Completely Over
http://music-mix.ew.com/2010/07/06/prince-internet-over/

Netflix Relativity Deal Adds Movies To Its Online Streaming Catalog
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/06/netflix-relativity-deal-a_n….

Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig Will Wait For James Bond
http://www.deadline.com/2010/07/sam-mendes-daniel-craig-will-wait-for….

Wright, Working Title Take On Live-Action “Little Mermaid”
http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/2010/07/08/wright….

Judge Guts Whopping RIAA File Sharing Verdict
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/07/riaa-verdict-gutted

James Cameron Will Make $350 Million For Avatar
http://www.deadline.com/2010/07/exclusive-james-cameron-will-make….

Ed Norton booted from the Avengers
http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b189803_incredible_true_edward….

Hollywood Accounting: Losing In The Courts
http://techdirt.com/articles/20100708/02510310122.shtml

‘Millionaire’ Verdict Disney Loses Big
http://thresq.hollywoodreporter.com/2010/07/millionaire-verdict….

‘Nash Bridges’ Verdict! Don Johnson Wins Big
http://thresq.hollywoodreporter.com/2010/07/nash-bridges-verdict….