Showbiz Sandbox 76: Taking On The Hobbit And Ticketmaster Down Under

October 25, 2010


Our friends Down Under generated a lot of entertainment news this past week. In New Zealand a union boycott of “The Hobbit” may cause Warner Bros. to relocate the production to another country. Director Peter Jackson has publicly opposed such a move, but as the Hollywood Reporter’s Jonathan Handel explains, this may just be Warner Bros. way of negotiating better government tax subsidies.

Over in Australia, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has launched Foxtix, a live event ticketing service aimed at capturing a share of Ticketmaster’s business. Taking on Ticketmaster is a difficult and expensive fight, but Adam McArthur, the head of Foxtix, fills us in on how the company will differentiate itself in the market.

Former Australian native and current Hollywood pariah Mel Gibson was all set to make a comeback with a cameo in “The Hangover 2”, but Warner Bros. decided he was just too much trouble and opted for Liam Neeson.

Meanwhile, in television news the Fox network pulled its programming from Cablevision’s channel lineup over a retransmission fee dispute. Don’t worry, Cablevision’s customers were still able to follow the baseball playoffs through Twitter posts from the Federal Communications Commission. Unlike Cablevision, Google TV is able to access Fox content. They just can’t access content from any of the other major broadcast networks.

We review the week’s top entertainment headlines during Big Deal or Big Whoop including Chris Rock’s Broadway debut, U2’s next album and the movie Netflix refuses to distribute.


Mel Gibson Making A Cameo Comeback….

Mel Gibson Out Of Hangover Sequel

Disney To Distribute Marvel’s “Avengers”, “Iron Man 3”….

“Hobbit” Union Boycott Lifted; Jackson Claims Production Leaving New Zealand….

News Corp., Cablevision Dig In Heels In Fee Fight….

Twitter Sports Commentary By The FCC

Richard Greenfield’s Broadcast TV Manifesto….

Networks Block Programs From Being Viewed On Google TV….

GQ’s Glee Photos….

‘Glee’ Photoshoot For GQ Decried By Parent Watchdog Group

Parents Television Council On The Defensive

‘Glee’ Star Dianna Agron Address GQ Photo Shoot Controversy….

Martin Freeman: ‘The Hobbit’ Finds Its Bilbo Baggins….

NPR Terminates Contract With Juan Williams….

Lindsay Lohan Avoids Jail As Judge Rules For Rehab….

Baz Luhrman Workshops “Great Gatsby” In New York….

Mark Andrews Replaces Brenda Chapman As Director On Pixar’s Brave….

“Trash Humpers” Too Trashy For Netflix

Chris Rock Makes Broadway Debut….

DreamWorks Theatricals Plans A Touring “Madagascar” Show….

Sony Stops Manufacturing Cassette Walkmans….

iPad Outsells Kindle….

U2 Working On New Albums….

Rupert Murdoch Moves Into The Live Music Industry?