Showbiz Sandbox 117: Crunching The Numbers Behind Summer’s New Box Office Records

Big budget sequels and super hero movies helped push the bar on summer box office records slightly higher. North American grosses rose to $4.4 billion as overseas markets improved to $8.2 billion in receipts. But how much did all those blockbusters actually cost to produce and market? After all the money is counted, how profitable will the latest installments of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Transformers” truly be? We sharpen our pencils and do the math to answer all these questions and more.

One future blockbuster that was recently axed by Disney may actually get made after all. The studios is lowering the budget on “The Lone Ranger” by asking star Johnny Depp and filmmaker Gore Verbinski to take a pay cut.

The publishing world also seems to be doing quite well lately thanks to strong sales of digital titles. Even though the e-books may be getting all the love in mainstream media stories, Random House wants everyone to know that print books aren’t dead. In fact, the sale of hardcover and paperback books still outpaces their digital counterparts.

We also cover all the week’s top entertainment news including the “controversial” selection of Chaz Bono to appear on “Dancing With The Stars”, why Starz is breaking up with Netflix, Sinead O’Connor’s dating problems, and whether reality television needs to be reformed.

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Hollywood Scores A Record Summer Worldwide
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-update-hollywood-scores-231220

Record Summer Box Office Looms as ‘The Smurfs’ Takes No. 1 Spot Again
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/foreign-box-office-report-record-231124

Neither Smurf Nor Wizard Could Save Summer Movie Attendance
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/05/business/media/summer-movie-attendance-continues-to-erode.html

China Headed for $2 Billion Box Office Record In 2011
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/china-headed-2-billion-box-223854

Why Disney Might Make ‘Lone Ranger’ – Reluctantly
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/why-disney-might-make-lone-230271

Telluride 2011: Festival Gives Promising Look Into The Fall
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/telluride-2011-festival-gives-promising-231284

Revamping Reality
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/revamping-reality/

ABC Attacked By ‘DWTS’ Fans Over Chaz Bono Casting
http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/abc-hit-attacks-chaz-bono-after-dwts-casting-30586

Unbroken Tops One Million Sold In Hardcover
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/48562-unbroken-tops-one-million-sold-in-hardcover.html

Profits Surge At Random House
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/financial-reporting/article/48530-profits-surge-at-random-house.html

Sony Tablets Coming In September
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/devices/article/48536-sony-tablets-coming-in-september.html

Amazon Tablets – 7 Incher In October, 10 Incher Next Year
http://www.netbooknews.com/34160/amazon-tablets-7-incher-in-october-10-incher-next-year

Eddie Murphy In Talks To Host The Oscars
http://www.deadline.com/2011/09/eddie-murphy-in-talks-to-host-the-oscars/

Ebersol Returns To NBC As NFL, Olympics Consultant
http://www.adweek.com/news/television/ebersol-returns-nbc-nfl-olympics-consultant-134527

Icahn Ends Battle With Lions Gate, Agrees To Sell Stake
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/08/icahn-ends-battle-with-lions-gate-agrees-to-sell-stake.html

Gillian Anderson Ready For A Third ‘X-Files’ Film
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/gillian-anderson-ready-a-third-231536

Oprah Winfrey To Give Live Interview At Facebook
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/09/oprah-winfrey-facebook-interview.html

Facebook To Launch Music Service This Fall?
http://newsroom.mtv.com/2011/09/02/facebook-to-launch-music-service-this-fall/

Hulu To Launch In Japan
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/09/hulu-to-launch-in-japan-.html

Fox’s “New Girl” Gets Free, Early Debut Online
http://gigaom.com/video/fox-new-girl-sneak-peek/

Sinead O’Connor Is Looking For Love
http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/sinead_oconnor_is_looking_for_love/

Netflix To Lose Starz, Its Most Valuable Source Of New Movies
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/09/netflix-to-lose-starz-its-most-valuable-source-of-new-movies.html

What Wall Street Is Saying About Netflix-Starz
http://gigaom.com/video/netflix-starz-wall-street/