Showbiz Sandbox 143: “Mommy Porn” Is Hollywood’s Hot New Trend

Hollywood studios spent this past week waging a bidding war for a book derived from fan fiction stories on “Twilight” websites. Universal Pictures wound up paying an estimated $5 million for E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey”, an erotic novel that has become a best selling phenomenon despite only being published as an e-book. Producers now must figure out how to handle the graphic sexual content found in titles the media has dubbed “mommy porn”.

Last week also marked the merger of SAG and AFTRA, the unions representing actors. Members of both groups overwhelmingly voted to join forces to create the largest bargaining group in Hollywood. Only time will tell if presenting a united front will give the thespians more power to negotiate better contracts.

Meanwhile, the popular music streaming service Spotify has decided to allow unlimited free listening indefinitely. While this is good news for music fans, how will Spotify, which has yet to turn a profit, pay increased licensing fees to all the record labels?

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment stories, including Kevin Smith’s plans to transform “Clerks” into a Broadway play, bad news for children’s cable networks and a raise for the cast of “Modern Family”.

Play

‘Bully’ Will Get Re-Cut To Land A PG-13, Sources Say
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2012/03/bully-g-13-new-cut-rating-mpaa-harvey-weinstein.html

Controversial ‘Bully’ Gets A Surprising Partner: Microsoft
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/03/controversial-bully-gets-a-surprising-partner-microsoft.html

Universal Pictures And Focus Features Win ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’
http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/universal-pictures-and-focus-features-win-50-shades-of-grey/

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Film Adaptation Faces Challenge From ‘Control-Freak’ Author
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/fifty-shades-of-grey-film-el-james-universal-focus-305889

Spotify Extends Free Listening In U.S.
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/03/spotify-extends-free-listen….

Songkick Adds 100,000 New Users With Spotify App In Just 4 Months
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/03/songkick-adds-100000-new-users-from-spotify-app-in-just-4-months.html

How Pottermore Cast An Ebook Spell Over Amazon
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2012/mar/28/pottermore-ebook-amazon-harry-potter

Warner Bros Will Begin To Sell ‘ER’ Format Rights Overseas
http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/warner-bros-will-begin-to-sell-er-format-rights-overseas/

Judge Dismisses $105M Blogger Suit Against Huffington Post
http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/sns-rt-arianna-huffington-huffington-postmt1thewrap36686-20120330,0,7510547.story

Disney Channel Knocks Nick From Top Ratings Perch
http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/nickelodeon-ratings-disney-tops-kids-rival-key-category-first-time-36612

Kevin Smith Has Plans To Take ‘Clerks’ To Broadway
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2012/03/kevin-smith-clerks-broadway.html

Magic Johnson-led Group Is Picked As Dodgers’ Next Owner
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/27/sports/la-sp-0329-d….

Jimmy Kimmel To Host The Emmys, Don Mischer To Produce
http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/jimmy-kimmel-to-host-the-emmys-don-mischer-to-produce/

‘Modern Family’ Cast Seeks Huge Raises As Contract Renegotiation Begins
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/modern-family-cast….

Fox Drama ‘Terra Nova’ A No-Go At Netflix
http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/fox-drama-terra-nova-a-no-go-at-netflix/

‘Mad Men’s Matt Weiner To Helm First Feature ‘You Are Here’
http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/matt-weiner-you-are-here-movie-director-zach-galifianakis-amy-poehler-gilbert-films/

The Next PlayStation Is Called Orbis, Sources Say. Here Are The Details.
http://kotaku.com/5896996/the-next-playstation-is-called-orbis-sources-say-here-are-the-details

Xbox Now Used More For Online Entertainment Than Online Gaming
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/03/xbox-more-entertainment-gaming-hbo-go-comcast-xfinity-mlb.html

U.S. Disc Rentals -3.4% In 2011: Rentrak
http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/u-s-disc-rentals-3-4-in-2011-rentrak/

Best Buy Plans 400 Layoffs Amid Store Closures
http://online.wsj.com/article/SBB0001424052702303404704….

Dolby Discussing Naming Rights On Oscar Venue
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscar-venue-kodak-theater-dolby-naming-rights-306035

SAG and AFTRA Members Give Thumbs Up To Merger
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/03/sag-and-aftra-members-give-thumbs-up-to-merger.html