Showbiz Sandbox 197: Studios Suffer A Summer of Blockbuster Flops

July 8, 2013

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Hollywood is learning the hard way that big name movie stars don’t always guarantee the success of a tentpole release. This summer at least three mega-budget titles have tanked; Will Smith couldn’t save “After Earth”, Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum couldn’t rescue “White House Down” and even the casting of Johnny Depp as Tonto wasn’t enough to rustle up an audience for “The Lone Ranger”.

On the other hand, filmmaker Lee Daniels’ next film may not have a blockbuster-size budget, but it does feature an all-star cast that includes the likes of Forest Whitaker, Robin Williams and Oprah Winfrey. Now all it needs is a new name, since a 1916 Warner Bros. short has already laid claim to “The Butler” causing Daniels and distributor The Weinstein Company to call out the lawyers.

Meanwhile, as we await the court’s verdict in the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple over the pricing of e-books, it turns out Amazon has quietly been raising the ante on a lot of titles, especially those from academic and small presses.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the Academy’s new members, Jennifer Lopez in Turkmenistan and the cost of purchasing a Tony Award.

Play

‘Lone Ranger’ Marks Third Big-Budget Bomb of Summer
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-report-lone-ranger-581303

Masked Lawman Stumbles At Box Office
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/movies/masked-lawman-stumbles-at-the-gate.html

As Competition Wanes, Amazon Cuts Back Its Discounts
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/business/as-competition-wanes-amazon-cuts-back-its-discounts.html

Why Big Publishers Think Genre Fiction Like Sci-Fi Is the Future of E-Books
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/06/digital-publishing-genre-fiction/

Broadway Box Office Mints a Dozen Millionaires
http://variety.com/2013/legit/news/broadway-box-office-mints-a-dozen-millionaires-1200503640/

Broadway Success Has A Price: $2,500
http://theater.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/theater/theaterspecial/broadway-success-has-a-price-2500.html

BBC Gives Pause Button For 3-D
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23195479

RIAA Changes Platinum Policy
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/jay-zs-magna-carta-holy-grail-to-benefit-from-revised-riaa-policy-20130703

Jennifer Lopez Performs At Birthday Party For Dictator
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/earshot/jennifer-lopez-performs-at-birthday-577555

OWN To Air All My Children, OLTL
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/own-air-all-my-children-575722

Pixar Sequels Not The Studio’s Emphasis
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/28/pixar-sequels_n_3516493.html

O’Brien Joins Al Jazeera
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/soledad-obrien-joins-al-jazeera-578001

Megyn Kelly Moving to Fox News Primetime
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/business/media/megyn-kelly-to-get-prime-time-slot-on-fox-news.html

Dome Stifles Competition
http://www.adweek.com/news/television/cbs-dome-stifles-competition-150952

Pandora Bad For Artists
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/06/23/pink-floyd-royalties-pandora-column/2447445/

Ex-Pandora Staffer, Musician Jonathan Segel Warns Against “Pandora Groupthink”
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2013/06/ex-pandora-staffer-musician-jonathan-segal-warns-against-pandora-groupthink.html

NBC Snags Mark Burnett Bible Follow-up
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/nbc-snags-mark-burnetts-bible-578021

Academy Invites New Members
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/academy-invites-276-new-members-576469

Why This Year’s Academy Invitations Give Me Hope (Analysis)
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/scott-feinberg-why-years-academy-577274

Elmo Puppeteer Escapes Lawsuits
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/elmo-puppeteer-kevin-clash-escapes-578024

David Boies Charges Extortion As He Returns Fire In ‘The Butler’ Spat Between Warner Bros And The Weinstein Company
http://www.deadline.com/2013/07/citing-its-1916-silent-film-short-warner-bros-blocking-harvey-weinstein-from-using-the-butler-title-on-lee-daniels-film/

‘The Butler’ Battle: Director Lee Daniels Pleads His Case To Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/butler-battle-director-lee-daniels-579971

MGMT Set Release Date for New Album
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/mgmt-set-release-date-for-new-album-20130625

Comments

  • mgiltz

    Blah blah blah. Big movies have always flopped. Sometimes it causes studios to make leaner smaller films for a while but then they go big again. And anyone who says movie stars aren’t good insurance hasn’t been paying attention to the box office for the past…100 years. Will Smith and Johnny Depp are both stars and will make big hits again.