Showbiz Sandbox 263: A Review of the Entertainment Industry’s Annus Horribilis

January 6, 2015


There’s no getting around the fact that 2014 was a financially dismal year for the entertainment business. Movie box office, home video revenue and music sales were all down significantly in most territories. The only bright spot might be television ad sales which grew slightly, albeit at lower level than originally forecast.

Statistically speaking the numbers don’t look good. Movie attendance plummeted to the lowest levels since 1995. Home video returns decreased nearly 2%, despite a rise in digital downloads. Music sales continued their global decline as more consumers turn to streaming services.

Industry-watchers are predicting that, except for box office, 2015 could produce the same mixed results for entertainment companies as digital technologies keep disrupting longstanding business models.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including the most pirated TV shows and movies of 2014, how One Direction became the year’s top concert draw and an update on the Sony Pictures cyber attack.


Box Office: 2014 to End Down Sharply Despite Holiday Highs

Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

China’s Box Office Surges 36 Percent in 2014 to $4.76 Billion

France’s Box Office Rises 8% – But Thanks to France not Hollywood

What We Can Learn from 2014 Record Box-Office in France

Digital Downloads Top $1.5 Billion for First Time for Home Entertainment Industry in 2014

‘Godzilla,’ Warner Bros. Lead the Year’s Top TV Ad Spend for Movies

Sony Will Stream ‘The Interview’ Through YouTube, Google, Xbox, Sony Site

A Lot of Smart People Think North Korea Didn’t Hack Sony

Sony Hack: FBI Stands by Conclusion That North Korea Was Behind Attack

Sony Expands ‘The Interview’ to Pay-TV Providers, PlayStation Network, Vudu and 580-Plus Theaters

Sony Hack: Obama Authorizes Sanctions Against North Korea

Sony Hack Reveals That MPAA’s Big ‘$80 Million’ Settlement With Hotfile Was A Lie

Selma’ Misses PGA Nomination After Another Screener Lapse

Producers Guild’s Film Nominees Go Indie From ‘Boyhood’ to ‘Whiplash’

Producers Guild Nominations Snub Two Films Directed by Women

Mamma Mia Becomes Broadway’s Eighth Longest-Running Show

One Direction heads to top of list in concert ticket sales in 2014

‘Foxcatcher’ Wrestler Mark Schultz Slams Movie, Director

Ratings Bounce for Radio Stations That Turned to Classic Hip-Hop

CNBC’s Business Day to End Nielsen Measurement

Vinyl’s Revival Is Now A Phenomenon on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Mark Zuckerberg Starts A Book Club, Becomes This Generation’s Oprah

Game of Thrones Most Pirated TV Show of 2014

‘Game of Thrones’ to Screen in IMAX Theaters

‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Frozen’ Top List of 2014’s Most Pirated Films

Netflix Cracks Down on VPN and Proxy Pirates

Bono: ‘I May Never Play Guitar Again’

Nielsen Music’s Year-End: Streaming Is Not Killing the Record Business

How ‘1989’ Edged Out ‘Frozen’ as the No. 1 Album of 2014, and Vice Versa