Showbiz Sandbox 266: Sundance Becomes A Little More International

Though the Sundance Film Festival has long been one of the more important festivals held each year, it was primarily known as a launching pad for American independent films and as such international attendance was minimal. That seems to have changed over the past few years as Sundance selections started receiving Oscar nominations. Now industry professionals from all over the world show up at the festival to find the next “Whiplash”, “Precious” or “Beasts of the Southern Wild”.

We didn’t have to travel from halfway around the world to attend this year’s Sundance, but we are in Park City and will fill you in on all the buzzworthy films, major acquisitions and festival news.

Meanwhile, the Producer’s Guild Awards muddied the waters in the current race for the Best Picture Academy Award. While everyone assumed “Boyhood” would walk off with the prize on its way to Oscar victory, “Birdman” swept in and unexpectedly stole it. Whether this is any indication as to how Oscar voters will cast their ballots is questionable.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including why American Idol winner Phillip Phillips is headed to court over his record contract, how James Patterson is promoting his new book and Mrs. Doubtfire is headed to Broadway.

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‘American Sniper’ Continues To Rout At Box Office
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/25/american-sniper-continues-to-rout-box-office-competition/

Russia Gives Ministry Power to Move Hollywood Releases
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/russia-power-move-hollywood-releases-765620

‘Birdman’ Unexpectedly Wins Producers Guild’s Top Film Prize
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-birdman-wins-producers-guild-of-americas-top-prize-20150121-story.html

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s Compensation Rises 19 Percent to $44.33 Million
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/viacom-ceo-philippe-daumans-compensation-766192

DreamWorks Animation Cutting 500 Jobs
http://variety.com/2015/film/news/dreamworks-animation-cutting-500-jobs-takes-290-million-charge-1201412212/

Alan Menken Confirms He’s Working On A “Mrs Doubtfire” Musical
http://popwatch.ew.com/2015/01/22/alan-menken-confirms-hes-working-on-a-mrs-doubtfire-musical/

After Leak, Bjork Releases New Album ‘Vulnicura’ Two Months Early
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-bjork-vulnicura-20150120-story.html

Björk’s Record Label Details Nightmare Leak
http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/01/bjorks-record-label-details-nightmare-leak-and-subsequent-behind-the-scenes-drama/

Israeli Singer Nabbed in Connection With Leaked Madonna Tracks
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-israeli-hacker-singer-arrested-in-connection-with-leaked-madonna-tracks-20150122-story.html

James Patterson’s Most Expensive, Exploding Book
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/james-pattersons-most-expensive-exploding-book/

Paula Abdul & Jason Derulo Join ‘SYTYCD’ As Season 12 Judges
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/so-you-think-you-can-dance-paula-abdul-jason-derulo-judges-season-12-1201412010/

George Lucas: Disney Didn’t Want My ‘Star Wars’ Scripts
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/01/23/george-lucas-disney-didnt-want-my-star-wars-scripts/?intcmp=features

Can Your Boss Make You Get Vaccinated?
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2015-01-22/can-employers-mandate-vaccinations-for-employees-

Larry David Racks Up a Big Broadway Advance
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/26/theater/larry-david-racks-up-a-big-broadway-advance.html

‘American Idol’ Winner Files Bold Legal Claim to Escape ‘Oppressive’ Contracts
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/american-idol-winner-files-bold-767088

Sundance Provides Perfect Environment For Industrial Eavesdropping
http://celluloidjunkie.com/2015/01/28/sundance-provides-perfect-environment-industrial-eavesdropping/

Joe Franklin, a Talk Show Institution in New York, Dies at 88
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/25/nyregion/joe-franklin-local-talk-show-pioneer-dies-at-88.html