Showbiz Sandbox 267: VOD Helps Heat Up Sundance

Distributors went on a buying spree at this year’s Sundance Film Festival not only due to the quality of the movies, but also because of new-found revenue from VOD services. We give you a rundown of the titles that were acquired, how much was spent on them and whether there is any hope they will ever make that money back for distributors.

Speaking of money, musician Sly Stone could be $5 million richer after winning a court ruling last week against his former manager who he claims withheld royalties.

Singer Sam Smith, on the other hand, won’t be trying to cheat Tom Petty out of royalties for his song, “Stay With Me”. The artist agreed the song was similar to one of Petty’s past hits and added the legendary rocker to the writing credits.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including yet another Super Bowl television ratings record, when we can expect the next “Game of Thrones” book from author George R.R. Martin, and “Empire” is becoming a much needed hit series for Fox.

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‘Sniper’ Gives Back Super Bowl Crown To Miley
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2015/02/02/american-sniper-super-bowl-record/22743585/

Record-Breaking Bollywood Movie ‘PK’ Set for China Release
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/record-breaking-bollywood-movie-pk-768527

Paramount Shifts ‘Mission: Impossible 5’ Release Date to Summer 2015
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/paramount-shifts-mission-impossible-5-767313

New All-Female ‘Ghostbusters’ Cast Chosen
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/new-all-female-ghostbusters-cast-767610

‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ Named Best Animated Feature at Annie Awards
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/how-train-your-dragon-2-768827

Art Directors Guild Awards Go To ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Birdman’
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/art-directors-guild-awards-go-768854

Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Kristen Stewart Among France’s Cesar Awards Nominees
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/frances-cesar-awards-nominations-announced-767682

Sam Smith Forced To Pay Tom Petty Royalties For Song ‘Stay With Me’
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizonsunday/6294030/Sam-Smith-settles-up-royalty-dispute-with-Tom-Petty-and-Jeff-Lynne.html

Sly Stone Awarded $5 Million In Back Royalties, Damages
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-sly-stone-awarded-nearly-5-million-in-back-royalties-damages-20150128-column.html

Super Bowl Ratings Hit All Time High With Patriots Win
http://variety.com/2015/tv/ratings/super-bowl-ratings-hit-all-time-high-with-patriots-win-on-nbc-1201421267/

George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter: No Plans For Publication In 2015
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/30/george-rr-martin-the-winds-of-winter-publication

Nickelodeon to Be Available Without Pay TV Subscription
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nickelodeon-be-available-pay-tv-768201

Seven Tenths of Russians Watch Pirated Content
http://www.rapidtvnews.com/2015012836979/seven-tenths-of-russians-watch-pirated-content.html

‘Leviathan’ Director Andrei Zvyagintsev Encourages Russians to Watch Pirated Version
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/leviathan-director-andrei-zvyagintsev-encourages-768217

‘Empire’ Bests ‘American Idol’ Audience
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-ratings-empire-bests-american-768229

Netflix Prices $1.5 Billion in Debt to Fund Content, Other Initiatives
https://variety.com/2015/digital/news/netflix-plans-to-raise-1-billion-more-debt-to-fund-content-1201421246/

Sundance 2015: ‘Dope,’ ‘Earl’ And the Festival of Many Bets
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-sundance-film-festival-sales-dope-earl-dying-girl-movie-20150129-story.html

Sundance Film Festival 2015 Award Winners
http://deadline.com/2015/01/sundance-film-festival-award-winners-2015-festival-awards-winner-list-1201363757/

Colleen McCullough, Author of ‘The Thorn Birds,’ Dies at 77
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/books/colleen-mccullough-author-of-the-thorn-birds-dies-at-77.html

Rod McKuen, Poet and Lyricist With Vast Following, Dies at 81
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/arts/rod-mckuen-prolific-poet-and-lyricist-dies-at-81.html