Showbiz Sandbox 286: The 2015 Mid-Year Box Office and Music Sales Report

July 6, 2015

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With the year now half over we join the rest of the entertainment industry in reviewing how 2015 is shaping up at the box office and for music sales. As predicted, the worldwide box office is on track to set another annual record thanks in part to three blockbuster releases that have each earned more than a billion dollars.

China continues to be an ever more important movie market as the country’s box office surged more than 50% during the first six months of the year with imported titles leading the way. Meanwhile, Hollywood movies have fared better in India than in past years with two passing the billion rupee level, a well-established benchmark of box office success.

The picture isn’t as rosy when it comes to music revenue. North American album sales are down 4% and digital downloads have fallen more than 10%. The declines may be caused by on-demand music streaming which has increased 74% so far this year. Whatever the reason, Taylor Swift isn’t sweating it since her most recent album has sold more than 2 million copies this year alone.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including the Grateful Dead perform one final concert, massive layoffs at the BBC and HBO Now is a huge hit in the iTunes app store.

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‘Terminator: Genisys,’ ‘Minions’ Boost Foreign Box Office With Solid Performances
https://variety.com/2015/film/news/terminator-genisys-minions-box-office-international-1201534123/

Avengers,’ ‘Inside Out’ Push Disney Past $3 Billion at 2015 Box Office
https://variety.com/2015/film/news/disney-2015-box-office-3-billion-avengers-inside-out-1201534103/

‘Inside Out’ Serves Up July 4th Fireworks Over ‘Terminator,’ ‘Magic Mike XXL’
https://variety.com/2015/film/news/box-office-inside-out-terminator-magic-mike-1201534080/

U.K. Box Office: ‘Minions’ Scores Biggest Opening Ever for Animated Film
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/uk-box-office-minions-record-806194

Gaspar Noe’s ‘Love’ Receives 16 Rating in France Following Controversy
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2015/07/chicago-adds-9-tax-on-electronically-delivered-amusements.html

India Box Office Mid-Year: ‘Furious 7,’ ‘Jurassic World’ Reach Rare Milestone for Hollywood Films
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/india-box-office-mid-year-805915

China Box Office Surges Nearly 50% In First Half of 2015
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-china-box-office-surges-50-in-first-half-of-2015-20150629-story.html

How Subsidies Distorted China’s “Record” February Box Office
http://celluloidjunkie.com/2015/03/05/subsidies-distorted-chinas-record-box-office-february/

The Grateful Dead Close Out Their Final Concert With Music and the Words ‘Please, Be Kind’
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/the-grateful-dead-close-out-their-final-concert-with-words-please-be-kind-amid-tears-and-hugs/

BBC Faced with $1.01 Billion Bill as U.K. Government Shifts Welfare Costs
https://variety.com/2015/tv/news/bbc-faced-with-1-01-billion-bill-as-u-k-government-shifts-welfare-costs-report-1201534059/

Scribd Dramatically Reduces Romance List
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/67366-scribd-dramatically-reduces-romance-list.html

American Ballet Theater’s Misty Copeland to Join Broadway’s On the Town
http://www.theatermania.com/broadway/news/american-ballet-theaters-misty-copeland-to-join-broadways-on-the-town_73431.html

NASCAR Asks Fans Not to Display Confederate Flag at Races
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nascar-asks-fans-not-display-806551

Donald Trump’s Miss USA Pageant Picked Up by Reelz
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/miss-usa-donald-trump-reelz-nbc-1201533070/

EU’s Net Neutrality Move Eases Path for OTT Video
http://www.rapidtvnews.com/2015070438956/eu-s-net-neutrality-move-eases-path-for-ott-video.html

Peter Jackson Re-creates Bilbo’s Bag End in His Basement
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/peter-jackson-creates-bilbos-bag-806174

Fox Preemptively Picks Up YA Novel ‘Heart Made of Black’
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/fox-preemptively-picks-up-ya-805838

HBO Now Tops iOS Revenue Charts, Big Hit with Cord Cutters
http://www.etcentric.org/hbo-now-tops-ios-revenue-charts-big-hit-with-cord-cutters/

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989,’ Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ Top Midyear Charts
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-big-surprise-taylor-swift-1989-sales-chart-20150702-story.html

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Tops 2015 Vinyl Sales; See the Other 9 Best Sellers So Far
https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6619962/2015-vinyl-sales-taylor-swift-1989-top-sellers

Get Ready To Pay More for Netflix: Chicago Sneaks ‘Cloud Tax’ Onto Books
http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/736929/cloud-tax-amusement-streaming-services

Chicago Slaps Streaming Tax on Spotify, Netflix
http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6620048/chicago-streaming-cloud-tax-spotify-netflix-digital

Val Doonican, Easygoing Irish Crooner, Dies at 88
https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6619990/val-doonican-irish-singer-dead

Sergio Sollima, Italian Director Best Known Internationally For Spaghetti Westerns, Dies at 94
http://variety.com/2015/film/global/sergio-sollima-italian-director-best-known-internationally-for-spaghetti-westerns-dies-at-94-1201533774/

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