Showbiz Sandbox 288: This Summer’s Box Office Is Turning Into A Blockbuster

July 27, 2015

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A string of big budget Hollywood sequels and prequels like “Jurassic World”, “Avengers” and “Minions” have driven the 2015 summer box office nearly 15% higher than last year. And not just in the United States. Countries all over the world are reporting strong movie attendance, especially in China where homegrown productions have been the top grossing releases.

It doesn’t hurt that North American moviegoers are currently paying the highest ticket prices on record. Just ask IMAX which just reported the highest quarterly earnings in the company’s history.

It isn’t all good news for Hollywood studios however. The European Union is charging the six major distributors with antitrust violations over what regulators allege are illegal licensing contracts with cable operators. Should the EU prove their case, it could cause havoc by eradicating longstanding entertainment industry business models.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the Emmy Award nominations, the approval of AT&T’s merger with DirecTV, why Neil Young is yanking his music from streaming services.

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‘Ant-Man’ Leads With Solid, But Uneventful $58.0M Debut
http://pro.boxoffice.com/latest-news/2015-07-17-north-america-thursday-night-report-ant-man-bags-64m-start-trainwreck-pulls-18m

Box Office: ‘Monster Hunt’ Becomes Top-Grossing Chinese Film in History
https://variety.com/2015/film/news/monster-hunt-box-office-china-2-1201548948/

Universal Finds Pirated Copy of Jurassic World Seeded From Its Own Servers
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/23/universal-pirated-copy-jurassic-world-seeded-from-its-own-servers

‘Jurassic World’ Becomes No. 3 Movie of All Time
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-jurassic-world-becomes-810460

Average Movie Ticket Price Hits Record High
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/average-movie-ticket-price-hits-810435

IMAX Posts Highest Quarterly Revenue in History on Summer Movie Strength
https://variety.com/2015/film/box-office/imax-box-office-1201546783/

Emmy Award Nominations: Full List of 2015 Emmy Nominees
https://variety.com/2015/tv/news/emmy-award-nominations-2015-full-list-1201537852/

Poitras FOIA Complaint
https://www.eff.org/document/poitras-foia-complaint

Controversial ‘Cosby’ Bio Won’t Get New Editions
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/bookmark/controversial-cosby-bio-wont-get-810612

Spelman College Terminates Professorship Endowed by Bill Cosby
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/27/arts/spelman-college-terminates-professorship-endowed-by-bill-cosby.html?_r=0

Willie Nelson becomes first country musician to score Gershwin Prize
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-willie-nelson-becomes-first-country-musician-to-score-gershwin-prize-20150709-story.html

NFL’s $12 Billion Deal With DirecTV Faces Major Antitrust Lawsuit
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/nfls-12-billion-deal-directv-808544

Colin Cowherd Latest Personality to Exit ESPN
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/colin-cowherd-latest-personality-exit-809128

Hulk Hogan Fired from WWE After Reports of Racist Rant
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hulk-hogan-fired-wwe-reports-810894

Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’ Hits 1.1 Million in Sales
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/bookmark/harper-lees-go-set-a-809802

Neil Young Pulling Catalog From Streaming Service
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/neil-young-pulling-catalog-from-streaming-services-20150715

Netflix Refines Its DVD Business, Even as Streaming Unit Booms
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/27/business/while-its-streaming-service-booms-netflix-streamlines-old-business.html

Netflix Tops 65 Million Subscribers in Q2, Citing Original Content for Strong Growth
http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/netflix-q2-2015-earnings-1201541012/

Made-in-China Movie Draws Fire As A Copycat of Pixar’s ‘Cars’
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-china-animation-plagarism-cars-pixar-20150721-story.html#page=1

Emoji At Center Of Bidding Battle Won By Sony Animation; Anthony Leondis To Direct
http://deadline.com/2015/07/emoji-movie-sony-pictures-animation-anthony-leondis-kung-fu-panda-secrets-of-the-masters-1201482768/

AT&T gets FCC Approval, Immediately Completes $49-billion Takeover of DirecTV
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-fcc-approves-atts-takeover-of-directv-20150724-story.html

Consumer Groups Say FCC Conditions On AT&T-DirecTV Merger Fall Short
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-att-directv-reaction-20150723-story.html

EU Files Antitrust Charges Against U.S. Film Studios
http://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-files-antitrust-charges-against-six-u-s-film-studios-1437646706

Theodore Bikel, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Star, Dies at 91
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/theodore-bikel-dead-sound-music-719735

E. L. Doctorow Dies at 84; Literary Time Traveler Stirred Past Into Fiction
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/books/el-doctorow-author-of-historical-fiction-dies-at-84.html

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