Showbiz Sandbox 296: Entertainment Industry Numbers Are Often A Comedy of Errors

It is said numbers don’t lie, however in the entertainment business they don’t always tell the truth either. When it comes to box office grosses, television ratings, home video earnings and book sales, numbers can often present misleading or incomplete information which paint an unrealistic, or at times purposefully skewed, financial picture.

Netflix, for instance, released data detailing what they claim is the episode when their customers get hooked on a television series. However, the “hook study” performed by the subscription video streaming service was limited in scope and may simply be an example of how good Netflix is at spinning its numbers into great PR opportunities.

Meanwhile, like every other area of the entertainment industry, the book world has been rocked by the digital revolution. But publishers believe the business is leveling out based on sales figures which leave out large segments of the market. None of this explains why e-books cost more than paperbacks though.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including Amy Schumer’s big book advance, a lawsuit over the movie “Goodfellas”, which Warner Bros. says was a huge flop, and the Harry Potter origin story will become a two part theatrical production on London’s West End.

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Viacom To Simulcast Trevor Noah Debut Across Multiple Networks (This will have already happened when we post
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/trevor-noah-daily-show-viacom-1201602529/

‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ Sets September Record With $47.5M; ‘Intern’ Solid No. 2
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-hotel-transylvania-2-827467

Adam Sandler’s Box Office Returns
http://www.the-numbers.com/person/126870401-Adam-Sandler#tab=acting

‘Rogue Nation’ Breaks Hollywood 2D Box Office Record in China
http://variety.com/2015/film/asia/rogue-nation-breaks-hollywood-2d-box-office-record-in-china-1201600289/

France Box Office: Opera Film Beats ‘Compton’ in Opening-Week Ticket Sales
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/france-opera-beats-compton-tickets-826890

The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/business/media/the-plot-twist-e-book-sales-slip-and-print-is-far-from-dead.html

Oyster Is Shutting Down Operations
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/68130-oyster-is-shutting-down-operations.html

What Oyster Going Down Demonstrates Is Not Mostly About the Viability of Ebook Subscriptions
http://www.idealog.com/blog/what-oyster-going-down-demonstrates-is-not-mostly-about-the-viability-of-ebook-subscriptions/

Do E-Books Earn More Money at Lower Prices?
http://observer.com/2015/09/do-e-books-earn-more-money-at-lower-prices/

From Books to Ebooks and Back: The Future of Literary Consumption Is Unwritten
http://flavorwire.com/539228/from-books-to-ebooks-and-back-the-future-of-literary-consumption-is-unwritten

Media Often Mistakes Trade Publishing Stats for Market Stats, Foresees the Decline of eBooks
http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/09/23/nytimes-mistakes-legacy-publishing-stats-for-market-stats-foresees-the-decline-of-ebooks/

Startup Serial Box Wants To Be the ‘HBO for Readers’
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/68116-startup-serial-box-wants-to-be-the-hbo-for-readers.html

“Happy Birthday” Copyright Ruled to Be Invalid
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/happy-birthday-copyright-ruled-be-826528

Ta-Nehisi Coates to Write Black Panther Comic for Marvel
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/books/ta-nehisi-coates-to-write-black-panther-comic-for-marvel.html

Jersey Boys Surpasses Miss Saigon as 12th-Longest-Running Show
http://www.theatermania.com/broadway/news/jersey-boys-becomes-12th-longest-running-show_74305.html

Sports Illustrated Launches ‘SI Films’ in Another Shot Across ESPN’s Bow
http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/sports-illustrated-si-films-launch-espn-1201601388/

‘Goodfellas’ Producer Sues Warner Bros. Over Lack of Any Profits
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/goodfellas-producer-sues-warner-bros-826413

Amy Schumer Book ‘The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo’ Scores Massive Simon & Schuster Sale
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/bookmark/amy-schumer-book-girl-lower-826042

‘Furious 7’ Breaks Home Entertainment Records
https://variety.com/2015/film/news/furious-7-home-entertainment-records-1201601398/

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Is In Two parts
https://www.pottermore.com/news/cursed-child-announcement

Will Steven Spielberg Drop the DreamWorks Name?
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/will-steven-spielberg-drop-dreamworks-826201

‘Scream Queens,’ ‘Limitless,’ ‘Muppets’ Soar in Delayed Viewing
https://variety.com/2015/tv/news/ratings-scream-queens-limitless-muppets-delayed-viewing-1201603502/

‘Empire’ Premiere Grows to 22.5 Million Viewers With Time-Shifting and Early Streaming
https://variety.com/2015/tv/news/empire-premiere-time-shifting-streaming-1201603790/

Netflix Data Reveals Exactly When TV Shows Hook Viewers — And It’s Not the Pilot
http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/netflix-tv-show-data-viewer-episode-study-1201600746/

Netflix Now Lets You Subscribe From iPhone, iPad Apps
http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/netflix-subscribe-iphone-ipad-in-app-purchase-1201601909/

In Quest For Global Presence, Netflix Acquires Rights To 3 More Shows
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/28/business/media/in-quest-for-global-presence-netflix-acquires-rights-to-3-more-shows.html

Netflix, Hulu to Launch Virtual-Reality Apps
http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/netflix-hulu-virtual-reality-apps-1201601645/

CNN to Live Stream Democratic Debate In Virtual Reality
http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/cnn-to-live-stream-democratic-debate-in-virtual-reality-1201602608/

Associated Press Reports That Yogi Bear Has Died
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/rip/associated-press-reports-that-yogi-bear-has-died-119807.html