Showbiz Sandbox 305: Should “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Box Office Records Require An Asterisk?

December 21, 2015


The release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” shattered box office records the world over and became the biggest movie opening of all time by earning $529 million. We explain why in countries such as Japan and South Korea, the latest “Star Wars” not only didn’t win the weekend, but in some cases earned less than earlier installments of the franchise. We also look at the breakdown of which formats audiences favored when buying tickets.

George Lucas’ original “Star Wars” movie was released in 1977 and was added to the National Film Registry in 1989. We weigh in on the annual list of films added to the registry by the Library of Congress, charged with selecting new entrants. It always makes for a fascinating mix; we’ll discuss what made this year’s cut there and why. Hint: It’s not always artistry that counts… and no we’re not looking at you “Top Gun.”

In music news, it turns out online radio services such as Pandora will soon be paying more to license songs. Meanwhile, Adele is trying to prevent her fans from having to pay more to purchase tickets to see her in concert. We’ll tell you about the growing backlash against the secondary market for concert tickets and what some artists are doing about it.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including how “Star Wars” bumped Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie out of a historic movie theater, Howard Stern signs a new deal with SiriusXM and the list of this year’s inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Box Office: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Opens to Record $238M for Cosmic $517M Global Launch

Foreign Box Office: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Blasts Off With $279M

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Shatters Box Office Records

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ TV Spend at $66 Million and Rising

‘Star Wars’ Carries Its Own Marketing Weight for Disney

‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Top Gun,’ ‘L.A. Confidential’ Among 2015 National Film Registry Selections

Howard Stern Sets New Five-Year Deal with SiriusXM Satellite Radio That Includes Video Plans

Peak TV: Scripted Series Surpass 400 in 2015

Paramount, Hasbro Creating Movie Universe Around G.I. Joe, Four Other Brands

Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Becomes First-Ever 30 Times Multi-Platinum Album

Ambassador Theater Group Will Renovate the Hudson Theatre for Broadway

Quentin Tarantino Blasts Disney On Howard Stern Show As ‘Force Awakens’ Pushes ‘The Hateful Eight’ Out Of Cinerama Dome

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’ 70mm Roadshow: Full Theater List

Fox Orders Live Religious Musical Event ‘The Passion’ Hosted by Tyler Perry

N.W.A, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick Chosen for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

N.W.A, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple & Steve Miller Are 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

Music Publisher Gets $25 Million Jury Verdict Against Cox in Trailblazing Piracy Case

Streaming Royalties Rise, but Not as High as Music Industry Wanted

Pandora Will Need to Pay More for Its Songs, but It Could Have Been Worse

Adele’s Third Week at No. 1 Is Accompanied by Another Chart Record

Adele’s ’25’ Concert Tickets Sell Out, Devastating Fans

Fans React to Adele Ticket Sale Difficulties On Twitter

New York Looks Into ‘Speculative’ Ticket Resellers

Adele Moves to Stop Scalpers From Reselling Concert Tickets

Noel Gallagher: ‘I Back Elton On Ticket Prices’

The Revenue From A Single Taylor Swift Concert

Scott Weiland Cause of Death: Accidental Overdose

Kurt Masur Dies at 88; Conductor Transformed New York Philharmonic