Showbiz Sandbox 321: New Power Players Emerge In Cannes

May 16, 2016


The Cannes Film Festival has become one of the most important annual cinema events because it programs a diverse array of movies from all over the world. We’ll head to the French Riviera for this year’s festival to tell you which of the hundreds of films are generating buzz and argue over the elements necessary for the successful exportation of European films.

Meanwhile the Marché du Film, or Cannes Film Market, takes place alongside the festival each year. New industry players such as Amazon Studios and other streaming companies have made some bold moves during Cannes, stealing the thunder from veteran power brokers.

Speaking of streaming companies, Amazon is opening its video platform to users, allowing them to upload content and make money off ads, just like they do on YouTube. And YouTube is dreaming of selling its many customers a skinny bundle of TV channels.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the Ukrainian winner of the Eurovision song contest, Sean Penn gets an apology from Tyler Perry and Disney sets a historic box office milestone.


Captain America: Civil War a Money Monster

Woody Allen and Jesse Eisenberg Weigh The Pros and Cons of Fame at the Cannes Film Festival

Woody Allen Goes Digital With Vittorio Storaro In Cannes

George Clooney Unleashes His Political “Monster” In Cannes

Spielberg Visits Cannes With A Big Friendly Giant

US Millennials Stream More Than Half of Their TV

Religious Right Is Losing Its Mind About ‘Frozen’s’ Elsa Possibly Being Gay

UK Video Streaming, Download Spend Set to Surpass DVD Sales

Prince’s Addiction and an Intervention Too Late

Soaring Digital Reaches Three-Quarters of World’s TV Households

ABA Sees Membership Grow for 7th Straight Year

BBC White Paper: Government Unfreezes License Fee and Scraps BBC Trust

Sean Penn Wins Apology from Lee Daniels in Defamation Settlement

Judge Allows CAA to Pursue Punitive Damages Against UTA Defectors

Jamala, Ukrainian Singer, Named Winner of 2016 Eurovision Contest

Amazon Takes on YouTube With Launch of Amazon Video Direct

YouTube Said to Plan ‘Unplugged’ Online TV Service for 2017


  • Andrew

    I dearly wish Michael Giltz would never use the word ‘stupid’ again. Ever. It’s so unpleasant to listen to when he calls other people stupid. Why would you do that?

  • shortandfunky

    I stopped listening to today’s podcast halfway through because I’d had enough of MIchaels constant interruptions whilst Sperling was reading the report on European worldwide blockbusters of lack thereof.Sometimes it’s part of the charm of the show but today it was plain rude and dare I say it “stupid”.

  • mgiltz

    Thanks for the feedback. I thought me being obnoxious and Sperling the voice of reason was our “thing.” 🙂
    I was intending to comment on the report itself on the formula for successful European films, not the person who delivered the report (or Sperling). I knew I’d gone on too long and annoyingly and asked Sperling to cut it down but being in Cannes he didn’t have time to make me appear less obnoxious than I really am. Just be glad you didn’t have to listen to it entirely unedited.

    My point remains: China, Korea and India have vibrant, strong film markets and they don’t have them by imitating Hollywood and making films in English. I don’t believe European countries would benefit from the mindset of the report since they can’t compete with $150 mil budgets and movies that cost $15 mil (which is a big budget in context) are an entirely different beast and benefit even less from blockbuster mindset. But I stated that in a stupid manner, clearly.

  • Like Michael stated, we always appreciate hearing from our listeners.

    As is typical of a North American journalist in Cannes due to the long hours and jet lag, I was quite exhausted when recording this week’s episode. I realized even when we were recording that I probably could have been doing a better job of explaining the presentation that was given on European cinema, specifically so that it was understood that (1) the report being given was simply an overview of the actual figures from the previous five years and (2) that it was solely speaking of exporting films both between European territories and to other continents.

    Actually, it would be a good idea to get Martin Kanzler from the European Observatory, who presented the report, to be a guest on a future episode of Showbiz Sandbox. He could walk us all though the details in a much better fashion than I did.

    I actually ran into Martin later during the festival and asked him how a “big budget” film was defined when not speaking of Hollywood blockbusters. As I suspected there are very few films made for over $30 million in Europe without the name Luc Besson being involved. Films that “traveled” well were all over $10 million. The majority of films produced in Europe however do not have budgets over $10 million.

    In regards to Michael and I arguing, well… we tend to do that a lot. Given the amount of feedback and response this episode has generated, one can see why certain media outlets, like every major cable news network, feature bickering guests and hosts. Apparently it generates audience reaction. In the same way that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, I wonder if the same goes for audience reaction; meaning there’s no such thing as negative audience reaction, so long as the audience is reacting. I’m not entirely sure such a theory could stand the test of time.

    As he reads this I can already here Michael thinking, “Good grief! We can’t even make our comments short, how will we ever get our episodes under an hour?”

  • Both Michael and I responded to Andrew’s comments, which were quite similar to your own. Just wanted to reply to yours in case you weren’t alerted or hadn’t noticed.