Showbiz Sandbox 339: The Slow Death of a Sundance Hit

October 10, 2016


With its racially charged themes striking a timely chord, “The Birth of a Nation” garnered acclaim and a $17.5 million distribution deal at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. However after it became known that its director and star was once accused (though acquitted) of rape, a question was raised over whether art can be separated from its creator. Many will argue that the answer lies in the movie’s poor critical reception and tepid box office.

What was touted as a contender for multiple Oscar nominations this year, “The Birth of a Nation” may ultimately break even in theatres before going on to earn most of its money in ancillary markets. If it were up to Reed Hastings though, the film would have been released on VOD and in cinemas at the same time. The Netflix CEO claims theater owners are strangling the movie industry with their insistence on release windows.

Meanwhile, there are calls by some in Congress for the Justice Department to review the growing number of business acquisitions being made by Wanda, a Chinese conglomerate. Having purchased multiple movie theater chains and at least one Hollywood production company, some legislators believe the U.S. is allowing Chinese state-controlled companies to gain too much soft power

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including why executives are disappearing from BBC’s Radio 1, how Disney cast a sequel to “Mary Poppins” without a script and what the future may hold for celebrity newscaster Billy Bush.


comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of October 9, 2016

Box-Office Milestone: ‘Finding Dory’ Crosses $1B Worldwide

Nate Parker’s Failed Media Tour: Anger, No Remorse and Oprah’s Advice Ignored

Classic Sundance Hype Conflated with Cultural Importance

Justice Dept. Is Asked to Review Chinese Company’s Hollywood Purchases

Four Futures – Book Filter Entry

Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ Bosses Bestseller List

Billy Bush Will Not Be on Monday’s ‘Today’ Show After All

How NBC Finished Second on the Trump Video Story

‘Hamilton’ Sets Another Record with $998 Tickets

Bowker Now Cites at Least 625,327 US Indie Books Published in 2015

Is BBC Radio 1 On the Brink of Crisis?

France Now Counts Streaming Towards Certified ‘Sales” Awards

Spotify, Apple Music Add A SoundCloud Favorite: Unofficial Mixes

Anderson Cooper Signs New Deal With CNN, Takes Himself Out of Running to Join Kelly Ripa

Emily Mortimer Joins Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

Disney’s Live-Action ‘Mulan’ Gets Winter 2018 Release Date

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners Inks Strategic Pact With Alibaba Pictures

Smokin’! Amoeba Gets License To Sell Weed Alongside Music

Rolling Stones Announce First New Studio Album in Over a Decade

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Blasts Theater Owners as ‘Strangling’ Movie Business

Andrzej Wajda, Towering Auteur of Polish Cinema, Dies at 90


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