Showbiz Sandbox 353: Streaming Giants Raise Ante at Sundance Film Festival

January 30, 2017


As if it wasn’t difficult enough for distributors to find a commercial title amidst the hundreds of films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival each January, video streaming companies such as Netflix and Amazon have entered the bidding causing acquisitions prices to rise for the entire market. Anne Thompson, Indiewire’s editor-at-large, has just returned from Sundance where she reports most of the films were good, though maybe not good enough to win any Oscars in 2018.

As for this year’s Oscars, the frontrunners became a little more clear with the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild handing out their awards over the weekend. “Hidden Figures” surprised many by taking home the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture during a politically charged ceremony.

Speaking of industry unions, the Directors Guild of America has signed a new contract with producers that gives its members significant raises in subscription video-on-demand residuals. This is welcome news for directors who missed out on sharing in DVD and Blu-ray revenue over the past decade.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including the launch of a brand new vinyl record factory, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new venture and streaming music company Tidal finds a new investor.


Buyer or Seller, Selling a Movie At Sundance 2017 Is More Complicated Than Ever

2017’s Sundance Sales Are In Overdrive: Here’s Why, Plus See Our Full Deal Scorecard

The Big Gamble on ‘The Big Sick’: Why Amazon Spent $12 Millon Dollars on Kumail Nanjiani’s Passion Project

comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of January 29, 2017

‘Journey to the West’ Sequel Dominates Foreign Box Office With $85 Million

Directors Guild of America Members Ratify New Contract

Sony Warns of $962 Million Goodwill Loss, Says Studio Is Not for Sale

PGA Awards: The Complete Winners List

SAG Awards Winners: Complete List

Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi Won’t Attend Oscar Ceremony

BookFilter Newsletter

The Evenings by Gerard Reve, Sam Garrett

Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer

Scores by Michael D. Blutrich

Jack White Starting His Own Vinyl Pressing Plant

Sprint Purchases 33 Percent Stake in Tidal

Craig Ferguson to Launch Live Daily ‘Format-Free’ Show for SiriusXM

BBC Four Acquires First Spanish Drama

‘New York Times’ Cuts a Range of Bestseller Lists

Publishers Respond to Losing Some ‘New York Times’ Bestseller Lists

Jeffrey Katzenberg Raises $600 Million for New Venture, WndrCo

NBC Could Shake Up ‘Today’ to Launch Megyn Kelly in Fall

NBC Cancels the Third Hour of ‘Today’ to Make Way for Megyn Kelly

Amazon Video Direct: Here’s What the Deal Really Means for Sundance Filmmakers

Peter Capaldi Departing ‘Doctor Who’

Emmanuelle Riva, Oscar-Nominated Star of ‘Amour,’ Dies at 89

John Hurt, Oscar-Nominated Star of ‘The Elephant Man,’ Dies at 77

Mary Tyler Moore, Who Incarnated the Modern Woman on TV, Dies at 80


  • mgiltz

    Whether it’s music or tv or movies, all the focus is on streaming. In music, it’s subscription services that give you access to a huge library. In TV, it’s the online competitors going toe to toe w HBO and the networks. With movies, even at Sundance the big players are streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. They’re spending the big bucks. Clearly Netflix is a great platform for documentaries. But if you want people to know your movie exists, Amazon will get you into theaters. Will that change with “Mudbound,” the biggest purchase at Sundance? It will have to if Netflix wants a chance at the best movies….