Showbiz Sandbox 208: Why Studios Are Reshuffling Their Executive Ranks

Movie moguls have always faced unreliable job security, though never more so than over the last two years. Beginning in early 2012 five of the six major Hollywood movie studios have fired their top executives and reshuffled existing management. We discuss what’s causing the studio shakeup and it it will affect the movies we see in years to come.

Soon enough unemployed studio big shots may be able to find work in South Korea’s film industry. With a wave of fresh homegrown talent and exciting new stories finding their way into theaters, the country’s box office has skyrocketed making it one of the world’s strongest movie markets.

When it comes to box office on Broadway, it’s become a tradition for productions to boast when they’ve broken even. This also means we can do some quick math to conclude how much it costs to keep a show up and running on a weekly basis, a figure that many productions don’t always like to share.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including David Letterman’s new late night contract, New York City Opera files for bankruptcy and a jury decides a concert promoter is not liable for the death of Michael Jackson.

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Showbiz Sandbox 205: Awards Season Commences With Stellar Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals

Four of the last five films to win Best Picture Oscars first appeared at the Telluride Film Festival before officially premiering the following week at the Toronto International Film Festival. Anne Thompson from Indiewire attended both festivals this year and fills us in on the big movies everyone will be talking about during the upcoming awards season.

This past week also saw the death of Ray Dolby, the audio pioneer who founded Dolby Laboratories to advance the art of motion picture sound. We debate whether the film industry is now discouraging future inventors from working in the space.

Meanwhile, revenue from digital movies and television shows continues to climb, up 24% this year alone. Unlike theatrical box office though, studios have remained tight lipped when it comes to providing actual sales figures, fearing actors and filmmakers will want a bigger cut.

Of course, we cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including the big winners at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, a racy Miley Cyrus video that racked up YouTube records and J.K. Rowling spins-off Harry Potter.

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Showbiz Sandbox 23: Letterman and Polanski Go To The Dogs

We had a bunch of dogs as our guests this week, also known as Famous Men Doing Bad Things.

First we take a look a the North American box office. “Zombieland” won the top spot this week, beating out “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Toy Story/Toy Story 2,” “The Invention of Lying” (which could perhaps be the title of this podcast) and “Surrogates” rounding out the top five.

Now, on to our dogs. David Letterman played the victim when revealing an extortion attempt against him. Allegedly a producer from the television news show “48 Hours” attempted to blackmail him with proof that Letterman had carried on several affairs with female staffers over the years. Karen Woodward and Michael Giltz debate whether Letterman is guilty of sexual harassment or was just being stupid.

Roman Polanski is our next dog. Should he serve more time in prison for committing statutory rape in 1977? For fleeing the country? Or does he get a free pass because he’s a talented filmmaker?  Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 23: Letterman and Polanski Go To The Dogs

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