Showbiz Sandbox 46: Hollywood’s Latest Meme Is 3D

March 22, 2010

A “Wimpy Kid” couldn’t beat “Alice In Wonderland” at the box office this weekend. The higher price for 3D tickets has turned “Alice” into Tim Burton’s most successful film. And Hollywood studios have definitely noticed how well audiences are responding to 3D. The new format is so hot that, much to the annoyance of James Cameron, they have gone back to convert some upcoming releases to 3D, such as “Clash of the Titans”.

With thirty three 3D films presently slated for release in 2010 this has managed to create a bottle neck at movie theaters where there is usually only enough room to show one 3D film at a time.  It’s gotten so competitive that Paramount has told theater owners that if they don’t play “How to Train Your Dragon” on their 3D enabled screen, they won’t send them a 2D print. But that means “Alice’s” engagement will be cut short. Beginning to see the problem?

While movie theaters don’t have enough 3D screens and too much content, the exact opposite is true in the home. Television manufacturers are selling 3D enabled televisions but there is nothing to watch. Have no fear though, Major League Baseball, NCAA basketball and the PGA Masters all have plans for 3D broadcasts.   Read more

Play

Showbiz Sandbox 45: Changing Faces At Variety

March 15, 2010

Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” took the top spot at the box office again this week, which might be why 3D is causing quite a stir at ShoWest this year in Las Vegas. J. Sperling Reich fills us in on what theatre owners are talking about at the annual convention.

This week Hollywood suffered another untimely death, this time it was actor Corey Haim at age 38.

In happier news (for some), Jay Leno seems to be doing quite well back in his old time slot. The late night funnyman went back to “The Tonight Show” and ratings soared. What does this mean for Conan O’Brien and his chances for launching a competing late night talk show?

In music news, Billboard published a list of the Top 40 Moneymakers of 2009. Its well worth checking out as you might be surprised who makes the list. (Although it’s no surprise that U2 tops the list.)

Finally, we are joined by indieWIRE’s Anne Thompson during our Inside Baseball segment to talk about why Variety, the industry’s top trade paper is laying off staff members, including Todd McCarthy, their top film critic. Is this a sign of impending doom for the daily?  Read more

Play

Showbiz Sandbox 44: And The (Six) Oscars Go To… “Hurt Locker”

March 8, 2010

The ballots have been counted, the envelopes have been opened and the nominees have undoubtedly returned their ball gowns and tuxes. Finally, after all the news coverage and public speculation about who would this year’s Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences put us out of our misery on Sunday during their annual awards ceremony. The proceedings lasted more than three hours as usual and provided very few surprises.

Katheryn Bigelow made history by being the first woman to win the Best Director Oscar for “The Hurt Locker”, which won six awards in total including Best Screenplay and Best Picture. Jim Cameron’s “Avatar” won three technical awards for art direction, cinematography and visual effects. One of the night’s biggest surprises was when Geoffrey Fletcher walked off with the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for “Precious”, upsetting Jason Reitman’s “Up In The Air”.

As we predicted on last week’s episode, Jeff Bridges won Best Actor for “Crazy Heart”, Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for “The Blind Side”, Mo’Nique won Best Supporting Actress for “Precious” and Christolph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for “Inglorious Basterds”. Damien Bona, co-author of the book Inside Oscar, stops by to help us analyze this year’s Oscar results. Read more

Play

Showbiz Sandbox 42: Tom Cruise Takes A Pay Cut, And Other Indignities

February 15, 2010

We only talk about “Avatar” for a couple of seconds in this week’s podcast, thank goodness. Instead, we focus on actors campaigning for their Oscars (and a few who aren’t). We also discuss what we call “the 3D movie brouhaha” which has made Jeffrey Katzenberg irate.

In TV news, co-hosts Karen Woodward and Michael Giltz are passionate about the Olympics and the absurdity of “Lost” (even recaps are confusing!) And, after 28 years, MTV is changing its logo to reflect that the channel is no longer just about “music television”. They may be about 10 years too late.

Co-host J. Sperling Reich jumps into one of his favorite topics – new media – and reminds us that this guy named Steve Jobs sits on the board of Disney and is one of the top shareholders. No wonder Disney CEO Robert Igor called the underwhelming iPad “a really compelling device” that could be a game changer. We’ll hold off our thoughts on the new Apple product until we see if it really will change the way entertainment is distributed.  Read more

Play

Showbiz Sandbox 13: Hooliganism At Comic-Con (Or Lack Thereof)

July 28, 2009

We had a plethora of panelists this week, all of whom were in San Diego over the weekend to experience Comic-Con first hand. KPBS’ Cinema Junkie blogger Beth Accomando covered the event for National Public Radio, Todd Gilchrist was there for Cinematical, SciFi Wire‘s news editor Patrick Lee made the trip, as did Phillip Nakov from MovieSet.com and Harry Medved, who helped out with Fandango’s coverage of the event as their director of public relations.  Also joining in on this week’s fun is New York Daily News writer and Huffington Post blogger, Michael Giltz.

If you weren’t one of the 126,000 people attending Comic-Con, this episode will fill you in on what you missed.  There was whole day devoted to 3D movies, which apparently isn’t just a gimmick anymore.  The big hits of Comic-Con were “District 9”, “Avatar”, “Kick Ass” and “Iron Man 2” and the biggest miss was Roland Emerich’s next movie “2012” which is either so bad it’s good, or so bad it’s just plain bad.  Irrelevant whether it wowed people at the convention or not was “Twilight: New Moon”, because fans just wanted to see Robert Pattinson .  Hundreds of young girls, their moms and a bunch of sensitive men camped out overnight to get into a jam packed “Twilight” panel. The festival was “the redemption of “New Moon” director Chris Weitz, who was clearly adored by his cast. It was definitely the panel with the most security.

This year marked the first appearance by Tim Burton (as a presenter), Peter Jackson and Terry Gilliam. Johnny Depp stopped by to say two words (literally) in promotion of Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.”  Read more

Play