Showbiz Sandbox 55: I Want My Google TV

It’s official. Google is getting into the television business with help from Sony and Logitech. Will making television searchable cause viewership to rise? On the other hand, movies have apparently found a way to shrink their audience – raise movie ticket prices. While “Shrek Forever After” may have topped the North American box office, it’s $71 million debut was seen as a bit of a disappointment. Industry pundits are pointing to the rising cost of 3D movie tickets as part of the cause.

And if you think movie tickets are getting too expensive just wait until cable companies start offering “home theater on demand”. Movie studios are being pitched by cable operators on distributing their movies via video-on-demand just 30 days after they are released in theaters. However, the $20 to $30 price tag may turn potential customers away.

We wrap up our coverage of the Cannes Film Festival, where an obscure “auteur” film from Thailand took the top prize. Michael Giltz and J. Sperling Reich tell us about all the films they liked (and hated) at this year’s festival.

The series finale of “Lost” aired over the weekend, though it received mixed reviews and mediocre ratings. Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 55: I Want My Google TV


Showbiz Sandbox 53: I’m Sleeping With Richard Dreyfuss

The Cannes Film Festival kicks off in France this week and our very own Michael Giltz and J. Sperling Reich are on the Croisette to cover all the news. When they’re not sharing a bed they’ll be seeing all the big movies and speaking with all the filmmakers.

Back in North America “Iron Man 2” opened to huge numbers, earning $128 million over the weekend, giving it the fifth biggest opening of all time. Meanwhile, the Washington Post is struggling with it’s own numbers. The media company has decided to put Newsweek magazine up for sale as its profit has declined 30%. On the other hand, their online property has seen ad revenue increase 30%.

Another group looking to make money online are music publishers. They’re going after websites that publish music lyrics without permission. Even though song lyrics are copyrighted, how much money could there possibly be in such sites?

On television, 88-year-old actress Betty White continued her improbable comeback by scoring huge ratings when she hosted last week’s “Saturday Night Live”. Another actress making a comeback is Lindsay Lohan who was just cast in a porn film. . . sort of. She’ll be playing Linda Lovelace in a biopic about the porn star.

Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 53: I’m Sleeping With Richard Dreyfuss


Showbiz Sandbox 51: Ridley Scott Believes 3D Is An “Alien” Concept

Hollywood just won’t stop talking about 3D movies, so unfortunately we can’t either. It’s hard to argue against 3D when films like “How To Train Your Dragon” keep coming in first at the box office, even after five weeks in theaters. With the announcement that “The Green Hornet” and “The Last Airbender” will be converted to 3D the debate has turned to whether it’s better to shoot natively in 3D, or add it in post-production.

Filmmaker Ridley Scott won’t have to find out when he makes not one, but two prequels to his blockbuster “Alien” since he’ll be shooting them in 3D. Disney’s head honcho, Rich Ross, also announced a couple of upcoming releases when he finally met the press last week. We’ll be getting a sequel to “Monsters, Inc.” and a “Winnie the Pooh” movie, along with a few other family friendly flicks.

If 3D films don’t excite you, then the upcoming television season may not either. We review a number of pilots that are in the works, most of which seem derivative. In fact, some of them, like “Rockford Files” and “Hawaii 5-0” are simply rehashes of previous hit shows.  Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 51: Ridley Scott Believes 3D Is An “Alien” Concept