April 25, 2011
It’s hard to believe we’ve recorded 100 episodes of Showbiz Sandbox. It’s also hard to believe that a 3D porno (okay, an erotic comedy) could ever smash a box office record set by “Avatar”. But that’s exactly what happened in Hong Kong, where “Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy” opened to USD $2.19 million. The producers wanted to screen the film in Imax, but were refused, disappointing Karen Woodward, our guest and former co-host, who says that despite all the rumors, size does matter.
If bigger really is better, then Netflix has nothing to worry about. They are set to become the largest subscription entertainment business in the United States with over 23 million customers, beating out satellite radio and cable television. The same can’t be said about any of the music streaming services that Apple, Google and others are working on. Apparently, negotiating a licensing deal with record labels can be quite difficult. Go figure!
The Coachella Music Festival also took the size issue to heart, adding more space for attendees to enjoy the more than 100 bands which performed this year. J. Sperling Reich was there and tells us which artists are worth checking out (Lauryn Hill), and which shouldn’t quit their day jobs (Odd Future).
March 14, 2011
In their never ending quest to replace declining DVD revenue movie studios have begun renting movies on Facebook. Such partnerships are focused on more than just sales, or finding a Netflix competitor, they are also about marketing. As Facebook users rent and purchase movies they’ll be transformed into a social marketing army.
Mel Gibson made headlines again last week accepting a plea deal in his spousal battery case. Whether moviegoers will forgive Gibson for recent ethnic slurs and racist comments will be tested when his next film, “The Beaver”, premieres at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, Carlie Sheen, in between streaming his wacky behavior on the Internet, was also headed to court to file a $100 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. and sitcom producer Chuck Lorre.
Julie Taymor joined Sheen on the unemployment line. After spending nine years bringing the Broadway musical “Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark”, Taymor was replaced as the director of the expensive, beleaguered musical.
May 3, 2010
Things could have gone better this past week for the hosts of Showbiz Sandbox. J. Sperling Reich couldn’t connect to the Internet, Michael Giltz was almost washed away by a flood in Nashville, Tennessee and Karen Woodward showed up at her 20-year high school reunion only to find out that her high school crush was happily married. Thankfully there was plenty of entertainment news to discuss.
The remake of “A Nightmare On Elm Street” topped the box office, scooping up $32.2 million in North America, more than the first, second, fifth and seventh installments of the original franchise. “How To Train Your Dragon” continues to perform strongly and came in second. Oversees “Iron Man 2” opened to just over $100 million in 53 territories. The only question now is how much money will it make in North America, and will poor advance reviews affect the gross. (Don’t bet on it).
Lots of big names broke their silence this week. Director Roman Polansky blogged about being arrested in Switzerland. NBC programming chief Jeff Gaspin, told the New York Times Conan O’Brien was no longer a problem or a threat to his late-night lineup since he’s moving to cable. O’Brien gave his first televised interview since departing “The Tonight Show” to “60 Minutes”. Actress Sandra Bullock gave an exclusive to People magazine about her personal life and the adoption of her son. Read more
May 25, 2009
The week leading up to Memorial Day was chock full of juicy entertainment news.
The Cannes Film Festival wrapped up in France awarding Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke it’s top prize, the Palme d’Or. Karen Woodward and J. Sperling Reich recap all the festival winners. In North America the Ben Stiller starrer “Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” opened with $70 million against “Terminator: Salvation”. McG’s attempt to reboot the “Terminator” franchise came in second at the box office with $53.8 million. “Star Trek” continued to rake in the dough with an additional $29.4 million and a cumulative $191 million in North America.
Television ratings were also bolstered by the star studded finale of the Fox network’s musical reality show “American Idol”. Kris Allen beat out Adam Lambert during a telecast that an estimated 28.84 million Americans tuned into. That ties the record for least-watched finale in recent “American Idol” memory, though nmore than 100 million votes were cast, a new record for the show. While Karen believes the results were a travesty of justice, Lambert may not be walking away empty handed after all; Billboard reports the rock group Queen may be interested in the young singer to front the band. Musical pop star Pink wasn’t happy with “American Idol” either, though more because she says they butchered one of her songs.