Showbiz Sandbox 181: Why The Grammys Telecast Matters More Than Ever

While winning a Grammy Award can boost a musician’s record sales temporarily, a knockout performance during the widely viewed ceremony can launch a career. Simply ask Mumford & Sons who stole the show during the 2011 telecast and on Sunday took home the 2013 Grammy for Album of the Year. Will the Lumineers, who performed at this year’s ceremony, follow in their footsteps?

David Wild, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine, helped write the Grammy telecast as he has for the past 12 years. He joins us to discuss how the show was put together, working with host LL Cool J and some of the elements that came off without a hitch (projecting images onto Carrie Underwood’s dress comes to mind). Wild even reveals John Mayer’s secret life as a joke writer.

Meanwhile, digital downloads are already outpacing physical sales in music and will surely do so with books and movies in the not too distant future. But what happens when you want to sell off all those media downloads in the now non-existent digital secondhand market? Amazon is trying to patent technology that will make such sales possible.

Of course we cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including how “The Walking Dead” continues to increase viewership, an end to Don Johnson’s lawsuit over “Nash Bridges” and why some concerts may be sold out before tickets ever go on sale.

Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 181: Why The Grammys Telecast Matters More Than Ever

Play

Showbiz Sandbox 62: The Secret Behind Hollywood’s Accounting Practices

How is it the last Harry Potter film can gross $938 million but still lose $130 million? Journalist and author Edward Jay Epstein joins us to unravel some of Hollywood’s quirky accounting practices. He’s written two books on the subject; The Hollywood Economist: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies and The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood.

“Despicable Me” topped the box office though the amount it took in from 3D screens was rather low. Could audiences be tiring of paying exorbitant 3D ticket prices? Meanwhile, Miramax finally seems to have found a buyer and Lions Gate is trying to make piece with activist investor Carl Icahn.

The Emmy nominations were announced last week and we’ll fill you in on whose up for the television’s big awards. Over in the world of music Pollstar announced that concert ticket sales are down 15% for the first half of the year.

During our Big Deal or Big Whoop segment we race through a number of top entertainment headlines, including Roman Polanski’s release, Lindsay Lohan’s jail time and Mel Gibson getting dumped by his agency. Maybe Gibson can find some work on YouTube, which plans to offer $5 million in grants to select content partners.

Play

Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 62: The Secret Behind Hollywood’s Accounting Practices

Showbiz Sandbox 2: Disney Hearts Hulu, Endeavor Hearts William Morris

Disney Hulu“Wolverine” opens big with $87 million in North American box office, Disney joins online video site Hulu.com, meanwhile Sony streams movies on Crackle.com.  An advance look at NBC’s uprfront announcement about which of their television shows are being picked up and which are dumped.  Scrubs may be back on ABC next season after all.  Hasbro and Discovery are putting together a cable network. Obama’s ratings drop and McCain hosts a movie marathon.  Oliver Stone will make “Wall Street 2” with Shia LeBeouf, Chris Noth signs on to “Sex and the City 2”, Universal remakes “Drop Dead Fred” and Don Johnson will play a porn director.  Theatre chain National Amusements is up for sale and studios stop paying for 3D glasses.  Finally, it’s official – talent agencies Endeavor and William Morris will be merging.

“Wolverine” A Hero At The Box Office
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i06056b3e434534846b7ff5e99f2211b9

Disney’s Anne Sweeney Talks Hulu: It’s All About Casual Viewers
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/01/AR2009050100374.html

Disney’s Hulu Deal Raises Question About YouTube Model
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090430-726930.html

Denis Leary goes Hulu, mocks your ‘Tweety-pages’ and your ‘Faceyspaces’
http://watching-tv.ew.com/2009/05/denis-leary-goe.html

“TV Everywhere”: Pay your cable bill, watch Entorage online
http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2009/03/tv-everywhere-pay-your-cable-bill-watch-entourage-online.ars

Sony Offers Free Films On Crackle
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002988.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

NBC Gets Rolling Before Its Upfronts
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i06056b3e43453484c9327754ccee4248

NBC Exec Dies On “Parenthood” Set
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003057.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

Chuck Decision Delayed For A Week Or More
http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b121695_chuck_decision_delayed_week_more.html

Talks Continue For “Scrubs” Return
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002915.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

Hasbro and Discovery Plan Channel Based On Toy Brands
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/business/media/01hasbro.html?ref=business

Full Orchestra Puts “Lost” Audience On Edge
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002951.html?categoryid=16&cs=1

Obama Presser Audience Slides But Still Beats Idol
http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2009/05/01/ratings-slide-for-obama-s-presser-but-he-still-beats-idol.aspx

McCain To Host AMC Movie Marathon
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003028.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

Stone To Walk “Wall Street” Again
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002934.html?categoryId=13&cs=1

Mr. Big To Return In “Sex and the City 2”
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002957.html?categoryId=13&cs=1

Universal remaking “Drop Dead Fred”
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i6832227f5a72401e04337dda02eb1b4b

Don Johnson set to play porn director
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i6832227f5a72401efa73da45a9169527

Bruce Willis Is Living Hard
http://www.riskybusinessblog.com/2009/04/bruce-willis-is-living-hard.html

Relativity reaches deal with Lionsgate

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002881.html?categoryId=13&cs=1

Viacom Profit Veers Down
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003020.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

National Amusements Ups Ante On Auction
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3if87cf911cde7b6e932294cdc836335a5

Biz Balks At Cost Of 3D Glasses
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003092.html?categoryid=18&cs=1&ref=ssp

Battle Brews Over 3D Glasses In Europe
http://celluloidjunkie.com/2009/03/26/battle-brews-over-3d-glasses-in-europe/

WMA, Endeavor Approve Merger
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002879.html?categoryId=18&cs=1

As Willliam Morris and Endeavor Near a Merger, a New Book May Cause Discomfort
http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/as-william-morris-and-endeavor-prepare-to-merge-a-new-book-may-cause-discomfort/

Paradigm Makes a Move of Its Own
http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/with-all-eyes-on-endeavor-and-william-morris-paradigm-makes-some-moves-of-its-own/

Play