Showbiz Sandbox 336: Telluride and Toronto Reaffirm the Importance of Film Festivals

September 20, 2016

With an ever increasing number of high profile movies competing for awards at the end of each year, film festivals such as those in Telluride and Toronto have never been more important in helping promote a release. Anne Thompson, Indiewire’s editor-at-large, has just returned from both festivals and gives us a complete rundown of all the films creating the most buzz.

And just as the number of movies worth seeing has grown, so too has the number of television shows. There’s so much good TV these days that in fact, the Emmys are more and more like the Academy Awards, where viewers haven’t even seen most of the Best Picture nominees. Maybe that’s why the Emmys keep honoring the same old shows year-after-year.

Meanwhile, the number of books on offer has grown at least 21% recently thanks to self-publishing. That includes both e-books and print. The crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has been responsible for thousands of titles, enough to make them the unofficial fifth largest publisher in North America.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including why Argentina is sending school-aged children to the movies, how the Rio Olympics proved profitable for NBC after all and the Lady Gaga is booked for the Super Bowl half time show.

Read more

Play

Showbiz Sandbox 246: The Emmys Have A Hopeless Scheduling Problem

August 26, 2014

It’s bad enough that the Emmy Awards honor the exact same talent and television shows every year. Now, the Emmys are really growing stale by handing out prizes to shows that finished airing before last year’s ceremony. Unfortunately, as television migrates to year round programming, there is no good time to schedule the Emmys which would make them feel more timely or relevant.

The industry-at-large was likely glad to see at least one aspect of the Emmys go unchanged as shows from broadcast and cable networks continue to win the most awards over shows from streaming services such as Netflix, which went home empty handed. There also, thankfully, seems to be a voter backlash against shows positioning themselves in odd categories.

Meanwhile, August has proven to be the cruelest month for show business with the untimely death of actor Robin Williams and the passing of Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall, among others.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Amazon public relations battle with Hachette over e-book pricing, Jimmy Fallon comes out on top in the late night television war, and Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat may see new life on the big screen.

Read more

Play

Showbiz Sandbox 53: I’m Sleeping With Richard Dreyfuss

May 11, 2010

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 Slate.com 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.

Read more

Play