Showbiz Sandbox 177: The Bloomin’ Onion Effect: Why Audiences Are Happy Movies Have Gotten Longer

January 14, 2013

In an age where audiences have grown used to the brevity of YouTube clips and 140 character updates, Hollywood is instead serving up super sized movies. Six of the top ten movies from 2012 were over two hours, including comic book movies like “The Avengers”. Even comedies such as “This Is 40” crossed the 120 minute mark and don’t even get us started on “The Hobbit”.

Rebecca Keegan of the Los Angeles Times explains the increase in movie running times has a lot to do with the creative control marquee directors have over their films as well as digital tools that allow them to shoot more footage. Surprisingly, Keegan found that most moviegoers appreciate longer running times since it makes them feel they are getting a more value for the price of admission.

Also from the Los Angeles Times is Glenn Whipp, who joins us to discuss some of the surprise Academy Award nominations announced last week and whether the Golden Globes might affect who wins Oscars this year.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including a resolution in Superman’s court case, the return of daytime soap operas and whether the film adaption of “Fifty Shades of Grey” will be rated NC-17.

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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

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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

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Showbiz Sandbox Special Episode: And The Oscar Nominations Go To….

February 3, 2010

Early Tuesday morning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences handed out their nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards. This is the first year since 1943 (when Casablanca won) that the Academy is expanding the list of Best Picture nominees to 10, up from the traditional five. The Academy’s original goal in increasing the field of nominees was that more popular films would be nominated, rather than a handful of independent films few are familiar with. It’s safe to say, they got their wish.

Not only were predictable entries nominated, such as “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker”, but so were a few surprises that included crowd favorites such as “The Blind Side” and “District 9”. Even Pixar’s “Up” was nominated, making it the second film to ever be nominated for an Oscar. Of course, this year even if the list of Best Picture nominees hadn’t expanded, “Avatar”, the biggest box office winner of all time, was a lock for one of the slots. Read more

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Showbiz Sandbox 40: Taylor Ain’t Swift At The Grammys

February 1, 2010

The highlights of this week’s entertainment news were the Grammys and Sundance. First though, there was “Avatar”, “Avatar”, and more “Avatar”. The 3D wunderkind was number one at the box office again and has sold roughly 56 million tickets in North America so far. “Titanic” sold roughly 128 million admissions in North America, so if “Avatar” did that, it would gross about $1.2 billion in the U.S alone.

But there is more going on in the entertainment world besides “Avatar”. The music world gathered for the Grammys on Sunday, January 31. Geoff Boucher from the Los Angeles Times and David Wild, one of the writers on the Grammy telecast, join us to discuss the hits (Pink’s performance), the misses (Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks) and what was going on backstage (Alice Cooper hangs with Smokey Robinson).

The Grammys weren’t the only prizes handed out over the weekend. Sundance announced its festival winners and Alison Willmore, a senior editor at IFC.com, stops by to talk about her favorite festival films and a few she recommends skipping. Read more

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Showbiz Sandbox 38: Gender Matters In Hollywood

January 18, 2010

The New Year may have started off slow, but 2010 is heating up! “Avatar” is on track to top “Titanic” as the highest grossing film of all time, The Golden Globes were handed out on Sunday and of course the late night talk show war has really taken some interesting turns.

Dylan Stableford who writes The Wrap’s Media Alley column joins us to talk about his post, “The Vilification of Leno: Loud, Nasty and Fleeting.” Will audiences warm up to Jay Leno again? Who was the bad guy in all this fracas? Leno, Conan O’Brien, or NBC?

In movie news, director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire dropped out of “Spider-Man 4” and Sony now says it plans to reboot the franchise with a younger actor.

Finally, though she didn’t win a Golden Globe, director Kathryn Bigelow is earning critical praise for her film “The Hurt Locker.” Academy Award nominations have yet to be announced, but she appears to have a lock on one, and may be the first woman to win the best director Oscar in the history of the awards show. Women in Hollywood and the film industry is a topic we discuss frequently here on Showbiz Sandbox thanks in part to Karen Woodward. Joining us to discuss the issue today is Matthew Hammett Knott Read more

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Showbiz Sandbox 36: Can “Avatar” Beat “Titanic”? Heck No!

January 7, 2010

“Avatar” continues its takeover of the box office, while “The Hurt Locker” appears to be taking over the awards season. James Cameron’s 3D labor of love entered the list of top 10 grossing films of all time and may be poised to become the highest grossing movie ever, a title now held by another Cameron film, “Titanic”. “Avatar” is now one of only five films to ever earn over a billion dollars world-wide.

Now the prognostication begins about whether “Avatar” (and Cameron) will be nominated for an Academy Award? His ex-wife’s movie “The Hurt Locker” certainly seems to be headed that way. Director Kathryn Bigelow is earning raves for the film and she is being being heavily favored to be the first female to win a Best Director Oscar. Between Bigelow and Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated”), female directors, or at least the discussion of their recent success, is the topic du jour in Hollywood.

Another favorite topic at the beginning a year is reflection and prediction. What were the top reviewed movies of the decade? Did you see any of them? Read more

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