Showbiz Sandbox 103: Midnight In Cannes – This Year’s Fest Sparks Fireworks

Woody Allen’s film “Midnight In Paris” opened the 64th annual Cannes Film Festival last week, but it was Terrence Malick’s long awaited “Tree of Life” which everyone was eager to see.  The film divided audiences with some booing loudly and others proclaiming it a masterpiece.  We provide all the highlights from this year’s festival, including news about films and the scene along the Croisette.

Google decided not to wait around for record labels to offer them a decent license before launching their cloud music service.  After watching Amazon launch their own music service, Google realized they would never get an appropriate licensing deal from the labels so took matters into their own hands.

Meanwhile, major television networks began holding their upfronts where they inform advertisers, and the world, what shows will air during the fall television season.  We fill you in on who made the cut, who got cut, and why.  The announcement that Ashton Kutcher will replace Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men” was the biggest television news of the week.

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Showbiz Sandbox 98: Why New Distribution Models Terrify Hollywood

Movie studios, television networks and record labels still haven’t updated their business models to account for video and music streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. Now companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple plan on introducing a whole new group of media subscription services. With premium video-on-demand on the horizon it’s no surprise the entertainment industry is concerned about all these disruptive distribution methods.

One of the biggest players in the current content licensing wars has been Netflix. Showtime and Starz began pulling shows from the video rental giant, while Fox and Paramount offered up popular series and hit movies. Cable operators have also entered the fray by allowing viewers to watch live television on mobile device apps.

The creator of “Mad Men” was embroiled in his own fight with AMC and Lionsgate over the future of the series. In the end, Matthew Weiner was able to reach an agreement on a new contract, though new episodes won’t air until 2012.

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