Showbiz Sandbox 243: United They Stand – SAG-AFTRA Forges Ground-Breaking Contract

July 7, 2014

Two years after merging their unions, and with their current contracts set to expire within hours, SAG-AFTRA reached an agreement with studios and producers for a new three-year contract. Jonathan Handel, an entertainment attorney and contributing editor at the Hollywood Reporter, discusses the proposed deal and what improvements actors managed to secure.

Music sales, on the other hand, aren’t improving at all. Nielsen reports that album and digital download sales for the first half of 2014 are down significantly. Could the increase in on demand music streaming be the cause?

Movies aren’t faring much better so far this year, at least not in North America and Germany where box office is down 12% and 8% respectively. Is something amiss with this summer’s blockbuster releases, or is setting new earnings records every year simply unrealistic?

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including how the characters from “Frozen” are crossing over to television, why cable set-top boxes gobble up so much energy and The Who plan on saying a long, slow goodbye during yet another one of their farewell tours.

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Showbiz Sandbox 100: In Showbiz, As In Life, Size Matters

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).

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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 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.

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