Showbiz Sandbox 305: Should “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Box Office Records Require An Asterisk?

December 21, 2015

The release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” shattered box office records the world over and became the biggest movie opening of all time by earning $529 million. We explain why in countries such as Japan and South Korea, the latest “Star Wars” not only didn’t win the weekend, but in some cases earned less than earlier installments of the franchise. We also look at the breakdown of which formats audiences favored when buying tickets.

George Lucas’ original “Star Wars” movie was released in 1977 and was added to the National Film Registry in 1989. We weigh in on the annual list of films added to the registry by the Library of Congress, charged with selecting new entrants. It always makes for a fascinating mix; we’ll discuss what made this year’s cut there and why. Hint: It’s not always artistry that counts… and no we’re not looking at you “Top Gun.”

In music news, it turns out online radio services such as Pandora will soon be paying more to license songs. Meanwhile, Adele is trying to prevent her fans from having to pay more to purchase tickets to see her in concert. We’ll tell you about the growing backlash against the secondary market for concert tickets and what some artists are doing about it.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including how “Star Wars” bumped Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie out of a historic movie theater, Howard Stern signs a new deal with SiriusXM and the list of this year’s inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Read more


Showbiz Sandbox 18: It’s All Fun And Games Until Celebrities Start Dyin’

September 3, 2009

Landing at the top of the North American box office this weekend was “The Final Destination” with “Halloween 2,” directed by Rob Zombie, coming in third. Zombie may not be part of that Old White Male club of directors that the New York Times highlighted this week, but apparently he can make a successful film. After reviving the “Halloween” franchise, Rob Zombie will continue to advance the horror porn genre with a remake of the 1958 classic, “The Blob.”

The biggest story of the week was Disney’s purchase of Marvel Comics. What will this mean for “Iron Man”, “Spider-Man”, the “X-Men”, and “Fantastic Four”? Maybe we’ll find out when Disney continues its takeover of the world with their own version of Comic-Con; the D23 Expo in Anaheim. The four day event will celebrate — and sell — all things Disney with celebrity appearances and slick sneak previews of upcoming films, television shows and theme park attractions.

Speaking of theme park attractions, Michael Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide. (Okay it only feels like it’s becoming a theme park attraction.) Read more