Showbiz Sandbox 44: And The (Six) Oscars Go To… “Hurt Locker”

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. Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 44: And The (Six) Oscars Go To… “Hurt Locker”

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Showbiz Sandbox 28: Why Spider-Man Is Hard Up For $52 Million

We don’t always talk about theater on the podcast, but Los Angeles Times staff writer John Horn wrote a story too good to resist. The Broadway debut of “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” has found its greatest enemy is the budget. Horn joins us to talk about the story behind one of the most troubled productions in Broadway history and how he got the scoop (not to mention the musical’s script, soundtrack and a video promo reel).

But first, Michael Giltz eats another serving of crow this week, as the Michael Jackson rehearsal documentary “This Is It” held up respectably and indie-darling “Precious” grossed a stunning $1,800,000 on just 18 theaters over the weekend. “Precious” will no doubt be nominated for a few Oscars come awards season. Speaking of the Academy Awards, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are teaming up to host next year’s Oscar telecast. Karen Woodward though the decision to go with Martin and Baldwin was dated and hopes they don’t hijack the show. On the other hand, Michael and J. Sperling Reich thought it was a good choice.

In more frivolous news, Nicolas Cage is suing his former money manager, Samuel J. Levin, for $20 million in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming he enriched himself while “sending Cage down a path toward financial ruin.” Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 28: Why Spider-Man Is Hard Up For $52 Million

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Showbiz Sandbox 27: That’s It For “This Is It”

This week we begin with Michael Giltz and Karen Woodward disagreeing over “This Is It,” the Michael Jackson documentary/concert film/eulogy. Is the film recommendable? Not according to the box office numbers, where the film brought in a disappointing $23 million. But since the film made $103 million worldwide J. Sperling Reich wanted to serve Michael some crow pie.

If you don’t want to see “This Is It,” maybe you’ll see “Avatar”? The second trailer for the highly anticipated film was released this week, after the first one bombed. The new trailer looks like this movie is actually about something. How about “Precious”? Sperling and Michael disagree over whether this movie is a heart tugging Oscar winner or shallow drivel.

Speaking of shallow, did Jeffrey Katzenberg really add anything new to the future of entertainment conversation in his recent Business Week interview? Seems more like a politician staying message then a mogul adding to the dialogue. Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 27: That’s It For “This Is It”

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Showbiz Sandbox 21: Name Dropping At The Emmys and Toronto

Three very special guests join us on this episode to discuss the Emmy Awards and the Toronto International Film Festival, including Brill Bundy from Zap2it.com, Noel Murray from the Onion’s AV Club and David Poland from The Hot Blog and Movie City News. Before we get into either of those hot topics Michael Giltz and J. Sperling Reich duke it out over 3D movies while discussing this week’s North American box office topper, “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”. Karen Woodward still isn’t convinced to see animated content, whether it’s 3D or not.

Brill wasn’t all that suprised by any of the Emmy Awards handed out on Sunday, except for maybe Jon Cryer’s trophy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Like last year, Both “Mad Men” and “30 Rock” repeated their wins for Best Drama and Best Comedy. In the end, it was host Neil Patrick Harris who stole the show, if not an Emmy for himself, by winning rave reviews for keeping the awards program light and fast paced (even at three hours).

Jay Leno began his new primetime talk show last week with enormous ratings, though Brill says it will take a few months, if not a year, before the show’s success can be determined. Certainly, having Kanye West as a guest, fresh from his stage storming moment at MTV’s Video Music Awards, was a major coup.     Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 21: Name Dropping At The Emmys and Toronto

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Showbiz Sandbox 4: Yes We Cannes!

Entertainment journalist Michael Giltz joins the conversation to discuss everything from the Cannes Film Festival to who might win American Idol (he’s voting for Kris Allen).

Many members of the press, as well as festival-goers, took a pass on Cannes this year, but we recap some of the films that have screened thus far. Mariah Carey showed up in Cannes with a body double to confuse the paparazzi. Carey and Lenny Kravitz personally tell us about their festival film “Precious”. Meanwhile Lars Von Trier shocks the festival with his misogynistic “Antichrist”. The good news is Roger Ebert is back in Cannes.

“Angels & Demons” makes $48 million domestically and $104 million internationally in it’s first weekend. MGM is fighting for it’s life, but the remake of “Fame” may just save it. This week in New York the television networks hold their upfront and we take a quick look at what is rumored to be on the fall TV schedule. ABC has already announced they have picked up another season of “Scrubs” though Zach Braff will only show up for six episodes. Fox has said yes to another season of “Bones”. It also looks like the “Gossip Girl” spinoff may be picked up. The New York Times throws a few punches at NBC programming head Ben Silverman and but in the end it may not matter since the website Hulu is making most networks question their business model.

Speaking of Hulu, they’re going to start showing Bollywood films. Elizabeth Edwards writes a tell all book about her breast cancer and her husband Senator John Edwards’ romantic affair. Farah Fawcett discusses her own bout with cancer s well as fighting the tabloids in a stark interview which appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Finally, Jerry Lewis is planning a comeback. . . at 83-years old!

Trade Journos No Shows At Cannes
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rex-weiner/trade-journos-no-shows-at_b_201908.html

MGM Fights To Survive
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/can-mgm-survive-studio-desperate-to-restructure-debt-hires-financial-adviser-to-help/

A Lot At Stake At TV Upfronts
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003685.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

ABC Renews Scrubs
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i505437152ed71367b14b89a4b157dea2

Bones Renewed For Fall
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003809.html?categoryid=14&ref=ra&cs=1

Is the Gossip Girl spin off back on?
http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2009/05/gossip_girl_spinoff_will_run_f.html?f=most-commented-24h-10

NBC Hired A Hitmaker. It’s Still Waiting
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/business/media/17silver.html?_r=1&hpw

Hulu’s Tug of War With TV
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-hulu11-2009may11,0,5771665.story

Bollywood Goes Hulu
http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2009/05/bollywood-goes-hulu.html

Elizabeth Edwards: John “Made One Mistake”
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30681150/

Farah Fawcett: “Under A Microscope” And Holding Onto Hope
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-fawcett-interview11-2009may11,0,5790379.story

Jerry Lewis To Announce Comeback
http://www.showbiz411.com/?p=278

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