Showbiz Sandbox 318: The CinemaCon and Coachella Experience Is Priceless

April 18, 2016

Movie theater operators from around the world gathered at CinemaCon in Las Vegas last week to see what Hollywood studios have to offer over the next 12 months; from big budget tentpole releases to potential awards contenders. The loudest buzz at this year’s event was caused by The Screening Room, a company that hopes to bring current movie releases into the home, day-and-date with cinemas. Following a year of record theatrical box office grosses, studios, exhibitors and filmmakers alike spoke out en masse against such an idea.

Meanwhile, the first weekend of this year’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival took place over the weekend and we’ll fill you in on some of the highlights and musical acts as we debate whether big festivals have become too pricey and elitist.

During Inside Baseball, we’ll tackle the growing controversy over acting workshops; the “educational” courses where actors get pointers on how to audition. After a top casting director lost their job over the practice, there is a sense that such workshops feel like scams where struggling actors are conned into paying to audition in front of industry players.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the executive disarray at Disney, how Twitter will stream NFL games next season and why the Golden Globes are tweaking their rules.

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Showbiz Sandbox 307: Can Guild Nominations Forecast Oscar Winners?

January 11, 2016

This year’s Academy Award nominations will soon be announced and we wonder if one can predict who might take home Oscar gold by watching the annual honors handed out by Hollywood’s labor guilds. We’ll tell you how won Golden Globes, which have proven less reliable in forecasting Oscar winners, and take a look at who the Brits shine a spotlight on via the BAFTAs.

Much like the movie business, publishing has become a global game. That makes the recent broadside by groups representing authors around the world especially notable. They’re calling on publishers to offer author contracts that are more equitable and represent the way business is done in the 21st Century.

Director/Producer Gavin Polone believes Hollywood studios and television networks are only hurting themselves when they decide to cook the books when it comes to reporting earnings to profit participants. He argues that the talent and creatives they cheat on the backend have no incentive to keep costs down on the front end.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including how Netflix went worldwide, actor Sean Penn went to Mexico to interview the head of a drug cartel and the death of legendary musician David Bowie.

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Showbiz Sandbox 9: I Loves Me A Good Ouster Story

June 22, 2009

Entertainment journalist Michael Giltz provides his insight and wit again this week.

“The Proposal” topped the box office, and was Sandra Bullock’s biggest movie opening ever. Which begs the question, why is this not also “a Ryan Reynolds movie”? Sean Penn is taking a year off for some “personal time,” or perhaps he just wants to get out of “The Three Stooges.” Other people taking time off are Steven Soderbergh and Brad Pitt, after Colombia Pictures President Amy Pascal pulled the plug on the Steven Zallian-scripted “Moneyball” which was set to shoot on Monday, June 22. Sam Mendes is having better luck, having just signed a two year deal with Focus Features, and he will direct the film adaptation of George Eliot’s classic “Middlemarch.”

It was a shoot ‘em up between NY Post Critic Lou Lumenick and Universal over Lumeneck’s early review of “Public Enemies.” Turns out there was an embargo on when the reviews could be published. Lumenick claims he didn’t know that, but according to Michael Giltz, it’s a rule of thumb that all reviewers know. Read more