Showbiz Sandbox 65: Hollywood’s Love/Hate Relationship With Twitter

Last summer a number of movies had enormous box office drop offs in their second day of release and studios blamed it on what they termed the Twitter Effect. Daniel Frankel from The Wrap joins us to explain how the social media trend that was going to revolutionize word-of-mouth hasn’t demonstrably done so. Platforms such as Facebook, MySpace and even text messaging seem to influence moviegoers more than Twitter. That hasn’t stopped studios from finding modest success on Twitter by purchasing trending topics.

A number of big television news stories broke over the past week thanks to the annual Television Critics Association press tour. Ellen DeGeneres resigned as a judge on “American Idol”, but Fox may be replacing her with Jennifer Lopez. Meanwhile, Stephen McPherson, the president of ABC, abruptly resigned under a cloud of controversy relating to rumored sexual harassment investigations and was promptly replaced by ABC Family topper Paul Lee.

In the music world Kanye West may be hoping the Twitter effect will help boost sales of his upcoming album. The hip-hop star made headlines by opening a Twitter account and turning up at Facebook headquarters to entertain employees.

Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 65: Hollywood’s Love/Hate Relationship With Twitter


Showbiz Sandbox 51: Ridley Scott Believes 3D Is An “Alien” Concept

Hollywood just won’t stop talking about 3D movies, so unfortunately we can’t either. It’s hard to argue against 3D when films like “How To Train Your Dragon” keep coming in first at the box office, even after five weeks in theaters. With the announcement that “The Green Hornet” and “The Last Airbender” will be converted to 3D the debate has turned to whether it’s better to shoot natively in 3D, or add it in post-production.

Filmmaker Ridley Scott won’t have to find out when he makes not one, but two prequels to his blockbuster “Alien” since he’ll be shooting them in 3D. Disney’s head honcho, Rich Ross, also announced a couple of upcoming releases when he finally met the press last week. We’ll be getting a sequel to “Monsters, Inc.” and a “Winnie the Pooh” movie, along with a few other family friendly flicks.

If 3D films don’t excite you, then the upcoming television season may not either. We review a number of pilots that are in the works, most of which seem derivative. In fact, some of them, like “Rockford Files” and “Hawaii 5-0” are simply rehashes of previous hit shows.  Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 51: Ridley Scott Believes 3D Is An “Alien” Concept


Showbiz Sandbox 47: Movie Ticket Prices Get Super Sized

Another 3D film took the top spot at the box office this past weekend – “How To Train Your Dragon”. It knocked the 3D “Alice In Wonderland” out of first place after three weeks. As well, in order to play the film in 3D, theater owners were forced to take screens away from “Avatar” which caused it to fall out of the top 10 for the first time since its release last December.

Though 3D films seem to be all the rage these days a question remains over how much audiences are willing to pay to see them. This past week several theater chains raised their prices for 3D and 3D Imax tickets, some as much as 26%. Lauren Schuker of the Wall Street Journal drops by to fill us in on why movie ticket prices are rising and how it might affect this year’s record breaking box office returns.

Speaking of box office returns, thanks to the Cantor Exchange you will soon be able to place a wager on how much money you think a movie will make during its first four weeks in release. Though not if the MPAA has anything to say about it. Unfortunately, you won’t have the movie review program “At The Movies” to help your handicapping efforts. The show that launched the careers of film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert was canceled. Have no fear, Ebert has plans to launch a brand new show.  Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 47: Movie Ticket Prices Get Super Sized


Showbiz Sandbox 38: Gender Matters In Hollywood

The New Year may have started off slow, but 2010 is heating up! “Avatar” is on track to top “Titanic” as the highest grossing film of all time, The Golden Globes were handed out on Sunday and of course the late night talk show war has really taken some interesting turns.

Dylan Stableford who writes The Wrap’s Media Alley column joins us to talk about his post, “The Vilification of Leno: Loud, Nasty and Fleeting.” Will audiences warm up to Jay Leno again? Who was the bad guy in all this fracas? Leno, Conan O’Brien, or NBC?

In movie news, director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire dropped out of “Spider-Man 4” and Sony now says it plans to reboot the franchise with a younger actor.

Finally, though she didn’t win a Golden Globe, director Kathryn Bigelow is earning critical praise for her film “The Hurt Locker.” Academy Award nominations have yet to be announced, but she appears to have a lock on one, and may be the first woman to win the best director Oscar in the history of the awards show. Women in Hollywood and the film industry is a topic we discuss frequently here on Showbiz Sandbox thanks in part to Karen Woodward. Joining us to discuss the issue today is Matthew Hammett Knott Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 38: Gender Matters In Hollywood


Showbiz Sandbox 34: Hollywood’s Box Office Billions Set New Record

We are joined this week by two of the film industry’s top box office pundits, Paul Dergarabedian of and Daniel Frankel of They help us understand how the North American box office surpassed $10 billion in 2009 while releasing few films during an economic recession. Of course, we also touch on “Avatar’s” opening weekend box office and the worldwide spin it’s distributor claims makes the film a huge hit.

But we promise this week’s episode won’t be entirely about Avatar! We also discuss the untimely death of actress Brittany Murphy and the rumor mongering it set off among online tabloids. The Golden Globe nominations were announced mid week. Were there any surprises? What about snubs? Which noms will carry over to the Oscars, and what can be done to get audiences to actually watch the Oscars?

There’s also a ton of television and music news, such as the rumor that Simon Cowell might leave “American Idol” (oh no!), the list of next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees (ABBA!) and an old Rage Against The Machine song beating out this year’s winner of “X Factor” on the U.K. singles charts during Christmas week (huh?!). Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 34: Hollywood’s Box Office Billions Set New Record