Industry pros J. Sperling Reich and Michael Giltz provide insightful analysis, humorous viewpoints and insider opinions on the latest entertainment news headlines. The weekly podcast features panel discussions with renowned industry guests, as well as phone calls and emails from listeners who voice their own opinions on the child’s play of the entertainment business.
Showbiz Sandbox 518: The Cord Cutting Epidemic Is Growing
This year, consumers have continued to migrate from pay television providers to over-the-top services at an increasing rate. In the United States alone, the number of cable and satellite subscribers has dropped 25% to 73 million in just five years. Many industry watchers are expecting that number to bottom out at 50 million by 2025.
Yet people are watching more television than ever; they’re just doing it on services such as Roku, HBO Max and Hulu. Last week Disney reported that their new streaming service has attracted 73 million subscribers. Their original target was 60 million by 2024. They reached that number their first nine months.
Of course we also cover some of the week’s top entertainment headlines including how Spotify is investing more in podcasting, Ticketmaster makes a plan to safely hold concerts again, and the Super Bowl has booked its halftime show.
Blumhouse Body Swap Horror Comedy ‘Freaky’ Takes In $3.7M, On Par With Other No. 1 Pics During Fall Pandemic
International box office: ‘Demon Slayer’ enters Japan all-time top five; ‘Freaky’ top in Australia
STXfilms’ “Songbird” To Sing as a Home Premiere Release Beginning December 11
Iconic Tower Records Returns As Website Selling Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs
Broadway Shows May Not Report Grosses Upon Return
Disneyland Expected to Stay Closed Until At Least Dec. 31
Spotify to Buy Podcast Ad Platform Megaphone for $235m
How Ticketmaster Plans to Check Your Vaccine Status for Concerts: Exclusive
New PlayStation and Xbox Arrive During a Pandemic Gold Rush
Showbiz Sandbox 517: Movie Theaters Brace For A Dark Winter
With a second wave of COVID sweeping through Europe, cinemas in England, France and Germany have begun to shut down. Can movie theaters in North America and elsewhere soon follow their lead as infection rates rise? Even if cinemas remain open, they won’t have many new movies to show with studios moving major releases into next year.
As major cinema chains around the world report cratering third-quarter revenue they have begun to accept they may have to play titles with shorter release windows, at least until the pandemic is over. This has led to the National Association of Theatre Owners saying that if Congress doesn’t pass a relief bill soon, some 70% of cinemas in North America will declare bankruptcy or go out of business entirely.
Of course we also cover some of the week’s top entertainment headlines including why Jay-Z is looking to get high on his own supply, Johnny Depp gets dumped from “Fantastic Beasts” and Netflix goes linear (at least in France).
China Box Office Propels ‘Sacrifice’ Past $100 Million
‘Demon Slayer’ Nearing $200M In Japan; ‘Tenet’ Tops $350M Worldwide – International Box Office
Major NBCUniversal Layoffs In TV & Streaming Unit To Begin In Mid-November
Disney Studio Division, Including Searchlight, Also Hit With Layoffs Following ESPN Cuts
Lionsgate Lays Off 15% of Film Staff as Hollywood Suffers From the Pandemic
Jay-Z Launches ‘Monogram’ Cannabis Line With Caliva
Bruce Springsteen Becomes First Act With Top Five-Charting Albums in Each of Last Six Decades With ‘Letter to You’
Johnny Depp Forced to Exit ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise
Major VFX Landscape Shake-Up: Framestore Buys Company 3, Method
Showbiz Sandbox 516: What Went Wrong With Quibi
Quibi, the bite-sized content platform founded by media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and business leader Meg Whitman, has been mocked since it was first announced. Now after six months and $2 billion, Quibi is kaput. Unable to find an audience, and despite a fruitless attempt to find a buyer, Quibi is officially shutting down.
The company insists people were gunning for them from the start, but the simple truth is that Quibi always seemed like a solution in search of a problem. Besides, however good the content may have been, it was going to be very hard to convince people to plunk down $5 a month just to watch random videos while commuting.
Of course we also cover some of the week’s top entertainment headlines including Netflix misses its third quarter subscriber goal, television ratings for live sports events plummets and box office continues to soar in China and Japan.
Shonda Rhimes Is Ready to “Own Her S***”
China’s ‘The Sacrifice’ Bows To $53M; ‘Demon Slayer’ Tops $100M In Japan
‘Honest Thief’ Continues To Lead Lackluster Pandemic Box Office, ‘Empty Man’ Tripped By Holdovers
AMC Plans to Sell 15 Million Shares, Warns Investors of Potential Bankruptcy
James Bond Film ‘No Time to Die’ Explored $600 Million Sale to Streaming Services
UK Must Be ‘Brave’ and Prosecute Gulf Royal Accused of Sexual Assault, Says Top QC
‘Lovecraft Country’ Hits Series High Ratings With Epic Season Finale
HBO Max Hits 28.7 Million Subscribers in Q3, Warner Bros. Revenue Down 28%
TV Ratings for Many Sports Are Down. Don’t Read Too Much Into It Yet.
Showbiz Sandbox 515: Disney Restructures Its Magical Kingdom
One week after the Walt Disney Company announced that it would be premiering its latest Pixar film on Disney+ rather than in movie theaters, the media giant says it will reorganize its corporate structure to focus the company’s content creation on streaming. Is this a hasty pivot, long in the works, or just making official the obvious? The move left many industry watchers a bit confused.
Meanwhile, movie theaters in most of New York state can reopen, except in New York City itself. Even so, studios still won’t be releasing a blockbuster soon enough to help struggling cinema operators like AMC, who claims they will run out of money before the end of the year.
Of course we also cover some of the week’s top entertainment headlines including why Kevin Hart is taking over for Jerry Lewis on the muscular dystrophy telethon, K-Pop boy band BTS might be enlisting in the South Korean military (literally) and this year’s slimmed-down Tony nominations.
Liam Neeson’s ‘Honest Thief’ notches No. 1 at box office
‘Demon Slayer’ Leads Global Box Office with Record-breaking $44m Japan Debut
Japan’s ‘Demon Slayer’ Kills It With Record $44M Opening; China Passing North America For 2020 – International Box Office
Eddie Murphy’s ‘Coming 2 America’ Moves From Paramount to Amazon Studios
It’s Official: China Overtakes North America as World’s Biggest Box Office in 2020
UK £500M Film & TV Insurance Restart Scheme Officially Opens Today Following State Aid Approval
Warner Bros & Universal Bosses Say No Movie Theater Buyouts In The Works, But “We’re Rooting For Them”
AMC Theatres Says Cash Resources to Be “Largely Depleted” by End of 2020 or Early 2021
Showbiz Sandbox 514: Has Disney Lost Its Soul?
As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, things are not getting any easier for the Walt Disney Company. The company, long a cheerleader for the theatrical moviegoing experience, has just moved the latest Pixar film to its streaming platform, Disney+. Meanwhile, Disneyland still hasn’t been allowed to open and now a well known activist investor is making all sorts of problems for the media giant.
When cinemas do finally reopen there will be a glut of Marvel and DC titles trying to find release dates. Presently, they can only play at a drive-in, which by the way now qualifies a movie for an Academy Award. It’s also the only kind of movie theater New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is allowing to open.
Of course we also cover some of the week’s top entertainment headlines including why artists are debuting at the top of the music charts more frequently, why the ad spend during the TV upfronts is down this year and Broadway will remain closed until at least May of 2021.
China box office: National Day revenues rank as second highest ever with $580m
NY State: Ingress and Egress From NYC Movie Theaters Is A Big Issue
‘Monster Hunter’ Officially Dated Stateside For December
Imax Furloughs 150 Employees
NATO Renews Call To #SaveYourCinema, Asks Moviegoers To Send Half A Million Letters To Congress
Marvel and DC Movies Will Flood Theaters in 2021 and 2022 — If They Can All Be Made in Time
Broadway Extends Shutdown Through May 2021
Inside TV’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Upfront
California Gov. Gavin Newsom Says Disneyland & Other Parks Not Opening Soon
Showbiz Sandbox 513: How Can Movie Theaters Survive Without Movies?
Studios are pushing movie releases into 2021, with the latest James Bond thriller abandoning it’s scheduled November date in cinemas. Now major theater chains are shutting their doors once again. We’re joined by Patrick von Sychowski, the editor of Celluloid Junkie, to help us break down the present and predict the future of the cinema industry.
Meanwhile in China, movie theaters are not only open, they are bringing in big audiences who are off work during the country’s Golden Week. More than two films earned over $100 million at the Chinese box office this past week, proving cinemas can reboot after a coronavirus shutdown.
Of course we also cover some of the week’s top entertainment headlines including new charges against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, some good news for junior players at United Talent Agency and some bad news for 28,000 former Disney employees.
How Did Chinese Cinemas Recover So Fast Post COVID-19?
Geoff Boucher’s Mindspace
‘Tenet’ Tops $300M Global; China’s National Day Pics Lead 2020 WW Openers & Set IMAX Records
‘Hocus Pocus’: Disney Rerelease Casting Unexpected Spell At Weekend Box Office
Regina King’s ‘One Night in Miami’ to Release in Theaters on Christmas, Amazon Prime in 2021
‘The Boys,’ ‘Mulan’ Break Netflix Stranglehold on Streaming Top 10 (Exclusive)
Short Show ‘The Long Night’ Offers Quality Over Quantity
Harvey Weinstein Charged With Three More Rapes in Beverly Hills
Disney Parks to Lay Off 28,000 Employees; Cites California’s “Unwillingness” to Reopen Disneyland
Customer ReviewsSee All
Informative and also entertaining
I’ve been listening to this show for a while now and it never fails to fill me in on some news story I wasn’t aware of. The focus here is definitely entertainment business focused. The hosts are knowledgeable and witty. They often have some really good high level guests to interview. One of the better podcasts I stumbled across.
2nd time rating. Still great.
What would you say about Oscar category BEST BLOCKBUSTER. Use the top 5-7 movies box office for previous year, then vote on the best of those; just another category like best song, best animated, best short subject. Just my opinion.
Politics ruins everything...
I began listening to this podcast several years ago. Originally, it was a show I looked forward to every week. It went immediately to the top of my playlist and I made time to actually listen to it. Hosts J. Sperling Reich and Michael Giltz offered insightful discussions on the business behind entertainment. Mr. Reich pilots the show with Mr. Giltz acting as affable curmudgeon regularly firing off pointed yet amusing rants.
Mr. Reich is based in Los Angeles. I think Mr. Giltz is based in New York City, but he speaks of visiting friends and family so often it gives the impression he's homeless. Both hosts appear to embrace the liberal leanings of their home cities. It's important to pause a moment and note I don't care where Reich and Giltz land on the political spectrum. They can embrace any ideology want. As of 2019, this is still America.
In the Trump ear this show has changed. Both Reich and Giltz seem angry Hillary lost... still... three years later. Reich works in every Trump/Republican hating jab he can while Giltz's rants have morphed into angry diatribes. Giltz has adopted an increasingly belligerent, bitter, bullying attitude towards Reich. I think they’re so enveloped by disappointment, they can't hear the bitterness in their own voices. It has made this show unlistenable. I'm not aware that this show is streamed live. I think it's recorded, edited, and released so this is clearly how Reich and Giltz want to present themselves. Over the past year, I've dipped in and out of the show hoping it would return to the style I enjoyed during the Obama era, but each time I'm disappointed. On a recent episode, Giltz launched an angry, hyperbolic attack on abortion legislation passed in the state of Georgia. While this was technically related to entertainment news, it was clear Giltz never bothered to read the text of the legislation and opted to regurgitate a handful of inaccurate headlines he must have read with a passing glance at a Google News search. I have plenty of other places I can go if I want lazy reporting. Anytime this show veers from entertainment news it becomes a dumpster fire of terrible.
This show has rarely had advertisers so they are beholden to no one. I don't think they should be silenced, I don't think their show should be shut down. I can just post a review like this and stop listening. Entertainment earns minuscule amounts of money compared to other industries. While offering a fun diversion, entertainment news has no intrinsic value. This makes ignoring Showbiz Sandbox an easy choice.
Oh… and because people will assume, I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton.