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Tag: movies

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Coming Soon to a Theater Near You – Nothing Much

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This past weekend, the Wall Street Journal included a neatly illustrated article by Joe Queenan on the dearth of imagination in Hollywood in 2010. The Worst Movie Year Ever? lamented recent storytelling efforts in Tinstletown, painting a picture of movie theaters around the country where audiences sit “listlessly through a series of lame, mechanical trailers for upcoming films that look exactly like the DOA movies audiences avoided last week.” I’m familiar with the feeling that the popcorn is the only thing to be happy about in theaters this summer. But as I was thinking about it, I started to wonder: is Queenan simply describing the state of entertainment, or is he actually providing a metaphor for the state of business lately?

At Issue } essential reading

Building a sense of purpose at Pixar

Ed Catmull
Apr 10, 2014

The cofounder of Pixar Animation Studios recalls how a serious organizational rift led him to a new sense of mission—and how it helped Pixar develop a more open and sustainable creative culture.

State of Entertainment: Hollywood Must Ride the Wave of Change, Not Resist It

Peter Guber
Mar 26, 2014

Once upon a time, Hollywood lived by the golden rule – he who had the gold, made the rule. Studios, networks and other gatekeepers enjoyed the keys to the kingdom for a long time and earned enormous economic success. But a funny thing happened on the way to eternal domination - the digitization and subsequent democratization of content creation and distribution which forever changed and continues to change who is holding those keys to success.

Why Fan-Made Movie Trailers Are Often Better Than the Real Thing

Angela Watercutter
Jun 21, 2013

As with most things on the internet, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where, when or how the first remixed movie came into existence, or whether remixes preceded supercuts, or vice versa, and so forth.

Reel Simple – Unlimited access to local movie theatres

Jan 12, 2012

You already use Netflix for unlimited DVD rentals, Spotify for unlimited music and your gym membership for unlimited elliptical-machine use, so why are you still paying on a film-by-film basis to go to the movie theater? Or so asks MoviePass, a new flat-fee subscription service that allows members all-you-can-watch access to local cinemas.

Movies in the Clouds

Michelle Kung
Oct 12, 2011

Anyone who's spent an hour waiting to download a movie from Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store, or hunting for a recent release on Netflix Inc.'s streaming service, knows that online movies aren't exactly ready for prime time.

Always Pushing Beyond the Envelope

Damon Darlin
Aug 9, 2010

For Blockbuster, the advent of DVDs in the mail was a disruptive technology. The chain relied initially on bulky videotapes and late fees to generate a fat revenue stream, and its scale was huge; smaller, independent stores gradually left the market. Netflix opened a new battlefront, mailing thin DVDs and letting customers keep a disc as long as they wanted. Blockbuster saw the change coming. It even took action, setting up its own mail service. But seeds of destruction had been sown, and Blockbuster is now financially troubled. Netflix, meanwhile, is already embracing technology shifts that will make those red envelopes a quaint memory. Creative destruction has such a cataclysmic sound. But the term, coined by the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter to show how capitalism destroys companies as more innovative ones succeed, describes a process that is more like a slow-motion train wreck.

Hunch Relaunches as Internet Personalization Service

Aug 5, 2010

Hunch was never a social Q&A service, though many press outlets have confused it for one. The service, founded by Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake and super-hot angel investor Chris Dixon, has relaunched its home page and is now more clearly positioned than ever as a taste-graph driven recommendation engine. That might sound confusing, but the new home page is actually drop-dead simple. Log in with your Twitter or Facebook account, answer as few as 20 quick and addictive taste-evaluation questions, and Hunch will turn the front page of the site into a list of highly targeted personal recommendations of movies, books, magazines, computers, meals, vacation destinations and more. It's really impressive.

The Man Behind Pixar's 3D Films

Jun 15, 2010

In Hollywood these days, the push to put out movies in 3D is on. In part, it's a way to get some additional marketing buzz about a film, but it's also a source of additional revenue because theaters charge a premium for showings in that format. At Pixar Animation Studios, those rationales are not lost on executives, and when "Toy Story 3" comes out on Friday it will be offered both in 3D and the traditional 2D format. Indeed, last year Pixar worked to build up interest in the new film by promoting a special double-feature of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2," both in 3D.

Study: Content Excites Us More Than Gadgets

Jun 15, 2010

People are more excited about the prospect of content delivery than they are about the devices the content may be delivered on. According to a survey of 1,200 U.S. consumers by Chadwick Martin Bailey, people were significantly more excited about the prospects of renting movies over the Internet and surfing the web while watching television than they were about 3D televisions, the iPad and Google-powered Android phones.

Disney Narrows Its Movie Focus, Building on Known Characters

Ethan Smith
Mar 12, 2010

The Disney studio, which is to unveil its production slate this spring, is backing away from one-off comedies like "When in Rome" and "Confessions of a Shopaholic," according to people familiar with the studio's new gameplan. In their place, Disney plans to focus on films that are essentially brands—like a planned Muppets movie—that can be exploited across its network of theme parks, videogames and commercial products. The recent success with "Alice in Wonderland" has given a new team of executives who run the studio confidence in their approach.

To Bundle Or Unbundle? That Is The Question

Mar 9, 2010

The latest retransmission fee rift between Walt Disney's WABC-TV and Cablevision, as well as Viacom yanking its popular "Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" from Hulu over ad revenue-sharing, strengthens the argument for a la carte content -- allowing consumers to pay for just what they want, when they want. The complex sphere of content economics is being fractured by continuous conflict and experimentation by bundling cable operators and other content aggregators at one end of the spectrum and iTunes and Netflix paid downloads on the other.

Video Games Outsell Movies in U.K.

Jan 1, 2010

In the last year, consumers spent more money on video games in Britain than on films, including both trips to movie theaters and films on DVD, new figures compiled for U.K.'s Daily Telegraph indicate.

Toy Maker Hasbro Has High Hollywood Hopes

Dec 22, 2009

It's a changing world in the toy business. Kids are focusing more of their attention on visual pursuits -- not just television and movies, but increasingly, video games and online entertainment. That means toy makers are scrambling to reinvent their brands and keep up with the times. Hasbro, the second largest US toy maker behind Mattel, is making a big Hollywood push to remain competitive.

Pop Secret Leverages Watching Movies At Home

Dec 18, 2009

Movies and popcorn go together like, well, movies and popcorn. In the latest entry for the "How come no one's ever thought of this?" files, Diamond Foods is introducing an integrated advertising campaign for its recently acquired Pop Secret brand that links popcorn and movies, and the enjoyment of both at home. "With the economy being down, a lot of people are staying at home and renting movies and popping popcorn because popcorn is a relatively inexpensive snack," Linda Segre, senior vice president of corporate and strategic communications for the company, tells Marketing Daily. "The category had been declining up until a year ago, and it's really been growing again."

Netflix Everywhere: Sorry Cable, You're History

Daniel Roth
Sep 28, 2009

Today, nearly 3 million users access Netflix's instant streaming service, watching an estimated 5 million movies and TV shows every week on their PCs or living room sets. They get it through Roku's player, which was successfully launched in May 2008. They get it through their Xbox 360s—Microsoft added Netflix to its Xbox Live service last fall. They get it through LG and Samsung Blu-ray players. They get it through their TiVos and new flatscreen TVs. By the end of 2009, nearly 10 million Netflix-equipped gadgets will be hanging on walls and sitting in entertainment centers. And Hastings says this is just the beginning: "It's possible that within a few years, nearly all Internet-connected consumer electronics devices will include Netflix."

Movie Studios Discuss Ways to Rent Films Over YouTube

Sep 3, 2009

Google Inc.'s YouTube is in discussions with major movie studios about streaming movies on a rental basis, a test of whether the online video giant can persuade its millions of users to pay for premium content. For Hollywood, the move could represent a bold attempt to offset its dwindling DVD sales with online revenue.

Is Hollywood Afraid of Twitter's Real-Time Review Effect?

Aug 21, 2009

There's an interesting article over at The Baltimore Sun, suggesting that real-time reviews from movie-goers after seeing a new film have really got movie studios worried, thanks to the knock-on effect they can have on box office stats. But is it true?

Hollywood's Blockbuster Role for Product Placement

Jul 6, 2009

When Audi was looking to win screen time for one of its cars in this year's crop of summer films, it turned to Ruben Igielko-Herrlich, whose Geneva-based shop, Propaganda Global Entertainment Marketing, helps companies place their products in films, TV shows, and games.

Netflix Boss Plots Life After the DVD

Jun 24, 2009

Netflix Inc. is a standout in the recession. The DVD-rental company added more subscribers than ever during the first three months of the year. Its stock has more than doubled since October. But Netflix's chief executive officer, Reed Hastings, thinks his core business is doomed. As soon as four years from now, he predicts, the business that generates most of Netflix's revenue today will begin to decline, as DVDs delivered by mail steadily lose ground to movies sent straight over the Internet. So Mr. Hastings, who co-founded the company, is quickly trying to shift Netflix's business -- seeking to make more videos available online and cutting deals with electronics makers so consumers can play those movies on television sets.

Video Games Need Their Oscars

Jun 19, 2009

Some of the biggest, well-know brands in the video game world announced new titles at last week's E3 trade show in Los Angeles. Maybe you've heard of Halo, Mario Bros., or BioShock but, unless you're a gamer, you probably know little else about them. Countless hours are spend enraptured by this varied, multi-billion-dollar industry, yet it still operates like a niche community. An acquired taste. I think that video games need their Oscars.

Hollywood Continues Its Fast-Food Binge

Jun 8, 2009

Family entertainment giant Disney took a stand, several years back, by not renewing a decade-long marketing deal with McDonald’s and flushing fast food and high-calorie snacks out of its promotional system as the childhood obesity debate raged. But now, even as there appears to be stepped-up interest from the federal government over marketing to children, no one has followed Disney’s lead.

Do Studios Need Help Finding Audiences?

May 25, 2009

Jeff Cox, new to the dark art of marketing movies and predicting how they will perform at the box office, has at least one thing figured out: “It’s definitely not as easy as predicting sales for toothpaste or shampoo or toilet paper.”

Blockbuster Sales Drop 20% in First Quarter

May 15, 2009

The DVD rental chain says more people are watching movies at theaters, pulling traffic from Blockbuster stores. Profit plummets 39%.

Neo-Neo Realism

Mar 22, 2009

In recession, as in war — and also, conveniently, in times of peace or prosperity — the movies we evidently need are the ones that offer us the possibility, however fanciful or temporary, of escape. Maybe so. But what if, at least some of the time, we feel an urge to escape from escapism?

Can 3-D Save Hollywood?

Mar 20, 2009

When "Monsters vs. Aliens," a DreamWorks Animation movie about an extra-terrestrial attack, hits theaters next weekend, it will set off another invasion: a new wave of big-budget 3-D films.

Contemplating the New Physicality of Cinema

C.S. Leigh
Mar 16, 2009

Mourning the death of the fetid, human way we used to interact with movies.

In Downturn, Americans Flock to the Movies

Mar 1, 2009

Hollywood could get used to this recession thing. While much of the economy is teetering between bust and bailout, the movie industry has been startled by a box-office surge that has little precedent in the modern era.

Why I Prefer Video Games Over Movies

Jan 27, 2009

Video games and Blu-ray or DVD movies are both competing for what little time I have to enjoy entertainment. Usually, that happens during weekends or after I'm done working each night. And although I still watch a slew of films each year, I've realized that if I need to choose between playing a game for a couple hours or finding a movie worth watching, I'll choose the former almost every time.

What's Next: 2009 Preview

Jan 9, 2009

In tough economic times, can people afford to entertain themselves? This is the question the entertainment industry is asking itself as museums, musicians, publishing houses and movie studios prepare for the next 12 months. We present a preview of some of the most anticipated releases and events of the 2009 cultural calendar.

For U: Nickelodeon Launches New Kids' Site

Dec 22, 2008

Nickelodeon is launching a new online site for kids. UpickDaily.com allows its young users to share, vote, poll and post their thoughts on various topics. In essence, the site lets kids be their own content providers and news aggregators about TV, movies, games, sports, stars and more.


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