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Monday, February 22, 2010

Walmart buys into Web Video

Walmart is the biggest seller of DVDs in the country, with over a 70% share in sales.

Walmart is the world's largest CD sales corporation, with an 80% share.

Now Walmart is making sure it's not left behind as more consumers rent or buy movies digitally.

Variety reports that "The retail giant said Monday that it will acquire streaming video service Vudu, enabling it to compete more aggressively with the likes of Best Buy, Netflix. Apple and Amazon, which have been partnering with major electronics manufacturers to offer movies through TVs and Blu-ray players that connect to the Internet."

"The company offers movies from all of the major studios and has deals with major hardware electronics manufacturers including Samsung, Toshiba, Vizio, Sharp, Sanyo and Mitsubishi.
Nearly all of the TVs and Blu-ray players set to hit the market over the next year will include Internet connectivity and access to iPhone-like applications that will allow viewers to check their Facebook accounts, Twitter feeds and Netflix accounts, for example. Now Vudu will as well."

Walmart will also push for same day as DVD release for its on-line Internet based sales and rental. They plan on an aggressive in store, television, radio and on-line marketing capaign starting with the summer releases.

'Avatar' sets Imax record

With worldwide totals for 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" north of $2.4 billion, Imax reported that its portion of the pic's earnings passed $200 million on Sunday, a new record for any film on IMAX screens.

President Obama Health Care Proposal

Why trust news media it for yourself...

What is the President's health care compromise proposal?

Walk through it at:

Is 30 old? It is if you live in Hollywood.

The 1938 edition of Action Comics # 1, the first to introduce Superman, sold for one million dollars at auction today...ten million times its original cover price of one dime.

But apparently age is only valuable as a collectable and not in flesh and blood.

At least in the "Neverland" of Hollywood.

Disney has had a close to 100% top level turnover, plus many lower level jobs shifting.  The new leaders are not movie makers or even entertainment industry types. They are marketers. They are young. To them Johnny Depp is old and ancient history.

Disney is moving away from making movies to make quality intellegent movies. Disney is looking toward intellectual property rights, based on future income from toys, theme parks, DVD, books, internet, music and other income. They shelved "The Proposal II" despite record income for the first film. They have put "Lone Ranger", "Captain Nemo" and other projects into turn around to focus on fewer projects (not films) that will feed the overall machine. They are suing theaters that have reneged on 3-D to keep Avatar on Screens, and forcing Johnny Depp's "Alice In Wonderland" onto screens before the Depp cache loses its steam. Disney will release Alice much sooner than the usual DVD and Pay for View window, also pissing off movie theaters. Disney feels it does not need theaters. They are also suing "Red-box" to keep their films out of the $1 Red Box rentals for at least 120 days after the DVD release. Control is what it is al about.

Changes and policies at Disney are just the beginning a Hollywood undergoes a transfiguration, and with it a shift away from quality to mass marketing, from classic to rebirth, from baby boomers to the Millennial Generation "and beyond" (to paraphrase Buzz Lightyear).

Anyone over 30 is old, anyone who is not from the "new media" internet age is "a fossil."

Age bias took over most of this week's "KCRW, The Business."

Three writers sued over age discrimination and over $70 million dollars in pre-trail settlements will go to 165 plaintiffs who joined in.

The industry is chasing young audiences, and cutting edge almost rude genre's.

A writer in his 40's was told by producers "you wrote my mother's favorite shows" and that he was too old and needed a younger partner if he were to be considered. His agency was CAA an he was hot and popular. But once shows were cancelled, which happens to all shows, he was told "it's time that you move on" to a new career. He was with Aaron Spelling and other major producers. He was told "we need to work with different people" by a 34 year old executive.

Another thing that has happened is that ideas writers pitch end up being done by younger writers, without credit or compensation. She was told in Yiddish by her agent that she was an "old guy" and "past time".

"Television use to be written by grownups...people with Scotch in their drawers and people who worked with and interned with the pros of comedy clubs and what we call classic television...then there was a youth-quake..and a battalion of younger and cheeper executives were hired as a middle layer...feeling more comfortable and open to being pitched by people who were younger than they were."

Writers are told that their category or genre was dead, and "in truth writers can write "matchbook covers, social studies books, comic books, the great American screenplay.."

Aaron Spelling was in his 70's and writing with the best of them. The founder and writer of the Sopranos was in his upper 40's when the show started.

Writer's observe, listen, watch, feel comfortable in the right environments and are people who adapt to individuals and situations, not fixed blocks like the younger executives who hire or green light projects may think.

Could the industry be looking at young as "grateful and cheep", and "brand new ideas."

The entertainment industry says that adverting has shown that people who are older are "set in their ways" and "will not change brands" and "fixed in time". None of those hold up with actual research, yet both industries remain entrenched with the concepts.

"People should not have to die your hair to get a job" but they do.

"There is discrimination to anyone over 30...driven by new media and a feeling that older writer just do not get IT."