Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Click here for a special Christmas Card: http://www.jacquielawson.com/viewcard.asp?code=2007134554829&source=jl999
First this teaser from LA Times "Company Town"
Hope popcorn comes with it. Want to avoid the hassles of long lines, crowded parking lots and messy bathrooms when you go to the movies? Well, for $20,000 you can sign up to watch movies at home the same day they premiere on the big screen. Oh, and it also costs $500 a movie. If you're still interested, odds are you already have the means to avoid all the hassles of going to the movies already! The Wall Street Journal says Hollywood is lukewarm toward the plans of Prima Cinema Inc., which looks to launch late next year. If they want to set up a test system in my house just to show how it works, I'm game. -LA Times
Wall Street Journal
A proposed service aims to bring movies to homes the same day they hit theaters, a milestone that Hollywood has long anticipated with a mixture of fear and fascination.
But there's a catch: At the prices currently being discussed by Prima Cinema Inc., the start-up that is touting the service, those movies will reach only world's the best-appointed living rooms.
Prima plans to charge customers a one-time fee of about $20,000 for a digital-delivery system and an additional $500 per film. The Los Angeles-based company has around $5 million in backing from the venture arm of Best Buy Co. and General Electric Co.'s Universal Pictures, and hopes to start delivering movies to customers as soon as a year from now.
The steep price has been met with mixed reactions in Hollywood. Some executives question whether it will be possible to build a market beyond a few thousand users. (Prima says it plans to install its systems in 250,000 homes within five years.) Others say the high price would create an exclusive, super-premium niche market without cutting into existing sources of revenue.
"While this is a niche market, there is a chance for significant upside," says Adam Fogelson, chairman of Universal Pictures, which holds a minority stake in Prima. "And precisely because it is a niche market, that upside should come without harming any of our existing partners or revenue streams."
To read this and other stories in the Wall Street Journal, click here.
2010 may mark the first box office downtick in four years. Then again, last Dec.'s release of "Avatar" helped the industry collect roughly $1 billion in the last three weeks of the year.
It's now clear that movie admissions will be down from last year, despite film distributors still having holiday tentpoles such as Tron: Legacy and Yogi Bear still to open. In fact, after three consecutive year-over-year weekend downticks to start the holiday box office season, it remains to be seen if the industry can mark a new high in theatrical revenue.
Failing to do so would mean the first box office downtick in four years.
This is despite the uptick in demand for 3D and increase in the traditionally key 12 to 25 box office attendance.
Meantime, the average movie ticket cost 4.7% more in 2010 than a year earlier, at $7.85. Assuming the industry matches last year dollar-for-dollar in the home stretch, that would make for 1.37 admissions by year's end and mean an almost 3% downtick in 2010 ticket sales.
Netflix and other alternative distribution methods have been growing, along with technologies such as Smart Phones, iPads and other alternative distribution methods to theatrical screenings.
One possible cause for Hollywood's failure to match its performance a year earlier in '10: There were fewer studio releases this year. Major studios released 112 movies last year, while just 103 films will reach movies screens by the end of December.
Disney and other studios have slashed their release calendars, shed themselves of previously prolific "idependant" release labels and backed off on risk taking titles (such as "The Hurt Locker").