Friday, December 30, 2005

No Happy Ending in 2005 For the MPAA : Ticket Sales Drop for Third Year

This the third straight year of decline in Hollywood ticket sales, the first such stretch of bad news in 40 years. Because of the continued falloff. Sales are down 12.6 percent from 2002 âgrowing number of analysts are wondering whether America's movie habits are changing permanently.

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Hmm lets think about this is for a sec, anyone really surprised?
Lets break down some numbers and get an idea why movie sales are suffering.
2005 top Box office gross: (information pulled from
RankMovie Title
StudioTotal Gross / TheatersOpening / TheatersOpenClose

1Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the SithFox$380,270,5773,663$108,435,8413,6615/1910/20
2Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireWB$269,447,7153,858$102,685,9613,85811/18-
3War of the WorldsPar.$234,280,3543,910$64,878,7253,9086/29-
4Wedding CrashersNL$209,218,3683,131$33,900,7202,9257/15-
5Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryWB$206,459,0763,790$56,178,4503,7707/15-
6Batman BeginsWB$205,343,7743,858$48,745,4403,8586/1510/30
8The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeBV$191,991,3223,853$65,556,3123,61612/9-
9Mr. & Mrs. SmithFox$186,336,2793,451$50,342,8783,4246/1012/15

Ok so I see that four of the top movies belong to a series of some sort, two are remakes of old films. Which leaves only three original, or at least to my knowledge, I'm sure they are probably based off of something that was already done prior. Hollywood is getting fat and lazy, I only wished sheeple would stop supporting so much of this crap. I miss the passion of a good film, one that resonates clearly the intent and vision of the director. Too often I feel that the major studios look at us and treat us a cattle. Heaven forbid that you might watch a film that catches you so offguardd as Pi did for me. applauddd films that leave you with a knot in your mind that forces you to pick at it for some time in place of that warm and fuzzfeelingng others strive for. Donnie Darko is a great example of a movie that accomplishes this feat.
Now I know that plenty of people would argue that they really like going to the movies to loose themselves for a few hours. I fully understand this sentiment, and find no fault in it. All that I ask is for Hollywood to work harder and release more movies like Serenity and Corpse's Bride, and cut back on the Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Herbie reloaded, Bewiched, and all that other tripe they found by pulling out old tv shows and films from the 70's.
The other shoe that is about to drop on the film industry itheirer delivery method. One has to wonder what impact the increasing ticket prices have had over the past few years. I for one would not put it outside the realm oposibilitieses that the actual number of people going to theaters has been dropping steadily over the passeveralal years. Thsteadydy increase in ticket prices would have a good chance to buffer the decline in attendance. But this point is actually a micro view of theater's woes. The fact is the quality of home theaters has increased drastically over the past several years, some to the point of blowing your average theater out of the water. High ticket prices, lines, even higher food prices, and the chance that you might have the misfortune of getting a director'commentaryry while watching the movie at no additional charge all way heavy upon the theater. I for one already have my HDTV loaded up and waiting for the firsreasonablele HD DVD player (Blu-ray or HD-DVD, I have no idea, I'll save that for another time). The point is, when I do get my HD DVDs, link it into my 7.surroundnd sound system, and fire up my own popcorn, why on earth would I want to spend $16-20 for a trip to the theater?
We are sitting on the crossroads, and it will be interesting to see how the industry reacts and adjusts. Mark Cuban has seen the writing on the wall, and wants to revolutionize the fildistributedin model. Instead of the tiered model we have now, release movies to DVD, theaters, on-demand, and digital download all at the same time. There has beea lotot of jocking behind thscenesns to take advantage of thipossibilityty, and I do predict you will see some form of it apear some time in 2006. Should be an interesting event to watch unravel


Just a little highlight from the web, there is a great site called the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF. Its a nonprofit group that has been working to protect our digital rights since 1990. Never heard of them? They were a part of the victory in ibJab Media v. Ludlow Music, N.D. Cal. where the internet media company was threatened for using the song "This land is your land", which has been in the public domain for several years. They also stood up in RIAA v. Verizon, DC Cir., where it was found that Verizon did not have to reveal the identity of one of its customers accused of copyright infringement. Needless to say they are doing good work, and I encourage you to check out their site from time to time, and help support their various causes ( the digital broadcast flag is one cause that comes to mind). They also are working on a campaign for bloggers rights, a definite good read.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Truth Behind Bananas

After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

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Go Apple! Go Orange! Go Banana!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Net is a boon for indie labels

"Even as the recording industry staggers through another year of declining sales over all, there are new signs that a democratization of music made possible by the Internet is shifting the industry's balance of power."

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As a nod to my previous post, this is something I'm happy to see. I don't know about the rest of you, but I am tired of the likes of Infinity broadcasting and Clear Channel. Two companies have successfully sucked the life out of radio and created generic stations that are identical no matter where you are listening from. I think my mood turned when one of my favorite stations out in Portland, 94.7 NRK bit the dust due to one out of control DJ. I have found solace in indie music, the edges are rough, but it is so satisfying to find a diamond in the rough, unlike the transparent pop start that are popped out oooh every 9-15 months or so (current pet peeve - younger siblings of teen pop starts whom are now in their twenties). Since I don't live in an area large enough to support a full scale station, like Indie 103.1 FM (Thanks Owen!), I mainly listen to college stations. This is one of the crazy ideas I was talking about earlier, the possibility of doing a new and notable indie podcast. I need to do some research on what I would need to pull together, and how feasible it actually is, but it should be interesting. More to come later. ps. Steadman is a great band to get started with if you are interested.

New Windows AntiSpyware released - Removes Sony's Rootkit

Changes in the new beta are very subtle, with one exception. This release supports the removal of the Sony DRM rootkit.

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This is actually a rather old story, first broke about a month ago, but I figured it was a good spot to start off on. As hopefully you have heard, Sony BMG had come up with a way to fight piracy and protect their CD's via a new tool, a root kit. Now there has been a lot of press on this but, a root kit is not a virus that spreads from user to user, rather its a program that sets itself outside of Windows and hides from the user. This program would be installed if someone put a CD with "content protected" in the clear spine of the CD case. A full list of infected codes can be found here. On top of being underhanded and malicious (originally removing the root kit damaged the CD driver, and rendered it unworkable) Sony has opened the door for those who wish to do more harm. The first viruses have popped up that use the root kit as a method to hide themselves. Basic point is this, Record labels need to stop fighting the writing on the wall, and start working with it. Its the whole VHS recording fight all over again, but this time they are fighting back on a higher scale and inflicting punishment on the individual. Piracy via internet is practically inevitable, there will always those who would rather not pay for something, but current CD prices have been overblown since the beginning. When they first came out, CD costs were less than cassettes, but the record labels priced them at a premium because they could. Paying $15-18 for one or two songs was a premium most people felt was way to much, as is shown by the large success of iTunes and the $1 per song price point. Even now Record Companies complain that they should be able to charge $1.50 for the more popular songs. I think the backlash to Sony for these tactics will be strong and painful, hopefully other companies will take note. Times have changed, and time for the record company to change their tune too.

1st post

Hey everyone, thanks for stoping by. Still setting this up for now, hope to get it going in the near future. Have a few crazy ideas for this, but I'll have to ponder over which ideas I want to do, and which I will pass up, only time will tell what I end up doing.