January 7, 2010 |
On Wednesday evening, Mike Chauvet opened a red envelope from Netflix and popped "The Hangover" into his DVD player. "I try to get most of the movies I watch through Netflix," said the 30-year-old physician, who lives in Queens, N.Y. Now he's going to have to wait for the privilege. Warner Bros. has struck a deal with Netflix Inc. whereby the fast-growing DVD subscription firm won't offer the studio's movies until 28 days after they go on sale. Had the deal been in effect last month, "The Hangover," which went on sale Dec. 15, wouldn't be available on Netflix until Jan. 14. It's part of a strategy by several studios to create staggered releases of DVDs so that the most profitable transactions are available first and cheaper rental options take effect further down the road.
January 4, 2010 |
About a week before Christmas, I took a stroll around the Los Angeles Toy District and bought a pirated DVD. As I wrote on Dec. 21, curious about the quality of the merchandise for sale on the street, I shelled out five bucks for a copy of the movie "District 9," which was still days away from being available in your local retail store. As I've been informed, quite properly, by readers in and around the movie industry, that casual act made me part of a global problem that is killing jobs and eliminating opportunities for creative people everywhere.
December 26, 2009 |
It's not every day that movie theaters take retribution against a Hollywood studio. Exhibitors usually don't want to annoy the studios on which they rely for movies to keep filmgoers buying tickets. Yet last month major theater chains pulled the family-friendly animated comedy "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" from big screens around the country. The action was intended as a warning shot at Sony Pictures -- and Hollywood in general. Sony said it simply wanted to make its movie available to owners of a new generation of the company's high-definition TVs a month before its release on DVD. But movie theaters weren't having any of it. They feared that moving up the date when people could watch the movie at home would discourage them from making a trip to the local multiplex.
December 11, 2009 |
They should just call it Bluebox and really have at it. NCR Corp., which is expanding aggressively in the DVD kiosk business via a partnership with Blockbuster Inc., has acquired competitor DVDPlay in a bid to catch up with market leader Redbox Automated Retail. NCR, which manufacturers self-service retail devices such as ATMs and grocery-store checkout devices, will put the Blockbuster brand name on its $1-a-night-DVD kiosks via a partnership with the struggling home video chain.
November 17, 2009 |
To celebrate the movie's 70th birthday, Warner Home Video is releasing a newly restored and remastered version today of "Gone With the Wind" for the first time on Blu-ray, as well as a standard DVD. The Technicolor film has never looked better because of new digital software and the fact that Warners was able to scan the original negative. "It is in beautiful condition," says George Feltenstein, senior vice president of theatrical catalog marketing for Warners, of the negative.
November 10, 2009 |
Good news for fans of classic Hollywood. Two film collections -- one featuring a screen legend from the 1930s and the other offering some prime film noirs from the 1950s -- have recently been released on DVD. Claudette Colbert was one of the top female stars during the Golden Age of Hollywood, winning an Oscar for 1934's romantic comedy "It Happened One Night." But she was more than just a comic performer. Colbert also was a deft dramatic actress who earned two more best actress nominations -- 1935's "Private Worlds" and 1944's "Since You Went Away" -- for complex, serious roles.