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ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 1991 | CHUCK PHILIPS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Cartoons are not just for kids. While most animated programming is aimed at youngsters, the prime-time success of Fox-TV's "The Simpsons" seems to have sparked a new interest in sophisticated animated humor. In fact, adult-oriented cartoon projects are in development at all three major television networks, with NBC and ABC expected to deliver animated evening shows by next winter. But is the public ready for a pornographic cartoon?
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BUSINESS
August 7, 1997 | MARLA MATZER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
On Monday, Alan Thornton, manager of Odyssey Video in West Los Angeles, will meet his sales rep near the offramp at the intersection of the 405 and 101 freeways. His mission: to pick up the latest video releases, including "The Devil's Own" and "Mother," which would normally be shipped to him via United Parcel Service of America Inc. "It's like we're going out to do a drug deal by the offramp," said Odyssey owner Steven Gabor. "It's ridiculous."
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NEWS
June 13, 1993 | JEANNE WRIGHT, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It's a scary sight. With glazed eyes and a menacing grimace, your 5-year-old son is transfixed in front of a television screen watching a karate-chopping, chain-whipping, blood-spurting orgy of video violence. Not only is the child controlling this blood bath with his own hands, but you have to literally pry his fingers off the joystick to get him to stop playing. Welcome to the world of video games and the debate over whether these technological fantasies are good or bad for our kids.
BUSINESS
July 9, 1997 | MARLA MATZER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Some movie theater patrons have taken to shouting "Video!" during previews of films they deem unworthy of spending $7.50 on. Unfortunately for the video industry, Mr. and Ms. Loudmouth haven't actually been showing up at the video store. For the first half of 1997, video rentals and sales were both down, the first time they have slumped in tandem. For January through June this year versus the same period last year, rentals were down by more than 8%, according to VSDA VidTrac.
BUSINESS
May 26, 1992 | From Associated Press
The home video industry would like to avoid a rerun of last year. After a decade of rapid growth, rental activity slipped for the first time in 1991, largely because of the recession, lackluster releases and the Persian Gulf War's effects on television viewing habits. Rental volume dropped by about 10% from 1990, while revenue fell 8%. Video purchases, however, were higher.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 21, 1997 | MARLA MATZER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
What happens when a mega-media-corporation like Viacom Inc.--which owns Paramount studios, MTV Networks and Blockbuster Video, among other things--uses its companies to promote one another? Usually, nothing; it happens every day. Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, for example, is a master at cross-company promotion. And Viacom has done its share; MTV staged big on-air promotions for Paramount films, including "Clueless."
BUSINESS
May 8, 1997 | THOMAS K. ARNOLD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Albert Nader, president of Questar Home Video, is keeping his fingers crossed, hoping the documentary about Tibet his company is releasing in June will sell enough copies for the filmmaker to recoup at least half his investment. Counting materials, production and time--14 months in the rugged Chinese high country north of the Himalayas--it cost cinematographer William Bacon upward of $100,000 to produce the 54-minute film. "But all we could give him was a small advance," Nader said.
BUSINESS
July 9, 1997 | MARLA MATZER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Some movie theater patrons have taken to shouting "Video!" during previews of films they deem unworthy of spending $7.50 on. Unfortunately for the video industry, Mr. and Ms. Loudmouth haven't actually been showing up at the video store. For the first half of 1997, video rentals and sales were both down, the first time they have slumped in tandem. For January through June this year versus the same period last year, rentals were down by more than 8%, according to VSDA VidTrac.
BUSINESS
July 14, 1995 | SCOTT COLLINS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
When "The Lion King" was released on home video last winter, it conquered stores with a mighty roar. The Walt Disney Company said consumers snapped up 20 million units in just six days. But was the lion's roar really that loud? Some researchers suggest the actual number was lower than the one Disney reported. Others say the studio's figure, while perhaps high, was probably within a small margin of error.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 21, 1997 | MARLA MATZER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
What happens when a mega-media-corporation like Viacom Inc.--which owns Paramount studios, MTV Networks and Blockbuster Video, among other things--uses its companies to promote one another? Usually, nothing; it happens every day. Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, for example, is a master at cross-company promotion. And Viacom has done its share; MTV staged big on-air promotions for Paramount films, including "Clueless."
BUSINESS
May 8, 1997 | THOMAS K. ARNOLD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Albert Nader, president of Questar Home Video, is keeping his fingers crossed, hoping the documentary about Tibet his company is releasing in June will sell enough copies for the filmmaker to recoup at least half his investment. Counting materials, production and time--14 months in the rugged Chinese high country north of the Himalayas--it cost cinematographer William Bacon upward of $100,000 to produce the 54-minute film. "But all we could give him was a small advance," Nader said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 21, 1996 | DONALD LIEBENSON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
One might think that for Friday's video release of "Independence Day," 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's marketing team could fly on autopilot. Like the current best-selling non-animated videos "Jurassic Park" and "Forrest Gump," the release of "ID4" has event cachet. A pop culture phenomenon that received simultaneous cover mention on Time and Newsweek this summer, the box-office record-breaker has earned $300 million domestically and is currently the sixth-biggest film of all time.
BUSINESS
October 18, 1996 | KEVIN BRASS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
To a home video industry starving for good news, this year's fourth quarter is taking on mythic status. An unprecedented string of blockbusters is hitting the market within a 10-week period, each priced to sell directly to consumers. Industry observers are calling it the biggest sell-through season ever--and the most competitive.
BUSINESS
April 19, 1996 | KEVIN BRASS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Kevin Brass is a senior editor at Video Store magazine
The always tenuous business of arranging financing for films is getting tougher for producer Michael Meltzer, veteran of "The Hidden," "The Hidden II" and "Dead Heat." He can no longer count on the direct-to-video market, the traditional safety net of film financing. "The video stream is a way to get movies made and that stream is dwindling," said Meltzer, who recently completed "Sometimes They Come Back . . .
ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 1995 | Donald Liebenson, Donald Liebenson is a Chicago-based freelancer who writes about home video
The video industry's biggest event traditionally is the Video Software Dealers Assn. Convention. Usually in Las Vegas, it attracts thousands of retailers for a week of celebrity-studded brouhaha supplied by studios and distributors on behalf of their hottest releases. By contrast, there were no celebrities or flashy booths or exhibits at SIVA '95. The sixth annual convention of the Special Interest Video Assn.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 1994 | DAVID KRONKE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
On movie screens this fall, Tom Cruise will compete with Robert De Niro. On television, Tim Allen and Kelsey Grammer are duking it out. In record stores, Pearl Jam will square off against Michael Jackson. And in the world of video games, look for the battle of Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong. The expected hit titles, Sega of America's Sonic & Knuckles (due in stores Tuesday) and Nintendo of America's Donkey Kong Country (due Nov.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 1992 | JOHN JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In an unusual counterattack against the government's war on pornography, a Southern California-based association of manufacturers and distributors of sexually explicit videotapes has filed suit to determine whether a tape is obscene before its release. The suit filed by the Adult Video Assn. is designed to help distributors of X-rated videos stay out of jail by finding out ahead of time whether a tape violates community decency standards.
BUSINESS
September 10, 1995 | GREG MILLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Late last year, David Perry embarked on a trip around the country, stopping in New York, Chicago and other big cities to deliver two messages--both self-serving in their own way--to high school students. First, he urged the students to buy his company's latest video game, Earthworm Jim. Apparently, they listened. The game has since sold more than a million copies, becoming one of the industry's biggest recent hits.
BUSINESS
July 14, 1995 | SCOTT COLLINS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
When "The Lion King" was released on home video last winter, it conquered stores with a mighty roar. The Walt Disney Company said consumers snapped up 20 million units in just six days. But was the lion's roar really that loud? Some researchers suggest the actual number was lower than the one Disney reported. Others say the studio's figure, while perhaps high, was probably within a small margin of error.
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