September 11, 2000 |
Hollywood has systematically marketed violent, adult-oriented films, music and video games to children, using popular cartoon shows, comic books and even young kids themselves to do it, according to a Federal Trade Commission report released today. Despite the entertainment industry's participation in warning label programs designed to shield children from violence in such products, the FTC found that advertising and other marketing tools were routinely used to attract young customers.
May 17, 1999 |
For more than a decade, the computer game industry has struggled to shed its geek image and gain recognition as a legitimate entertainment business. And just when it finally accomplishes that goal--hauling in $6.3 billion in revenue in 1998--it faces the much greater challenge of dealing with intense scrutiny over ties to recent violent acts in schools. Game executives are divided over how to deal with this unwanted attention.
March 16, 1999 |
Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. said Monday that it will pay Warner Bros. more than $225 million to end an onerous video-distribution pact that has scared off suitors and kept MGM from joining in productions with other major studios. The deal gives MGM control of its post-1986 video library but comes at a high price. MGM said it will take a $225-million pretax charge in its first quarter to cover the costs. Warner Bros., a division of Time Warner Inc.
March 3, 1999 |
Less than a year ago, Billy Blanks was a $70-an-hour personal trainer with a growing celebrity clientele--not exactly a rare job description in Los Angeles. Today, thanks to the power of video and an oft-aired TV infomercial, Blanks is on the verge of becoming the most popular fitness guru since Jane Fonda.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 1999 |
The public television network--known for Big Bird, "Masterpiece Theatre" and fund-raising telethons--cheated former Monkee Michael Nesmith in a home video deal and must pay him nearly $47 million, a federal jury in Los Angeles has found. The Public Broadcasting Service initially sued Nesmith and his defunct Santa Monica-based Pacific Arts Corp.
September 17, 1998 |
A year and a half after the roll-out of the digital videodisc, or DVD, a long-anticipated hybrid known as Divx is set to launch nationally within the next few weeks. The question is whether Divx (digital video express) will be DOA (dead on arrival). The backers of Divx say it has the potential to fundamentally change the way video is consumed: The discs look like regular DVDs or audio CDs. But Divx discs are a rental/sales combination. For an initial charge of about $4.
September 16, 1998 |
"Titanic" is king of the world in video sales. According to VideoScan, Paramount nabbed a stunning 61.5% share for the week ended Sept. 6 on the strength of the Sept. 1 release. "Titanic" looks to be the top-selling live-action video of all time, unseating 20th Century Fox's "Independence Day," which has sold more than 18 million copies. Based on its count of 6 million copies sold at retail, VideoScan estimates that about 15.5 million copies were sold at all outlets.
September 2, 1998 |
Exact sales figures aren't in yet, but it appears "Titanic" is destined to repeat its blockbuster status on video. "It's doing phenomenal," says Brant Skogrand, spokesperson for Musicland Stores Corp., which includes the Suncoast Motion Picture, Sam Goody, Media Play and On Cue stores with a total of 1,341 locations. "Through our reservations line we have two-thirds more orders than our previous record-holder 'The Lion King.' " The "Titanic" video went on sale midnight Monday.
September 2, 1998 |
Home video's first decade was defined by the industry-sponsored slogan, "Watch what you want, when you want." These days, however, video store shelves are dominated by the latest new releases. It's becoming harder and harder for the true film buff to--in the words of one chain's ad--go home happy. Securing a copy of "Good Will Hunting"? No problem. But documentaries, foreign films, vintage silent films, serials, B-movie obscurities or live TV recordings are much harder to find.
July 23, 1998 |
Viacom Inc. said Wednesday it expects to take a second-quarter charge of $437 million because of changes in the way it accounts for video rentals at its Blockbuster Entertainment Group unit, the world's largest video store chain. Viacom also said rental revenue at Blockbuster stores open at least a year rose 13.3% in the quarter, reflecting new revenue-sharing agreements with some of the major Hollywood studios that have enabled the 6,000-store video chain to stock its shelves with more tapes.