MEDIA - January 2001

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Wednesday January 31

  • WHEN MORE ISN'T NECESSARILY BETTER: Minority activists have been complaining that American TV networks have not portrayed enough minorities on television. A few recent shows have included more, but "do Latinos come out looking like a bunch of losers and victims? Because that's no victory. Don't do us a favor, OK?" Los Angeles Times 01/31/01
  • JAZZ HAS RATINGS JUICE: So the critics may have been jousting over Ken Burns' PBS "Jazz," but what about viewers? "On the average, 10.3 million Americans a night have watched "Jazz," whose final chapter airs tonight. The series has averaged a 3.6 rating nationally," tiny by commercial network standards, and small by Burns' 9.0 "Civil War" series numbers. "But they're big for a program dedicated to an art form that hasn't had a mass audience in 60 years. PBS' five-part series 'Rock and Roll' a few years ago drew fewer viewers, scoring an average 3.3 rating." San Francisco Chronicle 01/31/01
  • DOIN' THE DANCE: This year's Sundance Festival felt "more like a festival" than the commercial bazaar it has been in recent editions. But the downside was that there were fewer commercial distribution deals and [from a distributor's point of view] they cost more. Variety 01/31/01

Tuesday January 30

  • CANADA'S OSCARS: "Maelstrom," an attention-getter at Sundance and Canada's hope for a foreign-film nomination at the Academy Awards, won Best Picture and four other prizes at the Genie Awards Monday night. The Genies honor Canada's best films. Ottawa Citizen 01/30/01
    • ..BUT HOW MANY CANADIANS HAVE SEEN IT? Canadian films account for only two percent of the Candian box office gross. Why? No big-name stars. Tiny promotional budgets. And that movie juggernaut to the South. One frustrated film maker says, "[N]o civilization.. has survived without protecting its culture. If we want this one to survive, we have to, too." National Post (Canada) 01/29/01
  • DOING GOD'S WORK? There seems to be a growing audience for Christian movies. "Left Behind," based on an evangelical book that sold 30 million copies, hopes to "tap into the enormous spending power of the millions of North American Christians who want to see movies with a religious bent. In an unorthodox twist, the film's producers are asking potential audience members to help pay for the film's distribution in order to get the film's message out to as many people as possible." The Globe and Mail (Toronto) 01/30/01
  • LAND OF OPPORTUNITY: The British movie industry is hoping to cash in this summer if Hollywood's actors and writers go on strike. "With the dollar so strong and Hollywood winding down as the strikes loom, relocating films to London - with its large and relatively low-paid pool of both acting and writing talent - has never looked so good." The Guardian (London) 1/30/01
  • THE ONLINE NEW YORKER: The New Yorker magazine has made a deal with Microsoft and Barnes & Noble to publish e-books. And while most Conde Nast magazines have had their websites postponed to later this summer, the New Yorker was granted special dispensation to hit the web in February. Variety 01/30/01
  • YOU MEAN, SOME CALLERS ARE REAL? Professional callers are the latest weapon in the ratings wars among radio talk-show hosts. A New York syndication company supplies glib, witty, provocative callers to energize the airwaves when real people are just too dull. Some radio execs are critical: "Why not start making up news stories on slow news days?" New York Post 01/29/01
  • WE MAY BE SLEEPING BUT WE STILL THINK YOU'RE SWELL: Sean Connery and Julie Walters have been voted the greatest British movie actors of all time in a poll conducted by the Orange British Academy. But perhaps the survey’s more interesting finding was "that cinemagoers find the experience so relaxing that many fall asleep. Nearly half of all those who took part had fallen asleep at the cinema and almost a quarter had nodded off in the past three months." BBC 1/29/01

Monday January 29

  • TRUE "BELIEVER": Henry Bean's "The Believer" took the top picture award at the Sundance Festival while Kate Davis' "Southern Comfort" won for best documentary. "The smart, provocative "Believer" was an unexpected but popular choice for the top prize. Los Angeles Times 01/29/01
    • ALL IN ALL A GOOD YEAR: "Although the audience awards and the jury awards often went to the same films, one got the feeling that the votes were awfully close because there were so many good pictures here this year. The 2001 slate wasn't filled with the kind of high-concept fodder that forces money to change hands faster than the action at a high school poker game." The New York Times 01/29/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • MIXED MESSAGE: "From the silent era, when few police adventures were complete without a chase through a Chinatown opium den, Hollywood has treated drugs with an unstable mixture of fear and fascination, moralism and concern." The Economist 01/25/01

Sunday January 27

  • WORLD-BEATERS: Is the combination of Time Warner and AOL (whose merger was approved last week) going to fundamentally change the landscape of the media business? The Telegraph (London) 01/27/01

Friday January 26

  • FAIR TURNAROUND? Last year EToys, the toy retailer, tried to shut down the website of etoy, the European artist group, for infringing on its name. Now etoy has slapped EToys with a trademark infringement suit. "Etoy, which may be the world's only artists' collective with a business plan, alleges that because it was around before eToys, the toy retailer should not be allowed to use a similar name that could be confused with its own." Wired (Reuters) 01/25/01
  • HOLLYWOOD'S GIDDY NUMBERS AND DIRE CAUTIONS: Hollywood raked in billions last year - $7.5 billion in box-office sales, and a whopping $20 billion in video rental and sales. "After this record year, in possession of these gigantic numbers, studio chiefs should be slapping backs and passing out cigars; there should be hullabaloos up and down Wilshire Boulevard. Instead, they are battening down the hatches, composing secret lists of who to axe, and talking doomsday." Globe and Mail (Toronto), 01/26/01
  • THE NEXT HOLLYWOOD? Hollywood is already screaming that too much movie production is moving north to Canada. Recognizing opportunity (and acknowledging its Canadian roots) the newly-formed Vivendi Universal corporation (created when Seagram's merged with Vivendi SA) announced that it plans to invest some $300 million in Canadian film, music, and online industries over the next few years. Toronto Star 01/26/01
  • MAY THE MUGGLES BE WITH YOU: John Williams has agreed to compose the score for the movie version of J.K. Rowling's wildly popular "Harry Potter" series.  Not only that, Williams even read the book before starting to compose. Boston Globe 01/26/01

Thursday January 25

  • ABC ARTS CUTS: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation cuts its arts programming budget by a third. "The cuts will come from production, and mean less money is available for commissioning of artists, including musicians, writers and composers. Arts programs planned for Classic FM and Radio National have been cancelled, with an ABC source saying yesterday scripts were being returned to writers." Sydney Morning Herald 01/25/01
  • MOVIE THEATRES PLAN CLOSINGS: Movie theatre chain AMC says it will close 500 screens and multiplexes (about 20 percent of its total) in an effort to stave off bankruptcy. "Even the No. 2 U.S. exhibitor, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, which thus far has avoided bankruptcy, Monday confirmed plans to shut 675 screens, or almost 25% of its circuit." Variety 01/25/01
  • BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS:  Minnesota Public Radio is the 800-lb. gorilla of classical music radio. The network not only broadcasts throughout the Upper Midwest, its "Classical 24" satellite service provides programming to more than 250 stations nationwide. Increasingly, MPR is under fire for the incessant "dumbing down" of classical music on the air, and one of the network's own news-talk hosts took on the man in charge of such programming on her public affairs show. "Midmorning," Minnesota Public Radio 1/23/01 [RealAudio file]
  • SLOW DANCING: "Mirroring the changes in the American independent film movement that it helped create, Sundance is a film festival in transition. The jampacked parties with sadistic doormen are still here, and the hot-air buzz and the leather-clad celebrities, but rarer these days are the ragged, unsophisticated filmmakers rolling in from the hinterlands with a fresh, raw vision to unleash. The bidding wars over film rights that once turned untested directors and unknown actors into overnight sensations also appear to have faded from the scene." The New York Times 01/25/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • BITING THE HAND: A Quebec filmmaker speaks out against how films are funded in Canada: "In this country, the system of filmmaking is a state system. So it's exactly the same system as in Poland, or in Russia or in Czechoslovakia, before. That means that they nourish the artist, but at the same time they control him. And so all the artists here, I think, are on a leash, and if you want to eat, you have to wag your tail. And if you don't wag it a good way, they don't put food on the plate." National Post (Canada) 01/25/01
  • TURNING OFF THE TUBE: The amount of time Canadians watch TV declined in 1999. "Average TV time fell to 21.6 hours a week, an hour less than in 1998 and well below the peak of 23.5 hours set in 1998. All age and sex groups watched less, and only Newfoundland and British Columbia showed small increases." Ottawa Citizen 01/25/01

Wednesday January 24

  • WHO’S WATCHING WHAT? Movie attendance is booming in Europe, with overall attendance up 40% since 1990, but what are people watching? Hollywood blockbusters. "Three-quarters of EU cinema-goers watch U.S releases, a figure which rises to 82 percent in Britain and 90 percent in the Netherlands. Even in France, renowned for its pride in its own movies, 64 percent of cinema receipts come from U.S. films. In contrast, 95 percent of films seen in U.S. movie theatres are home-grown." Yahoo! News (Reuters) 1/23/01
  • GOING DARK: Moviegoers are avoiding older theaters and flocking instead to newer multiplexes. So Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp. is closing 112 of its classic movie theaters in the U.S. and Canada. A total of 675 screens will go dark. Nando Times (AP) 1/23/01
  • THE CELLULOID GLUT: As the multiplex culture continues to take firm hold, neighborhood theatres are gradually forced out. Minneapolis recently broke ground on a new downtown 17-screen chain theatre, and small moviehouse owners worry that the flood of multiscreen complexes spells doom for the industry as a whole. City Pages (Minneapolis/St. Paul) 1/24/01

Tuesday January 23

  • SEE KOREAN: Korean movies have become very popular at home. "The share of Korean movies in the local market has grown from 15 percent to 35 percent during the past 4 to 5 years.'' That makes the Korean movie market the local market with the highest percentage of movies made locally of any country in the world. Korea Times 01/23/01
  • ARTS ON TV: PBS announces national backing/distribution of "Egg," the arts show. "Egg profiles performers and other artists with highly edited, verite mini-docs, without host narration. They define art broadly—from the street to the museum and stage—but stay clear of the pop stars who are the grist for Entertainment Tonight." Current 01/15/01

Monday January 22

  • GOLDEN GLOBES: "Gladiator" and "Almost Famous" were the big winners at Sunday night's Golden Globe awards. Los Angeles Times 01/22/01
  • THE CHANGING MOVIE BIZ: "Moviegoers are abandoning older theatres for neon-trimmed mega-multiplexes with high-tech sound systems, large screens, stadium seating and enough concession stands to make you feel you're at a year-round county fair. Older theatres just don't cut it." Toronto Star 01/22/01

Friday January 19

  • RUNAWAY FILM: A new report says that the number of film and video productions leaving Hollywood to be shot elsewhere is increasing. "It cites one study showing domestic production of made-for-TV movies declined by more than 33% in the last six years, while production at foreign locations rose 55%." Variety 01/19/01
  • THE PAMPLONA OF FILMS? In the beginning Sundance was a haven for films that were different from mainstream Hollywood. "But the success of Sundance hits broadened the definition of commercial acceptability in movies. Suddenly, filmmakers had a template for an indie hit. And films started showing up at Sundance that looked different in exactly the same way." National Post (Canada) 01/19/01
  • INDIGENOUS FILM: Native peoples are increasingly making their own films to depict themselves. "Thanks in part to plummeting equipment costs and a growing access to information via the Internet, filmmaking has become possible in communities who historically have been caught on the wrong side of the camera." Wired 01/19/01

Thursday January 18

  • THE CORPORATIZATION OF PACIFICA: The management of the 50-year-old lefty US Pacifica radio network has been systematically transforming its stations from "locally based and left-oriented outlets into centrally controlled, mainstream institutions. The nonprofit Pacifica Foundation, which holds the broadcast licenses for WBAI and four other listener-sponsored stations, has been systematically reining its stations in, one by one, for the last four years." Village Voice 01/18/01
  • THE DANCE AT SUNDANCE: Last year the Sundance Film Festival was crawling with do-commies making bold promises. "Many of those dot-coms have already collapsed, but those that survive are expected to be a significant presence at this year's festival. Digital cinema, in which filmmakers use relatively cheaper video equipment to make and distribute their films, has so far not resulted in the flood of fresh voices that many hoped it would produce." New York Times 01/18/01 (one-time registration required for access)
    • GOING DIGITAL AT SUNDANCE: Digital filmmaking will take center stage this year at Sundance. "Organizers expect attendance to more than double for the digital new media center, but the move of the Sundance Digital Center from its tiny satellite site to the new 10,000-square-foot Main Street building represents more than increased foot traffic. It also signals a shift in the attitude of the United States' biggest film festival toward new technologies." Wired 01/18/01
  • ABOUT THE MONEY AND... Sure the impending writers' strike against movie producers is about the money (when isn't it about the money?). But high up also are a couple of respect issues. "We're basically treated like dirt. Over the past 15 years, the situation has gotten substantially worse." Dallas Morning News 01/18/01

Wednesday January 17

  • MINORITY OWNERSHIP DOWN: Minority ownership of American television stations "declined to the lowest point since the US Commerce Department began collecting data in 1990. Last year, minorities owned 23 full-power commercial TV stations, representing 1.9 percent of the nation's total licensed stations. Minorities owned as many as 38 TV stations in 1995. Nando Times (AP) 01/17/01
  • RABBIS AGAINST REDEVELOPMENT: A New York plan to redevelop the city's naval yards into a giant film studio precinct in the Brooklyn suburb, which is home to many of New York's Hasidic Jewish population, is being fiercely contested by a group of local rabbis. "In what sounds like a scene from an early Woody Allen movie, a group of combative Brooklyn rabbis have banded together to fight the redevelopment." The Age (Melbourne) 1/17/01
  • FOSTER LEADS CANNES: Jody Foster has been named to head the Cannes Film Festival jury. Nando Times (AP) 01/17/01

Tuesday January 16

  • HARD TO SUPPORT THE COMMERCIALS: Why did last year's major strike by actors in TV commercials go largely ignored in the general press? "Most television commercials are regarded as cultural offal to be ignored, muted and clicked away from at every opportunity. One might enthusiastically support sanitation workers who rid the streets of garbage. That same level of support or even sympathy is unlikely for someone perceived to be making a good living by helping to create cultural pollution, i.e., commercials." MediaChannel 01/13/01 
  • BOLLYWOOD AND THE MOB: Speculation over possible links between Bombay’s film industry and the Indian mafia have been confirmed with the recent arrest of Bharat Shah, Bollywood's leading financier. "Everyone in Bollywood knows that films have been used by Bombay's mafia as a way of laundering dirty money - with the prospect of huge profits if the film is a success." The Guardian (London) 1/16/01
  • WHO ARE THE BIGGEST MOVIE STARS? A new ranking system takes away all the subjectivity and reduces it to a formula. The biggest? Bruce Willis. Overpaid? Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Chicago Sun-Times 01/16/01
  • ART OF THE PITCH: The movies, see, they want you to pitch your script in person - producers get more of a sense of the story when it's told to them. "In Hollywood, up to 15 per cent of a film’s budget is spent on developing the script. In the UK it’s more like 3 per cent, which goes some way to explaining the discrepancy between the success of films created on either side of the Atlantic." The Scotsman 01/15/01

Monday January 15

  • TV'S GOLDEN AGE? No question a lot of what plays on TV is schlock. But amid the vast wasteland, there are many quality programs, and the current lineup of TV dramas suggests we may be in the "Golden Age" of TV theatre. Los Angeles Times 01/15/01
  • THE INEVITABLE STRIKE: Hollywood producers say they think a writers' strike is inevitable this year. "While unanimous in their opinion that a shutdown would have disastrous consequences for the industry, the toppers also had only one answer when asked whether they believed there will be a strike. 'Unfortunately, yes'." Variety 01/15/01
  • MESSAGE MATTERS: In a rare move for the Anti-Defamation League (the largest international organization fighting anti-Semitism worldwide), the organization has publicly lauded the new film "Chocolat" for "addressing and challenging prejudice and intolerance in a sensitive and entertaining manner." Variety 1/12/01
  • FINDING CULTUREFINDER: The arts site has laid off its staff and is seeking to reorganize as a non-profit company. The site tried to survive as a lister of arts events and original editorial content. Gramophone 01/12/01

Sunday January 14

  • CAUGHT UP SHORT: The web has brought about a rebirth in interest in short films. But "just as film aficionados — and aspiring auteurs with student projects under their belts — began hailing the Web for fostering a new golden age of short films, many of the sites that had featured them began to crash and burn." The New York Times 01/14/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Friday January 12

  • "JAZZ" A RATINGS HIT: PBS ratings for the show are double its usual prime time numbers. "The first three segments, tracing jazz from its ragtime roots through the Roaring '20s, averaged a 4.1 household rating and 5.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research figures for 48 selected cities. That is more than twice the 2.0 rating and 2.7 million viewers that PBS normally averages during prime-time." National Post 01/12/01
  • SUNDANCING: "In the 16 years that the Sundance Film Institute - founded by Robert Redford in the hardcore ski town of Park City, Utah - has presided over the festival, the event has run the customary pop-culture slalom from hip, vital and alternative to sold-out, mainstream and commercial. Just ask anybody who goes every year: they'll tell you Sundance isn't what it used to be, but they keep coming back anyway." Toronto Star 01/12/01
  • CAMPAIGNING FOR OSCAR: Winning an Oscar means making money. So studios campaign vigorously to get their pictures included. "Behind the pomp and spectacle of the Academy Awards are hundreds of studio strategists who spend extraordinary amounts of time and money getting their films and actors into the minds of the people who vote on the Oscars. 'You've got to be relentless, and you've got to be persistent, and it costs more and more money every year'." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 01/12/01
  • FIT THE FORMAT: Sale of classical music station WNIB in Chicago is sure to bring a format change. "Whatever the new format, the change looks to be another example of the accelerating homogenization of radio since federal deregulation of the industry in 1996. Giant radio station owners have feverishly snatched up independent operations like WNIB and turned the medium nationwide into a cesspool of sameness, with a handful of generic, tightly defined formats being replicated from city to city." Chicago Tribune 01/12/01
  • HYPING THE HOBBIT: Still almost a year away before the film opens, "The Hobbit" is shaping up to be one of the most-hyped movies in history. "But while they may have captured Middle-Earth, will they capture Middle America? That's the question New Line Cinema faces as it tries to draw the fans out of their hobbit holes." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 01/12/01
  • BLAME THE GAMES: Movie attendance in Australia has fallen for the first time in 13 years, and some are blaming the Olympics for siphoning audiences. The new GST and the growing number of multiplex cinemas are also being held accountable. Sydney Morning Herald 1/12/01
  • SO YOU WANT TO BE A MOVIE CRITIC: "Early in life, develop no practical skills. I advise watching nothing but television until the age of about 9, then venturing out. Practise emotional repression. Not only will this help you keep a useful distance from everyone around you, it will force you to displace your emotional response to utterly useless things. Like movies. Hold strong views on things that don't matter to anyone else." Toronto Star 01/12/01
  • THE KING AND I SAY NO: Thailand’s culture censors have banned 20th Century Fox’s film "Anna and the King" from being screened in the country, on the grounds that it is an inaccurate portrayal of the monarchy. "The film could be shown here if it was cut, but after the cutting it would probably last about 20 minutes." Times of India (AP) 11/02/00

Tuesday January 9

  • MOVIE KILLER? Movie studio executives "have been studying the music industry's experience with file-swapping services such as Napster. And while no one will say it out loud, privately they admit they're terrified Hollywood will be Napsterized: that some college kid will post a movie-swapping program that will explode in popularity, swiftly creating a ravenous audience of millions of users who will expect free access to Hollywood blockbusters." Industry Standard 01/09/01
  • DREADING THE HOBBIT: Interest in the forthcoming "Lord of the Rings" movie is intense. But while fans can hardly wait, members of JR Tolkein's family are dreading it. "Father John Tolkien, a retired Roman Catholic priest, says family members are already constantly harassed by devotees of his father's work. He predicts the extra interest generated by the films will mean anyone with the Tolkien name will have to disguise their origins." The Age (Melbourne) 01/09/01

Monday January 8

  • A SAGGING UNION: Just out of one strike and on the verge of possibly calling another that could shut down Hollywood production, the Screen Actors Guild has another problem on its hands. A consultant's report, a "two-inch-thick document, paints a relentlessly unflattering picture of the world's best-known performers' union" and says it suffers from "organizational chaos." Variety 01/08/01
  • ART FILMS' TOUGH TIMES: "The art cinema in America is in crisis. Cable television has increasing muscle and, after contributing to the costs of a movie, wants the kudos of its premiere. There are more art film distributors than ever, yet this sector of the US box office is down 15 per cent over last year, and an alarming 31 per cent over the past decade — not allowing for inflation." The Times (London) 01/08/01

Sunday January 7

  • BRING OUT YOUR DEAD: "With the Screen Actors Guild strike threatening to paralyse Hollywood, this year could be boom time for dead thesps. Many of the greatest (deceased) actors in history are as busy as ever, toiling overtime, doing everything from celebrity endorsements to cameo film roles. Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich, James Cagney: all are proving veritable cash cows for their respective estates, digitally reanimated for a whole new audience." Sunday Times (London) 01/07/01

Friday January 5

  • RADIO STATION UNDER SEIGE: "WBAI, the voice of the left on New York's radio dial for more than 40 years, is in turmoil after the FM station's owners fired the longtime general manager and two other employees and changed the locks to keep the purged from coming back." The station is owned by Pacifica, which last year battled with one of its California stations in a similar dispute. Nando Times (AP) 01/05/01
  • THE ART OF SELF-PROMOTION: "Once again, after a year of producing largely dreary commercial product, Hollywood has put on its straightest face to pretend that all it has ever really cared about is quality. And once again it can point to a (very small) handful of films that almost justify the chest-thumping pomposity." New York Times 01/05/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • HOLLYWOOD NEGOTIATES: Increasingly worried about threats of major strikes by writers this summer, Hollywood producers are anxious to negotiate. "With less than four months left on its current film-TV contract, the Writers Guild made a surprise about-face Tuesday, saying it was ready to hold early talks with producers for two weeks beginning Jan. 22." Producers respond: "We'd meet them in a parking lot if that's what they want." Variety 01/05/01
  • RADIO DRAMA REVIVAL: Radio drama, a staple of pre-television’s golden age, is making a comeback, with vintage radio shows being converted to MP3 files. Los Angeles is the center of the current craze and the city boasts three groups that produce radio drama on a regular basis and is home to an important archive devoted to vintage radio. "The radio performer was a species unto himself." NPR 01/04/01 [Real audio file]
  • JUST IN CASE: The Academy of Motion Pictures was in turmoil last year when someone stole a batch of Oscar statuettes before the annual award ceremony. So this year the Academy has ordered a spare set just in case. Nando Times (AP) 01/05/01

Thursday January 4

  • DOCUMENTARY CRISIS: "Millions of viewers have been drawn to lavish multipart series on public television, like those made by Bill Moyers and like Ken Burns's 19- hour 'Jazz'. But at the same time many longtime documentary filmmakers say things have only gotten tougher for them. They say that the filmmakers have been facing a crisis in financing from nonprofit sources that has had a profound effect on what kind of documentaries are made, how they are made and where filmmakers go for money." New York Times 01/04/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • TAKING THE REMAKE: "If production schedules are any guide, movie studios will flood the market with sequels and prequels in 2002 and 2003. Following the 'two-thirds rule' - that a sequel will make at least two-thirds the box office of an original - conservative studios, faced with varying prerogatives and pressures, are seemingly agreed on the reliability of sequels." Sydney Morning Herald 01/04/01

Wednesday January 3

  • AN EXTENDED FEDEX AD? The movie "Cast Away" has been earning good reviews and phenomenal box office. But however good the movie is, it is a masterpiece of product placement. Much of the movie is little more than a thinly-disguised ad for Federal Express. Is it excessive? Worrisome? Feed 01/02/01
  • ART ON CABLE? REALLY? With line-ups that include film adaptations of stage plays and intimate ensemble dramas, cable networks are making more "Serious Films," filling the gap between independent film-making aspirations and the pressures major studios feel to produce huge-grossing blockbusters. Now the cable co's free-reign formula increasingly includes projects that feature big-name talent and directors like Norman Jewison and Mike Nichols. New York Times 01/03/2001 (one-time registration required for access)
  • PRESSURE FOR PROFIT: American independent films are not the only ones that come up for scrutiny when it comes to making a profit: "Only one of the 11 films released and funded through Britain's National Lottery money has made a profit, according to latest figures." BBC 01/03/2001
  • GLOBAL SLOWDOWN: For the second year in a row, Hollywood's international box office take has tumbled. In an international marketplace plagued by depreciating local currencies, escalating marketing costs and a global exhibition slowdown, distributors will be lucky to clear $6 billion, down 10% on last year's $6.66 billion target and way short of 1998's boffo $6.8 billion." Variety 01/03/01
  • GLOBAL SLOWDOWN: For the second year in a row, Hollywood's international box office take has tumbled. In an international marketplace plagued by depreciating local currencies, escalating marketing costs and a global exhibition slowdown, distributors will be lucky to clear $6 billion, down 10% on last year's $6.66 billion target and way short of 1998's boffo $6.8 billion." Variety 01/03/01

Tuesday  January 2

  • WE LOVE THE MOVIES: Quality-wise, 2000 might not have been a blockbuster year. But American theatres still took in record receipts. Box office was $7.7 billion, a 2.7 percent increase over last year's record. It was the ninth straight year that revenues climbed. But movie attendance may have fallen as much as 3 percent, depending on how much ticket prices rose in 2000." Nando Times (AP) 01/01/01