Home Media Magazine - March 2-8, 2008 - (Page 1)
MARCH 2–8, 2008 >> ELECTRO N IC DELIVERY Disney Bows New Media Studio By Erik Gruenwedel eeking to up production and distribution of original shortform entertainment on the Internet, The Walt Disney Co. and ABC Television Group launched Stage 9 Digital Media. The first of 20 planned programs includes comedy series “Squeegees,” which premieres Mondays and Fridays as ad-supported content S on ABC.com and YouTube. “Squeegees” revolves around the trials and tribulations of four slackers and their fledgling window washing business. ABC.com is separately launching the second season of “Voicemail 2,” again offering snippets into the life of a twentysomething male slacker in pursuit of happiness. See DISNEY, Page 30 INSIDE >> ABC Shows on Demand Content available sans fast forward. >> Xbox Live Gets MGM Some titles are in HD. PAGE 10 >> HIGH-DEF BRINGING DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT TO YOU End of the Line For New Line W Studio to be folded into Warner Bros. By Thomas K. Arnold and Erik Gruenwedel SUPPLIER New Line Cinema, the scrappy independent film company that celebrated its 40th birthday last year, is being folded into Warner Bros. Entertainment, parent Time Warner announced Feb. 28. The consolidation of Time Warner’s filmed entertainment businesses will see the departure of New Line co-chairmen and co-CEOs Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne. New Line, known for such popular theatrical and home video franchises as “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Austin Powers” and “The Lord of the Rings,” will maintain separate See NEW LINE, Page 32 Some Analysts See Pyrrhic Win for Blu By Erik Gruenwedel ith Microsoft pulling the plug on its HD DVD addon for Xbox 360, capitulation to a Blu-ray world for high-def packaged media would appear complete. Or is it? Some analysts believe Sony Corp.’s dogged desire to eclipse Toshiba’s HD DVD has resulted in little more than reduced confusion to an indifferent retail audience. Following the sometimes-acrimonious battle, a major question looms as to whether HD packaged media has any relevance in a technological era that is increasingly eying Webbased media, analysts say. “The demise of HD DVD will reduce consumer confusion,” confirmed David Carnevale, VP of multimedia content and services at iSuppli Corp., a Torrance, Calif.-based research firm. “But the biggest question is: Do consumers even care?” Carnevale said Blu-ray players are likely to remain priced on the high side (around $400), compared to DVD players, which retail at under $60. In addition, upconverting DVD players that play standardDVD movies in 720p resolution are available at less than $100. Indeed, Sony announced it will bow two new Blu-ray players with Internet connectivity later this year, starting at $400 — about $300 more than upconverting players. See BLU-RAY, Page 32 INSIDE >> Sonic Ups Blu-ray Sonic Solutions projects Blu bucks. >> Sony to Debut Players Two BD players are coming. PAGE 8 MICROSOFT DISCONTINUES XBOX HD DVD ADD-ON By Thomas K. Arnold L A Nightmare on Elm Street Blockbuster Is ‘Treading Water,’ Netflix CFO Says By Erik Gruenwedel RETAIL Its first quarter doesn’t end until March 31, but that didn’t stop Netflix Inc. last week from crowing about projected record results or belittling rival Blockbuster Inc. Speaking at an investor conference in New York, Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy offered a blunt assessment of Blockbuster, saying its online rental service continues to hemorrhage subscribers. “If they are not going to invest to grow it to profitability, and it is not profitable today, then See NETFLIX, Page 32 REDBOX EXPANDS TO 2,000 WALGREENS By Chris Tribbey ess than a week after Toshiba officially pulled the plug on its HD DVD next-generation optical disc format, Microsoft Feb. 24 announced it would no longer manufacturer add-ons to its Xbox 360 game console that allow users to view HD DVD movies. John Porcaro, a senior group manager in Microsoft’s Global Games Marketing Team, noted on the company’s See MICROSOFT, Page 30 DVD rental kiosk operator Redbox is expanding its reach again. After testing the kiosks in Walgreens stores in the Southwest and Midwest, the retailer has agreed to place Redbox kiosks in roughly 2,000 of its stores nationwide. The announcement comes on the heels of Redbox’s announcement that its kiosks would be placed in nearly all of Wal-Mart’s 3,500 U.S. stores. See REDBOX, Page 32 RETAIL H IG H-DE F MAR KET S HAR E Blu-ray and HD DVD Sales Comparison as of 2/24/08 Week Ended 2/24 Year-to-Date I Blu-ray I HD DVD Since Inception 23% 77% 76% 24% 65% 35% Source: Nielsen VideoScan: First Alert data NEWS DreamWorks Animation SKG reports its best year yet, with Shrek the Third shipping 15.6 million DVD units worldwide. RESEARCH Universal’s American Gangster was a force to be reckoned with on home video this week, topping both the DVD sales and rental charts. PRODUCT “Cops” creator John Langley visits the California Speedway to celebrate Fox’s Cops: 20th Anniversary Edition DVD. Page 4 Page 26 Page 30
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Home Media Magazine - March 2-8, 2008
Home Media Magazine - March 2-8, 2008
Top 20 DVD Sellers
Top 20 Rentals and Top 10 Charts
Home Media Magazine - March 2-8, 2008
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