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August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze" 
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Post August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
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Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:36 pm
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
Quote:
If the summer box office has been a disappointment overall, it's still rosier than the home video market. DVDs are moving slowly and Blu-Ray sale are sluggish, indicating that the "next wave" isn't breaking with the fury the industry had hoped for once the format war ended. Netflix reports rentals are up, which signals that an increasing number of consumers are renting (or streaming) rather than buying.


James, I wanted to ask your opinion of something. What are your feelings on the newest phenomenon in the movie industry, DVD rental kiosks? Especially the ones where you can rent for only a dollar. While Blockbuster is slumping and closing stores, Redbox right now is one of the biggest booming companies in the industry...even though studios are very wary about cheap rental machines cannibalizing DVD sales. Netflix has even stated that in the future, it foresees kiosks being its only real competition, not Blockbuster.

I have a personal reason for bringing this up but I'm not revealing what it is. :mrgreen:


Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:18 pm
Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
Ultimate_Gizzard wrote:
Quote:
If the summer box office has been a disappointment overall, it's still rosier than the home video market. DVDs are moving slowly and Blu-Ray sale are sluggish, indicating that the "next wave" isn't breaking with the fury the industry had hoped for once the format war ended. Netflix reports rentals are up, which signals that an increasing number of consumers are renting (or streaming) rather than buying.


James, I wanted to ask your opinion of something. What are your feelings on the newest phenomenon in the movie industry, DVD rental kiosks? Especially the ones where you can rent for only a dollar. While Blockbuster is slumping and closing stores, Redbox right now is one of the biggest booming companies in the industry...even though studios are very wary about cheap rental machines cannibalizing DVD sales. Netflix has even stated that in the future, it foresees kiosks being its only real competition, not Blockbuster.

I have a personal reason for bringing this up but I'm not revealing what it is. :mrgreen:


You invented them didn't you?


Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:36 pm
Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
Ha ha, I wish. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing right now.

Okay, I'll bite. I work for one of the companies. I always enjoy reading James's takes on the movie industry (especially during the format war) so I was curious to see what he had to say about the kiosk market.


Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:48 pm
Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
I honestly don't see those kiosks as being that big of a deal, mainly because they're not very common outside of major cities and they're practically nonexistant in rural areas, i'm guessing that most of the Blockbuster stores that got closed were in major cities with those kiosks. But the stores in rural areas are highly unlikely to close anytime soon.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:09 am
Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
Quote:
The biggest disaster was unquestionably Land of the Lost, which raises questions about whether Will Ferrell's shtick is wearing thin. Lately, Ferrell has fallen into a rut, and audiences seem to be tiring of it.


I know this has probably been brought up in other forums, but here's my take.

Land of the Lost failed because the producers didnt show any real respect for writing of the original show. Aside from not being all that great to begin with, it did have somewhat of a cult following and was beloved by the 70s kids who watched it. The "family" aspect of that show is a big part of what made it watchable. Its kind of like taking HR PuffnStuff and putting him in outer space or something. (hmmm... $10mil pitch!) While the mass of people who would go see a Will Farrell comedy wouldnt be familiar with the show, being SO far removed from what made the original show watchable, they turned it into a parody of something that already was a goof. Parody's don't really work that way.

Anyway, my real point was Will Farrell choices lately have been unfortunate. I am a HUGE fan of his movie Stranger Than Fiction, and Will's fan base made this movie a flop because they don't seem capable of being open to anything other than cheesy goof comedy, which is a real shame.

I guess it's kind of the same with Spanglish and Sandler, though not at the same level of Stranger Than Fiction, IMO, it is commendable he keeps trying...

I do hope Farrell will start to take his schtick and move more into the dramatic world, cause he has shown the chops to do it, especially with the right direction. (Adam Rapp in Winter Crossing did NOT do him justice) In my world, Stranger Than Fiction is a Top 10 movie of all time. It is a glorious film. Unfortunatly, a quick look at Ferrell's IMDB page shows nothing interesting in the near future (ok, I will, however, see Anchorman 2 :), whereas Sandler's IMDB entry shows some potential, I think.

Is it fair to compare Sandler and Ferrell? Well, let's see if anyone cares to comment about this post...


Last edited by MrGuinness on Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:09 am
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
Ultimate_Gizzard wrote:
Ha ha, I wish. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing right now.

Okay, I'll bite. I work for one of the companies. I always enjoy reading James's takes on the movie industry (especially during the format war) so I was curious to see what he had to say about the kiosk market.


I'm a little surprised they're successful. I prefer not having to go anywhere to rent a movie, which makes Netflix ideal for me - get the "hard" DVDs sent to me by mail and watch something streaming on demand. (I am increasingly impressed by the number of streaming titles available, especially when it comes to older films and foreign/indies, which represents 75% of what I watch.)

If I was actually going to physically go somewhere to pick up a DVD, it would be to the library (where I can rent them for free) rather than to a kiosk. But I suppose placement (there's one in the supermarket where I shop) makes them ideal for impulse rentals.

Still, I suspect this will be a short-lived phenomena that will be completely eliminated as downloading becomes more prevalent. Can't beat the convenience of not having to leave the home - especially in colder climes during the winter.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:13 am
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
Vexer wrote:
I honestly don't see those kiosks as being that big of a deal, mainly because they're not very common outside of major cities and they're practically nonexistant in rural areas, i'm guessing that most of the Blockbuster stores that got closed were in major cities with those kiosks. But the stores in rural areas are highly unlikely to close anytime soon.


Oh, but you are VERY wrong, my friend. I don't service any major cities, in fact all I do is rural areas and the amount of kiosks and rentals I track is obscene. We installed one in a Wal-Mart store the other day and within days it had rented out over a hundred DVDs, with the number exploding every single day. Redbox since 2001 has developed over 18,000 kiosks nationwide, and will probably be over 22,000 by the end of the year. The vast majority of them are in regular grocery stores and supermarkets, but we also have them in Walgreens, Circle K and Texaco gas stations, McDonald's restaurants, apartment complexes, etc. In fact, as the market grows, we're tapping into the fact that you can literally install these machines ANYwhere. We even have them in corporate offices, in break rooms, next to drink machines. Can you imagine people renting a movie at work during there lunch break, and returning it the next day? People have to go to work anyway.

James Berardinelli wrote:
Ultimate_Gizzard wrote:
Ha ha, I wish. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing right now.

Okay, I'll bite. I work for one of the companies. I always enjoy reading James's takes on the movie industry (especially during the format war) so I was curious to see what he had to say about the kiosk market.


I'm a little surprised they're successful. I prefer not having to go anywhere to rent a movie, which makes Netflix ideal for me - get the "hard" DVDs sent to me by mail and watch something streaming on demand. (I am increasingly impressed by the number of streaming titles available, especially when it comes to older films and foreign/indies, which represents 75% of what I watch.)

If I was actually going to physically go somewhere to pick up a DVD, it would be to the library (where I can rent them for free) rather than to a kiosk. But I suppose placement (there's one in the supermarket where I shop) makes them ideal for impulse rentals.

Still, I suspect this will be a short-lived phenomena that will be completely eliminated as downloading becomes more prevalent. Can't beat the convenience of not having to leave the home - especially in colder climes during the winter.


Oh, I disagree James. The vast majority of kiosk customers aren't specifically there FOR a movie rental, it's like you said, an impulse rental. But the thing is, people HAVE to go to the grocery store. That's never changing. They've gotta eat. So when they check out and then see a machine where they can pick up a new release for only a dollar, they try us out. And then after watching the movie, they can return it on their way to work the next day. You'd be surprised how loyal customers become after that.

I would agree that NetFlix has the advantage of not leaving your home, as well as a more comprehensive selection, (although that appeals more to the hardcore movie fans, not necessarily the casual movie-going public). I'd also concede that NetFlix has the advantage of not running out of titles as fast as a kiosk usually does. That's why I'd say that NetFlix will be our biggest competitor in the coming years, as opposed to Blockbuster. The biggest advantages of Redbox are that you don't have to wait for the DVD to get there in the mail, it's there ready for you in the machine as soon as it comes out, and the biggest hook of all, IT'S ONLY A DOLLAR.

The other big hook is that you don't have to return it specifically to the same kiosk you rented it from; in fact, you could rent one in Texas and return it to a kiosk in Alaska if you wanted. They also do provide on-line reservations, to ensure that the movie is there when you get there.

I wouldn't think of it being a short-lived phenomenon (I sure hope not), because as long as we have hard copy DVDs, you can't beat getting a movie for a buck while you're at the grocery store. I will grant that downloading is going to make it irrelevant, but I don't see that being as close around-the-corner as people think.

Anyway, didn't mean to take over the thread or start a commercial or anything. I just think it's a topic worthy of bringing up. What were we talking about originally?


Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:42 am
Gaffer

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:54 pm
Posts: 7
Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
I really don't think $100M gross qualifies as a blockbuster anymore. A lot of bad movies with poor word of mouth achieve that in a week or so with the higher ticket prices and saturation of the theaters.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:54 am
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
Vexer wrote:
I honestly don't see those kiosks as being that big of a deal, mainly because they're not very common outside of major cities and they're practically nonexistant in rural areas, i'm guessing that most of the Blockbuster stores that got closed were in major cities with those kiosks. But the stores in rural areas are highly unlikely to close anytime soon.


I kinda live in rural/suburban area and I know two of those Red Box kiosks within 10 miles from me and one of them is like 3 miles at the most from me.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:37 pm
Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
Really? Well where I live i've never seen a single kiosk within a 20 mile radius in any of my neighboring towns, maybe i'm not looking hard enough but the point is that video stores are just as convenient where I live as any kiosk, hell there's a Blockbuster right next to a Jewel, and a Hollywood Video right across the street! So no Kiosks are really needed there, and i'm not one for impulse rentals anyways, I like to plan on exactly what movies i'll rent from a video store.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:51 pm
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
I think kiosks are great(if you are just looking for new releases) & will probably become pretty big in the near future.

And its only $1, Blockbuster charges over $4. When I visit my family(small town PA), they only have Blockbuster, so kiosks really save me some cash in that time(since all I basically do when I'm there is rent movies)

Have netflix mainly for older films, but if I have the urge to see something like Watchmen, I'd rather spend only a dollar on it, than waste a netflix rental on it.

The grocery store right next to my office has them, so its pretty convenient as well(moreso than waiting a few days for netflix to arrive)


Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:08 pm
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
calvero wrote:

And its only $1, Blockbuster charges over $4. When I visit my family(small town PA), they only have Blockbuster, so kiosks really save me some cash in that time(since all I basically do when I'm there is rent movies)

Have netflix mainly for older films, but if I have the urge to see something like Watchmen, I'd rather spend only a dollar on it, than waste a netflix rental on it.



There they are for me. The nearest Blockbuster charges damn near $5 for new releases and it's a 5 mile drive, whereas the nearest RedBox is at the gas station 1/4 mile from my house. And Netflix is brilliant for the ability to rent out the older/foreign films as mentioend previously.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:35 pm
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
I live in an incredibly small town and I know of at least 3 kiosks near me. One at Mcdonalds, Wal-Mart, and Kroger.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:07 pm
Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
"As long as Blu-Ray discs remain more expensive than standard DVDs, sales will lag. Added to that is a growing widespread consumer feeling that, at least from a visual standpoint, Blu-Ray isn't as good as advertised."

YES!!!

The most disappointing thing about Blu-ray to me is the damn letterboxing. I have a 42-inch plasma TV, and when I watch a widescreen blu-ray movie, there's no excuse for that movie to not use the entire screen. Honestly, DVRing a movie on HBO or Shotime is a better option in some cases because it uses the entire screen and looks that much better. Now, I know how movies shown in theaters don't have the 16:9 ratio that widescreen TV's have. Well, tough luck guys. You better adapt and start converting them.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:10 pm
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
there's an article on redbox on yahoo today:

'Studios remain split over $1-a-night DVD kiosks even as Fox demands 30-day delay for Redbox'


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Whither-R ... l?x=0&.v=1


Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:15 pm
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
From the review:

Quote:
Overseas, Star Trek did not perform well, but that's par for the course. The series has never garnered much attention in non-English speaking countries (especially Asia). This does not appear to have changed.


Never really heard about this before, or seen it discussed. Trek (in general) would appear to have enough action to appeal to those who can't get into the Trek universe's themes (or don't care to), and enough of a multiethnic cast (Uhura, Sulu, or even Bashir or Worf, played by an African-American) to grab the attention of many filmgoers from other countries. I wonder why this is the case...


Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:01 pm
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Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
John DiFool wrote:
From the review:

Quote:
Overseas, Star Trek did not perform well, but that's par for the course. The series has never garnered much attention in non-English speaking countries (especially Asia). This does not appear to have changed.


Never really heard about this before, or seen it discussed. Trek (in general) would appear to have enough action to appeal to those who can't get into the Trek universe's themes (or don't care to), and enough of a multiethnic cast (Uhura, Sulu, or even Bashir or Worf, played by an African-American) to grab the attention of many filmgoers from other countries. I wonder why this is the case...



Other countries might not have bought those characters, they could have been shown as a form of a sterotype(though I don't see it).


Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:04 pm
Profile YIM
Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
KRoss wrote:
"As long as Blu-Ray discs remain more expensive than standard DVDs, sales will lag. Added to that is a growing widespread consumer feeling that, at least from a visual standpoint, Blu-Ray isn't as good as advertised."

YES!!!

The most disappointing thing about Blu-ray to me is the damn letterboxing. I have a 42-inch plasma TV, and when I watch a widescreen blu-ray movie, there's no excuse for that movie to not use the entire screen. Honestly, DVRing a movie on HBO or Shotime is a better option in some cases because it uses the entire screen and looks that much better. Now, I know how movies shown in theaters don't have the 16:9 ratio that widescreen TV's have. Well, tough luck guys. You better adapt and start converting them.



Hi Kross

Am I reading this correctly?

You think that 2.35 aspect ratio movies should be pan and scanned to fit 1.78 screens?

You are joking......?

Rob


Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:48 am
Post Re: August 06, 2009: "Summer Breeze"
calvero wrote:
there's an article on redbox on yahoo today:

'Studios remain split over $1-a-night DVD kiosks even as Fox demands 30-day delay for Redbox'


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Whither-R ... l?x=0&.v=1


Thank you for posting that. James, I would like to challenge you to read that article and maybe read a little bit more about the industry, because even though you expressed some skepticism I think you and I can find common ground.

Universal and Fox's decisions to fight Redbox and refuse to ship them their disks on time is a classic example of something James often writes about; studio greed, intention on maintaining the status quo, and a refusal to embrace the future. I see $1 rental kiosks being a significant player in the future of the industry, just like downloading. And just like downloading, some studios are stupidly fighting change rather than adjusting to it. Fortunately, Sony didn't see it the same way--I'm really hoping the other studios like Warner Bros and Paramount follow their example.


Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:45 am
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