Some of the names on the move ahead of the open.» Read More
Japan's Toshiba waved the white flag in the home movie war, giving up on its HD DVD format after losing the support of key studios and retailers to Blu-ray technology backed by Sony.
There are only a handful of franchises that can take a 19 year hiatus and return stronger than ever. I have very high hopes for Indy. The new trailer for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" debuted on "Good Morning America" today. Joining Harrison Ford are Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf as the sidekick.
As we lead up to Super Tuesday I've been reporting on the intersection of Hollywood and politics. Hollywood plays a key role raising awareness about issues, and candidates. (Though I wouldn't say that a Hollywood endorsement is necessarily a good thing).
For years, everyone's been waiting for an indication that either Sony's Blu-Ray or Microsoft and Toshiba's Blu-Ray format would emerge triumphant and the other would go the way of the BETA deck. Today, finally, a crucial tipping point in this battle in which the $20 billion dollar home video market is at stake.
At this time of year, it's predictions, predictions, predictions. So as part of CNBC's Outlook for '08, here are mine for the media world and all that's in it--with a personal look as well! (see number 7). Here I go!!
Everyone's been talking about how DVDs are dying, and that nobody's buying the archaic discs. But guess what, you'll probably get a whole bunch as gifts this year. There were more DVDs sold this Thanksgiving than any previous year, up 6 percent from the same weekend in 2007. Now, it's important to point out, that at the same time, the overall retail revenues from DVDs has fallen thanks to the big box retailers' deep discounting.
DreamWorks principals David Geffen and Steven Spielberg have been negotiating to move their studio to NBC Universal from Paramount Pictures, the New York Times reported Saturday.
Jerry Seinfeld's "BeeMovie" had plenty of sting left during its second weekend, replacing "American Gangster" as the No. 1 choice for North American moviegoers.
Could it be a "black-and-blue" Friday for Blu-ray? There are rumblings about a big announcement coming from Wal-Mart that could give a big boost to HD-DVD. I'm hearing that the company will begin selling the Toshiba HD-A2 for $98 in a special one-day, in-store secret sale. The unit sells for $198 at Circuit City and Amazon, so this is a steep discount.
Malibu is so beautiful, and so far from the grind of LA traffic, it's a natural fit for Hollywood moguls and celebrities who want peace and quiet on their private beach, and the ritziness of the local Malibu Country Mart, which of course is home to a Nobu sushi restaurant. The dozens of high powered Hollywood honchos and are now suffering from the terrible wildfires.
Ben Stiller's new comedy "The Heartbreak Kid" barely registered a pulse at the weekend box office in North America, in a badly timed setback for its underappreciated studio DreamWorks.
I love these Hollywood showdowns. Media moguls know how to slap each other in the face more publicly than perhaps any other group. Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen, just gave Viacom's top brass one of those slaps.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman had a point to make to investors at a media conference this week. Dauman said that losing star producers and DreamWorks chiefs Steven Spielberg and David Geffen would be "completely immaterial" to Paramount and Viacom.
Instead of panicking, investors should look for ways to weather--and yes, profit from--the expected economic slowdown.
After Michael Bay declared on his blog that he was refusing to direct "Transformers 2" because he was so upset about Paramount ditching the Blu-ray format to be exclusive to HD DVD, Bay has changed his tune. He followed it up with a post saying he'd overreacted, had been convinced by some Blu-ray fans. He says he was convinced to support HD because he learned that HD had cheaper players--around that $200 magic number.
Another battle in the very long war. For years Sony's Blu-ray has been battling with Microsoft and Toshiba-backed HD DVD. And everyone--the studios, the disc and player manufacturers, and consumers--is just dying for one format to emerge victorious and the other format to fall the way of the BetaMax. HD DVD just scored an unexpected win, after Blu-ray had taken the lead. DreamWorks Animation and Viacom's Paramount (including DreamWorks Studio) just committed to releasing their films...
DreamWorks SKG couldn't have gotten off the ground more than a decade ago if it weren't for Paul Allen's $500 million investment. Perhaps his work is done--now he's selling $150 million of DreamWorks Animation stock back to the company, and doing a secondary offering to sell an additional 10 million shares to the public.
Earnings news and analyst revisions were some of the catalysts behind the most actively traded stocks on Wednesday.
Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG, the animation film studio behind "Shrek," rose on Friday after an analyst began coverage of the company with a "Buy" rating, predicting gains from upcoming films
Everyone's talking about the New York Times piece on Creative Artists Agency losing Hasbro. Now everyone's wondering if CAA's trying to do too much for too many. CAA has said its going for 100% market share. But does that really make sense in an industry where you don't want to be represented by the same company as your competitor is.