Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Museum Closes

British theaters have pulled the plug on "Night At The Museum," in response to Fox's plans to release the DVD just 13 weeks after theatrical release. The accepted theatrical window has been four months. It's the second showdown in two weeks. Last week German theater owners pulled all Fox pictures in response to the studio's plan to move up the DVD release date of Eragon. Fox blinked on that one. It seems that the war over theatrical windows (a battle between platforms) has just begun. In the US directors like Steven Soderbergh have been playing with the concept of simultaneous theatrical and home releases. The theatrical window is bound to close, but the timing is still up in the air.

Web: TV's Minor Leagues?
As reported on Mashable today, the indomitable LisaNova will be making the move to the big time (well, semi-big time) having signed a deal to join the cast of MADtv. LisaNova, aka Lisa Donovan, moved to LA and auditioned unsuccessfully for MADtv the first time around, the traditional way. She made it once her YouTube show took off into the stratosphere. Fred Wilson reports that her YouTube shows sometimes generate more than 1mm viewers, always more than 100,000.

The real question here is whether the web is a farm club for TV or a end in and of itself. I would argue that, at least for now, it's a training ground. MADtv is now a farm club for bigger and better TV shows and films in the same way that the Groundlings as been a feeder for SNL. What's quite cool is the opportunity that forums like YouTube allow for training and truly open auditions.

More Bad News In Timesville
Yesterday the Times reported a $648 million quarterly loss. As reported by the AP...

The New York Times Co. posted a $648 million loss in its latest quarter as it absorbed an $814.4 million charge to write down the value of its struggling New England properties, The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Interesting, some of the loss is attributed to the economic clime, but a part of it is reported to have been caused by the consolidation of major retail chains, like Macy's and Filene's, the bread and butter of newspaper advertising.