Oscars Will Hopefully Give Us a Boost2 Mar, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold
If there was ever a year we could use the Oscar bump, this is it. If a film snags a significant win at the Academy Awards and it is still in theaters, its scheduled big-screen run generally gets extended due to a sharp uptick in business; if it’s out on home video, or nearing release, sales and rentals usually go up significantly.
This year’s Oscars are good news, indeed, for the home entertainment industry, which is looking into twin barrels of gloom and doom: the plummeting economy and a slowdown in sales attributed to this transitional period we are in, with DVD at maturity and Blu-ray Disc taking a little longer to catch on than most of us had hoped.
Our business desperately needs something to kick a little life, a little excitement, back into it, and the Oscars are prime time for feeding off the public’s infatuation with movies and getting them to buy and rent lots of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.
Hopefully the mission will be accomplished this year, as most of the big winners are, indeed, available on video, or slated to come out soon. Slumdog Millionaire, with eight wins, including best director and best picture, is truly in the best possible position: While 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment hasn’t formally set a release date, it’s believed the quirky film will be out in about a month, and everyone from Amazon to Netflix is already accepting advance orders.
Advance orders also are being accepted by most retailers for The Reader, for which Kate Winslet won a best actress Oscar, as well as most of the nominees in the major categories, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was nominated in 13 categories, more than any other film this year, even though it won just three.
Another likely gainer is best picture nominee Milk, from Universal Studios, for which Sean Penn won a best actor award. The acclaimed film is coming to home video March 10, and it’s a fair bet sales and rentals will be a lot stronger since Penn walked off with one of the Academy’s most coveted awards.
And then there’s The Dark Knight, from Warner, which has been out for awhile, but which may see additional business with the late Heath Ledger’s best supporting actor win. The same goes for Walt Disney Studios’ Wall-E, the year’s best animated feature film.
Let’s keep on keeping our fingers crossed ...