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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Hollywood Is In Jitters About a Possible Writers Strike, But Should Video Retailers Be Salivating?

22 Feb, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Hollywood is in jitters about a possible writers strike, with studios scrambling to finish films before the looming walkout date this spring. Video retailers I've spoken with are salivating at the prospects of a dry run in theaters, since they believe -- and rightly so -- that any slowdown in Tinseltown will have a positive impact on the video market.

And yet a strike is the worst possible thing for our home entertainment industry, because any short-term benefits will certainly be outweighed by the long-term negatives. For one, if dark movie theaters mean lively activity in video stores, what happens six months down the road, when it's time for the anemic trickle of films to debut on video? Hollywood will surely have recovered by then, while the video cupboards will be embarrassingly bare.

What's more, any nick in Hollywood's armor will likely have a ripple effect.

Avid movie-goers who all of a sudden find next to nothing on the big screen won't necessarily return in droves, like hungry dogs, once the studios and the writers resolve their spat. Many will undoubtedly take up a new leisure pasttime, maybe spending more time on the Internet or watching TV, and will be reluctant to give it up just because Hollywood is once again happening.

Shopping on Amazon can be addictive; so, I'm told, can watching "Survivor."

In any event, I'm hoping against hope that there won't be a strike in Hollywood this year, and I think you should, too. When one branch of the entertainment industry suffers, all the other branches inevitably feel the pain as well.

On a lighter note, please join me in wishing a hearty "happy birthday" to Video Store Magazine publisher (and Hive4media architect) Don Rosenberg. You may e-mail your birthday wishes to him at drosenberg@advanstar.com.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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