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Retailers Say Golden Globes Will Have Little Impact

23 Jan, 2003 By: Joan Villa

The Golden Globes underscored Hollywood's razzle-dazzle and drew tears from Chicago star and best-actress winner Renee Zellweger, but retailers predict the awards will have little impact on rentals or purchases in their stores.

“No one takes it that seriously but it's a barometer of what's coming for the big show, the Oscars, in March,” said David Bleiler, video buyer for TLA Entertainment in Philadelphia -- a six-store chain that focuses on art-house and independent films. “The fact that studios are releasing all their good films at the end of the year won't help video now. By the time they come out on video, the Academy Awards will have overshadowed anything that happened at the Golden Globes.”

In fact, only a handful of Golden Globe winners are available on video. The FX drama “The Shield,” which took honors for best TV series, may be the only one to benefit. Its complete first season was released in a DVD boxed set earlier this month by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

For 10-store Bradley Video based in Petaluma, Calif., shows like “The Sopranos” and “24” have been rental winners. Operations manager Mark Raymond said visibility for “The Shield” could draw more curious consumers. “In this industry, any visibility is going to help move product,” he noted.

Although the Bradley Video stores have a mini-section of Academy Award-winning best pictures marked by an Oscar icon, the Golden Globes have gotten no such in-store treatment.

Nine-store Video Depot in Palm Desert, Calif., also doesn't anticipate Golden Globe impact, unless such “offbeat” winners as Adaptation and About Schmidt also win Oscar gold. “It's the offbeat titles that get honored at the Golden Globes that get some recognition at the Oscars. Because of that recognition, we would bring them in heavier, especially on DVD,” said Video Depot VP Scott Whitmer.

Although the chain carries pay-cable network shows such as “The Sopranos,” “Six Feet Under” and “Sex and the City,” Whitmer wouldn't bring in programming from regular cable channels or network television, and “The Shield” is no exception.

“We wouldn't order it unless we were getting a lot of requests,” he said.

Even with Jennifer Aniston's win for best actress in a TV comedy for “Friends,” retailers don't expect The Good Girl -- recently out on video -- to get much of a lift.

“I don't think it will help, only because our customers are already familiar with the film,” said TLA's Bleiler. “It was our No. 3 film for last week, behind Signs and About a Boy. For us, her winning for ‘Friends' isn't going to bring attention to it, but for the average filmgoer who isn't familiar with The Good Girl, I think it would.”

Other retailers far from Hollywood say they, or customers, don't pay much attention to the Globes or other awards. “This is a new-release business, and we're talking about titles that are not available,” said Eric Smith, owner of 13-store Video King in St. Cloud, Fla. “I've never created hype around these things.”

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