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Of Bailouts and Chalk Marks …

1 Apr, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Lot of news coming in today, so I figured I’d give you a few updates on what’s rocking our industry as we officially turn the leaf on a new quarter. 

Tongues are wagging over Apple’s counterattack on studios that are packaging free digital copies with premium DVDs or Blu-ray Discs. Beginning today the iTunes Store is offering anyone who buys a download a free DVD or Blu-ray Disc, shipped right to their homes in environmentally friendly packaging. The Obama Administration has already taken notice and praised Apple for going green, rewarding the company with a $12 billion bailout package on the condition the company issue a restructuring plan within 30 days and install a new CEO. …
 
Former Warner Home Video president Warren Lieberfarb, still smarting from HD DVD’s loss to Blu-ray Disc, has reportedly taken a part-time job back at Warner, working as a security guard in the parking garage of the division’s Olive Street headquarters. His greatest joy, he says, is putting chalk marks on the tires of cars parked in the two-hour visitor zone, and then writing citations to those who overstay their welcome. “These people are like school children,” he fumed. …
 
Word has it that the “True Blu” consumer campaign will finally launch in the fourth quarter—of 2023. That’s when the 2,435 member companies are expected to finally reach a consensus and approve the final art elements of the campaign, which initially had been slated to launch last year. …
 
Other studios are determined to one up Disney and Fox, which are both pumping out “triple plays” that contain a DVD, a Blu-ray Disc and a digital copy, all in one package. Sony Pictures is adding a UMD for the PSP, while Lionsgate is talking about going retro and throwing in a VHS. Warner is reportedly looking at memory cards, Universal is talking about tossing in some old leftover HD DVDs, while Paramount is taking an even more aggressive stance and packaging select DVD/BD/DC releases with a frozen TV dinner and a Happy Meal toy. …
 
Vowing to do its part to lift consumer spirits, Blockbuster Inc. today announced it will pull all “sad and depressing” titles from its 5,000-plus corporate stores. The chain cited the ongoing recession and reduced consumer confidence for the move, which includes removing new releases such as Seven Pounds that are known for their depressing endings. Stores will begin pulling catalog titles, including Love Story and On Golden Pond, later this month. “We’re especially targeting movies in which nice people die,” Blockbuster chief Jim Keyes said in a conference call with analysts. “We believe people will want to spend their money on something that will make them feel better, not something that will add to their misery.”
 
APRIL FOOLS'!
 

 



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