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Blame It On Weiner

8 Jun, 2011 By: Thomas K. Arnold

I was surfing the net, looking up new twists in the sordid saga of Rep. Anthony Weiner’s wiener, when it hit me: The slump in DVD sales is probably a result of an unprecedented torrent of entertainment options available for couch potatoes.

I’ve been itching to see Hall Pass, but haven’t had time, keeping up with the latest developments concerning Weiner: the original photo, the tearful confession, the new photo (hint: no underwear) and the various websites and forums where the Congressman’s misguided Tweet is being examined from all angles.        

The Drudge Report, the Huffington Post, The Wrap, TMZ, Radar Online – heck, there’s plenty of stuff to keep me occupied for hours.            

I’ve even gone to Weiner’s Twitter account to check out who, exactly, he is following – and at least as of this writing, there were still plenty of young women who don’t appear to have anything in common except for the fact that they are all rather attractive brunettes.              

I’m not the only one in our house too busy to watch movies lately. My oldest son, who wants to see Hall Pass as badly as I do, has been busy with Facebook and YouTube. Middle son’s also got the YouTube bug – watching “South Park” clips, mostly. And little Hunter keeps snatching my iPhone to play Angry Bird and Zombie Farm. He’s downloaded so many apps I’m having trouble finding my email.              

No wonder discs aren’t selling as they used to. We simply don’t have the time.              

My hope, though, is that eventually the novelty of all these new entertainment choices, which seem to have sprung up right around the same time, will start to wear off and we’ll go back to our movies and TV shows on disc.               

Kids are notoriously fickle. I think their absence is a key factor behind the slump in disc sales. One studio executive told me recently that while the VTR (video-to-theatrical ratio) for big animated feature films used to be between 60% and 70%, it’s now in the low 30s. They’re not watching movies at home because they’re too busy with Angry Bird, but, again, we’ve seen this time and time again over the years with each new fad, and in each case a slump is invariably followed by a resurgence.             

Good sign: Hunter and his pals the other night enjoyed a Shrek marathon on Blu-ray. They watched all four films, one after the other, and then whined when I told them there wasn’t going to be a fifth.           

It’s the adults I’m most worried about. It used to be the only real drain on home video came every four years when the Olympics were on TV.              

Now, it seems, there’s always something.             

This latest slump? Blame it on Weiner.


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