Wednesday, August 24, 2005

From the Pauline Kael School of Business

Like any good marketing person, I predict consumer behavior based solely on my own quixotic personal tastes. So imagine how amazed I am that Blockbuster is still in business when I haven't been a customer for years. Shocking! Also surprising: "there were nearly 3.2 billion rental transactions last year. By contrast, box-office admissions were less than half of that number, DVD sales totaled about 1.1 billion and there were fewer than 350,000 purchases of movies through video on demand or pay per view." No wonder theater owners are cranky.

Blockbuster claims to be evolving into "'the place where people can rent, buy or trade movies or games, in store or online.'" Good thing. Their main advantage -- the ability to offer movies 6 weeks earlier than cable and pay-per-view -- depends on the wisdom and mercy of movie studio executives which, judging by recent product offerings, are not qualities commonly found in Hollywood.

Is it me or does it seem like anyone whose profits depend on the movie business better have a Plan B these days?

MORE: Grant McCracken lets his big brain ponder the movie business for about 10 seconds and naturally comes up with the reason there's a slump: blockbusters are next to impossible in an age of audience fragmentation. But is there really a slump?


American Copywriter said...

Does this mean you are a Netflix girl?

Irene Done said...

I am a buy-it-now-I-must-own-it-oh-God-where-did-all-this-clutter-come-from girl. You?

American Copywriter said...

Netflix. I live in an old house that was built in the days when people didn't use closets and enjoyed sharing the same bathroom. I buy the movies I love (like Bull Durham) but rent all the stuff that I get nervous wasting $12 on.