Contact Us

July 2003
©Blackflix.com™
Cover Page
Table Of Contents
 

TOP 10 U.S.
DISTRIBUTORS

(We have expanded the Distributor's list from the top 5 to the top 10 in response to requests from readers.)

The top 10 domestic distributors as of the end of last month were as follows
(dollar figures in millions):

BUENA VISTA
743.2
16.82%

WARNER BROS.
612.6
13.86%

SONY
541.0
12.24%

20TH CENTURY FOX
481.7
10.90%

UNIVERSAL
463.3
10.48%

PARAMOUNT
367.1
8.31%

NEW LINE
310.0
7.01%

MIRAMAX
280.2
6.34%

DREAMWORKS
251.7
5.69%

MGM/UA
126.1
2.85%


KIDS MOVIES STILL TOP HOME-VIDEO SELLER

With the boom in DVD sales, consumers may be purchasing more movies than ever before, but, as with VHS sales in years past, kids-oriented product remains the hottest seller. Warner Home Video's "Kangaroo Jack" debuted as the top earner in its video release, according to VideoScan First Alert. The family film wound up in third place for rentals, behind Columbia TriStar's "Punch-Drunk Love" and MGM's "Dark Blue."



INTERNET PIRATES STEALING BILLIONS

British-based accounting firm Deloitte & Touche has estimated that the international film industry is losing $3 to $3.5 billion per year to pirate operations. In a recent report the company noted that while illegal copies distributed on VCD and DVD disks account for the bulk of bootlegging operations, online piracy is growing, with 400,000 - 600,000 films per day being downloaded in the U.S. alone.


DISNEY GOES VOD

The Disney Channel has announced that it will make 25 hours of programming available each month to subscribers of Cablevision's video-on-demand service, Interactive Optimum. The service will allow viewers to watch such popular Disney Channel shows as "Rolie Polie Olie," "Stanley," "Lizzie McGuire" and original TV movies at any time of the day, just as if they had recorded them on a VCR. The video-on-demand service will cost Cablevision subscribers an extra $4.95 per month.


VIVENDI MAY GO PUBLIC WITH UNIVERSAL

Vivendi Universal has said that if they can’t receive an acceptable offer from any of the six prospective buyers of its U.S. entertainment assets, it may decide to take at least part of those assets public. Analysts suggest the announcement may reflect confidence in current market improvements; or it may just be a leverage ploy to gain higher bids. Suitors left in the bidding at the end of June are the investment groups led by Marvin Davis and Edgar Bronfman; Liberty Media's John Malone; MGM's Kirk Kerkorian; Viacom; and General Electric.


DISNEY HOPING TO KEEP PIXAR DEAL

Chairman Michael Eisner says Disney’s relationship with Pixar animation, which produced the current hit "Finding Nemo," will continue past 2005, when the current contract expires. But that may not be the way things play out. Currently, Pixar pays Disney a distribution fee and splits profits on its films. But Pixar/Apple Computer Chairman Steve Jobs, reportedly wants to pay Disney a flat fee and eliminate the profit sharing. "We have a very good relationship with Pixar," Eisner said, but then appeared to waiver, adding, "I suspect we will change the kind of relationship we have with Pixar, but I am fairly confident that we will continue to be in business with Pixar. I am not sure."



PARAMOUNT MAD AT REGAL THEATER CHAIN

In a dispute over in-lobby marketing, Paramount Pictures has refused to book its upcoming movie "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" in 47 of Regal Entertainment Group's theater complexes. The sequel to 2001's "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" is scheduled to open nationwide July 25. The point of contention between the two parties is over Paramount’s marketing partner, DaimlerChrysler Jeep. Both companies are on the movie’s lobby promotion material, but since it completed a reorganization last year, Regal, the nation's largest theater chain, has maintained a policy of not allowing any third-party brands in its theaters without additional compensation.


REPUBLICANS BREAK WITH FCC, BUSH

On a voice vote that saw several Republicans joining Democrats, the Senate Commerce Committee voted to approve a bill that would reverse new rules approved by the FCC that increased the share of the national audience a TV owner can reach from 35 to 45 percent. The Republican-dominated FCC had approved the deregulation on a party line vote that also had the support of the White House. But Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, who voted to reverse the new FCC rule, told reporters, "What the FCC did was absolutely wrong. ... I hope we'll send a clear message to the FCC to start all over." But Louisiana Republican Congressman Billy Tauzin, who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has vowed to kill the bill when it reaches the House.


ACTORS REJECT MERGER

Members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Radio and TV Artists (AFTRA) have rejected a proposed consolidation. A 60-percent "Yes" vote was required for passage, but the vote fell just 2.2 percent short. Most of the "No" votes were cast by SAG members while seventy-six percent of AFTRA members voted in favor of the merger. The vote was devastating to SAG President Melissa Gilbert, who campaigned in support of the merger. She told a news conference that she was "shell-shocked ... somewhat stunned" by the outcome.