Media giants Time Warner, Viacom and Fox News Corp announced their Q3 earnings this week. If we look at these as a collective weather report, I would say the hurricane has definitely moved off shore and is giving way to partly sunny skies, with scattered showers in some regions. Compared to the abysmal Q2 earnings, resulting from a down economy and significant reductions in advertising spending, the Q3 numbers look encouraging, especially from the cable and theatrical divisions. However, DVD sales continue to suffer across the board with more people getting their movies online and increased competition from services like Netflix. Newspapers and network television continue to face many obstacles, mainly decreased ad spending… (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘transformers’
Living in Manhattan for the last 12 years, I’ve come to rely on the movie theater as my sanctuary – and not only as an excuse to leave my tiny New York apartment or to load up on heavily salted popcorn. For two hours I distract myself from my busy job at BurrellesLuce and any of life’s troubles by immersing myself in escapist fare. These days I’m not the only one going to the cinema for a healthy dose of big-screen therapy.
According to Box Office Mojo, year-to-date theatrical receipts in the U.S. and Canada are up 12 percent. More evidence that people are upping their movie dosage this year: Paramount Pictures’ new release Transformers Revenge of the Fallen earned $201 million, the biggest five-day performance ever for a film that debuted on a Wednesday.
However, the movie industry isn’t the only bright spot. According to isuppli, shipments of flat panel televisions are up 17.3 percent year-over-year in the U.S. and Canada. While this increase is in part due to more competitive pricing and the recent transition from analog to digital signals, it could also be attributed to people staying home more. Analysts at iSuppli suggest that “amid the economic downturn a new wave of ‘cocooning’ has hit, with recession wary U.S. consumers eschewing travel, staying home and watching their televisions; however they are still finding enough money to buy new flat panel sets that offer superior picture and larger sizes.”
In a Los Angeles Times article, Britt Beemer, chairman of America’s Research Group, a consumer behavior firm, confirms: “Many consumers see a TV more as a necessity than a frivolous purchase. When you ask consumers what item in the house gives you the most enjoyment, TVs will always be No. 1.”
Certainly this is all welcome news not only for the movie studios, cable and network TV, theater owners, etc., but also for all of us that need a little break from reality now and then.
With people eating out less (expected to be down 1 percent in 2009), spending less on new clothes (down 5 percent), and a sluggish housing market (existing home sales down 3.5 percent) – is it fair to say Americans are sacrificing food, clothing and shelter for the opportunity to watch CSI: Miami on a new 55″ LCD model with backlighting? Or Universal Studio’s latest release Public Enemies, where Johnny Depp plays John Dillinger set during the Great Depression? I wonder if in 1933 Dillinger would catch MGM’s Dinner at Eight or Little Women with the hope of getting his mind off the FBI and agent Melvin Purvis.
If the economy has you down – for the relatively low cost of a movie or a night spent watching TV at home, your great escape awaits.