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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

LA Times survey on teen entertainment consumption...Summer movie season analysis...Animation traffic jam?

- The LA Times has two pieces today about teen's changing entertainment habits.


One's headlined, `Far Removed From the Multiplex'. The subhead is, `With an array of devices at their fingertips, youths don't always think of theaters as the place to see a flick.' The other carries the headline, `Underwhelmed by It All', and the subhead, `For the 12-to-24 set, boredom is a recreational hazard.'


In the first piece, John Horn writes:


    For years, theater owners and movie studios have argued about the timing of home video releases. The people running the multiplexes want to keep the wait period between theatrical debut and the DVD's first day on sale — known in the industry as a window — as long as possible. The studios have been pushing to shrink that gap (it now averages about 20 weeks) to minimize the need for two separate advertising campaigns.


    The poll found that many teens and young adults would be happy if that window were eliminated altogether. Asked where they'd prefer to watch a new movie if it were simultaneously available at home and in theaters, about a third said they would choose to stay at home, and another third said it depended on the movie. Going to movies at theaters still has appeal, particularly for younger teens, but among respondents ages 21 to 24, 56% said they wanted to see the new movie at home, and only 9% said they would rather travel to a theater.


    Based on the box-office popularity of many critically savaged films, it should come as no surprise that teens and young adults care little about what reviewers think. In deciding what to see, their friends' judgments are the ones that matter. Those opinions are sometimes spread instantly, with almost a quarter of teenagers and young adults sharing their opinions during or right after the movie.


    "It used to be that we could get people to see movies that weren't worth it because they didn't have so many other things to do," said Laura Ziskin, producer of the "Spider-Man" movies, whose latest installment is slated for next summer. "Now, you have to be a hit even before you open."


The second piece includes the poll results, and talks a bit about multi-tasking:


    Young people multi-task, they say, because they are too busy to do only one thing at a time, because they need something to do during commercials or, for most (including 64% of girls 12 to 14), it's boring to do just one thing at a time.

Well worth a look...


- David Poland has a great analysis at Movie City News of this summer's movie season, including movies that shouldn't have been made (`Poseidon'), movies that should've been made more cheaply (`Miami Vice') and movies released on the wrong date (`Little Man' and `You, Me & Dupree,' both released on the same Friday).


- The Wall Street Journal posits that we're seeing an animation "traffic jam" -- too many CG movies being released this year. Anthony Kaufman writes:


    Distributed over consecutive weekends, Sony's "Monster House," Warner Bros.'s "The Ant Bully" and Paramount's "Barnyard" have created a traffic jam of animated kid-flicks, with deleterious results. While "Monster House" opened with a satisfactory $22.2 million, "The Ant Bully" disappointed with an $8.4 million debut and "Barnyard" corralled a modest $16 million in its first weekend.


Universally, people point to `Doogal' as the test case that proves audiences won't go see just any CG movie: it made just $7.4 million at the US box office earlier this year.

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