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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fox chases teens; NATO hopes to jam cell phones

Two links from my morning info-trawl:

- Rupert Murdoch seems to have given the order to get Fox focused on tomorrow's entertainment consumers, buying for $580 million and, now, starting a division of Fox Filmed Entertainment to focus on teens and young adults. Here's the NY Times piece. Says Jerry Rice, who'll be running the new division (and will continue running Fox Searchlight):

    ...the new division, which does not yet have a name, will acquire and produce up to eight movies a year with budgets in the area of $20 million each, and have its own production and marketing staff. But it will take a broad approach to the youth market, producing entertainment for distribution over the Internet and cellphones, in addition to conventional feature films, he said.

    Young people are "still the most avid filmgoers, the most avid purchasers of film and entertainment, even if there has been a decline in theatrical viewership this year," said Mr. Rice. "They are the most potent part of the filmgoing public."

    He said the division expected to release movies similar in appeal to "Mean Girls," the comedy starring Lindsay Lohan from Paramount, or "Sin City," Miramax's R-rated, blood-soaked film noir by the director Robert Rodriguez.

(Here's the LA Times coverage of the story.)

- John Fithian, head of the National Association of Theater Owners, is planning to ask the FCC for permission to block cell phone signals inside movie theaters. (Here's a UPI piece on the same topic.) My prediction: no way will he get it. You're going to block the doc's cell phone, and prevent him from getting an emergency call from the hospital? When there's a fire in the theater, you're going to block patrons from calling 911?