factoid of the day
As y'all know, I'm a huge DVD fan--between my wife's birthday and Valentine's Day last week, we picked up five new ones. I've certainly been accruing DVDs much faster than I did movies on VHS, and I've welcomed the increasing predominance of DVDs in retail outlets.
If I'd stopped to think about it, I'd have made the connection that Roger Ebert did in his latest Answer Man column:
Prices of VHS tapes were often in the $89 range, because studios made most of their money selling them to video stores for subsequent rental. The business strategy for DVDs was to make them a "sell-through" medium, like CDs and paperback books. The format has been successful beyond the industry's wildest dreams. Recently some big consumer electronics chains have stopped selling VHS tapes altogether to make more room for the discs.
By the way, that same column derides the practice of pre-movie commercials. Much as I'd like to embrace the idea of getting up, walking out, and demanding a refund, I just don't see that practice as practical. As the father of two small girls, the opportunity to go to the movies is rare and involves much preparation; there's little point in engaging a babysitter and arranging dinner reservations only to walk out of the theater. (And besides, it won't really make a difference unless the entire audience followed suit.) I will say again, though, that knowing commericals await me has dampened my enthusiasm for going to the movies. No; were I to be sufficiently riled as to take action, I'd write to the company advertised and inform them that their co-opting my time motivates me to avoid their product in the future.
Of course, I doubt anyone in Hollywood cares, as I'm no longer in the coveted 18-25 age group most movies--and attendant commercials--seem to be aimed at.