Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Week in Review: The Shows Must Go On

Lots of conventions/trade shows going on in the past week, including:

ShoWest, the annual meeting of theatrical exhibitors and major studio distributors, took place in Vegas. Several reports from the event suggest growing tensions in the distributor-exhibitor relationship. Some studios scaled back their presence and expenditures significantly this year. The current economic climate may have played a part in the studios' lower profile at ShoWest. However, as Heidi MacDonald of The Beat notes, in a world where the film studios' business models are ever more in flux and where they can directly sell their wares to the public through events such as ComicCon, courting exhibitors at ShoWest simply matters far less than it used to;

International TV sales market MIPTV in Cannes. Among the topics of conversation, according to The Hollywood Reporter: "cutting their cost base, re-engineering production models and reshaping the genre mix to keep the television business afloat;"

The Cable Show in Washington D.C., where one frequently discussed issue involved how much cable programming could or should be provided by cable companies or program distributors either online or on demand.

Recurring themes in reports of all of these events, unsurprisingly, included: how to deal with piracy and peer-to-peer activities; how to make more money online; and how to avoid the fate that has befallen the music industry.

And in other news:

Advertisers and actors reached a three-year agreement on a new contract covering commercials. Most notable is that this new arrangement provides some compensation for new media work;

The Wall Street Journal ran a story about the decline in star salaries that elicited a great deal of discussion in the blogosphere . Gawker's Gabriel Snyder responded by offering a useful outline of some of the most prominent types of deals negotiated in Hollywood today;

Disney struck a deal allowing select short-form video content to be available through YouTube. This arrangement indicates Disney's growing willingness to make its content available to outside sources. It also underscores YouTube's continuing effort to offer more "professional" content (i.e., content that is more favorable to advertisers).

And finally, this week's remake news: Jackie Earle Haley has been cast as Freddie Krueger for New Line's reboot of Nightmare on Elm Street. Not thrilled that this is being remade...but if it is going to happen, this seems like a strong choice. But who should play Nancy?

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