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  #1  
Unread April 7th, 2009, 07:24 AM
Ghost of AtlanticVamp Ghost of AtlanticVamp is offline
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The Movie Drought

A regular customer of mine came in during some down time in my day shift. We were the only ones in the store and when I'm around people I really feel comfortable with, I can be quite brutal in my opinions. (Y'know, like when I'm around you guys!) Anyway, this convo came up right after the BBV Crash of '09, and he, like 100 other people that week, asked if we were having trouble due to the economy, stock market, etc.

I replied that our main problem seemed to be the plethora of crap movies.

Has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a real issue with getting in "good" movies during any time of the year besides spring (last Christmas's big blockbusters) and winter (the previous summer's blockbusters)?

I first noticed it two years ago when our "big" title was "Animal 2" with Ving Rhames, August '07. We got over 100 copies, and it was crap. It sat on our shelves and collected dust, through two or three CFDs, until there was one left for BSI. This past August, I cannot even remember what came out. All I remember is the mass of television series that came out in that month.

It's not just August, though. This past few months, even by our own CEO Jim Keyes' own admission, we've not had any "big titles".

When you consider that even the RedBox has titles that make you scratch your head and go, "WTF is that?", it's not hard to imagine how we're not getting business. Every Tuesday lately, I've been in the store and noticed how people just do the "loop" (run exclusively along the new release wall) and seeing nothing they can't live without, just walk out. The shelves are full, and we're standing at the ready with suggestions. But...nothing.

I've been listening to how BBV has made bad business decisions (Total Access comes to mind, as well as the never-ending terms changing), and I completely agree that we've had some mad scientists in charge. But if we actually had a product that, I don't know, customers actually WANTED, it would be helpful. It's hard to sell shit unless you run a farm supply store, in my opinion. We've been stuck with, frankly, shit.

Another bad decision BBV made that ties into my theory is the Weinstein/Genius exclusive. Not only could they not make it stick, thanks to not being able to lock down the exclusive sales rights as well as the exclusive rentals, but for every great title we got "exclusively" (Rob Zombie's Halloween, Hannibal Rising, The Nanny Diaries, Zach and Miri...), we've gotten some real turds in the deal. I refer you to the aforementioned Animal 2, and such "big renters" (ha!) as I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, and Sixty Six, as well as the Dimension Extreme titles (Triloquist, Pulse 2, Pulse 3, Feast 2 and 3) as examples of this.

Why is the recent slate of bad movies important? Other video retailers have been going in the toilet, besides Blockbuster. Want proof? Circuit City is no more. Hollywood and Movie Gallery merged, and are still closing stores. Netflix, who has been kicking Blockbuster's ass, is currently not giving their leaders bonuses. TransWorld Entertainment, which is the parent company of FYE and Suncoast movie stores, is currently trading at .70 cents per share, comparable to Blockbuster's .77 cents a share.

My point is, Blockbuster is just the latest, and the best-known of a group of video retailers that are all having financial trouble. My personal vote on it is that the videos coming out lately are so bad (Meet Dave?) or so obscure (Let the Right One In, The Boy in Striped Pajamas), that people don't care or know about them.

It's fairly easy to blame the Hollywood establishment, except there is also a credit crisis to deal with as well. We could blame the shaky loyalty of our customers, except that with the money tightening, why wouldn't they rent less, or at least, not rent movies that they know are going to be bad? We could also blame the creditors, but they're currently reaping the bad investments they've sown in housing and junk funds. Things are tough all over, and we're just the most recent casualty.

Is it really over? Would a few good movies change it all? Or are we finally at oblivion?
  #2  
Unread April 7th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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no better movies will make it better, and we have some great doozies on the way
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  #3  
Unread April 7th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Wow, that was depressing.
Don't give up, sooner or later a new comic book hero will emerge and a new movie hit will rescue us!
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Ghost of AtlanticVamp (April 7th, 2009)
  #4  
Unread April 7th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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sixty six was a cute movie. it wasn't meant to be spectacular title, it was just a little portrait of a book (the ending made me kinda tear up). boy in striped pajamas is a huge renter at our store. we can't keep one in the store for minutes.

aside from that, while i think it's certainly true that title strength is deteriorating and Blockbuster seems to attach onto any title that comes its way, customers, in general, are indecisive and have a fairly poor basis for good entertainment. i mean, really, i don't know how many of my customers need to ask me whether Pulse 2/3 was any good, at which point all i can do is ask if they liked the first. all blockbuster and we, as service providers, can do is give in to their rental patterns and cut the fat that would usually go on the shelves.

one thing i have noticed at my store is the list of new releases getting smaller while the copy depth increases for titles. blockbuster was once about providing more selection in-store than any other retailer but that goal has gone astray. nowadays, i can't even use up all 5 of my free weekly rentals on the spot because of ongoing movie series like 8 Films to Die For that actually rent quite well but are guaranteed crap.

k, i admit, i watched last year's 8 films and a couple were decent...
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  #5  
Unread April 7th, 2009, 08:01 PM
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  #6  
Unread April 7th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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well a lot of copy depth depends on the store. like the animal 2...i got maybe 5 copies of that. There are a few of "AA" stores in our district, and i remember my friend who runs one, got that many copies. Like "First Sunday" again, she got a bay, i got a row.

and remember too, most of our buying structure is based off of box office success. If it doesn't do well, we don't get a lot. Or what the revenue share agreements look like.
Like Disney, Universal, and Warner Bro's either don't do revenue share or very little. So a lot of that is the studio's biting their noses of to spite their faces.

ALSO, we can't control the quality of movies being made anymore either. I agree, that in some cases blockbuster is responsible for the product that is in our stores....They just try to do their best with making sure we have enough to suffice. Speaking of which, i don't plan on seeing a copy of Bolt for at least 2 more weeks. And i think Bedtime Stories will start coming back around the beginning of May...(this is a great reason why we need rental terms)

The Weinstien deal was great at first...then they had shit for releases...like you said. I think Clerks 2 was the first big release....and the last that i can remember. lol.

and most of the shit that is on our walls...is shit. If i have to make room for one more cheesey B horror movie, i am going to freak.
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  #7  
Unread April 7th, 2009, 08:56 PM
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I'd also like to add, for whatever its worth...

people are starting to go for the Indy titles, because the major studio releases have sucked so much. so that's where titles like the boy in the stripped pajamas and let the right one in, come in to play.
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  #8  
Unread April 7th, 2009, 08:58 PM
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jesus..you got my mind rolling...

one more thing...

the smaller titles are what we should be suggesting as alternatives. If we are catching those customers before they walk out, we might be able to convince them to try something that they would have just walked right by. Some of the onesies and twosises indy titles are the best on the wall!
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  #9  
Unread April 7th, 2009, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zooworker
Don't give up, sooner or later a new comic book hero will emerge and a new movie hit will rescue us!
Yep. His name is....Keanu Reeves!

Oh, and the Spirit comes out next week.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sar94pga View Post
jesus..you got my mind rolling...

one more thing...

the smaller titles are what we should be suggesting as alternatives. If we are catching those customers before they walk out, we might be able to convince them to try something that they would have just walked right by. Some of the onesies and twosises indy titles are the best on the wall!
Glad I could "roll" it!

I know I sound like Debbie Downer, but it just boggles my mind how things are right now. Ironically, the beginnings of the recession actually kept us busy as hell!

Which...

I just closed a couple of hours ago, and guess what? Today, thanks to The Day the Earth Stood Still, we actually did almost as much as on a Friday. Go figure.
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  #10  
Unread April 8th, 2009, 01:09 AM
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Ghost..i have some saviors for you... 1. Transformers 2. harry potter 3. wolverine, on may 12th taken comes out biggest action film ive seen in awhile, and the new underworld. ICE age will be pretty big as well. Dont forget Watchmen this summer releasing will be quite huge for us. This summer will turn us around and with the fall and winter releases to come from a big summer of hits, I think we will be okay...the titles are coming around for us, Let us hope.
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