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December 29, 2005

The Future of Entertainment

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Edward Jay Epstein predicts that the near future will deliver dramatic surprises in the movie and TV worlds. Scary fact: Wal-Mart now accounts for 30% of DVD sales, and "the studios dance to Wal-Mart's tune." That can't be healthy for entertainment.

Meanwhile, Friedrich von Blowhard alerts me to some happy entertainment news: Disney will produce a new season of "Kim Possible" cartoons. FvB posted about his own love of the series here.



posted by Michael at December 29, 2005


Hmm. I'd rather have Hollywood dancing to Walmart's tune than to that of the Academy and the "red Hollywood" crowd. Or do Barbra Streisand and Warren Beatty and Rob Reiner know better about "what's entertainment" than the majority of Americans who shop at Walmart?

Posted by: Robert Speirs on December 30, 2005 1:37 PM

Robert - The short answer to your question is “Yes. Warren Beatty, Barbra Streisand and Rob Reiner know better about what is entertainment.” This is why the majority of Americans who shop at Wal-Mart are not out making movies themselves, but instead are buying “Funny Girl,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Princess Bride,” “A Few Good Men,” “This is Spinal Tap” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” Oh, yeah, and “Reds,” too.

But the problem with the possible dominance of Wal-Mart as a distribution leg is not the demands of the majority of Americans, but the possibility that Wal-Mart management may seek to influence or impose some kind of control over the content of movies and other material. This would be as negative as the early days of television when sponsors more actively controlled the content of TV programs. On the other hand, Hollywood typically stumbles when they blindly chase demographics, so in the end this will all work itself out even if the industry tries to dance to Wal-Mart’s tune.

Posted by: Alec on December 30, 2005 4:38 PM

Funny that everyone gets excited about WalMart controlling their taste in movies but no one has gotten all that upset about the lowest common denominators in California and Texas totally dominating our public education textbooks and forcing their worldview over our eyes.

In a school, one is rather trapped, but in the big wide world with an Internet at one's fingertips, no one is trapped by Walmart. There are other countries, the Indies, every label and niche of culture full of wonderful stuff to be discovered. Let the mall rats have Walmart.

Prairie Mary

Posted by: Mary Scriver on December 30, 2005 5:29 PM

I think Wal Mart is simply running the world period. Has anyone but me noticed this?

Posted by: annette on January 3, 2006 11:19 AM

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