"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Links of the Day

Fox News' Black Panthers Video Faked by GOP
An investigation into the "New Black Panther" video that Fox News, especially Megyn Kelly, spent months used as "proof" of some grand country wide "voter intimidation" conspiracy has turned out to be a complete fake. The video was actually the creation of GOP attorneys and the full video proves it (at the link). Something that Fox News probably is completely aware of but edited for their narrative of fear. After all the only party historically to engage in tactics to prevent people from voting is the Republican Party. They often support any initiatives that would restrict voting to white Republicans. However, "they do it too!" is a great way to warp the conversation is even there is only one example to hundreds and even if that one example turns out to be a fabrication.

Sony's PSP2, NGP Announcement Video
Hit the link to watch Sony's entire press conference where it announced its Next Generation Portable device as a successor to the PSP. The device is expected to have the near graphic power of the PS2 and probably cost twice as much when released around this Christmas.

John Barry Dead at 77
Oscar-winning composer John Barry died Monday of a heart attack in New York. He won five Oscars over his career for Born Free, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa, and Dances with Wolves. He also scored almost all of the James Bond films and is responsible for pretty much ever musical queue that makes you think "007". Condolences to his friends and family.

Henry Cavill is Superman
The Tudors actor has been cast in the lead role of Zack Snyder's reboot of the Superman franchise. Pretty much nothing is known about the movie beyond this and a desired release date of December 2012. Personally I was hoping Smallville's Tom Welling would get a promotion but that was unlikely to ever occur.

When Does a Movie Become Profitable?
The general rule of thumb to determine when a studio makes a profit on a movie is to multiple its production cost by 2. However, it isn't always that simple because of the high cost of marketing, back end points for actors, percentages that cinemas' get and more. Of note is that while international sales often make up half or more of a movies' box office total, it actually could have only a minor impact on a studio's profits. That is because while American cinemas more or less give 505 of the ticket back to the studio, oversea cinemas can go as low as 15%. This smaller per ticket profit is the primary reason why international ticket sales do not really influence Hollywood's decisions on movies and the marketing muscle and expense remains mostly focused on America.

Nielsen Ratings Are Inaccurate
Hit the link to read how the Nielsen ratings work and why the numbers the public see are incorrect. The ratings are one of the single pieces of information that contributes to whether a show will be cancelled or not. Lots of factors are involved in why the rating system doesn't quite work but one of them turns out to be pretty simple. The ratings exist not so much to get the public excited but advertisers. The data they care about isn’t how many watch the show but how many watch the ads. This means a show with so-so ratings but how ad retention has an equal chance of renewal as a show with higher ratings but crappy ad watching. In the end, it all comes down to how much the networks can charge for their commercials.

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