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Nov 20, 2008

OO7 vs. The Economy (among other things)

It was nice to see that even with the economy "crashing" around us, that James Bond had his best outing ever at the box office.

It's really not that surprising that QUANTUM OF SOLACE did so well given the fact that CASINO ROYALE was such a success, but it is more exciting to see the Movie Business still thrive during economic hardship. Before QUANTUM's $70million+ weekend take, the highest grossing Bond weekend was with Pierce Brosnan's final 2002 outing as OO7 in DIE ANOTHER DAY which raked in $47 million. A considerable jump, and this during what the media likes to call the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression (If the stock market jumped up a nickel for the many times I have heard that phrase in the last couple of months...well...we wouldn't be in a global recession)!

It always annoys me when the media cries out that movie theaters are dead as people prefer to watch their films at home. While yes, that may be true, you put a movie out there that people want to see and they will dish out the now $10-$14 that it costs (and that's just the ticket price) to catch something on the big screen.

Now of course the new big thing is to proclaim DVD as being dead as Video On Demand and Digital Distribution are seemingly about to take over. While those models may kill the Mom and Pop rental business (and even the bigger "box" stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video who have been closing stores and Blockbuster taking on a Netflix-like approach just to stay alive) people will still buy their favorite DVDs and now Blu-Rays. I don't know about the rest of you, but there is something very satisfying for the extreme movie buff in me to look at my shelf and see the thousands of titles that I can pop in and enjoy at any time. I'll continue to do so until they pry that DVD/Blu-Ray machine out of my cold, dead hands. That, and there isn't a hard drive large enough to contain my massive (and ever growing) collection.

I was also very pleasantly surprised to find that this past week in the both the local Target and Wal-Mart stores, that they had completely sold out in a day of all their Blu-Ray copies of Pixar's WALL-E. That just shows that High Def DVD is indeed here, and here to stay.

FYI -- If you haven't got a Blu-Ray player yet, Black Friday has a large number of great Blu-Ray player deals at stores like Wal-Mart and Sears. Not only are the prices below the $200 mark, but there are also several 2.0 models available, a point that is key if you want to access the superior features like BD live. Check out www.digitalbits.com for more details.

Ok, so back to the box office. This weekend and next should do well to prove the theory that movies are (almost) recession proof. This weekend has TWILIGHT which is going to be huge with the tween and teen girl market, the hold-over of QUANTUM from last week which should still do well, the hold-over of MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA from 2 weeks ago -- although it should feel a bite from Disney's newcomer -- the animated BOLT which hits screens in both 2D and 3D this weekend! And with fewer people traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, I bet more and more of those people will head out to their local multiplex.

It just goes to show that Bond can not only save the world against domination-seeking villains, but also an economic recession as well.