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August 23, 2014

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Right Now on Cinematical

by Kona Gallagher, posted Mar 21st 2010 8:29PM
The folks at our sister site,Cinematical, are working hard to give you news and reviews of the best -- and worst -- the silver screen has to offer. Here are some of their musings on the latest blockbusters, indies, and everything in between:

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Blockbuster trying to remain relevant with Hulu-like offering

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 6th 2010 8:29AM
BlockbusterBlockbuster Video has finally started to realize that perhaps the reason that nobody is renting anymore is that they can download whatever they want to watch at home. With that in mind, the CEO announced that they are looking into offering a Hulu-like service that would allow people to view television shows at home.

They've already gotten VOD. Presumably, this new offering would use commercials and advertisements as an income source rather than having people pay for downloads.

Blockbuster used to be the dominant force in video-rentals back when VHS was the rage and they negotiated a "rental window" with the studios so that movies and TV shows couldn't be sold to the public until they were rented first. The invention of DVD's ruined that for them. Now, they're struggling to stay alive in light of competitors like NetFlix.

Unless Blockbuster changes their business model (with more original ideas than "copy Hulu"), it could be just another recession victim.

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Blockbuster getting into VOD

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 14th 2009 9:29AM
BlockbusterIn an effort to save itself from complete irrelevance and obscurity, Blockbuster has inked a deal with Sonic Solutions to offer Video On Demand services for the home.

Blockbuster is a bit like the Little Engine That Could. In the era of VHS, it had deals with the studios to allow for a rental window for movies. With the invention of DVD, that was deemed no longer applicable, which meant more money to the studios and less to Blockbuster.

Video On Demand is not completely overshadowing DVD (I think people still like the extras that a DVD provides), but it is taking a large bite out of that market. Some people only want to see the movie and couldn't care less about the extras. They also would rather stay inside to do it.

So what do you think? Will movie rentals go the way of the Dodo? Will Blockbuster go the way of The Sharper Image?

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Blockbuster to launch a set top box for streaming video

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 10th 2008 5:38PM
BlockbusterTired of looking at that empty spot next to your TiVo, Windows Media Extender, Apple TV, and Xbox 360? Blockbuster's got just the thing -- another set top box capable of streaming internet and downloaded video.

There aren't many details about the box yet, but Blockbuster is reportedly set to announce it later this month. The box will offer hardware to compliment software the company already owns. Blockbuster acquired Movielink last year. The service provides users with the ability to rent or purchase digital movies which can be downloaded to a computer.

But PVR Wire readers aside, most people don't have their televisions connected to their computers, so a set top box seems like a good idea. You know, until you count up the other set top boxes you've got lying around. As Dave Zatz points out, it would probably make a lot more sense for Blockbuster to develop technology that would allow the company to send video to existing devices like a TiVo, video game console, or even a network enabled DVD player.

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Best Buy and Blockbuster to launch video download stores?

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 1st 2007 11:12PM
Best BuyArs Trechnica is reporting that Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer may have accidentally let slip plans for digital video download stores from Best Buy and Blockbuster.

During a conference call, Feltheimer reportedly said "we have nearly a dozen active agreements in place for digital delivery of our content." Two of the companies he named were Best Buy and Blockbuster, neither of which has officially announced details of a digital download service, although it should come as no surprise that either company would want in on the download market.

If true, two of the biggest names in bricks and mortar movie sales and rentals could be entering the increasingly crowded digital delivery marketplace. Right now, most online video stores have limited selections, restrictions on burning movies to DVD and lower quality than a standard DVD, or in some cases, VHS. So while it might seem like there are already more places to purchase or rent online video than necessary, we welcome a little more competition in the marketplace.

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CNBC looks at financial impact of Star Wars

by Adam Finley, posted May 21st 2007 4:02PM

star warsStarting today and running throughout the week, CNBC will be looking at how Star Wars has changed the way movies are made and financed (it is a business channel after all). This is all in celebration of the movie's 30th anniversary. Reports will also be shown on the CNBC Web site.

I'll admit that I'm a huge Star Wars nerd, but even I think this is a bit too much. I'll sit down for any special that delves into the making of the trilogy, the technology behind it, the mythology, and all of that cool stuff, but I couldn't care less about box office, financing and merchandising. That's obviously part of the whole package when talking about a huge blockbuster like Star Wars, but none of that stuff mattered to me when I first saw the movie all those years ago. The truth is, even if Star Wars wound up just being some cult movie that only a few people saw, it would still be one of my favorite movies of all time.

I have to ask, is anyone interested in an examination of the financial side of the Star Wars phenomenon? Please comment, I'd love to hear your views on this, too.

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Spider-Man 3 wil air on FX in 2009

by Adam Finley, posted May 9th 2007 3:03PM

spiderman 3I'm not a fan of most "big" movies. You know, those movies with a ton of special effects, babes and explosions but very little plot? However, that doesn't mean decent "big" movies don't exist, and I think the Spider-Man films are a good example. Also, nobody brings a comic book to life better than Sam Raimi (perhaps some of my comic book-loving readers will disagree, though).

Anyway, I mention Spidey on this TV blog because FX has garnered the rights to broadcast Spider-Man 3 in 2009. How much FX ends up paying for the movie depends on how much money the movie itself brings in. As of this writing, the movie has brought in $161,401,784. The deal between Sony and FX could also allow Sony to sell the film to other broadcast networks.

Just out of curiosity, who saw Spider-Man 3 and what did you think of it? I liked it quite a bit, though I think it's probably the least of the series so far: a little too much story for one movie, but it did maintain that "old comic book" feel I love so much. I have a lot more to say about it, but I'll turn it over to you guys in the comments. Opine.

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Netflix, Amazon Unbox, and Blockbuster all on your TiVo

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 13th 2007 9:30AM
Blockbuster TiVo menuOne of the greatest things about TiVo is that the company makes it easy for users to build programs that add functions TiVo has left out.

For example, you can watch movies from Amazon Unbox on your TiVo now, but you can't browse and download movies on your TiVo box. You need to use a computer.

That is, until some enterprising users started hacking together programs that let you surf Amazon Unbox from the comfort of your couch. And why stop there? One user has developed a plugin that lets you browse Amazon Unbox, NetFlix, and Blockbuster all using your remote control.

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Manage your Blockbuster Queue with Windows Media Center

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 9th 2007 2:30PM
My Blockbuster
My Blockbuster v0.1 is a new Windows Media Center plugin that lets you manage your Blockbuster Total Access queue while sitting on your couch.

The free plugin lets you:
  • Add and remove titles from your queue
  • Browse new releases, recommendations, genres, and collections
  • Search for movies
  • View movie details
  • View similar titles
  • View all editions available for a title
  • Watch movie trailers
The plugin is for Windows XP MCE 2005 only at the moment.

[via Chris Lanier's Blog]

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Blockbuster could buy Movielink

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 1st 2007 12:09PM
MovielinkAccording to the Wall Street Journal, Blockbuster is in negotiations to buy movie download service Movielink. This would give Blockbuster an entry into the digital download business, while giving Movielink much wider exposure than the company has right now.

Movielink is owned by the Hollywood studios and has about as good a library of films available for download as any other service on the market right now. Word is that Blockbuster could pick the company up for less than $50 million.

Blockbuster has already shown its interest in moving into online video distribution, having created a Netflix-like online rental store that allows users to order movies online and return them either to a local store or through the mail. With Netflix rolling out online video streaming, Blockbuster may be feeling the pressure to keep up with the Joneses.

[via Zatz Not Funny]

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TiVo's top 10 Super Bowl Commercials

by Brad Linder, posted Feb 5th 2007 10:39AM
Doritos commercialTiVo's released a top 10 list showing the commercials that TiVo owners watched the most during the Super Bowl. The list includes two Doritos commercials that were produced as user-generated videos in a Frito-Lay/Yahoo Video contest, and a Chevrolet Ad produced by 19-year old University of Wisconsin Student Katie Crabb as part of a similar contest.

The complete list is after the jump.

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Previously on PVR Wire

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 24th 2006 6:20PM

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