Quick Takes: 11/24/07

  • filmstrip.jpgVariety has a profile piece up about Peggy Siegal who is, apparently, an incredibly in-demand publicity person in New York City when it comes to films. Seigal specializes in organizing parties, screenings and other events for the studios to help raise the buzz-o-meter on specialty films that might be flying under the radar of large portions of the public.
  • Warner Bros. is hoping that being audience-pleasing will make up for August Rush’s lack of easy marketing hook. The movie has reportedly been doing well at screenings but still suffers from the fact that not many people may know about it or be able to draw the line between “that looks nice” and actually buying the ticket.
  • CK uses the story in the movie Lars and the Real Girl to make a point about the power of community to embrace someone they love and see past their eccentricities to make them feel welcome.
  • CinemaBlend says Disney has begun promoting Bolt, an animated feature about a dog who thinks he has super powers, at its theme park gift shops.
  • Defamer kindly reminds Facebook users that should they decide to add things like DVD rental queues or movie ticket buying applications to their profiles, they risk showing everyone just what stupid movies they’re actually choosing to watch.


Blockbuster testing $1 rental kiosks

blockbuster.jpgIt makes complete sense to me that Blockbuster would want to get into the DVD kiosk business. The chain is apparently doing just that, testing a handful of kiosks in Papa John’s pizza places and Dollar Store locations in Kentucky. The DVD rentals cost just $1, the same price other kiosk operators charge, and discs can be returned to any Blockbuster kiosk, not just the one the movie was rented from.

Blockbuster right now is looking for ways to increase revenue and cut costs. The $1 price point comes not only from the competition but from the fact that kiosks require little in the way of overhead. You’re paying more or less just for the movie and not for the store lighting, employee wages and floorspace rental.

The next logical step, of course, is kiosks that are connected to a high-speed central server that allow you to burn any movie on demand. That takes the concept from one that can only supply the top couple hundred titles (no room for the Long Tail when space is a premium) to one that could satisfy just about anyone’s impulse purchase desires.

I know some testing along these lines has been done by others but Blockbuster, despite all its problems, has the name recognition to take that ball and run with it.