Kara Swisher

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Viral Videos: 10 Most Viewed Movie Trailers Online, Including "Mega Shark"–But Is Trouble Ahead for Hollywood?

megashark2

BoomTown is back from a lovely holiday vacation and am gearing up for the Consumer Electronics Show, which starts later this week in Las Vegas, but I have been struck by the $1 billion-plus haul that tech-heavy “Avatar” has brought in over that time.

Does this mean movies in theaters are holding their own against online incursions?

It would seem so, according to box office reports for the year. Tallies for the U.S. alone were up 10 percent to close to $10 billion for 2009.

Or is there trouble behind this success, since another key revenue stream is weakening?

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal today:

Last year was the first since 2002 that U.S. consumers spent more money buying movie tickets than buying movies to watch at home, underscoring the changing economics of Hollywood…

The figures indicate that studios will likely have to continue looking for ways to survive in a marketplace where they can’t count on hefty home-entertainment revenue to offset giant production costs. Those costs often more than eat up the studios’ half of the box-office receipts, which are split with theaters.

The ongoing decline in home-entertainment revenue has already fundamentally altered the way studios do business, forcing them to place big financial bets on hoped-for mass-market blockbusters at the expense of features that cost less to make but that also have smaller earnings potential.

Since online movie purchases and rentals are nowhere close in terms of revenue (see chart below), declining DVD sales could be a worrisome trend for Hollywood.

MK-BA400_DVD_NS_20100103180438

We’ll see what happens in 2010. Until then, here are videos of the top 10 most-viewed trailers of 2009, according to Yahoo (YHOO)–which garnered many tens of millions of views on its popular movie site.

Most–but not all–of them track on the big box-office winners, although the group includes an unusual one: “Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus,” starring Lorenzo Lamas, which was not exactly a hit.

Here they are:

No. 10: UP

No. 9: AVATAR

No. 8: MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS

No. 7: STAR TREK

No. 6: G.I. JOE

No. 5: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE

NO. 4: TERMINATOR SALVATION

No. 3: 2012

No. 2: TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

No. 1: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON


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