Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Cameron Diaz and “Bad Teacher” Come Early to Apple, Amazon

Can’t bear to wait six more days to watch “Bad Teacher” on DVD? You’re in luck: Sony is already selling digital copies of the Cameron Diaz movie via iTunes, Amazon, Xbox and other platforms.

As Variety (registration required) notes, it’s the first time a big studio has done this with a widely released movie — normally Hollywood puts out digital copies at the same time as discs. The idea with this test is to see if an early window for Apple, etc., can goose sales.

It’s one of a series of experiments the studios are conducting with distribution windows (see: $60 Eddie Murphy movies), and I can sort of see the studio logic here: Digital “sell-through” is one of the only growing parts of a slumping home entertainment market.

But the bigger trend in home entertainment seems to be that people aren’t interested in buying movies, period. If they have a choice, they’ll rent them instead, via one-off video-on-demand or subscription services like Netflix.

Some studio guys are trying to figure out how to take that choice away from consumers, but I think that’s wishful thinking. More practical: Learning to live with a diminished home video revenue stream.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus