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The uncertain financial future of the film industry

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 24:  A U.S. Postal worker holds a stack of Netflix envelopes at the U.S. Post Office sort facility on October 24, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  Online movie rental company Netflix reported third quarter earnings of $62.5 million, or $1.16, per share compared to $38 million, or 70 cents per share one year ago.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A U.S. Postal worker holds a stack of Netflix envelopes at the U.S. Post Office sort facility on October 24, 2011 in San Francisco, California.

Recently, responding to negative pressure from its membership base, Netflix abandoned its plan to split its rent-by-mail and streaming services into two different entities. Meanwhile, Universal Pictures caved to theater exhibitors and agreed not offer “Tower Heist” via a premium-priced streaming service ahead of its theatrical release.

Recently, responding to negative pressure from its membership base, Netflix abandoned its plan to split its rent-by-mail and streaming services into two different entities. Meanwhile, Universal Pictures caved to theater exhibitors and agreed not offer “Tower Heist” via a premium-priced streaming service ahead of its theatrical release.

Some of the major studios are exploring a 60-day ban on DVD rentals, hoping to boost sell-through and online viewing purchases, while Blockbuster Express has just doubled the price of some of its kiosk offerings.

With movie houses simultaneously flexing their power and closing their doors, and audiences finding more and more ways to stay home and watch, where’s the money coming from? The industry is trying to adapt to new business models and open up new revenue streams, but none of the plans so far seem to be working.

WEIGH IN:

How will these business decisions affect Hollywood and the filmmaking industry? What other routes for profits are on the horizon? Are the studios losing power to theater chains? How do you like to watch your movies these days?

Guests:

Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC and Box Office Magazine

Wade Major, film critic for KPCC and boxoffice.com

Tony Palazzo, Los Angeles Bureau Chief and Entertainment Team Leader for Bloomberg News

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