July 5, 2011

THE BIJOU BIZ: Comedies Under Budget Pressure But Digital Distribution May Help

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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An interesting story in today’s Los Angeles Times online looks at the business of making comedies these days.  The article points out that while DVD revenue has collapsed for the comedy genre (all genres are down but comedies seem hit especially hard), digital distribution of comedies (video on demand and via devices such as iPads) is growing fast.  Generally speaking, digital distribution of films represents a major area of revenue growth for Hollywood studios.  Some estimates put digital at 10-15% of domestic box office in the near future, about the same as cable-TV licensing earns for the studio.  And the best part: there is virtually no cost associated with this new form of distribution (lots of 1s and 0s flying through cyberspace) as compared to DVD distribution (production and packing of physical discs, rising shipping costs, easier piracy, etc.).

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."