As Falls Hollywood . . .

Most of the nation is looking at Wall Street, Capital Hill, and Detroit, but our eyes are on Hollywood. As the economy tanks, people tend to look to the entertainment world to create a diversion.

A report in the New York Times shows exactly how the movie business is being effected by the economic downturn. Movie tickets are going up, but the real Hollywood dollars have long depended on DVD sales. Surprisingly, as more and more people stay home, those sales aren't increasing.

Sales of DVDs are down by 4 percent, mostly coming in October, when the economy was the bleakest.

According to the NYT story . . .

the figures are even worse. Nielsen VideoScan reports that DVD sales are down 9 percent - 22 percent in the new titles.  It must be noted that those sales figures did not include sales figures from Wal-Mart.

Blu-ray, sadly, isn't helping grow the business.  Consumer confusion and a wait-and-see attitude seems to be holding that format back. Putting a positive spin, some studios are saying that the suffering financial world might help out Blu-ray, because the supply of Blu-ray players will exceed the demand, so prices will drop and then consumers will jump on the bandwagon, and sales of discs go up.

Digital downloads account for some new movie sales figures. Looking at it like that, Hollywood isn't doing so bad now, is it? —Leslie Shapiro

The New York Times