Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, March 07, 2021

In the space of 20 minutes of walk-around time this afternoon, my feet led me to two distinctly different ground-level encounters:

- As I first set out, a quick glance down to my shoes yielded my find of a shiny 25-cent piece, about which I duly tweeted.

- As I was heading back along almost the same paved terrain, a slippery-ish step made me look back — where I saw a squished bird that I had just re-trampled. (Unlike the quarter, I let this found object lie where it lay.)

Quite the swing in underfoot discoveries. If it portends the way this week will go for me, I’d better buckle up for a wild ride. (And no, the Twitter/bird parallel is not lost on me; hopefully my tweeting didn’t karmically trigger a dead-bird theme.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/07/2021 08:44pm
Category: General, Social Media Online
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News flash to my generation: A certain former music channel is cutting the cord:

“We’re pushing Generation X out,” [MTV Networks President Van] Toffler said. “We’re slaves to our different audiences, for MTV that’s millennials, who are vastly different than Generation X; they’re definitely less cynical — they’re more civic minded.”

News flash to Toffler: For the most part, Gen-X pushed MTV out the door years ago. Probably around the time that the “M” stopped standing for “music” (apparently, it now stands for “millennials”), and proto-reality show sludge like “The Real World” started dominating the channel’s airtime. As much as the channel was defined in its formative years by Gen-Xers — and vice-versa — times have changed for both. It’s not like anyone expected a televised shrine to youth to gracefully grow old with its founding audience.

In fact, one wonders why the official disconnect comes at this late date:

Regardless of whether the network’s programming matches its ideals, Toffler’s way of thinking is good business. There are roughly 78 million millennials. Generation X only has around 46 million members. If you couple that fact with the generalization that Gen-Xers are both less consumer-minded than their peers and much harder to fool, then it becomes downright surprising that MTV waited this long to shift their focus to greener pastures.

I suppose there are compensations. Middle-aged Xers can shift to VH1, where they can catch… well, the same reality TV crap as on the MTV mothership. Here’s to staying young forever!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/07/2021 06:44pm
Category: Pop Culture, Society, TV
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From here, any building buzz for tonight’s Oscars ceremony has been pretty well displaced by the Cablevision-Disney blackout of the broadcast in the tri-state area.

But, all told, disgruntled Cablevision subscribers shouldn’t feel that bad. Because in an indirect way, the loss of some 3.1 million viewers dovetails with the overall lessening of impact that an Academy Award nomination has had on the box office this year:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doubled the number of [Best Picture] nominees this year in hopes of drawing more attention to more movies. But the revenue bump for this year’s crop is less than the one enjoyed by last year’s five best-picture hopefuls.

And of that $135 million, all but about $24 million went to the one film in least need of an Oscar bump: the record-smashing “Avatar.” The figures were generated between the nominations Feb. 2 and the last weekend before Sunday’s awards.

Last year’s best picture nominees pulled in $146 million over a comparable period, and most of that went to a film Oscar helped turn into a sensation: “Slumdog Millionaire.” Three of the five 2009 nominees at least doubled their take in that period, something no film in this year’s batch even came close to doing.

So this year, fewer people are watching the Oscars, or the theatrical releases that are up for Oscars. Nice symmetry.

I’m sure the industry reaction will be to amp up the number of nominations, rationalizing that this year’s Best Picture expansion failed because it just didn’t go far enough. How does twenty potential Best Pictures crowding the box office sound? Not that the box office is the true target:

And a nomination lasts forever, whether a movie is in theaters or being offered on Netflix, so the full story of the benefits of the expanded category hasn’t been told yet. Studios make billions of dollars on DVD and Blu-ray disc sales, not to mention what they collect from pay TV outlets at home and abroad.

At the end of the day, it’s just a marketing label. The pomp, circumstance, and statuette are entirely incidental.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/07/2021 05:35pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Movies, TV
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