Media Magic Before Magical Tuesday

There’s a little film coming out on DVD on the 23rd. You may have heard of it: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Coverage abounds. Head over to The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet for the most complete coverage of the launch party. (May I have a chocolate fountain for Christmas?)

And there are rumors of a June 11 or 18 2005 release date for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (You’ll have to scroll down the page to see the story.) Should be nice weather for a lineup in June.

Good morning, Princess

Not sure you’ll be able to get up in time to hit the stores the day after Thanksgiving to buy all the action figures you’ll need for the holidays? Darth Vader can help. (Thanks, Target!)

In a move that is drawing national attention for Target as its gears up for its two-day after-Thanksgiving sale, the Minneapolis-based discounter is offering customers pre-recorded telephone wake-up calls.

Shoppers who want to hit the sale early can register at to receive a wake-up call on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Options include hearing a crowing rooster, crying baby, male heartbreaker, and several celebrities including Ice-T, Cheech Marin, supermodel Heidi Klum and Star Wars bad guy Darth Vader.

I have no intention of getting out of bed before noon that day, but I may have to sign up just to hear what he says…

How DVD is changing movies

The New York Times Magazine examines how the DVD sell-through concept has altered how studios make money, decide which films to greenlight, and plan their marketing campaigns. Why?

From about 2002 on, the larger stakes in Hollywood — the revenue that enables studios to finance blockbusters and to pay Brad Pitt and to keep the lights on — have come to ride mostly on those little silver discs that go on sale four or five months after a theatrical release. This year, for instance, 63 percent of studio feature-film revenues in the United States will come from movies sold to retail stores; actual box office will generate only 21 percent. According to Tom Adams, a well-regarded home-entertainment analyst whose firm, Adams Media Research, tracks DVD sales and trends, studios often get twice as much revenue from a big film’s retail sales as they do from its theatrical release.

Personally, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. It’s a lot harder for a film to get buried these days. However, I love the theatrical experience, and I think we should hang onto that as long as we can. But I suspect that as digital projection takes off, the days of the widespread use of (expensive) celluloid are numbered.

…But still no name

Sue Rostoni has posted several items on the OS boards about the 9-book post NJO trilogy:

Expect to see — Star Wars. We very much want to go back to the pulp Space Opera feel of the original movies (as opposed to hard SciFi). The focus will be character-driven situations, set against a backdrop of perhaps not galactic proportions, but certainly providing opportunities for spectacular space battles and lots of lightsaber action. Expect to see the major characters (Skywalkers and Solos) and many of the minor characters (Jedi Knights), and some old favorites. And, hopefully, a lot of surprises.

And on Ben Skywalker:

He’ll be 13 when the series begins and one of the main characters.

Added bonus info – the name of Jim Luceno’s post-Episode 3 hardcover will be Star Wars: Dark Lord.