Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Musings from the left coast

I'm out in Los Angeles for a couple of days and am wondering...

- Why Hollywood doesn't seem to get that there is still a market for movies which appeal to small market America? In proof that critical mass can be sustained by appealing to moviegoers in smaller towns, the movie Blind Side had ticket sales increase week-over-week, the first time this year that a movie in broad release has grown sales on the second weekend. Normally, films have to make it big in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to succeed. Blind Side's highest-grossing theaters were in markets like Sacramento, Birmingham and Nashville.

- If the bloom is falling off the rose named Pete Carroll? Not only has the USC coach's team under-performed the past two seasons, versus expectations, but now there is the taint of unsportsmanlike conduct which is attaching itself to the head coach. In the latest incident, Carroll had his QB throw a touchdown pass, while leading 21-7 with less than a minute to play, after UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel called a timeout, thus angering USC and its coaching staff. Remember two weeks ago when Carroll confronted Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh after the game? In that contest, Harbaugh went for two late in the game even though his squad was winning 48-21. It seems Carroll is taking out his frustrations about USC's 8-3 record and inability to make the Rose Bowl on other coaches.

- Are the Black Eyed Peas delusional? After opening for U2 on the Irish band's successful arena tour of 2009, the Peas have announced a 100 city world tour complete with elaborate lighting, stage effects, multiple wardrobe changes, and other whistles-and-bells. It's an interesting, and perhaps ill-fated, move given the state of the economy, a music industry which is undergoing massive change and slow concert ticket sales for most tours of this past year.

- Does Tiger Woods have a crisis communications manager? What is IMG, his management company, thinking...or are they just unsuccessful at getting the notoriously private superstar to not speak out about his recent accident? The longer Woods remains silent, the more media tongues are wagging. Woods should look at fellow Nike athlete Kobe Bryant as an example of an athlete who quickly confronted his bad press, when charged with sexual assault, and thus was able to ultimately restore his Madison Avenue marketability.

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