The Biggest IMAX Movie Ever (But Now What?)

“Edutainment funded by Lockheed Martin doesn’t sound like box-office gold, but The Dream Is Alive is the top-grossing movie in IMAX history. It has earned more than $150 million since its 1985 debut, putting it several million dollars ahead of such competitors as 1998’s Everest and 1991’s Antarctica. Yet for all its success with such films, the IMAX Corp. dislikes being thought of as a purveyor of mega-sized documentaries. It now wants to show Hollywood blockbusters on its trademark six-story screens—a strategic shift that seems to have caused the company considerable trouble.”

Why Do We Care How Much Money A Movie Makes?

“These days, the summer moviegoer has two things vying for control of his imagination: the movies and the box-office receipts. Each operates according to an outsized, cartoonish aesthetic. Even for those of us who chuckle at the notion that summer blockbusters are special-effects abominations that have “ruined” the movies, it’s striking that the numbers should exert such a hold over us.”

A Requiem For Tower Records

The Tower Records bankruptcy marks the end of a generation. “If Tower is looking for a convenient scapegoat, it could well point its corporate finger at Seattle’s Beacon Hill, where resides. Record retailers such as Tower liked to boast that they offered far more breadth and depth in music selection than the mall stores or the music departments of the discounters. But even the music retailers couldn’t match the universe of offerings from Amazon, which didn’t have the carrying cost of bricks-and-mortar stores.”

Iraqi Cultural Leader Quits

Iraq’s top cultural official has resigned. “Donny George has resigned as President of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH) in Iraq, citing his frustration at lack of funding and at growing interference from the radical Shi’ite party now in control of the government ministry to which SBAH is attached.”

How To Fix The Emmys

Emmy-bashing is high sport. “So why should viewers care? After all, like every entertainment award, the Emmys are as much a commercial creature as an artistic one. The broadcast and cable networks support them because they generate free publicity and Emmy-boasting promotions. Yet for all their flaws, the Emmys are still the medium’s most important public recognition of good work — and that should matter to any viewer who wants to see good work encouraged.”

An Audacious Attempt To Reinvent The Music Business

“To all appearances, Nettwerk is just a midsize music management company with an indie record label on the side. Many of the artists on its client roster – which includes Avril Lavigne, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, and Stereophonics – are mainstream acts. But McBride, the company’s cofounder and creative force, is quietly carrying out a plan to reinvent the music industry, including legalizing file-sharing and giving artists control over their own intellectual property.”

Instantaneous Buzz (So What Do You Do?)

“Movie studios once felt confident they had at least two weekends to sell as many movie tickets as possible before toxic buzz would undermine their multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns. Hollywood executives now say that the proliferation of movie-related e-mail, Internet blogs and text messaging has reduced that window to mere hours, as the quick decline of last weekend’s heavily promoted ‘Snakes on a Plane’ proved.”

Emin To Represent Uk At Venice

Tracey Emin has been chosen to represent the UK in the next Venice Biennale. “She will be the second woman to produce a solo show for the UK at the Venice Biennale, following Rachel Whiteread in 1997. Andrea Rose, commissioner for the British Pavilion, said the exhibition would allow Emin’s work to be viewed ‘in an international context and at a distance from the YBA [Young British Artists] generation with which she came to prominence’.”