Downward Trends in Hollywood’s Down Months

During the dry spell between the holiday release schedule, when prestigious Oscar-bait pictures are front and center, and the eventual Oscar feeding frenzy that follows, Hollywood routinely dishes out its lighter fare (for example, this weekend’s winners: Meet the Spartans and Rambo). But the morning papers show more signs of stress throughout the industry. The Guardian opines that this year’s Sundance Film Festival “will go down as one of the worst in recent memory.” The LA Times notes that “back-burner literary projects move to the forefront as the [WGA] strike continues.” The NY Times reports that the sales of HD DVD players are plunging after Warner Brothers announced it was abandoning support of the new format. The Times also critiques the inconsistencies of the MPAA’s rulings on on-screen cigarette smoking leading to a R-ratings. The Times‘ positive twist: “Direct-to-DVD Releases Shed Their Loser Label.”