FTC’s New Rules on Web Advertising to Kids

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm

The Federal Trade Commission is proposing new rules to better protect kids online, closing loopholes that still permit companies to gather personal information about kids despite a 1998 law that was supposed to prevent it.  According to the Wall Street Journal:

The rules could affect popular features such as Facebook Inc.’s “Like” button, as well as new social networks for playing games on smartphones.  Websites aimed at children already have to get parental consent before gathering information—such as name and email address—from users under 13 years old.  But the original law, known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, hasn’t adapted to advances in Web technology and marketing.  Those advances have allowed so-called third parties to gather data without parents’ knowing. For example, some iPhone games popular with kids, include the option to join social networks that collect personal data from users without asking for a parent’s permission.  An investigation by The Wall Street Journal in 2010 found that popular children’s websites installed more data-gathering technology on computers than websites aimed at adults.

The Commission is asking for comments and is certain to get many from companies who want to continue to have access to this lucrative data from children.  I hope they get some from parents, too.

 

 

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Advertising Internet, Gaming, Podcasts, and Apps Marketing to Kids

Zyzzyx Road — Lowest Grossing Movie In History

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 8:00 am

We can all name at least a few of the movies in the top 10 box office winners of all time.  But not many people know that the rec0rd-holder for the lowest ticket revenues of all time is “Zyzzyx Road,” starring Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore.  The official figure is just $30 from just six patrons, reduced later to $20 after the film-makers refunded two tickets bought by the film’s make-up artist.

Entertainment Weekly had a sympathetic story.

In truth, nobody was supposed to see Zyzzyx Road at all. The Dallas screening was never meant to be a real theatrical run. Instead, it was set up to fulfill a Screen Actors Guild agreement, which permits low-budget films to pay actors a lower rate as long as the film gets a domestic theatrical release. The Dallas ”opening” was merely a formality. ”I didn’t want an audience,” says Grillo. ”We looked at it and said, What’s the cheapest way we can get out of this mess? We rented the theater for $1,000.”

At most of the screenings, Grillo’s plan worked just fine: Nobody showed up. Even so, the movie had to run. ”We paid to show the movie every day,” says Grillo. ”So legally speaking, we have a screening every single day. If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s there, does it make a sound? In the law of physics, the answer’s no, but in the law of SAG, the answer’s yes.”

Grillo decided to pursue foreign sales first and worry about a legitimate domestic release much later, betting on the rise of Heigl’s and Sizemore’s Hollywood profiles (Grey’s Anatomy soon grew into one of TV’s highest-rated shows, and Sizemore landed a VH1 reality show). Regent Entertainment started hawking the foreign DVD rights, eventually selling the film in 23 countries, including Bulgaria, Indonesia, and Portugal. By the end of 2006, it had generated around $368,000.

Want to see it?  You’re in luck.  The Zyzzyx Road DVD was released today. If you see it, let me know what you think!

 

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Behind the Scenes

Super-Giveaway: “Penniless Princess” Prize Pack from Veggie Tales

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm

This includes Veggie Tales’ adorable new “Penniless Princess” DVD and lots of other goodies! The full list and MSRP are listed below.

To enter: Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Princess” in the subject line and tell me which is your favorite princess story. Don’t forget your address! (US addresses only.) I will pick a winner on August 6. Good luck!

Penniless Princess DVD – $14.99

Girl’s Journal and Activity Book – $7.99

365 Daystarter Devo – $6.99

Princess and the Popstar DVD – $14.99

Songs for a Princess CD – $9.99

Sweetpea Beauty DVD – $14.99

Songs for Girls CD – $9.99

Princess Wrist Bands – $4.99

Esther DVD – $14.99

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Contests and Giveaways

A New Clip About the Basketball Fantasy “Thunderstruck”

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 11:41 am

Kevin Durant plays himself in this upcoming fantasy about a boy named Brian who wishes he could have Durant’s skills.  Brian becomes the star of his high school team, but Durant now has Brian’s skills — or lack of skills, and suddenly he can’t make a shot.  When the playoffs approach, Brian has to find a way to work at his own game and get Durant’s back to him and his team.

 

 

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Trailers, Previews, and Clips

Olympic Movie Quiz: Answers

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 8:00 am

1. A warm-weather country competed in a cold-weather sport in which fact-based Disney film?

Cool Runnings, with John Candy as the coach of the Jamaican bobsled team.

2. Which Oscar-winning movie was the story of two Olympic runners?

Chariots of Fire

3. There are two different movies about which real-life Olympic champion runner?

Prefontaine with Jared Leto and Without Limitswith Billy Crudup are both about Steve Prefontaine.

4. Which Olympic decathlete played himself in a movie based on his life?

Bob Mathias and his wife played themselves in “The Bob Mathias Story.”
(more…)

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Quiz
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