§ That story about how magazine/book distributor Anderson Media was trying to charge magazine publishers 7 cents an issue to distribute magazines is now playing out. Over the last few seeks, Anderson has closed its door and laid off employees. Now, several book publishers are trying to force it into bankruptcy:
In court papers filed in U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan, publishing companies Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Random House Inc and Simon & Schuster Inc said they are owed a combined $37.5 million.
Under U.S. law, creditors may begin an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding to force a debtor to confront the debts they are owed. The alleged debtor has about 20 days to object to the filing.
A phone number for the Knoxville, Tennessee-based company has been disconnected.
§ On a more positive note, the old adage that cheap entertainment thrives in a recession is holding up as box office is up 16 percent over last year:
While much of the economy is teetering between bust and bailout, the movie industry has been startled by a box-office surge that has little precedent in the modern era. Suddenly it seems as if everyone is going to the movies, with ticket sales this year up 17.5 percent, to $1.7 billion, according to Media by Numbers, a box-office tracking company.
And it is not just because ticket prices are higher. Attendance has also jumped, by nearly 16 percent. If that pace continues through the year, it would amount to the biggest box-office surge in at least two decades.
Box office analyst David Poland suggests that the surge is due more to the great appeal of PAUL BLART, a premise whose implications we’re not entirely comfortable with but, okay.