High tech show has biz focus

More than a few of the Hollywood heavyweights flocking to Las Vegas this weekend for Barbra Streisand’s concerts at the MGM Grand Hotel will return several days later to join 80,000 others for a considerably less heralded event with more lasting impact on the entertainment industry — the Winter Consumer Electronics Show.

Although past shows have focused on hardware — from TVs and VCRs to exotic audio equipment — this year’s event, which runs Jan. 6-9, will emphasize the burgeoning new arena of multimedia and interactivity, a subject creating a firestorm of interest in Hollywood.

The list of companies that will be on hand atbelieves that box office reported in Daily Variety accounts for 98.46% of all commercial revenues. He added that when his company assessed Motion Picture Association of America figures, the conclusion was that it employed a 15% to 20% sludge factor. The MPAA figures will be announced at ShoWest in February.

The individual market share leaders and top films can now be clearly identified, although final percentages and figures will change slightly by Saturday. Warner Bros. will win its third consecutive market crown with approximately 18% of the pie on domestic revenues of more than $ 900 million.

Buena Vista is assured second place, but third ranked Universal will likely emerge with the best revenue return per release. U also walked away with the year’s top grosser, “Jurassic Park.” With more than $ 338 million in the bank, it virtually doubles Warner Bros.’ second place finish for “The Fugitive.” The list continues with Paramount’s “The Firm,””Sleepless in Seattle” from TriStar and, on 1993 B.O. alone, Disney’s “Aladdin.”

The indies — fueled by a banner year for New Line Cinema — had the best showing since 1988. Films from outside the majors represented about 8% of the market. Still, indie prospects for the coming year are not optimistic. Disney scooped up Miramax in May and New Line can’t maintain its maverick pose as a key cog in the Ted Turner empire. That places enormous weight on Savoy, the newest production/distribution outlet.

In light of a dwindling number of indie distribs, more dependent independents , including Cinergi and Largo, are popping up, along with Euro concerns ready to split costs and rights on studio ventures.

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