Salzer’s Video Calls It Quits After 41 Years of Renting Videos in Southern California

Salzer’s Video, one of the last big video rental stores, announced via a Facebook page that it is closing down.

The store, located in Oxnard, Calif., is next door to Salzer’s Records, a mainstay of the local music community since 1966.

Owner Jim Salzer, who died last year, opened Salzer’s Video adjacent to the record store in 1980 to take advantage of the burgeoning video rental market. He later became a prominent voice in the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA), the trade group for video retailers that produced an annual summer convention in Las Vegas that attracted thousands of independent video retailers — and huge show-floor expenditures by the studios to woo them.

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Salzer’s Video proved a worthy competitor to the superstores built by national chains such as Blockbuster and Hollywood Entertainment in the late 1980s and early ’90s, and still carries more than 20,000 titles.

In a Facebook post that went up at 3:19 p.m. PT on Sept. 30, the owners said, “It has been a pleasure serving Ventura County for the last 41 years, but it is time to call it a wrap. As one of the first video stores in the county, we began in a former gas station in 1980 and within five years moved into the superstore we’ve operated out of for the last 36 years. We’ll be having liquidation sales over the next few weekends, so stay tuned for details. We also have some exciting plans for the space to be announced in the near future. Thank you to all of our wonderful customers and employees over the years that have help make us one of the longest-running video rental stores in the country. Please note: our record store is stronger than ever and is NOT part of this closure. – The Salzers.”

In a subsequent post that went up less than an hour later, the Salzers provided more details on the store’s liquidation sales: “We are liquidating our inventory and will be having closeout sales for the next few weekends. This Friday through Sunday (10/1 – 10/3) all DVDs and Blu-rays — $5 each (this includes multiple-disc sets). The following Friday through Sunday (10/8 – 10/10) all DVDs and Blu-rays — TWO for $5. UPDATE: fixtures and other items will be sold at a later date to be determined. We may go a third weekend with even deeper discounts should inventory remain – stay tuned for details.”

Jim Salzer died early on March 15, 2020, after suffering a second fall. He had been hospitalized after an initial fall in late February. Shortly after noon on Sunday, March 15, he posted to Facebook, “I can’t keep up with Facebook currently. I’m having a bad time with recovery. See you on the flip side.”

His daughter, Sage, wrote on his Facebook page that in the late afternoon, “my dad and I FaceTimed and a few more hours passed and he is gone. Grateful for the countless hours we spent around the clock with him in the hospital after he took the first fall, breaking neck and back.”

Before venturing into retail more than 50 years ago, Salzer was a concert promoter, producing shows in Ventura, Santa Barbara and elsewhere in Southern California by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Jefferson Airplane and Buffalo Springfield.

A native of Chicago, Salzer was 78. He was survived by his wife, Nancy, and children Sage and Brandon.

Disney, Scarlett Johansson Settle ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit

Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson and the Walt Disney Co. have reportedly reached a settlement in the actor’s breach-of-contract dispute. Johansson sued Disney alleging the studio’s concurrent theatrical/Disney+ PVOD release strategy for the Marvel Cinematic Universe release deprived the actress upwards of five-times her reported $20 million compensation. Financial details of the settlement were not disclosed.

“I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow,” said Alan Bergman, chairman of Walt Disney Studios.

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Johansson, in a statement, said she was pleased with the resolution, and “incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team,” as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Indeed, Johansson is set to work with Disney on a number of future projects, including Tower of Terror, which is based on a Disney amusement park ride.

The litigation underscores a new dynamic in Hollywood when it comes to compensating talent, directors, producers and studios. For decades, major stars have tied total compensation to a movie’s box office — a financial situation that apparently involved Black Widow.

With the pandemic wreaking havoc on the box office, and Disney pushing hard on consumer adoption of its branded Disney+ streaming platform, the studio made Black Widow available as a $29.99 premium add-on for Disney+ subscribers on the same day the movie was released in theaters.

Black Widow generated more than $80 million in its opening domestic weekend (July 9-11) box office — a record tally at that point during the pandemic. Disney also heralded $60 million in higher-margin Premier Access transactions from Disney+ subscribers the first weekend.

But when Black Widow ticket sales plummeted nearly 70% during the second weekend, exhibitor critics and Johansson cried foul, contending Premier Access had sabotaged the film’s domestic box office.

Further lawsuit allegations suggested Disney CEO Bob Chapek and executive chairman Bob Iger’s performance bonuses and total compensation were tied to the success of Disney+, which ended the most-recent fiscal period with more than 100 million global subscribers.

Speaking Sept. 21 on a recent investor event, Chapek said the studio was re-evaluating talent contracts signed before the pandemic, and how it would handle such matters in the COVID era.

“Talent deals going forward will have to reflect that the world is changing,” Chapek told the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference.

Stallone’s ‘Rocky IV’ Director’s Cut Coming to Theaters and VOD in November

MGM is bringing Sylvester Stallone’s new director’s cut of the 1985 boxing movie Rocky IV to theaters for one night only Nov. 11.

Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago — The Ultimate Director’s Cut includes 40 minutes of additional footage and is being screened in select theaters for one showing through Fathom Events. Screenings will include an introduction by Stallone, a look at the making of the new cut, and a live Q&A broadcast.

The new director’s cut will be available on demand beginning Nov. 12.

The film features Stallone, who also directed and wrote the screenplay, returning to the role of underdog boxing champ Rocky Balboa, this time squaring off against Russian powerhouse Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in a battle of East vs. West.

The cast also includes Brigitte Nielsen, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Michael Pataki, Robert Doornick, Stu Nahan, Talia Shire and Tony Burton.

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‘F9’ Drives to Top of Disc Sales Charts

Universal Pictures’ Home Entertainment’s F9: The Fast Saga easily topped the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Sept. 25.

The 10th film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise and the ninth entry in the primary storyline earned $173 million at the domestic box office.A Walmart-exclusive DVD collection of the nine main films charted at No. 18 overall.

The previous week’s top title, Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, slipped to No. 2 on both charts its second week, selling about 40% as many copies during the week as the debuting F9.

Making its debut at No. 3 on both charts was another Disney title, Cruella, the origin story of the 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil, with Emma Stone in the title role. It earned more than $86 million at the domestic box office and sold about one-third as many copies as F9. A two-pack of Cruella with the 1961 animated version of 101 Dalmatians was No. 23 on the overall disc sales chart.

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Rounding out the top five overall disc sellers were Universal’s DreamWorks Animation sequel The Boss Baby: Family Business down a spot to No. 4, and Warner’s superhero team-up Zack Snyder’s Justice League down three spots to No. 5. Their order was reversed on the Blu-ray chart, with ZSJL at No. 4 and Boss Baby 2 at No. 5.

Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 crime drama A Clockwork Orange climbed back onto the charts at No. 11 overall and No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart thanks to a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, which accounted for 99.5% of the title’s sales for the week.

Similarly, Disney’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reissue of M. Night Shyamalan’s 2000 superhero deconstruction Unbreakable was No. 21 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart, with 98% of its sales for the week being of the new 4K edition.

The 4K version of F9 accounted for 16% of total unit sales of the standalone movie version, with 43% coming from the regular Blu-ray and 41% from the DVD. Cruella also had 16% of its tally come from 4K, but 59% from regular Blu-ray and 25% from DVD.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Sept. 26 also had F9 in the top spot and Black Widow at No. 2.

The previous week’s top rental, The Boss Baby: Family Business, slipped to No. 3, with Cruella debuting at No. 4 and Lionsgate’s Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard dropping two spots to No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 9-25-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 9-26-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 9-25-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 9-25-21
Sales Report for Week Ended 9-25-21
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 9-27-21

Doc ‘Live at Mr. Kelly’s’ Available Digitally Oct. 12, on DVD Oct. 19 From Virgil

The documentary Live at Mr. Kelly’s will be released on VOD and digital sellthrough Oct. 12, and on DVD Oct. 19 from Virgil Films.

The iconic Mister Kelly’s illuminated legendary Chicago’s Rush Street, and the entire country, by launching talent such as Barbra Streisand, Richard Pryor, Bob Newhart, Bette Midler and Steve Martin. Its visionary owners George and Oscar Marienthal smashed color and gender barriers to put unknown, controversial voices on stage and transform entertainment as America knew it in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Now, with the club long gone, and its star talent reaching their golden years, George’s son David and director/screenwriter Theodore Bogosian go on a quest to collect the memories before they are lost.

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Celebrity interviews include Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers, Dick Gregory, Lainie Kazan, Herbie Hancock, Dick Cavett, Tim Reid, Fred Willard and Ramsey Lewis. The film portrays through interviews, live footage, photos, music and song the rise and fall of one of American entertainment’s great proving grounds.

IBC Media Confab Free to Attend, Stream Online

The 2021 International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) for the first time is allowing interested parties to watch the sessions free in person in Amsterdam or via streaming platform IBC Digital, which launches Oct. 21. The confab, which was delayed from September, takes place Dec. 3-6. IBC 2019 attracted more than 56,000 attendees from 150 countries.

The 52nd annual event will showcase the following themes: production and post production, content supply chain, over-the-top video, direct-to-consumer, live and remote production, and innovation.

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Keynote speakers include: James Gibbons, EVP and GM of U.K. and Nordics at Discovery; Mike Davies, SVP of field operations for Fox Sports; Johannes Larcher, head of international at HBO Max; Vincent Tauzia, VP of partnerships at Netflix; Yiannis Exarchos, CEO of Olympic Broadcasting Services; Superna Kalle, president of International Networks at Starz; Mike Wuetherick, head of M&E solutions at Unity Technologies; and Bob Hesskamp, EVP of engineering for WarnerMedia.

“We understand that not everyone will be able to join us in Amsterdam,” Imran Sroya, director at IBC, said in a statement. “As a result, we are launching IBC Digital to create a hybrid event that will be accessible to IBC’s 250,000 strong community, regardless of whether they’re joining us in Amsterdam or onscreen at home.”

The IBC Accelerator Media Innovation Program winners include: Al Jazeera Media Networks, Associated Press, the BBC, ITV, Olympic Broadcasting Services, Sky and WarnerMedia.

“There’s a huge desire for the industry to get together again and do business, which is exemplified by the recent sharp uptick in registration,” said Steve Connolly, director at IBC. “Visitors at this year’s show will have the opportunity to see live demonstrations from at least 700 exhibitors, including major industry players and companies making their IBC debut.”

Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘Clickbait’ Most-Streamed Program Through Sept. 5

The Netflix original miniseries “Clickbait” proved popular among household TV streamers, tracking more than 1.45 billion minutes across eight episodes the week ended Sept. 5, according to new data from Nielsen.

“Entourage” veteran Adrian Grenier plays a family man abducted in a crime with a sinister online twist. The series bested longtime chart-topper “Manifest,” which tracked 1.1 billion minutes across 42 episodes.

Disney+ movie Cruella rounded out the podium with 757 million minutes.

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Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.


Licensed Shows:


SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number of Episodes

Minutes Streamed (Millions)

5 NETFLIX NCIS 353 580
10 NETFLIX FLASH 151 336



SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number of Episodes

Minutes Streamed (Millions)

2 AMAZON CINDERELLA (2021) 1 445
9 DISNEY+ LUCA (2021) 1 213


Kino Lorber, Giant Pictures Launch Free Ad-Supported Streaming Service Kino Cult

Kino Lorber has partnered with Giant Pictures to launch Kino Cult, a free ad-supported streaming destination for genre lovers of horror and cult films.

Featuring hundreds of hours of curated, theatrically released films all in high-definition, with new titles added monthly, Kino Cult launches widely in the United States and Canada on Oct. 1 across Web, mobile devices and connected TVs, with VOD apps on major devices, such as Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google TV, iOS, Android and more.

Giant Pictures is the technology partner for Kino Cult, responsible for the device apps, channel distribution and ad-tech in the new venture.

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“From the arthouse to the haunted house, the channel will dive deep into unapologetically weird genre cinema, blending recent art house discoveries fresh from cinemas with high quality restorations of notorious grindhouse gems,” according to a press release.

Kino Lorber brings 40 years of experience as a theatrical and home entertainment distributor of international and American indie films to Kino Cult, where the focus will be on “the wild and the weird of genre cinema,” according to the release. Kino Cult plans to serve its audience with a deep catalog of hundreds of relevant titles, many of which are streamable for the very first time, all in HD, the press release noted.

The channel will offer cult cinema across action, horror, comedy and sci-fi, both new and rare vintage hits of genre cinema, giving movie fans “access to films that have not been easy to find in the streaming age,” the press release stated.

Restored Warren Beatty Films ‘Reds’ and ‘Heaven Can Wait’ Due on Blu-ray Nov. 30

Two restored Warren Beatty films, Reds and Heaven Can Wait, are being released on Blu-ray Disc Nov. 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Beatty stars in (as well as produces, co-writes, and co-directs) the comedy Heaven Can Wait, which has been fully restored and remastered from the original negative under Beatty’s supervision.

Directed by Beatty and Buck Henry, with a screenplay by Elaine May and Beatty, the film also stars Julie Christie, James Mason, Charles Grodin, Dyan Cannon, Buck Henry, Vincent Gardenia and Jack Warden.  The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Beatty and Henry), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Beatty and May), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Beatty), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Warden), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Cannon), and more.

The film follows Joe Pendleton (Beatty), a Los Angeles Rams backup quarterback ready to lead the team all the way to the Super Bowl until an overzealous guardian angel prematurely plucks him from the living. When he’s returned to Earth in the body of millionaire industrialist Leo Farnsworth, he inherits a world of challenges, including winning the love of a woman (Christie) who hates Farnsworth.

The Blu-ray includes the feature film in high-definition and access to a digital copy of the film.

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Directed, co-written, produced by and starring Beatty, Reds celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The story of a radical American journalist embroiled in the Bolshevik revolution  was originally released on Dec. 25, 1981. Paramount will release the film in a two-disc Blu-ray set, newly restored under Beatty’s supervision. The film was restored and remastered from the original negative in 4K with high dynamic range using a vintage print from the Paramount archives as a reference, which was approved by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.

Punctuated by interviews with real-life activists and witnesses to the revolution, Reds depicts the love story between activists John Reed (Beatty) and Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton) set against the outbreak of World War I and the rise of communism in Russia.  In addition to Keaton and Beatty, the film’s cast includes Jack Nicholson, Edward Herrmann, Gene Hackman, Paul Sorvino and Maureen Stapleton, whose performance won her an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

The film garnered 12 Academy Award nominations and won three, including Best Director for Beatty. The Oscar-nominated screenplay was written by Beatty and Trevor Griffiths.

The new Blu-ray set includes more than an hour of legacy bonus content, as well as access to a digital copy of the film.

Samba TV: New NBC Series ‘La Brea’ Tops TV/Streaming Viewing

With heavy promotion on “NFL Sunday Football,” new NBC primetime disaster series “La Brea” dominated live and on-demand TV/streaming consumption through Sept. 26, according to new data from Samba TV — which tracks more than 46 million opted-in TVs globally, of which 28 million are in the U.S. across 210 designated market areas.

The Sept. 28 premiere episode tracked 3.1 million U.S. households watching live and on-demand. The audience skewed above 55 years old and white (+15%). Of the top 25 DMAs, Pittsburgh over-indexed the most (+20%), followed by Denver (+17%) and Minneapolis (+13%).

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Whether the series, about a giant sink hole in L.A.’s La Brea tar pits neighborhood, has legs is another question. Previous shows with similar plotlines — “Manifest” and “Debris” — were dumped by the network (and resurrected on Netflix) before their storyline conclusion.

Meanwhile, 1.8 million U.S. households watched “The Simpsons” season 33 premiere. Viewership was down 46% from the season 32 premiere in 2020. The audience skewed slightly male (+2%), adolescent (ages 10-19 +6%), and black (+28%). Of the top 25 DMAs, Minneapolis over-indexed the most (+151%), followed by Dallas (+85%) and Tampa, Fla. (+74%).

Finally, 1.1 million U.S. households, 105,000 British households, 35,000 German/Austrian watched Marvel Studios’ “What If…?” on Disney+ during the live+six-day window. Another 289,000 U.S., 27,000 British, 15,000 German/Austrian households watched “Star Wars Visions” on the streamer.

Another 90,000 U.S., 7,000 British, 4,000 German/Austrian households  watched both premiere episodes in the L+6D window. The audience of “Visions” skewed  male (+3%), 20-24 years old (+24%) and Hispanic (+14%). Of the top 25 DMAs, Washington, D.C. over-indexed the most (+115%), followed by Sacramento, Calif., (+90%) and Portland, Ore., (+53%) for L+6D -.