This Week in Financial BlundersFilm, books and television all have specific advantages as forms of entertainment. Film is a singular experience that can fully immerse you in a story for a few hours. Books let you use your imagination to create an environment that’s as rich and real as you want it to be. Television uses shorter programming to immerse the viewer in a story for weeks at a time. They all work, and they have one thing in common: The business people distributing these mediums don’t always make the best decisions.

Block Busted

There are always a few bombs during the summer movie season, but no film wants to be the worst of the worst. “Paranoia,” starring Liam Helmsworth (“The Hunger Games”), Gary Oldman (“The Dark Knight”) and Harrison Ford (“Star Wars”) had the worst opening of any movie so far in 2013; it was also the worst box office opening in Ford’s long acting career. The “business thriller” made only $3.5 million in its first three days debuting in the 13th spot, far behind films like “The Smurfs 2” and “The Wolverine” which have been out for weeks. The film suffered from a muddled marketing campaign and poor reviews which did nothing to advance it. With a budget of $40 million, the film isn’t the biggest loss in box office history but it’s surely a stain on the careers of the actors involved.

Harmed & Immobile

In the past quarter alone, booksellers Barnes & Noble have reported $87 million in losses and credit roughly $54.6 million to its struggling e-reader, Nook. Shares for the company fell 13% by Tuesday morning to approximately $14.50 a share. Wall Street analysts were quick to let the executives of the company know that the emphasis they have placed on the Nook has been nothing but detrimental. One analyst estimated the Nook had cost Barnes & Noble over $1.5 billion since November 2009, while other analysts demanded the company start considering the interest of their shareholders instead of a product that is not competing well against other e-readers like the iPad or Kindle.

None Jazeera

A network dispute of international proportions is brewing. Al Jazeera, the news network controlled by the Qatari royal family, has sued AT&T Inc. for not airing their new U.S.-based cable news channel on the cable provider’s U-verse. The details are sketchy on exactly what happened — the complaint made by Al Jazeera was sealed and the only details have come from a short cover sheet with the complaint. A spokesperson from AT&T cited “certain breaches” which forced them to drop the new network, while Al Jazeera officials claim they were left with “no choice” and had to file a breach of contract suit. Regardless of what happens with the legal dispute, Al Jazeera is missing out on U-verse’s 5 million customers for their infant network.

Movie, TV show, or your favorite book — go to it now and forget the blunders associated with them. If you have any additional financial blunders that have been missed in this article, please comment with them below.

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