The Whispers Blog
Arkansas' breaking business news blog, with news and commentary from the Arkansas Business staff.
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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, the retail giant that's able to move millions of Blu-Rays and DVDs in a single weekend, is about to launch what the New York Times calls an "unusual promotional partnership" with Warner Bros., as the film studio builds hype for its summer blockbuster, "Man of Steel," director Zack Snyder's Superman reboot.
According to Wal-Mart, the retailer will sell tickets May 18 for an exclusive screening of "Man of Steel." More than 3,700 Wal-Mart stores will participate, offering customers a chance to buy up to four movie tickets per visit.
The advance screening will take place in selected local theaters at 7 p.m. June 13. That's the day before the film is released to all audiences.
According to the Times:
The promotion is designed to fill seats on opening weekend; Warner is counting on extensive in-store advertising and a burst of chatter on social media. Simultaneously, the goal is to send shoppers cascading into the arms of the world’s largest retailer. Warner and Walmart billed the partnership as a Hollywood first.
“You hear these staggering numbers of how many people walk through a Walmart every day, and that gives us an exposure that we really can’t put a dollar number on,” said Dan Fellman, Warner’s president of domestic distribution.
Needless to say, Warner Bros. has a lot riding on the success of the big-budget "Man of Steel," which stars Henry Cavill as Superman and Michael Shannon as Zod. The studio was disappointed with its previous reboot effort, "Superman Returns," released in 2006 and directed by Bryan Singer, despite a worldwide box office take of more than $360 million.
Wal-Mart will also offer an array of "Man of Steel" merchandise and special offers on the film's eventual Blu-Ray and DVD release.
The promotion will make for a busy June the company, which is holding its annual shareholder meeting June 7 in Fayetteville. Might the Man of Steel appear at Bud Walton Arena?
James L. "Skip" Rutherford III, the dean of the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, writes for the Dallas Morning News today, the eve of the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Rutherford, as president of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library Foundation, was the point man for the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, which marked its grand opening on a rainy November day in 2004.
In his column today, Rutherford cites the economic and educational effects the Clinton Library has had on Little Rock, including "$2 billion in economic development investment, including new hotels, housing, businesses and office buildings, in the surrounding area." And he predicts similar effects for the Bush library.
And of course there's also the matter of politics. Rutherford notes that, like all other presidential libraries, the Bush library should transcend partisan politics for the sake of history and learning. "Partisanship," Rutherford said, "was never a concern."
Presidential libraries represent a post-presidential spirit that puts aside much of the politics involved in running for and holding our country’s highest elected office. This spirit is evidenced by the work of President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton after the 2004 Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as well as a similar partnership between President Clinton and President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Presidential libraries also represent a uniting symbol for the communities in which they are located. They generate new jobs and tourism, and they affect the intellectual and cultural dynamics of their regions.
From the Archives
Looking Very Presidental - Inside the Clinton Library, an Arkansas Business cover story from Nov. 15, 2004.
The Rogers Photo Archive said this week that it has secured two new collections: photos from the Minneapolis Star newspaper and The Newman Collection, which boasts some of highest resolution sports photography of the 1960s.
According to the archive, the Minneapolis Star collection includes more than 1.2 million photos dating back to 1920. In addition to photos from throughout Minnesota, the collection contains national and international content as well. The archive expects photos from the Star collection to be available this summer.
The Newman Collection is made up of 5,000 photos by Marvin Newman, who used kodachrome technology in sports photogrophy. The archive said Newman mainly shot Major League Baseball, including on-field action at World Series games. There's also shots of Hall of Famers like Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial, as well as photos from various spring training venues.
The Newman Collection will be available on the archive website in "just days," the archive said.
Meanwhile, the archive is close to opening its new 15,000-SF facility in North Little Rock, where it will house its library of 200 million images.
Narrated by former Arkansas Razorbacks men's basketball coach Nolan Richardson, the film unspools at the Little Rock Film Festival next month.
The Fayetteville Flyer has more on the film and the man behind it, Arkansas native Matthew Wolfe, who tells the story of the high school football phenom Mitch Mustain and his misadventures at the University of Arkansas, the University of Southern California and beyond.
Football fans and the broadcasting community are among those mourning the death of Pat Summerall.
Summerall, 82, was a former Arkansas Razorback football player and called more Super Bowls than any announcer in the game’s history. Tributes popped up all over the web for Summerall, who told the Little Rock Touchdown Club during a 2010 appearance that he continued to have a fondness for the Razorbacks even after his career:
I still value the days I spent at the University of Arkansas. I'm proud I still know how to call the Hogs. I went back there years ago to accept a journalism award. Of course, I couldn’t pass English while I was there.
• As the ArkansasExpats remind us, Summerall was the voice of a couple of pregame intro videos for football.
• Summerall’s voice and style were distinct, the AP remembers:
Pat Summerall soothed American television audiences over four decades - his deep, resonant voice and simple, understated style served as the perfect complement to the boisterous enthusiasm of John Madden, his partner in a celebrated pairing that lasted half of the NFL player-turned-announcer's career.
• The NFL presented an award annually named in Summerall’s honor, per Broadcasting & Cable:
He was awarded the Pete Rozell Radio-Television Award by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994. Beginning in 2006, the NFL presented the Pat Summerall Award annually to "a deserving recipient who through their career has demonstrated the character, integrity and leadership both on and off the job that the name Pat Summerall represents."
• From the NY Times obit:
On a December afternoon in 1958, Summerall kicked a 49-yard field goal in a snowstorm at Yankee Stadium to give the Giants a 13-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns and send the teams to a playoff for the Eastern Conference title. The Giants beat the Browns again the next Sunday, then played in the first of three National Football League championship games in Summerall’s years with them.
That field goal provided one of the more thrilling moments in Giants history. But when Summerall took up broadcasting, he shunned the dramatic turn, preferring an understated and spare style in doing the play-by-play.
• The Dallas Morning News has a detailed obit, including highlights from Summerall’s high school playing days.
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