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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Workout Video Sales Step Up in Popularity

Written by Nedda Pourahmady

The fitness DVD industry has made tremendous strides in spite of the recession. According to research conducted by IBIS World, the popular trend of joining the gym to stay fit is shifting to a more convenient alternative.

Consumers are choosing to conduct their workout regimens from the comfort of their own home. Instead of running to nearby fitness facilities, avid exercisers are frantically purchasing workout videos hosted by professional gyms and their expert instructors.

Based on data collected by IBIS World, fitness DVD production revenue increased significantly in 2012, climbing to nearly $265 million. These high-intensity programs feature extreme-interval training sessions, appealing to fitness fanatics across the nation.

Commonly used by motivated gym members to expand on traditional exercise techniques, fitness DVDs have turned routine regimens into unique, interesting experiences. By replacing models or actresses as video hosts with professional fitness gurus, more consumers are starting to take programs seriously and abide by their advice.

In addition to appearing in numerous households nationwide, workout videos are frequently used by famous celebrities. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez are known to use fitness DVDs when starting up their vigorous exercise programs.

To browse our full collection of workout videos, visit our website and search “fitness.”

Which workout videos, if any, would you be willing to follow? 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Men in Black Are Back!

Written by Kirk Baird

Based on the comic-book series by Lowell Cunningham, the original Men in Black film proved to be a summer blockbuster in 1997, and helped cement Will Smith as box-office gold. Both the original Men in Black and its 2002 sequel offered a mix of crowd-pleasing effects, action, and humor as a high-concept comedy in the same vein as Ghostbusters. A decade after we last saw Agents Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Smith), the duo returns to the big screen in a part 3 today.

*Men in Black (1997)

* denotes Kirk's pick

Monday, May 21, 2012

Is There Any Stopping The Avengers

Written by Kirk Baird

Is there any stopping The Avengers? Earth’s Mightiest Heroes joined forces onscreen and set box-office records, including the honour to be first film to debut with a $200-million-plus opening weekend. (Its $207.4 million haul bested previous record holder Harry Potter and theDeathly Hallows: Part 2 and its $169.2 million in 2011.).

This weekend marked its third-straight at the top of the box office, as it continues to fend off some big-budgeted competition including Dark Shadows and most recently Battleship.

The Avengers’ reign as moviegoers’ top pick will come to an end at some point, perhaps as soon as this weekend with the next challenger, Men in Back III. The sci-fi comedy reunites Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent J and Agent K, respectively. The story features Agent J time traveling to the 1960s to prevent the assassination of a younger Agent K (played by Josh Brolin) and changing history.

And speaking of time travel … it’s been a decade since Men in Black Part II underwhelmed critics, audiences, and the box office, though it did ultimately earn Sony studios a profit. Part II opened in July 2002 with a $52 million haul. Not bad until you consider the first Men in Black opened with nearly the same amount, in 500 less theaters, and at 1997 ticket prices. For the record: The Avengers made $55 million in its third weekend, which makes it formidable competition this weekend as well.

If Men in Black III fails to take down the team of Marvel superheroes, next up to dethrone the king would be Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth (who plays Thor the God of Thunder in The Avengers), and Kristen Stewart. The trailers look promising for this dark and CGI-intense adaptation of the classic fairytale. It’s also the second Snow White big-screen reinvention this year, following on the heels of Mirror Mirror, a dark comedy starring Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane, Armie Hammer, and Lily Collins (daughter of singer-songwriter-drummer Phil Collins). Mirror Mirror opened March 30 and grossed only $18.13 million its first weekend, on its way to less than $70 million. With an estimated budget of $85 million, Mirror Mirror only made a profit through the foreign box-office and yielded nearly $98 million.

But any victory by either of these two summer film newcomers would be short lived, given the increasing build-up to the June 8 opening of Prometheus.  

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Never judge a book by its cover. But can you judge a film by its trailer? See for yourself. Here are the latest trailers for the big summer releases, beginning with today’s opening of The Dictator.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (May 18):
Chernobyl Diaries (May 25):
Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1):
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (June 8):
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22):
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (June 22):
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (June 29):
The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3):
 Ice Age: Continent Drift (July 13):
The Dark Knight Rises (July 20):
The Watch (formerly Neighborhood Watch) (July 27):
Step Up Revolution (July 27):
The Bourne Legacy (August 3):
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (August 3):
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (August 15):
The Expendables 2 (August 17):

written by Kirk Baird

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dark Shadows Hits Theaters

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp put their twisted stamp on the cult 1960s TV soap opera about the wealthy Collins family from Collinsport, Maine, plagued by strange happenings, including a centuries-old vampire relative named Barnabas Collins. (Depp, by the way, plays Barnabas.) To prepare for the update’s darkly comical take on the 1967-1971 series, check out the large collection of Dark Shadows on DVD, featuring more than 30 sets from each season as well as best-of compilations and even a blooper reel.

Written by Kirk Baird

The Avengers Smash Records

Written by Kirk Baird

The Hulk along with the other Avengers smashed the movie competition last weekend with a record-breaking $207-million opening. (To put that figure in perspective, consider that the previous No. 1 opening belonged to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, with nearly $170 million.) The Avengers is a superhero mash-up featuring some of Marvel Comics’ top names — Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Hulk — who join forces to save Earth from an evil god and his alien invasion force. But The Avengers is only the latest-greatest superhero film, with dozens of titles featuring the heroes battling villains solo and in teams.

The Hulk:
The Hulk (2003)
Death of the Incredible Hulk (1990, TV finale)
Hulk VS. … (2008 animated movie)
*The Incredible Hulk (1978, TV Premiere, and seasons 1-5)
The Incredible Hulk Returns/Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989, TV movies)
*Planet Hulk (2009 animated movie)

Thor (2011)

Iron Man:
*Iron Man (2008)
*Iron Man 2 (2010)
The Invincible Iron Man (2007, animated)
Iron Man, the Complete 1994 Animated Series (1994-1996, animated series)
Iron Man: New Animated Series (2010, animated series)
Iron Man — Extremis (2010, animated series)

Captain America:
*Captain AmericaThe First Avenger (2011)
Captain America (1979, TV movie pilot)
Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979, TV movie pilot)

The Avengers:
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (2010 –, animated series)
The Avengers: United They Stand (1999-2000, animated series)
Next Avengers — Heroes of Tomorrow (2008, animated)
The Ultimate Avengers: The Movie (2005, animated film)
Ultimate Avengers 2 (2006, animated film)

* denotes Kirk's picks

Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012 Saskatchewan Library Conference

Once again road warrior Dave Narciso was manning our booth at another trade show.  This time he was at the Saskatchewan Libraries Conference held in Regina, Saskatchewan, May 3-5th.  It was another great show for us to meet up with good friends and customers and share our products and services.  And we always enjoy talking about and demonstrating hoopla, our user-friendly digital platform.

We want to thank the conference coordinators for all their hard work putting together another successful show.  We are looking forward to our continued support of the Saskatchewan Public Library.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2012 Alberta Library Conference...Another Success!

CVS MWT Sponsored Coffee Break

The 2012 Alberta Library Conference was held in Jasper, Alberta April 26-29 and was a huge success.  It gives us the opportunity to connect with existing customers as well as share all our product and services information with those that might be interested.  We were very pleased to sponsor a Coffee Break that was appreciated by all on Saturday morning. 

Demo of hoopla for Maggie Macdonald

Besides demonstrating the new hoopla digital platform we handed out pocket cards promoting the CVS Midwest Tape blog.  The cool feature of the card is that it had a QR code on it that once scanned took you right to our blog.  With so many customers having smart phones the QR code is a great way to get librarians instantaneous information.  Again this year we also teamed up with Evil Dave’s, a local Jasper restaurant to hand out $25 gift cards. “Teaming up with Evil Dave’s is such a great event.  It gives us and show attendees a chance to support local establishments in Jasper.  Our relationships are the backbone of what we do,” said Dave Narciso of CVS Midwest Tape. 

Dave poses with his #1 Fans
Dave went on to say, “I was particularly moved by the Vendor Appreciation Ceremony on opening night.  It was humbling to realize that our role as a vendor has such an important place in the Library community.  I would like to offer a note of gratitude to the conference coordinators for their hard work.  The setup, execution and teardown procedures were very smooth.  My only regret is that the show didn't last longer. I can't wait until the next show!”

Did you attend ALC this year?  What did you think? We would love to hear your feedback.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CVS Midwest Tape Celebrates Painswick Branch Opening

Monday April 23rd was anything but a normal day of business for employees and patrons of the Barrie Public Library.  This special day marked the grand opening of their Painswick Branch.   Both Dave Narciso and Doug Atkinson of CVS MWT attended and came bearing the gift of a beautiful flower arrangement to commemorate the day.

"It was exciting to see the new library and be able to take a tour," said Dave.  Khuan Seow and Shonna Froebel of the library were ecstatic that both Dave and Doug could attend.  "It's always special to not only see our great friends but be able to support them any way we can.  Our relationships are so important to us," said Doug.  CVS Midwest Tape was delighted to take part in the special festivities surrounding the opening.

If you are from that area, have you visited the new Painswick branch yet? If so, what did you think?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vancouver's Cobie Smulders Stars in The Avengers

With the Canucks going out in shame during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the city of Vancouver needed a pick me up.  Well they had to look no further than hometown model and actress Cobie Smulders.  Smulders never gave much thought to acting. Born on April 3, 1982, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cobie had set her sights on becoming a doctor or a marine biologist. In fact, it wasn't until high school that Cobie started to explore acting after appearing in several school productions.  Once out of high school it wasn't long before Cobie landed roles in several hit television series.  Her most successful is her role as "Robin" in How I Met Your Mother.

Now the How I Met Your Mother star is taking on a legendary role in the first big popcorn flick of the summer, Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated The Avengers. Smulders plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, who was described by former Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada as “a force of nature.” 

Are you planning to see The Avengers? We think Cobie is going to rock the big screen!  Your thoughts?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises!

Written by Kirk Baird

The new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises was released Monday. The film's director-cowriter Christopher Nolan is serious about besting The Dark Knight and, by the looks of this footage, he may have pulled it off. The trailer reveals loads of intense action, drama, cool gadgets, and a bloodied, beaten and unmasked Bruce Wayne asking his hulking captor Bane, "Why don't you just kill me?" "Your punishment must be more severe," comes the chilling reply. July 20 can't get here quickly enough. For those that can't wait like me, check out this amazing trailer. 

What do you think? Are you excited to see it too?  Let us know.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Is Tom Cruise Back?

Written by Kirk Baird

About seven years ago, Tom Cruise’s career was at a crossroads. The actor was a PR nightmare, first with his couch-dance “I’m in love with Katie Holmes” routine on Oprah, followed by his criticism of psychiatry during a heated interview/debate with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today.

Neither national television moment sat well with the general public. It was so bad, in fact, that in 2006 Paramount Studios ended its 14-year relationship with Cruise. The divorce was as much about the actor’s sinking public opinion as it was financial concerns over his box-office reliability.

The actor’s 2006 Mission: Impossible III failed to make money domestically as did Robert Redford’s political drama Lions for Lambs in 2007, which featured Cruise, along with Meryl Streep and Redford. The 0-for-2 box-office streak was followed by the mildly successful Valkyrie in 2008, and then the summer action-comedy dud Knight & Day with Cameron Diaz in 2010.

There were some not-so-quiet murmurings that Cruise was no longer one of the more dependable bankable stars in Hollywood.  What a difference one film can make.

December’s Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol was Cruise’s biggest hit since 2005’s War of the Worlds, and only his second $200-million-plus film since 2000’s Mission: Impossible II. Cruise was back with another successful Paramount film and just like that all seems to be right again with the actor and moviegoers.

There’s already talk of a fifth Mission: Impossible film — no surprise. But longtime Cruise fans will be happy to know there’s also serious discussions of a sequel to 1986’s Top Gun, the film that launched Cruise from star to superstar status.

Adam Goodman, Paramount Film Group president, recently told The Hollywood Reporter: “We'll likely make a Top Gun sequel with Tom Cruise first. Jerry Bruckheimer would produce, with Tony Scott returning to direct. All parties are moving ahead. We've hired Peter Craig to write the script.”  Cruise also said he’s on board with a Top Gun 2 as well.

“If we can find a story that we all want to do, we all want to make a film that is in the same kind of tone as the other one and shoot it in the same way as we shot Top Gun," he told MTV News.

Frankly, it’s difficult to root against Cruise, who turns 50 on July 3. No matter what you think of him off camera — his outspoken dedication to Scientology certainly rubs many the wrong way — on screen he’s a true movie star. He’s handsome, smart, funny, and no one will ever be able to accuse him of not giving 100 percent in every film.

Watch Cruise in his barely recognizable comedic tour de force as Hollywood movie mogul Les Grossman in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder. It’s a painfully funny and crude role, one few would have envisioned for Cruise. That was in 2008 and now he tweaks our expectations for him again with the upcoming singing performance of fictional rock star Stacee Jaxx in the musical-drama Rock of Ages, which opens June 15.

As much as Hollywood fetes its favorite actors come Oscar season, it needs its dependable movie stars during the box-office season: summer and the holidays. And for many years few were as dependable as Cruise — and hopefully is again.