1. Blockbuster: Though the reaction on Twitter was largely surprise -- Blockbuster still has stores? -- the movie rental chain made it official earlier today, saying that they will now completely close down its remaining retail outlets. DISH, of which Blockbuster is a subsidiary, announced that it will be closing the 300 U.S. stores still open, as well as end the Blockbuster DVD-by-mail service started as a potential rival to Netflix's offerings, by the end of the year. DISH will focus on emphasizing the Blockbuster @Home service, which includes 15 movie and six entertainment channels as well as access to on demand titles, to its customers, as well as its transactional streaming video service, Blockbuster On Demand. Read the full story here.
2. Distributors Respond: We asked independent film distributors for their response to Ted Sarandos' keynote from the Film Independent Forum and his suggestion that theater owners are killing film by quashing day-and-date releases on Netflix and their thoughts on the future of movie theaters and how we watch movies. You can read their unedited responses here.
3. My First Shoot: We recently discovered the web site My First Shoot, a weekly interview series where directors interview directors about their "first time." Looking for inspiration? This is a good place to start.
4. "Lilyhammer:" With all of the buzz surrounding "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black," it's easy to forget that "Lilyhammer" was technically Netflix's first original series. A Norwegian-American co-production, "Lilyhammer" stars Steven Van Zandt as a New York mobster who somehow goes into witness protection
in Lillehammer, Norway. Season two of the series, which has already aired in Norway, will debut in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico on December 13. Read the full story here.