Dear ticket-buying public:

Hello! Or, as you say online, ":)"

Welcome to our annual summer movie eView, brought to you on the information superhighway for the first time ever. Learn plotlines in advance so you won’t be overwhelmed in the theater! View exclusive sneak previews of publicity photographs! Hear soundtrack hits () by Aerosmith, Jewel and Will Smith weeks before they saturate MTV!

Why are the big studios going Web this year? Last summer a little movie called "The Blair Witch Project" took us all by surprise. Promoted almost solely—I’m told—via e-mail, the low-budget independent film became the highest-grossing film set in the great outdoors since "The Great Outdoors."

When those "Blair Witch" vampires shrieked, Hollywood listened. We now know "the Net" can be an invaluable tool for spreading the word about under-funded, poorly-conceived projects. This is the new Hollywood: We’ve thrown out the rulebook, and made the kinds of movies YOU want to see. We know you want to see them because you saw the other ones we made.

Recently I visited the Web, where I learned that people can make their own movies and distribute them online. (Actually, I had my assistant visit the Web and summarize its contents for me.) But rest assured that the equipment we have in Hollywood is the most powerful and expensive in the world, and our technicians are highly trained in cinematography and dollying. Do you really think you could make your own "Patch Adams"? Would you even want to try?

As my good friend Harry Knowles says, "I like buttered popcorn." He has a point. There really is no experience like paying to see a movie in a theater. Sure, you could watch a pirated DVD of "The Matrix," but do you have a concession stand in your home, with salty snacks and cold beverages? Does it have Milk Duds?

Enough of my witless hype. Grab a mouse, enjoy our eView, and I'll see you at the movies!

I usually sit in the sixth row.

Barry Banacek
Chairman, Summer Movie Committee
Motion Picture Academy of Motion Pictures

[ Summer Movie eView credits ]

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