Now that Grindhouse has been a box office disappointment for the second week in a row, it's safe to jump to conclusions. There are plenty of theories out there, but none of them fly with me.
- The double-feature is too long? Don't buy it. The highest-grossing domestic film of all time is Titanic. Adjusted for inflation, Gone With the Wind would get top honors. Both of those epics clocked in at more than three hours apiece.
- Movie audiences aren't educated in the appreciation of the B-movie exploitation flicks of the 1970s? Again, I don't buy it. Audiences have had no problem embracing superhero action films and campy horror movies.
- The two installments, particularly Quentin Tarantino's half, just aren't that good? I'll agree that this isn't Hollywood at its finest, but the hype machine should have netted more than $20 million over the first two weekends at the multiplex.
I've got a different theory. I blame Google's
In short, I don't think that the market is uneducated. I think that it's overeducated and overly stimulated. That may be bad news if you were bankrolling Grindhouse, but I think that investors will have even better opportunities as the "clip culture" revolution continues.
I want to go over a few stock ideas this week, showcasing companies that stand to benefit from the popularity of video-sharing.
Things could have gotten dicey for peripherals specialist Logitech. Once consumers traded in their clunky desktops for sleek laptops, who would buy its keyboards and mouse controllers? Video has saved the day for the company.
Logitech is the leader in webcams. Microsoft
If a $100 webcam and a bargain-priced PC will do just fine, why show Apple some love? Well, more people are becoming aspiring filmmakers and -- let's be frank -- Windows Movie Maker doesn't always cut it.
Apple remains the video editing machine of choice, and a new version of Final Cut -- the gold standard of digital film editing -- hits stores next month. At nearly $1,300 a pop, it isn't cheap, but if Hollywood notables like Michael Eisner and Steven Bochco are starting to produce slick online serials, that's validation for the art form.
What is the more interesting development this week? That Microsoft announced a new alternative to Adobe's Flash or that Adobe announced a new alternative to Windows Media Player? I think Adobe is the one with the more potent ammo here, especially as it leverages the Flash format that is being used by just about every video-sharing site into a stand-alone player.
The new player promises more flexibility in monetizing publishers while giving consumers more features. If Adobe can really please both parties, it's going to be a big winner. Adobe is also a player in PC-based video editing software.
Then we have nearly every major and independent content provider, especially those with deep vaults. Remember that certain show that never gained a wide enough audience to be syndicated today or even find its way on to DVD? Well, that is cobweb-collecting content waiting to be monetized.
The studios stand to collect passive royalties from revenue-sharing deals on content that they may have left for dead. We have to be realistic and temper our enthusiasm. Ad-sharing deals won't pay as well as commercial advertising or DVD deals. Still, it will be found money for many of these companies.
So whip out those webcams, investors. The opportunities are all around you, just begging for their close-ups.
Microsoft is an Inside Value recommendation. Why? The answer to that is at the other end of a free 30-day trial subscription.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is three pages deep into penning Dot-Com: The Musical. OK, maybe he's kidding. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.
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