The Demo Man Prophecy, and Speculators Beware

In a move that seems eerily evocative of Demolition Man [M] (wait – I’m getting there), the CBC reported this evening that McDonald’s Canada will spend quite a mint overhauling the interior & exterior of its stores to present a more adult-friendly (read: upscale) version of its fast food offerings, goosed with ‘exotic’ coffees.

Pilot versions of the redesign have apparently been tested in Europe, and Canada’s going to be the next place where citizens can find designer coffee, fireplaces, flat screen TVs, and a sleeker, modernist design – elements that weirdly recall the sci-fi world in Demolition Man where Taco Bell was the only surviving restaurant chain in California after the state fell into the ocean after the big quake.

This isn’t a sign parts of Canada (read: Vancouver) are doomed to tumble & crumble, but I couldn’t help thinking that if there was a big kaboom, McDonald’s may be the surviving chain that would dominate a world in disrepair, and present its Chicken McNuggets and burgers in streamlined buildings where the golden “M” wasn’t an arched, fifties beacon for drivers, but a logo imprinted onto a sleek monolith.

We’d still have mom & pop eateries and restaurants (part of a popular protest movement for 'good eats'), but McDonald’s 2011 physical upscaling of its eateries is a proactive measure which will ensure its stature as a venue for fine dining should the Big One occur.

Will this future world include many smiley happy peoples, and perhaps bathrooms with three seashells?

‘Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.’

Unrelated, but part of the day’s intriguing news, is Intrada Records announcement that they will in fact begin a kind of pilot move to address the issue of a limited title selling out in not just a day, but hours.

This has happened in the past when Jerry Goldsmith’s score for Inchon, Christopher Young’s Invaders from Mars, Alan Silvestri’s Predator, and now Goldmsith’s Explorers sold out within a day, and buyer demand far exceeded the initial run of a few thousand.

Hard to say how much was the result of speculators, but realistically, I’d assume it was fans and pent-up demand snapping up Explorers, because there hasn’t been an expanded release in the past  (bootlegs excepted).

In his weekly-ish blog, company poobah Douglass Fake explained a second run will follow while remaining within the AFM guidelines to keep the re-use fees low by sticking to the under 10,000 copy ceiling.

It’s a move that’s badly needed in spite of the obvious quandary of no label ever being able to fully anticipate the demand for a single title. Predators was guaranteed to sell out fast, and the limited run was a blunder; Inchon selling out in a day was frankly freakish, because it’s a lesser-known (and middling) Goldsmith score for a film few people have ever heard of or seen. Explorers has good moments, but it’s a mostly mediocre score, except to those fond of the composer’s blend of orchestra and bloopy synth sounds, which haven’t aged very well over the years.

If Intrada’s tactic works – going for a second limited run if a title sells out in less than a day – then fans will have a chance to grab a sought-after title within a reasonable length of time, which is really what anyone ever asks for, be it a CD, DVD, poster, etc.

I don’t think the move is something other soundtrack labels are likely to follow, because Intrada has several decades of business acumen and smart decisions to take the risk, but it at least opens the door for fans to request a new run if it’s clear 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, or 3000 copies isn’t enough.

If other labels or producers feel they too boo-booed on a limited title, then full kudos if they choose to repress or revisit in the near future a limited title.

Beasides: why limit good music to a few thousand?

Coming next: Tinto Brass in HD, because the world apparently needs to see pores and follicles and puckered cheeks in clinical 1080p.

Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )


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