Madagascar Earns $63.5 Million at Box Office: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer November 10, 2008

"Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" took home the top spot at the Box Office this week. The DreamWorks-Paramount production took in $63.5 million at 4,056 theaters nationwide, besting runner-up Role Models by over $40 million. Madagascar helped increase Box Office earnings this week by nearly 30% over this week last year.

MGM announced that it will share some full length features via YouTube. The struggling studio will begin by hosting older films like "Bulletproof Monk" and "The Magnificent Seven", as well as original episodes of "American Gladiator." While MGM certainly isn't sharing prime content, the deal is notable as it is a crucial step for studios to take in digitally reinventing themselves.

MySpace COO Amit Kapur announced at Web 2.0 Summit that MySpace is working on a payment platform for widget developers. Rival social network Facebook has reportedly been developing a "PayPal" enabled micro-platform for months, however, MySpace may beat them to the punch. MySpace is also launching virtual gifts, which were popularized on Facebook.

Blockbuster CEO and Chairman Jim Keyes said that Blockbuster will begin to market a set-top box that can deliver movies on-demand this holiday season. The box, similar to offerings by Apple and Netflix, will serve up movies from Blockbuster's "Movielink" download service. The announcement is in direct contrast to a statement made by Keyes in August, which noted that Blockbuster was in no-rush to roll out a set-top offering.

Plus, today's consulting question, "Was Britney Spears really going to play the Virgin Mary in a movie?" Shelly has the answer on today's MediaBytes.

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at