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TheStreet Open House

4 Pop Culture Classics That Beat Their Replacements

Does that make people less inclined to pay a premium for 3-D or Imax versions of films or to sit in an environment where distracting chatter and screens full of vacuous text messages are tacitly considered part of the experience? There's no need for conjecture when the box office numbers bear it out. Last weekend, Sylvester Stallone's testosterone-laden blow-'em-up blockbuster The Expendables 2 topped the box office with a $28.6 million take. That's wonderful, but it's a disappointing $8,622 per screen for Lionsgate (LGF). Compared  with the $24,100-per-screen that David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis took in on just three screens, the $17,700-per-room that the Frank Langella-led Robot & Frank took in on just two screens and the $16,427 that the deeply disturbing drama Compliance brought in on just one screen, Expendables 2 looked like Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot.  

Think the latest installment in the Bourne series did any better the week before? Its $10,185 per screen was brawnier, but still couldn't outdo the indie sequel 2 Days In New York ($11,971 a screen on two screens) or the re-release of the 1971 French feature Max et les Ferralieurs (Max and the Junkmen) ($11,264 on one screen). To the theaters that play them, these films are equivalent to summer blockbusters and pad the receipts just as easily. On the moviegoer's end, they get to watch a film in a place that's more likely to be a cheaper ticket than the average multiplex, is more likely to offer them better food or a beer to enhance revenues even more and is more likely to be populated by people there to see the movie rather than to tweet about it while taking screen caps in full view of the ushers.  

Since the summer blockbuster season opened in early May, only two major films have held the per-screen title: The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, for a combined five weeks. Any other week, you had to go check out a Wes Anderson camp comedy ( Moonrise Kingdom), a multi-story Woody Allen travel narrative ( To Rome With Love), a Hurricane Katrina-based fantasy ( Beasts Of The Southern Wild) or a right-leaning election-year documentary ( Obama's America: 2016) to find the toughest ticket in town. Surprisingly enough, Americans still want to see movies not advertised on soda cans. That should come as a big relief to small, struggling theaters.  

Current: Yellow beer on tap
Classic: Old-school beers in casks and barrels  

Don't listen to your beer snob friends: Fizzy light lager still reigns supreme here in the states.  

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) and MolsonCoors (TAP) alone still account for three out of every four beers sold in this country. Throw some Pabst into that equation and you're looking at roughly 80% of the U.S. beer market. That's formidable, but it's also dwindling away like a pitcher of foam from a shaken keg.  

The two megabrewers each lost 3% of their market share apiece last year as craft, regional and imported beers all gained ground. Craft beer grabbed 5.7% of all beer production last year and 9.1% of all revenue, according to the Brewers Association industry group. Imported beer sales also jumped 1% last year after a 5% leap in 2010.  

That combined growth means a lot more Corona (STZ), Yuengling and Samuel Adams in local coolers, but it also means a whole lot of growth for beer styles and brewing and delivery methods once considered marginal among U.S. brewers. Samuel Adams maker Boston Beer (SAM), for example, recently put some of its increased revenue into expanding its barrel rooms and small-batch brewing facilities in Boston. That's made it easier to brew wine bottle-sized servings of oak-aged, Belgian-style brews that ordinarily wouldn't find a home on the bottling line and to match the efforts of smaller brewers that have made wine-, whiskey- and bourbon-barrel aging key features in their beer portfolios.  

As for the casks, these hydraulically pumped, smooth-pouring old-world beer vessels may have once been the provenance of Euro pubs or beer-geek bars but are starting to catch on with larger crowds. Forget that they're in just about every brewpub in America: The fact that they're a fixture in CraftWorks restaurants such as Old Chicago, Gordon Biersch and Rock Bottom mean they're giving the onion blossom crowd their first taste of still, slightly less frosty beer. Casks aren't going to be a sensation and there's a reason they've been largely replaced by steel kegs and CO2, but they're becoming a part of the American beer drinker's education and have become a expected amenity in any respectable beer bar.  

-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham.  

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.  

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
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