Pop.com, the heavily hyped Web project from DreamWorks and Imagine Entertainment, played itself out last week without streaming a single show.
Exact reasons for Pop's premature demise weren't clear. An official statement pointed to market conditions making it "a less viable business." So the DreamWorks and Imagine braintrusts, including Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard, pulled the plug and laid off nearly all of its 80 staffers after unsuccessful talks to sell it to IFilm or AtomFilms.
Industry observers saw it as a case of Hollywood-sized expectations' not fitting the much smaller screen-and audience-for short-form film content. "You can't take existing models and port them over to a new-media venture," said Matt Hulett, AtomFilms chief marketing officer. Hulett said the Pop.com asking price was just too high.