It’s a Wrap for ‘Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide’ — Why the Iconic Book Series Is Going Away

Aug 21, 2014  •  Post A Comment

The end has come for the iconic print book “Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide,” with its 2015 edition slated to be its last, reports Deadline.com.

The guide started in 1969 under the title “TV Movies,” the piece notes.

“But in recent years, the annual guide, which now numbers 1,611 pages and features nearly 16,000 capsule movie reviews, has become a victim of the changing times and the way information is consumed by a new generation. The new edition, which comes out on Sept. 2, is the last, bad news for many industry-ites and film lovers who used it religiously,” the story reports.

“An entire generation has been raised to acquire all their information online from their mobile devices or computers,” Maltin told Deadline. “These are not the likely customers for a physical paperback reference book. Our sales have sharply declined in recent years.”

Maltin added that the guide hadn’t been able to find a way to make money by migrating online, noting that an iPhone app “kind of fizzled.” Capsule reviews “were meant to be in a paperback book. … The Internet has a different imperative and a different set of rules,” he said.

Maltin created the publication in 1968, when he was a high school senior and self-publishing a fan magazine called Film Fan Monthly. The publisher, which is now PenguinRandomHouse, hired Maltin to create a rival to “Movies on TV’ from Stephen Scheuer. In 1978 Maltin’s book went to a schedule of publishing every two years, and it moved in 1986 to an annual schedule.

“You can’t complain about a 45-year run. I would be a fool to be ungrateful for such a great, long-lasting success and so many devoted readers,” Maltin said.

leonard maltin's movie guide-2015-cover

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