CommunityPam's House Blend

Would you still go to the movies if a film came out on DVD at the same time?

Film industry execs are mulling releasing movies into theatres, DVD and pay per view simultaneously. Will this be the end of the movie theatre, or morph it into another model?

If a good chunk of consumers have DVD players or home theatre systems, won’t they abandon the multiplexes? I have to say, it’s sometimes more convenient to view at home, especially if it is a film you’re not sure you want to drop $8.50 for.

Example: on Thursday my brother and I went to a $6.50 matinee of The Fantastic Four (extremely disappointing by the way, since we both read the comic book – Jessica Alba looks ridiculous as a blonde). I would have much preferred to pay for it on digital cable ($3.95 for 24 hours) and popped my own corn.

It’s great seeing some flicks on the big screen (War of the Worlds), but most films I can wait for cable or DVD. The one thing I do wish for are more films in letterbox on cable. WTF is wrong with these channels? Why can’t they do this? Are the sheeple still insisting on a “full screen” picture that lops off the left and right sides of the composed image? It’s so inane.

Robert Iger, CEO-elect of The Walt Disney Co., recently suggested the day could come when a DVD is released while the movie is still in theaters. The millions of dollars that studios spend marketing first-run movies would serve double duty promoting the more profitable DVDs, making for a faster and more efficient return on investment.

“Consumers have a lot more authority these days and they know that by using technology they can gain access to content and they want to use the power that they have…” Iger told financial analysts earlier this month. “We can’t stand in the way and we can’t allow tradition to stand in the way of where the consumer can go or wants to go.”

Theaters have already seen profits shrink as movies move more quickly to home video. Studios and theaters split profits in the early weeks of a movie’s run, with the theater making most of its money from concessions. The theater’s split gets larger the longer the movie plays, giving studios an incentive to release films on DVD even earlier. Studios make the majority of their profits from home video sales, with theatrical runs serving largely as marketing for the DVD.

…”Why do we make the assumption that five months later people are still interested in your product?” said Todd Wagner, co-owner with Mark Cuban of 2929 Entertainment. “If I hear a song on the radio, they don’t say, `Five months from now you can buy the CD.'”

The gap between a movie’s opening weekend in theaters and its debut on home video has been narrowing from about six months in 1994 to about four months in 2004.

Some studios release their DVDs even sooner. The action sequel “XXX: State of the Union,” which fizzled at the box office, hit video shelves 11 weeks after its theatrical debut.

Really, the theatre experience is unique and I used to love going to the major studio movies a lot, but half the time it’s an unpleasant experience, because either:
1) the movie sucks donkey d*ck
2) there are screaming, out-of-control children in there (even in R rated films)
3) the adults are rude and inconsiderate, babbling away as if they are in their own living rooms.

I remember asking folks behind me during a screening of Ali to please keep it down (they were commenting on just about every action occurring onscreen), and they threatened to whip my ass.

It’s too bad the masses are ruining it for movie lovers. At least I can say that going to film festivals or indy films are still an invigorating way to enjoy a movie on the big screen.

Previous post

Army Contract Official Critical of Halliburton Pact Is Demoted

Next post

Hurricane Tears Holes in Superdome Roof

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding