Over the past 20 years or so, there have been huge strides in home theater entertainment. When I was growing up, the biggest, baddest TVs out on the market were those massive 800lb projection TVs. If I went over a friend’s house and saw that big bastard in their living room, I knew we’d have a great time. Of course, even I knew back then that the home theater market wasn’t perfect. Those TVs had a terrible view range, and it’s only in the years following that they’ve made great strides, moving from projection to LCD and so on.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see a solid 60-inch HDTV screens in homes. With such improvements becoming the norm, as well as the proliferation of streaming film and TV on such services as Netflix, Hulu, and everything in between, it was inevitable that studios would begin to see home as the next frontier to tackle with their new releases. And we’re not talking the home releases that happens a good three to six months after the film hits theaters. Nope, we’re talking either day-and-date or weeks after.
In the past we’ve covered some other services like Screening Room, which would charge around $50 for day-and-date releases, but today, it sounds like a potential plan to get movies into homes quicker may be underway.
A new report from Variety is stating that six of the seven big Hollywood studios (excluding Disney) are each looking into ways to get theater owners in on a potential revenue plan. In the past, WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara had kicked off negotiations with a plan consumers pay $50 to rent a film 17 days after it hits theaters. After some back and forth, studios now seem to be trying to settle on a $30 rental price point, with the movies being available 30-45 days. To help curb the inevitable hit at the box office, studios are looking to get theater owners their own cut of the digital revenues, but we’ll see if they go for it.
While doing this may split off some of their revenues from the box office, they may end up saving money when all said and done with marketing. By bringing the home release closer to their theatrical release, they don’t need to regroup and relaunch an entire campaign after the theatrical release is done. They’ll be able to get it done in one fell swoop, and they’ll have less work to do in re-introducing audiences to a film.
As stated above, the only big studio that doesn’t seem interested in this approach is Disney. And why would they be interested? Between Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and their animated fare, their theatrical releases are some of the most big-budgeted and spectacle-heavy fare out there. They’re a studio that seems to be benefiting most from the current system.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like there will be a deal done anytime soon, and if it is, it’ll likely not be a one-stop-shop kind of thing. Each studio seems to have their own perspective of how big the window between theatrical and home release should be, and because of certain laws, studios aren’t able to collaborate on these kinds of deals, so we may end up with three to four different services with different theater chains and studios in on each one when everything is wrapped up. Let’s just hope it won’t be too confusing to figure it all out when a plan does come out.
What do you think? How long would you wait for a home release, and at what price point? Let us know down below!
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