By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
A Modest Proposition On Movie Windows
Truly, this 3-week, $60 a screening window Universal wants to test on Tower Heist is a joke. If they get 100 people to buy it, it will be a bloody miracle. Seriously. 3 figures would be a surprise.
But if they want to test this stupid idea, how about agreeing to test other ideas already?
On Jack & Jill, opening the next weekend in November, try a 3-month VOD window, putting it out at $5 a view and not on DVD for another 3 months and when it does hit DVD, reduce the VOD price to $2 a view. See what happens.
Then, for New Year’s Eve, let’s remove it from theaters on Dec 30, and push it only to VOD on New Year’s Eve… at $20 a view.
And on The Sitter, how about a four month window after theatrical, then release to all post-theatrical platforms on the same day, including pay-TV and Netflix streaming.
Then you’ll have four different kinds of tests and some information to work with. Make the detailed information about sales available to NATO…. and the press (please!).
Put your money where your tests are! You want to mess with the window? Fine. Don’t put all the risk and blame on exhibition. Both sides risk in these tests. Be honest about the results.
And then, the future can be discussed as an industry.
And if you had real faith in these reindeer games, let’s see Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol go day-n-date to boot. Public agreement that there will be no “you let us do it once, so we have the right to keep doing it” crap. Test it. Let’s see how it works. $25 at home. Regular prices at the theater. Popular movie. How many people would watch it on opening weekend at home.
I support and believe in exhibition, but let’s push this thing! If day-n-date makes sense, let’s find out and figure out where the chips will fall over time. I believe that windows will prove to be the best way to maximize revenues (and enjoy movies, btw). But if it isn’t, studios should want to push.
All this tippy toeing does nothing but create trouble, distrust, and animosity.
Iron Chef: Movie Distribution
Secret Ingredient: Public Preferences