Monday, January 09, 2006

The window between Cinema release and DVD is slowly closing...

Fox announced today that they plan to release their movies to consumers in HD a mere 90 days after it theatrical release. Included in the release plan is release on Blu-ray and video on demand services. Newly crowned Disney CEO Robert Iger has spoken to this effect a while ago saying,

"Windows [between cinema and DVD release] need to change," said the man who will replace Michael Eisner. "They need to compress. I don't think it's out of the question that a DVD can be released in effect in the same window as a [cinematic] release.
"Although I'm sure we will get a fair amount of push-back on this from the industry, it's not out of the question. I think that all the old rules should be called into question because the rules in terms of consumption have changed dramatically."

Steven Soderbergh said similarly, "Name any big-title movie that's come out in the last four years. It has been available in all formats on the day of release. It's called piracy. Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, Ocean's Eleven, and Ocean's Twelve - I saw them on Canal Street on opening day. Simultaneous release is already here. We're just trying to gain control over it."

I think overall this is a good thing. This may enable my wife and I to enjoy more movies closer to their theatrical run rather than waiting a year and "netflixing" them because we can't get to the theaters with the baby. Theater attendance may decline, it already is, but I don't think the Cinema is going to disappear anytime soon. I wasn't planning on buying a Blu-ray player anytime soon but something like this may tempt me to jump in sooner rather than later. I have never been a huge fan of Sony's Playstation consoles but the PS3 is looking more and more appealing because of its ability to playback Blu-ray movies among other feats of technological prowess. Chances are high that I will get sucked into the hype with everyone else eventually.
You can read more about the announcement from Fox here:


Jak said...

I think this is a great thing. It bugs me that I have to wait so long for a DVD to be released. Upside to the production is that after 90 days I think a lot of the hype will still be fresh in the audience's mind, granted the movie was good enough. Downside is yeah, youre right, theater attendance may go down. But that just means that theaters have to find different ways to bring in customers, perhaps making the general improvements that we talked about before.

_Shane said...

I agree, hopefully this will be the impetus for theaters to create some kind of change in the theater going experience. Then we the consumers would win on both fronts because we get our movies on HD sooner and a better experience at the Cinema.