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DVD releases on the same day as theatrical releases?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Apr 2005 12:53 User comments (13)

DVD releases on the same day as theatrical releases? Hollywood studios are debating about whether or not to bring DVD release dates of movies forward to combat growing piracy around the world. In fact some do predict that the day may not be far off when some major films are available on DVD at the same time as their theatrical release. "Your premiere may be at Wal-Mart," said Barry Meyer, chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros Entertainment. It's all about business, and he points out that in some territories movies make more money on DVD than they do in theatres.
"Right now theatrical is the main way we set values in these movies, and video is the first aftermarket," Mr Meyer said during a discussion held as part of the Milken Institute Global Conference on Wednesday. "It might well be in certain territories it should be exactly the reverse - that theatrical is the added value." He went on to explain how pirated copies of the latest Harry Potter movie were being sold literally outside a multiplex in Shanghai on the same day the film opened there.

"The day you have a public performance of a movie anywhere in the world, you can count on the fact there will be a physical product on the streets of Asia, Eastern Europe (and) Russia within a few days," he said. Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment agrees with Meyer's view saying that many film-goers prefer to wait for a DVD release of a movie than to spend money to watch it once in a theatre. "Where piracy tends to thrive is where the consumer perceives that goods and services are not convenient and price is out of whack," added Peter Chernin, chairman and CEO of the Fox Group.

The question that is left to everyone now though is whether Hollywood studios are doing this to boost revenue by catching the movie anticipation and combining it with a DVD release date. For example, when you see trailers on TV for movies that are coming to theatres, if you like them, you often remember the release date and go out of your way to go to the theatre to see it. Now imagine if the DVD is in stores to buy before its available in theatres, could you wait to see it in a theatre or would you be tempted to spend money on the DVD?

Also you have to remember that DVD-R copies of movies often appear on the Internet months before the DVD retail date. That is because the DVDs have to be distributed in large amounts around the world so somewhere along the line somebody manages to get a copy of it. Eventually the movie ends up on the Internet for download. Copies of movies in theatres however usually appear after the movie opens but the quality varies. Hollywood might just be supplying the pirates with DVD quality copies even earlier than ever if they take this approach, and may do much more damage to their revenue.

BBC News

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13 user comments

121.4.2005 17:18

Hollywood might just be supplying the pirates with DVD quality copies even earlier than ever if they take this approach, and may do much more damage to their revenue. My thoughts it on Hollywood!

221.4.2005 19:12

My question is, why bother going to the theater? Imagine all the lost jobs, nobodys going to want to go to the theaters anymore. I rarely go to theaters even now. dvd releases have been pushed up already and it doesnt even take 3 months normally. Surviving christmas, I swear to god it took only a month. it pissed me off that i spent 12 dollars on tickets. Pay 4-6 dollars (per person, hope to god your date pays for themselves) to watch the movie once, On the movie theaters schedual, when you have to use the bathroom you have to miss possibly the best part of the movie. pay for EXPENSIVE consessions(unless you bring your own(guilty)) OR, pay 10-20 dollars, watch it whenever you want, as many times as you want, in your own home, with a REMOTE! not

321.4.2005 19:41

Which would they rather us do... Buy the DVD or go see it at the movie theater? (I know, they *really* want us to do both!) If they'd rather us see it at the theater, then this is my suggestion: Release the film at the theater AND on DVD at the same time. But, instead of putting all the "extras" on the DVD, show those at the theater. Make it worthwhile for us to want to see it on the big screen, and let those who don't want to pay the higher price be able to get the movie right away, but they wouldn't get the "extras". Though I suppose those extras would make it to the internet pretty quickly...

421.4.2005 20:07

This is great now when I see a movie I can get it on dvd the same day, if of course this happens.

522.4.2005 0:32

BobL: Uhm, Sometimes there are 7 hours worth of extras in the DVD:s? 1) who the hell can watch em all at once? 2) who decides in what order the extras are watched? As far as the news goes, If this happens, the number of people going to the theatre will decrease massively. I mean, who would pay 8 euros to watch a movie once, if u can get the DVD for 15 euros and watch it as many times as you want, see the extras and then sell it for some money back if you dont want to have it. The solution to this would be to massively decrease the price of the movieticket, eh? If the movieticket would cost 3 euros and the DVD 15, I would rather see it in the theatre. Anybody with me on this?

622.4.2005 0:50

I'd like to see this happen too. If I see a movie at the theater that I like I hate having to wait around for months waiting for it to be released.

722.4.2005 7:23

"My question is, why bother going to the theater? Imagine all the lost jobs, nobodys going to want to go to the theaters anymore." Because going to the theater is an "experience" in itself. Better sound, quality ect....People will always go, releasing a DVD the same day will only prevent multiple times of one seeing a movie in the theater, but they will probably sell the DVD at a price to compensate for that. And speaking of "extras" on DVD who in hell wants any of it? Its all bunch of BS that few people watch, and if you do watch it then you should seek professional

822.4.2005 8:55

I think this is a great idea. I hate being raped at the theatres. I mean $4 for a horrible tasting hotdog and they don't even give you sauerkraut! Thats absurd. No place should be able to do that. That includes sports and concert areans or stadiums. I would rather be at home with a cold beer and the remote. Home Theatre equipment is cheap nowadays for a decent system. Yes the theatre is "an experience" but I only need to "experience" blockbusters like spiderman. I do believe that if this happens less people will go to the theatre so maybe to be fair new release dvds will have to cost slightly more than regular dvds. Like $25 if its still in theatres and back down to $20 after its been out a while.

922.4.2005 9:24

does anyone know when this might happen? This is pretty crazy, but cool. No more 8 bucks at movie theater, ill just go buy it.

1022.4.2005 9:53

This will never happen it screws up the whole Hollywood business model and will just make better copies available faster... Who ever said this has no idea what they are talking about. That is like saying they will release all the movies overseas before they come out here to cut down on the piracy... I am just sick of morons

I AM #1 or not I don't really care

1123.4.2005 6:16

if they want people to do both, they better bring the cost of theater tickets down. to a dollar or 2 each.

1224.4.2005 2:23

i live in los angeles (california, usa) and around here its $10 to see a movie (and some places are even more than that!)... its rediculous to pay that much to see a crappy movie. at least if it comes out on DVD at the same time, you can get a couple friends to pitch in and spend like $5 each... which is like half of what it would cost to go to the movies. of course, there are certain movies that are worth seeing in the theaters. its nice to have that option. i think they realize those of us who are large pirates will continue to pirate movies... but this might prevent those who copy the occasional movie from pirating movies.

1325.8.2006 11:53

Awesome for us, Stupid for the Movie industry. Why would you ever go to the theater again. They make so much money at the box office. Think of Harry Potter, Pirates of the Carribean, Etc... People see them at least once if not more in the theaters, and then can't wait till it comes out on dvd. So most people are willing to pay 2 or 3 times over. Did these people who make these decisions even go to business school?

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