The Mouse-House recently announced that with its release of Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND starring Johnny Depp, it plans to tighten the window between theatrical distribution of certain films from its present 16 weeks—to just 13 weeks!
Thus the studio will benefit by getting the ALICE into the hands of consumers the first week of June—the start of summer – which traditionally is a great DVD selling time.
God only knows DVD sales are into the crapper.
If the concept flies, similar reasoning could come into play with the early fall releases which the studio then could take to the street for the big Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday DVD buying season.
Should this scenario play out as Disney hopes, look for other major distributors to follow suit with similar reduced theatrical windows.
Further, exhibitors wonder if studios will limit the shrunken windows between theatrical and DVD availability to (as promised) a couple of tentpole titles per year—per studio.
We shall see…
And film companies could spend less DVD marketing dollars by compressing the release time, maximizing DVD revenue which in actuality helps finance the production of today’s high cost movies.
A number of leading exhibitors around the world are allegedly contemplating boycotting Disney’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
But can they afford to—especially in competitive markets?
As one regional film buyer told me this week (who requested his name or company affiliation not be mentioned) “…it’s like those greedy airlines, Hollywood is nickel-and-diming us to death.”
It’s certain to be a hot topic at next months international ShoWest movie convention in Las Vegas. We’ll be there and give you the inside skinny.
And so the uneasy relationship between the studios and theaters flourishes. Stay tuned.