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TOPIC: MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPAA

Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 09 Nov 2009 09:49 #32764

  • dsschoenborn
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Hi Rufus,

Well it was exactly like you suggest. Nato is working on addendums to the Cinedigm deal for the small guys. Those who may play first run but open a couple of weeks of the break. The drive-ins and the single screens. These deals would not be of interest to Cinedigm to negotiate but NATO is. This will make it possible for the smaller people to do Digital with Cinedigm.
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 11 Nov 2009 14:18 #32787

  • rufusjack
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More food for thought:

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs releases to ppv next month.

and

Paranormal Activity to be released to home video on Dec 29.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” will be priced at $24.95 for Internet TV and Blu-ray players.

By TIM ARANGO
Published: November 9, 2009
In a nod to its vision of the future, Sony will make its animated hit “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” available to consumers directly through Internet-enabled televisions and Blu-ray players before the movie is released on DVD.

It is the latest experiment in Hollywood’s effort to find a way to compensate for the steep decline in profits from home entertainment.

The move is significant because it represents the latest tinkering with the movie industry’s release windows, something Hollywood has long been reluctant to do out of fear of upsetting the profitability of DVD sales and angering its most important retailer, Wal-Mart. But with the decline in DVD sales, off as much as 25 percent at some studios, finding new ways to distribute movies has become a necessity.

The price of the film, $24.95, is high enough not to alienate retailers, Sony said.

“We don’t need a war with Wal-Mart or any other organization, and I don’t think they’re hostile to this,” said Howard Stringer, the chief executive of Sony. “It will make televisions more valuable, and that’s a good thing.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment, the only Hollywood studio tethered to a major hardware manufacturer, is in a unique position to experiment with selling movies directly to consumers through television sets, in this case Sony’s Bravia Internet-enabled sets.

As part of this experiment, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” will also be available through Sony’s networked Blu-ray Disc players, which came on the market last month.

The experiment is part of a search in Hollywood for ways to capitalize on the Internet’s potential for film distribution.

“The time when a majority of consumers have Internet-enabled TVs is a long way off,” said Richard Greenfield, an analyst at Pali Capital. “But it’s moving the ball in the right direction.”

“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” Sony’s biggest animated hit, was released in September and has generated almost $174 million in worldwide box office receipts, according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks movie ticket sales.

It will be available to owners of Sony Bravia sets and Blu-ray players with Internet capability from Dec. 8 to Jan. 4, the day before the movie is released on DVD. (On a smaller scale, Sony tried a similar experiment last year with its Will Smith movie “Hancock.”)

Eventually, Sony intends to distribute films over a wider array of devices, including its PlayStation system.

In addition to the industry ramifications, the experiment is important to the vision of Mr. Stringer for Sony’s two pillars — hardware and content — to work together profitably. “The process of moving to the next stage of content delivery is as inevitable as night and day,” he said. “And we’re the only company that can do this because we own hardware and content.”

Sony hopes later to entice other studios to make their films available to owners of Sony televisions, bypassing cable and satellite companies that offer their own video-on-demand services.

Hollywood and cable and satellite companies have been reluctant to offer films over video-on-demand before their release on DVD because of the threat that movies will be copied with digital video recorders and other devices. The Motion Picture Association of America recently filed a letter with the government seeking approval to block technologies that allow the copying of high-definition movies on cable set-top boxes.

Mindful of the music industry’s contraction after the collapse of compact disc sales, Hollywood is frantically trying to develop new sources of home entertainment revenue. In the third quarter, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, spending on home entertainment was about $4 billion, down 3.2 percent. But spending on DVDs, which has been the profit engine for the movie studios, was off 13.9 percent. Spending on rentals of DVDs, which provide smaller profit margins than sales, was up about 10 percent.

Meanwhile, at some studios the decline in DVD sales has been steeper. At Paramount, for example, which is owned by Viacom, movie ticket sales rose 16 percent in the third quarter, while home entertainment revenue was down 21 percent.
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 11 Nov 2009 15:04 #32788

  • rufusjack
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Interesting news story:

www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/tb/tb091109the_thalberg_windows

Click on downland and once done downloading, you can fast forward to the 13 min mark.
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPAA 17 Nov 2009 10:42 #32823

  • Mike
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This morning I was listening to a NPR show/story on this subject and it ended with the ominous "there is real fear that scores of theatres would close. If they don't have digital, if they're still with the old technology, they'll be left behind."

They also said this is a corporate battle between bottom line GE types looking for money and studio people who believe if you screw with the system you'll destroy it.

Well.... what could possibly go wrong when financial wizards go bad?
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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