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TOPIC: The Shrinking Video Window

The Shrinking Video Window 07 Apr 2003 00:21 #23915

  • muviebuf
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Back when I was in college in the late 60's one of the 'must reads' was "Future Shock" by Alan Toffler. Toffler's work was both a past study of as well as a prediction for the future of pop culture. Toffler's essential thesis was that each cycle of pop culture was like winding up the inner spring of a clock tighter and tighter - each time the cycle goes around it takes less time to complete it.

No where is this more evident than in the ever shrinking video window. What do "Sweet Home Alabama" "Maid In Manhatten" and "Two Weeks Notice" have in common? Besides all of them being succesful romantic comedies, they were all released (or will be released) to video within 4 months of initial theatrical release. In each case the film was still enjoying a strong reception in second run. I was particulaly shocked to see that Maid in Manhatten was in video in just over 3 months. Several second run theatres that I know of did not even get to play it.

Hollywood's rush to the DVD counter can only send the average consumer one message - why spend $8.00 for a movie ticket when you can buy it (and with extra scenes and features) for nearly the same price in just 90 to 120 days.

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Re: The Shrinking Video Window 07 Apr 2003 00:37 #23916

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That would be a good comment/suggestion for all who belong to NATO to put on that questionnaire they mailed out last week.
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Re: The Shrinking Video Window 07 Apr 2003 13:45 #23917

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We ran Far From Heaven from the first day it opened till last week. The film came out on video this week. We ran Bowling for Columbine and closed it. We then reopened it for Movies in the Morning before the Oscars. The movie comes out on video next week. It is still strong in the box office. Big Fat Greek Wedding was actually stronger around the time the video came out, and it killed the theatrical run.

I have heard that some executives view theatrical exhibition as a marketing tool for video distribution.

I feel that there should be a moratorium on video releases. I'd like a year, but would settle for 6-months. Yes this is something that N.A.T.O. should deal with.
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Re: The Shrinking Video Window 25 May 2003 10:46 #23918

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"The Recruit" which opened nationally on Jan 31, 2003 will be available on video Tues May 27th. (Only 4 months). My local Circuit City is offering it for sale at $15.99 (the same price as two $8.00 movie tickets).

"Tears of the Sun" which opened on March 7th will be available June 10th (3 months.)
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Re: The Shrinking Video Window 27 May 2003 11:33 #23919

GUYS!! I have only one thing to say on this subject. THE TV SCREEN, NO MATTER HOW GOOD, WILL NEVER REPLACE THE MOVIE HOUSE EXPERIENCE!!
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Re: The Shrinking Video Window 27 May 2003 20:47 #23920

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i own a video store in a small new hampshire town. i also rent the high school auditorium and show 'sub-theatrical' (second run?) movies. i showed 'catch me if you can' on april 5th. i had 106 people pay to see it. street date for 'catch me...' was may 6th (one month later) and i can't keep the 14 copies i have in the store. street date windows may be shrinking but in my very, very limited experience i have found that my video store and my 'movie theater' have not interferred with each other at all. time will tell.

'hey! there's no party here!'
jeff spicoli
fast times at ridgemont high
'hey! there's no party here!'
jeff spicoli
fast times at ridgemont high
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Re: The Shrinking Video Window 02 Jun 2003 21:15 #23921

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Fox to Delay 'Idol' Film's Video Release
Wed May 28, 3:44 AM ET


By Nicole Sperling

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The home video release of the upcoming "American Idol" movie spinoff "From Justin to Kelly" has been pushed back after numerous theater owners balked at the original street date, which was scheduled just six weeks after the theatrical debut on June 13.

Sources said the studio has moved the date back by about six weeks to early September, though representatives from Fox say no date has yet been set.

"As with all of our films, no home entertainment release date has been set prior to the opening in theaters," Fox Studios spokeswoman Flo Grace said.

Sources involved in the negotiations confirm that Fox had been fighting with several of the country's leading exhibitors, including Regal Entertainment Group, Loews Entertainment and National Amusements, who had threatened to not play the film if the timings between the release windows remained so tight.

The theater chains declined comment.

Release windows have been gradually closing for some time in the industry. According to numbers tracked by the National Association of Theater Owners, the average time between theatrical and home video release totaled five months and eight days for the industry this year, while last year's totals were five months and 12 days.

According to one studio executive who wished to remain anonymous, studios feel it is appropriate to tighten the windows, considering movies come off the screen quicker than they used to because of both the widened release schedules and the depth of product in the marketplace.

"DVD release windows have become as important as the theatrical releases," the executive said. "You can't automatically put it out six months later and miss the best windows, particularly when it comes to the holiday season. Now it's a much more strategic decision. Studios more and more are looking at DVD release dates in a competitive manner."

Sources in the industry recognize Fox's desire to shorten the window on "From Justin to Kelly," Rather than wait the three months or longer and risk losing the momentum created from the television show's massive popularity, the studio was looking to get the movie out to the home video market before the end of summer.


Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
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