Voters get front door service from QT

The disc is in the mail.

Miramax has kicked off screener season by mailing out DVDs of “Kill Bill Vol. 2” to Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voters. The “Bill” discs are not watermarked; however, the company is expected to send out watermarked DVDs of future titles including award hopefuls “Finding Neverland” and “The Aviator.”

This doesn’t mean a flood of screeners will go out in the next few weeks. “Vol. 2” is already available to homevid consumers, so Miramax can send out the title earlier than usual. Traditionally, the screener flood runs from Thanksgiving to early January.

Meanwhile, in a letter dated Oct. 21, AMPAS prexy Frank Pierson acknowledged problems with this year’s Cinea plan. The manufacture of Cinea players — to be sent gratis to awards voters like Acad members, with the aim of playing Cinea-encrypted discs — has “taken longer than expected.”

Pierson added, “It begins to appear that it may be too late for the players to be in use this year.” He said Cinea, a division of Dolby, still intends to send out the players, and it is possible that some studios will distribute one or more of their titles in encrypted form this year.

Pierson added, “Our best advice is the same as always — go to the movies in the theaters, whenever you can, and don’t wait for DVDs.”

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