U.S. prexy biopic forges new digital distribution model

These are early days for digital distribution in Italy, but something is starting to percolate, as evidenced by Oliver Stone’s “W.” The George Bush biopic recently marked a first by becoming available via VOD on Telecom Italia’s Rosso Alice movie portal almost simultaneously with its small theatrical release on a dozen digital screens, and also airing on generalist TV web La 7.

“W.” was seen by 10,000 Italo Internet viewers in four days, reports the pic’s Italo distributor, Barbara Dall’Angelo, who says she’s “very happy about the result.”

Other Internet distribution platforms currently operating in Italy are Fastweb and Infostrada. VOD is also available on Sky Italia satcaster and on Mediaset’s DTT paybox.

“Sky Italia has had a pay-per-view service for years, but it’s really a minimal residual,” laments Stefano Massenzi, buyer for Italo distribbery Lucky Red.

“The general rule is nobody wants to pay any money upfront,” says Jef Nuyts, sales exec for Rome-based arthouse outfit Intra Movies, “so for the moment we are very reluctant to sell those rights.”

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