Iger loosens old windows

Span between pic and DVD release may get even tighter

Last year, when Disney’s Robert Iger suggested the window between a film’s theatrical release and its DVD debut be closed, it sent exhibitors into a panic.

Iger himself seemed surprised at the attention the remark got, saying it was “taken out of context and blown out of proportion.”

“But I haven’t taken the comment back, partly because deep down, I believe it is true,” he said in an onstage conversation with Variety editor in chief Peter Bart on Jan. 18.

In fact, Iger predicts the major studios will begin to experiment with such a distribution pattern.

Later this month Steven Soderbergh‘s indie film “Bubble” will be released in theaters and over Mark Cuban‘s video-on-demand site HDNet.

“I actually believe in the inevitability of short windows,” Iger said at the Jan. 18 event, adding that it has to happen when a picture is still fresh in consumers’ minds.

Iger was the featured guest at a Variety and PricewaterhouseCoopers forum of traditional and new-media execs called Parting the Digital Fog, held at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

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