×

Distributors experiment as windows collapse

Future of Film Summit 2012

Not that long ago, the choice was simple: Release a movie in theaters first or directly to video. Nowadays, distributors debate whether to release movies on several platforms at once, or if those same films should debut internationally before the U.S.

The goal, as always, is to maximize coin while keeping up with demand.

Radius-TWC, the Weinstein Co. division dedicated to multi-platform distribution, has experimented with alternate revenue streams “where we can launch any first window alongside theatrical,” says Tom Quinn, co-president of Radius-TWC with Jason Janego. “And that can be broadcast TV, DVD or VOD.”

“That first window and how we approach it is the big change,” adds Janego. “Yes, the traditional theatrical window’s still important, but audiences and the way they get their entertainment now is rapidly evolving. New York, where we might gross anywhere from 48% to 60% of our total theatrical dollar, is very different from other markets in the middle of the country. That’s when VOD suddenly starts to make sense.”

A customized approach has also paid dividends for Tribeca Film, which launched two years ago. “Right away we saw a definite opportunity for independent film using a curated brand like us,” notes general manager Todd Green. The company distributes movies on demand year-round, and during the festival itself, “we have at least four titles that play at the same time they’re also on demand.”

“The speed of change is definitely getting faster,” says Mark Greenberg, president and CEO of Epix, a premium television channel and subscription video-on-demand service. “Movies took a century to go from silent and B&W to color and HD, but now the landscape changes every year.”

For Epix, “being able to aggregate more access to audience, and on the terms they want it on, as long as we protect the intellectual property, is what we need to do.”

Distributors don’t expect the change to slow down any time soon. Green, who believes that it’s imperative for distributors to be “really strategic” about theatrical, predicts that “the windows will continue to collapse and there’ll be more experimentation — and more collaboration with theater owners.”

RELATED LINKS
Coin for the savvy

More Film

  • A-Beautiful-Day-in-the-Neighborhood-Trailer

    Tom Hanks Channels Mister Rogers in 'Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' Trailer

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood because Sony debuted the first trailer for its Mister Rogers movie starring Tom Hanks. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers (Hanks) and Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys), a cynical journalist assigned to write a profile of the long-running television host. [...]

  • For web story

    'The Burnt Orange Heresy,' With Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland, to Close Venice

    “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” starring Mick Jagger as a reclusive art dealer alongside Elizabeth Debicki (“Widows”), Claes Bang (“The Square”) and Donald Sutherland, has been selected as the Venice Film Festival closer.  The English-language art heist movie marks Italian director Giuseppe Capotondi’s first time back at Venice since 2009, when his debut feature film, the [...]

  • A woman prays at a makeshift

    Kyoto Animation Death Toll Rises to 34; Suspect Still Too Injured to Be Questioned

    Shinji Aoba, the man suspected of setting a fire that killed 34 people at the Kyoto Animation studio, remains hospitalized and too injured to be officially arrested and questioned. Police in Kyoto have obtained an arrest warrant for Aoba but cannot serve it because of his condition. Police sources have raised the death toll from [...]

  • Azania Muendane

    Locations Africa Expo Sends Message in Durban: ‘Africa is Ready’

    DURBAN–The first edition of the Locations Africa Expo and Conference was held this week during the Durban FilmMart, with an eye toward identifying and growing the opportunities to lure incoming productions to the continent. “Locations Africa is trying to service a need on the continent to discuss the physical production…on the ground, highlighting film commissions, [...]

  • The Lion King

    China Box Office: 'Looking Up' Is Surprise Weekend Winner Ahead of 'Lion King'

    Actor and comedian Deng Chao underlined his enduring popularity with mainstream Chinese audiences by delivering a surprise No. 1 box-office hit in “Looking Up” over the weekend. It scored $38.6 million in its opening frame, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, and displaced “The Lion King” from its perch. “Looking Up” is a family [...]

  • Unathi Malonga

    Report Urges South African Media to ‘Step Up’ Against Gender Violence

    DURBAN–In a country with some of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence in the world, South African media must step up and play a greater role in the fight against gender inequality and gender-based violence. That was the conclusion of a report, “Gender, Diversity and Gender-based Violence in South African TV,” that was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content