×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Scouts Guide,’ ‘Paranormal Activity 6’ Get Early Digital Release Dates

A month and a half after debuting in theaters, Paramount will release “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” and “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” digitally. Now consumers who didn’t catch the films when they premiered in October — and judging from their anemic box office returns, there are many — can see the horror movies from the comforts of their couch.

It’s a move that essentially cuts the typical theatrical release window in half. Three months have historically separated a film’s theatrical debut and its premiere on home entertainment platforms. However, Paramount was able to circumvent these unwritten rules by partnering with distributors, a group that includes AMC and Cineplex, on a plan that allowed them to release the pictures on home entertainment platforms 17 days after the number of theaters showing the films dipped below 300.

“Scouts Guide” will debut on digital platforms for sale and rental beginning December 8 and the “Paranormal Activity” sequel will bow on December 15. Although it gets a digital debut later, the sixth “Paranormal Activity” film actually hit theaters earlier, debuting on October 23. “Scouts Guide” was released on October 30.

Paramount executives positioned the unorthodox release strategies as an important experiment that would allow them to see if consumers would steer clear of theaters if they knew movies might be available in the home sooner. It was difficult to draw many conclusions, however, because major theater chains like Regal and Cinemark balked at the test, refusing to show the movies. They argued that the length of time that a movie is in theaters shouldn’t change for major studio releases, because abbreviating them might undermine their business model.

Paramount and other studios continue to argue that there needs to be greater flexibility in how films are distributed, because marketing costs are rising. Allowing smaller films to debut on-demand and on disc earlier would enable studios to piggyback on the promotional rollout for their theatrical releases, saving millions of dollars.

Domestically, both “Scouts Guide” and “Paranormal Activity” bombed, taking in just over $20 million collectively. Paramount was able to turn a profit on “Paranormal Activity” overseas, where the $10 million production made $59.2 million in receipts.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Slam

    Film Review: ‘Slam’

    The disappearance of a fearless female Palestinian-Australian slam poet triggers suspense and powerful social and political commentary in “Slam,” an outstanding slow-burn thriller by expat Indian filmmaker Partho Sen-Gupta (“Sunrise”). Starring Palestinian actor Adam Bakri (“Omar,” “Official Secrets”) as the missing woman’s conflicted brother, and leading Aussie performer Rachael Blake as a troubled cop, Opening [...]

  • Igo Kantor

    Igo Kantor, Producer and Post-Production Executive, Dies at 89

    Igo Kantor, whose Hollywood career took him from Howard Hughes’ projection room to supervising post-production on “Easy Rider” and producing B-movies like “Kingdom of the Spiders” and “Mutant,” died Oct. 15. He was 89. Kantor, who was born in Vienna and raised in Lisbon, met “Dillinger” director Max Nosseck on the ship to New York. [...]

  • The Lion King

    Average Movie Ticket Price Falls 4% in Third Quarter of 2019

    Average ticket prices for the third quarter have dropped 4% to $8.93, down from Q2’s $9.26, the National Association of Theatre Owners announced today. However, compared with the third quarter of 2018, ticket price has risen 1.1% from $8.83. The summer box office is down 2.13% from 2018, though the third quarter box office is [...]

  • Tilda Swinton to Preside Over The

    Tilda Swinton to Preside Over Marrakech Film Festival

    Tilda Swinton, the iconoclastic British actress and producer, is set to preside over the 18th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, succeeding to American director James Gray. Swinton, who won an Oscar and a BAFTA award for best supporting actress for “Michael Clayton,” has been leading an eclectic acting career. She has collaborated with [...]

  • The King Netflix

    Middleburg Film Festival Brings Hollywood to Virginia

    For the last seven years, audiences have flocked to the Middleburg Film Festival. Running October 17th – 21st, and situated in the wine-country hills of historic Middleburg, Virg., the festival usually highlights some of the year’s buzziest titles, and 2019 is no exception. “We’re a smaller festival with fewer overall screenings than other events, so we [...]

  • Kelly McCormick and David Leitch'Fast &

    'Wheelman' Director to Helm 'Versus' From David Leitch, Kelly McCormick (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Wheelman” director Jeremy Rush is in negotiations to helm the action movie “Versus,” with Kelly McCormick and David Leitch producing. Rush will direct the Universal movie from a script penned by “Three Musketeers” scribe Alex Litvak and “American Assassin” writer Mike Finch. Plot details are being kept under wraps, though it will follow the genre [...]

  • Taika Waititi Jojo Rabbit Premiere

    Why Director Taika Waititi Decided to Play Adolf Hitler in 'Jojo Rabbit'

    “Fox Searchlight blackmailed me into doing it,” Taika Waititi told Variety of playing Adolf Hilter in “Jojo Rabbit” at the film’s premiere at American Legion Post 43 on Tuesday night in Hollywood. Staying mum when asked which other actors had been on his wish list to play the role, Waititi explained why he eventually decided [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content