Sunday, 2 November 2008

The increasingly heated row between cinemas and distributors/studios

This fascinating debate hinges on what distributors and studios regard as "as changing marketplace". For exhibitors (cinema chains) who are independent from major film distributors and studios the argument is to retain a six month release pattern for films in their cinemas. The distributors and studios are agitating for quicker release dates for DVDs. (shorter windows). Of course, there's money at stake and the publicity that sold the films could be used to help sell the DVDs. What's interesting is that distributors and studios are citing video piracy as the cause for wanting to shorten the theatrical release "window". While film piracy is an issue for each institution the cinema chains increasingly think that distributors and studios are using this issue to bounce them into shorter release patterns.

German exhibitors won out over the release date issue with FOX. The writer suggests that US theaters could learn a lesson from German defiance; however the writer also argues that US exhibitors are more at the mercy of giant Hollywood distributors and studios because of the importance of home produced content.

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