By Livia Peterson
Variety’s Brent Lang reported that the studios are flirting with the notion of offering movies seventeen days after their theatrical release – drastically cutting the ninety day theatrical window. 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Pictures are in negotiations to offer the exhibitors a percentage of the digital sales. The consumers would disburse $30 for the rental fee.
Hell yes, we are in the digital age. Therefore, the singular magical cinema experience is in jeopardy. I cannot delve into movies via home video as there are too many distractions; however, the cinema provides little to no distractions – the lights to dim and thus, I am immersed in the film. Let’s just say watching movies at home is just not the same as watching films in the cinema.
There are advantages and disadvantages to the cinema and home video, but the latter format is disrespecting the film exhibitors if the consumers are renting new releases. The ninety day theatrical window is essential because first of all – movies are meant to be seen in a darkened theatre, second of all – films are able to produce the revenue if the box office failures occur, and finally, most Disney movies demand the cinema experience (e.g. the live action “Beauty and the Beast”, now playing in cinemas nationwide).
Some cinemas are better than others in regards to fully preserving the cinema experience. Landmark Theatres is the best, particularly the Oriental Theatre (not so much the Downer Theatre). But regardless, the films need the exhibitors and the exhibitors need the films – despite the ticket prices have drastically risen and the concession prices are utterly insane.