HowTo: Turn Distribution Upside-Down… Make More Mov…

[Mike’s Comments] Synopsis – Make more movies less expensively – distribute them virally to build audience – justify wide theater delivery

– Filmmaker and futurist John Ott has this very thought-provoking post on what would happen if theatrical screenings became the equivalent of concert tours, and if movies were released in other formats first to build up demand for those screenings. Ott writes:

…Why not reverse the cycle and make the other distribution formats the advertising (much cheaper) and build to theatrical events. You could theoretically have so few screenings (such scarcity) that the filmmakers or actors could make personal appearances. You wouldn’t have to shell out for the theatrical tour until you knew, from statistics on download and home video sales, that the movie had a sizable audience (and you would also have geographical stats, so you could tell where the highest concentrations of those fans were).

The infrastructure for theatrical screenings currently exists. Most money is already made in shorter and shorter windows, theatrically. Why not confine it? That’s a scarcity that the digital revolution has left untouched.

– The media analyst firm SNL Kagan apparently concluded that studios should make more movies, not fewer. (Something CinemaTech has been advocating for a few years now…) In a scenario based on 611 major studio releases between 2004 and 2008, a 15-movie slate would have done much better than slates with just five or ten titles.

– Interesting Wall Street Journal piece today on the relationship between Redbox and the studios. The central question is, will Redbox cannibalize DVD sales? From Sarah McBride’s piece:

One studio-commissioned study showed that 9% of people who visited Redbox kiosks ended up renting a title they had previously planned to buy, and 25% said they would buy fewer DVDs this year because they could rent them at kiosks.

Redbox says its research shows many customers take a “trying before buying” approach and end up buying the DVDs after renting, and that its customers purchase DVDs at the same rate as Blockbuster Inc. and Netflix Inc. customers.

Every time a customer rents from Redbox rather than Blockbuster, the studio is missing out. While other companies cut the studios in on revenue each time they rent a movie, Redbox doesn’t. With Redbox, the only income studios see is when the retailer buys the movies for its kiosks.

12574661-3584078743511380431?l=cinematech.blogspot.comvia CinemaTech by Scott Kirsner on 7/20/09

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