Reel Blog

Cui bono?

Not content with simultaneous release of films in theaters, VOD and DVD, Mark Cuban’s newest idea is to release films to VOD up to three weeks before making it available to theaters.

Who benefits? Cable operators, perhaps. Maybe subscribers to Cuban’s own HDNet. Who else? Oh yes – Mark Cuban.

The importance of this strategy can’t be overstated, he said. All of his clients, he continued, have stressed to him “that the ability to watch movies while they are in theaters is at the top of the requests in their research” from consumers. “Because we are the only studio to own a national theater,” he added, “we are in a unique position to do this.” Cuban owns Landmark Cinemas.

Cuban said his goal with Ultra HD is to “tilt the economics” so that each of the movies distributed by Magnolia Pictures makes about the same amount of money in each of the three platforms — theaters, TV and DVD — on which it’s simultaneously released.

If history is any guide, just about the only theaters taking him up on the offer will be the ones he owns.