The Windows War is on again.
Paramount’s recent move to schedule two DVDs for release less than three months after their theatrical openings has renewed hostilities between Hollywood studios and movie theater operators.
Last week, Par scheduled its summer action hit “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” for a Nov. 3 debut on shiny disc, or 88 days after its release in theaters. It also set the Jeremy Piven comedy “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” for DVD release Nov. 10, also 88 days from its theatrical bow.
The article goes on to note NATO’s release window tracking reports, which are available here. Our last report covered films with announced home release dates through September 25. The article gives our updated numbers through October 12.
Needless to say, exhibitors are not shy about expressing their opinions.
“I view the studios as our partners, but it seems like the rules of the game are changing,” Cineplex chief Ellis Jacob said. “That’s a concern. We at Cineplex have invested a lot of money in our theaters and in new technology such as 3D. So when something like this happens, it creates an issue with people from the standpoint of entertainment choices. If a guest of ours knows a movie is going to be on DVD in less than 90 days, then they know that if they miss it they can catch it on DVD not too much later.”
Regal’s president, Greg Dunn, made his company’s views clear.
“Maintaining the appropriate timeline or windows between the theatrical release and ancillary markets is critical and essential for the overall good of the film industry,” Dunn said. “If the existing windows policies were significantly adjusted, we would aggressively respond — as we would toward any policy that would negatively impact the industry.”
The Reporter’s Carl Diorio got no on-the-record responses from Fox or paramount.