Free Newsletter

  • Which training workshop is of most value to your organisation?
  • Preparing your business for the Internet of Things
  • The Internet of Things and Cloud computing
  • Radio technologies for connecting the Internet of Things
  • Smart Cities and intelligent infrastructure
  • WebRTC and the end of the telco
Meet the leaders of the mobile app economy ? Open Mobile Summit, London, June 8-9
Navigation Strategies Europe 2011
ITU Telecom World, 24-27 October 2011 at Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland
Ubiquitous Location and Positioning Technology, 6th-7th December 2011, Chicago
Advertize your telecoms job

Theater owners outraged at VoD movie plans, but what else can studios do?

We have, in the past, actually sat in on meetings of theater owners, and listened to their gripes


Published: 14 April, 2011


We have, in the past, actually sat in on meetings of theater owners, and listened to their gripes. It sounds almost like they are in an industry of their own, not one intimately associated with the movie business. They talk about footfall, argue constantly the merits and costs of digital screens and go on and on about merchandising and concessions, screen and theater size. They rarely, if ever, mention films or the contracts that bind them to those films. There is, above all other issues, the feeling that Cinema is here to stay. In perpetuity, Forever. Undiminished. We can’t agree.

However we can imagine the hubbub around the brand new CinemaCon, convention in Las Vegas last week, when news broke that no less than four of the major Hollywood studios had agreed with VoD and online providers, DirecTV, Comcast and Vudu, to allow a premium movie service.

The move comes from Warner Brothers, Fox, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios and it will allow major motion pictures to be made available just 60 days after theatrical release. Sure it is very premium at $30 a movie, but it will still have sent a tremor of indignation down the spines of everyone present.

Press reports talking about meetings between distributors and theater owners ending abruptly will not have been exaggerated. This threatens their very lifeblood. But you have to picture the environment around the show – a show which started with a Golf Tournament hardly conjures a picture of businessmen at the end of their tether, their wealth in jeopardy.

We don’t think this particular experiment or any other that relies on the existing VoD services of US pay TV players, is going to send the Cinema business into rapid decline, but the collective might of all such experiments will, and in particular one that does the same through such an influential business as Facebook or even Netflix, may well make huge strides here. The simple truth is that theatrical release, while still universally seen as the “measure” of a movie, has its days numbered. Sure the bigger a film’s opening weekend, the more distributor pull it has in other formats, but as a percentage of revenue it is undoubtedly falling.

Each year the percentage of revenue that a movie makes from theatrical release falls. The last percentage we can remember quoting someone was 45% in the early part of this decade, down from 55% a few years before. Today it is closer to 25%. DVD used to make up most of the rest, but even this is falling, and is now as low as 40%. TV (including pay per view, repeats and VoD) accounts for a lot more of a movie’s current income, but online delivery will more and more come into the frame.

Research dating back as far as 2007 shows that movie revenues would go up not down (by around 17%) if studios released DVDs at the same time as the theatrical releases, with more people buying the DVD, but around 40% less going to movie theaters. Eventually that type of change has to happen, and without these experiments, the Studios would be pulled down with their theatrical partners.

Pages: 1 | 2


Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!

    European Carrier Mobile Broadband Network Performance

    Analysing and comparing the data speed, latency, network quality and smartphone penetration for 94 mobile carriers in 28 European countries....

    Next Generation Haptics: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth study of the growing popularity of haptics-enabled tactile feedback on mobile devices to augment UI interactions and enrich...

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...


You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *