DVD sales are down by no less than 30% since 2004. Studios are readjusting their sights by way of possibly making premium VOD more quickly available (45 days instead of the current 120). How to do so? By way of recent technology that is supposed to make video on demand streams impossible to copy (for a while, at least). What this also means is that the period of exclusivity currently accorded to movie theatre owners for exploiting studio product will be cut in less than half. For some in the industry, it could mean the death of film exhibition. We tend to agree, although for the majority of mainstream cinema, the first thirty days in the cycle of film exhibition is key–whatever happens after is a bonus.
Will this set off exhibitor wars by appreciably cutting into their profit margins? We’ll see movie theatre owners take to the streets in protest. Mayhem!
A longer article will follow; theatre owners have been asked to weigh in.