With streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu continuing to grow, theater owners are continuing to seek methods of competing for audiences. However, Variety reports that Warner Bros. studio chief Kevin Tsujihara believes theater owners will embrace the change as the studio moves forward with plan to audiences earlier access to new film releases.
Kevin Tsujihara tells Variety:
“We’re making a lot of progress. We’re aggressively working with exhibitors to talk about models that will grow the market instead of cannibalizing the market.”
Variety reports that Tsujihara stated the domination of comic book, monsters, and computer generated animation in the film business has left little room for other genres that may appeal to different age groups and demographics.
Variety writes that Tsujihara believes early access to certain films will solve this issue.
“The middle of the market in the theatrical business has gotten extremely tough,” he noted, arguing that offering some movies in homes earlier would “change the economics of adult dramas.”
Tsujihara did not offers details on those plans, but Variety reports the Warner Bros. is pushing towards offering films for home viewing approximately two weeks after their theatrical debut. Variety writes:
[…] sources have told Variety that under one scenario, films could rent for $50 some 17 days after they open in theaters, and would be available for 48 hours. Studios would give participating theater chains a percentage of their earnings. Apple’s iTunes service is also reportedly pushing for a model that would let the offer films sooner.
Theater owners have long argued against efforts to offer new releases for home viewing after such a short period of time, insisting it would hurt box office profits. However, Tsujihara tells Variety that early access helps studios offer audiences an alternative to seeking illegal copies of their new releases.
“It’s about giving consumers what they want. If we don’t give it to them, they’re going to go to pirated versions.”
While studios and theater owners continue to negotiate and debate the merits of early access to new releases, audiences themselves have also been spit on the concept. The cost, unless shared between individuals, has been a source of complaints while hardcore moviegoers argue the theater setting enhances the overall viewing experience. Where do you stand on the issue? Share your thoughts below!