Last week, Michael Burns, V. Chair. at Lionsgate Studios predicted that all of the major film studios would reach a deal with cinema exhibitors on the launch of a premium video-on-demand window for new theatrical releases within a year!
Speaking at a conference in NYC, Burns stated, "some level of PVOD offering will be available to consumers within 12 months once details, such as pricing and the length of time between a film's theatrical release debut and the early home entertainment offering are hammered out." Burns went on to say that Disney would be the only studio that would opt out of the deal.
Under the proposal, the current 90 day window between theatrical and home releases would be shortened to 17 days - giving exhibitors three weekends for exclusive screening of any film.
CMG has always been of the mind that eventually all movies would be released day-and-date across all distribution platforms. This deal moves the bar closer to CMG's inevitable prediction.
Cinemas, large and small, MUST prepare and ensure that their operations are running at max-performance. Investment in high sound quality and best on-screen image is without question a must-do. Showmanship and moviegoer engagement are requisite. It is only in this way that the local cinema will survive. In many cases, this will entail investment that cannot be fueled by on-going operations but from outside sources, such as loans or leases.