Thursday, June 09, 2005

Shifting release paradigms in the movie business...

This May 27 story from The Hollywood Reporter's Nicole Sperling entitled "Simultaneous movie, video plan irks theater owners" may affect everyone who works in the marketing of major motion pictures. The bold billionaire Mark Cuban and his partner Todd Wagner at 2929 Entertainment -- who have positioned themselves to own feature entertainment content as well as the most viable, high-profile entertainment venues (including cable and theatrical outlets) -- are pushing the idea of releasing movies theatrically, via home video and on cable... all at the same time. Is it really going to be "out with the old," in terms of motion picture marketing that first drives viewers to movies, then serves a film up on Pay-Per-View, then to home video and premium cable outlets before rolling into syndication? Many theater owners are trying to make a stand, saying they'll refuse to show 2929's films. Others, perhaps those more savvy about the rising tides of inevitable change, are adopting "wait and see" positions, or citing scenarios where the new approach might be viable.

2929 is employing the new strategy in rolling out feature documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys In the Room," and promising to prove that the new paradigm is not only wise, it's also a breakthrough in making movie marketing more cost-effective. Will Cuban and Wagner show themselves to be the smartest guys in showbiz?