Sony has stirred up the ire of theater owners with its plans to offer Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs to owners of Internet-enabled Sony brand Bravia TVs a mere 81 days after its theatrical bow. According to the Hollywood Reporter:
Exhibition sources said Tuesday that at least four major theater chains were poised to pull "Meatballs" from theaters: Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Marcus Theatres.
Distributed in both 2D and 3D versions theatrically, "Meatballs," which bowed Sept. 18 in theaters, played last weekend in a total 1,126 venues and was expected to shed at least a few hundred engagements starting Friday. As a result of the exhib protest, "Meatballs" could play in as few as 300 theaters beginning this weekend.
"Meatballs" rung up $1.3 million last weekend. So the accelerated wind-down to the pic's theatrical campaign likely will cause a modest but quantifiable revenue loss for Sony. There's been little reaction from the DVD retail community to the distributor's digital moves with "Meatballs" and "Hancock," perhaps due to the high $24.95 price for the digital viewing.
Stay tuned to your Internet-enabled TVs...