Following up this post, Variety reports that Paramount is widening the release window on The Goods: Live Hard Sell Hard.
In an effort to assuage exhib concerns, Paramount did agree to push back the DVD launch of Jeremy Piven laffer "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard" from Nov. 11 to late November. Had the release date stayed the same, "Live Hard" would have come out only 12½ weeks after its Aug. 24 release.
Although, Paramount did not move the disputed G.I. Joe DVD release - a skinny 88 days - it did assert that the narrow window was an exception, not a policy.
Par, besieged with calls from angry theater owners, held a number of discussions with exhibs. Studio told exhibs that "G.I. Joe's" DVD launch was timed to the release of Hasbro's corresponding toy line for the holiday season, and that it was the best thing for the franchise.
Given that DVD revenues have been down the last two years and continue down an estimated 13.9% this year, while theatrical box office has set records the last two years and is on pace to set another record this year, it isn't surprising that distributors are sending movie theater owners some love.
"I think ultimately, Paramount remains committed to separate DVD and theatrical windows, and completely committed to protecting the moviegoing theatrical experience," Paramount vice chair Rob Moore said.
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The Hollywood Reporter takes note of a couple of recent extremely narrow release windows:
The Windows War is on again.
Paramount's recent move to schedule two DVDs for release less than three months after their theatrical openings has renewed hostilities between Hollywood studios and movie theater operators.
Last week, Par scheduled its summer action hit "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" for a Nov. 3 debut on shiny disc, or 88 days after its release in theaters. It also set the Jeremy Piven comedy "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard" for DVD release Nov. 10, also 88 days from its theatrical bow.
The article goes on to note NATO's release window tracking reports, which are available here. Our last report covered films with announced home release dates through September 25. The article gives our updated numbers through October 12.
Needless to say, exhibitors are not shy about expressing their opinions.
"I view the studios as our partners, but it seems like the rules of the game are changing," Cineplex chief Ellis Jacob said. "That's a concern. We at Cineplex have invested a lot of money in our theaters and in new technology such as 3D. So when something like this happens, it creates an issue with people from the standpoint of entertainment choices. If a guest of ours knows a movie is going to be on DVD in less than 90 days, then they know that if they miss it they can catch it on DVD not too much later."
Regal's president, Greg Dunn, made his company's views clear.
"Maintaining the appropriate timeline or windows between the theatrical release and ancillary markets is critical and essential for the overall good of the film industry," Dunn said. "If the existing windows policies were significantly adjusted, we would aggressively respond -- as we would toward any policy that would negatively impact the industry."
The Reporter's Carl Diorio got no on-the-record responses from Fox or paramount.
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