Monkeying Around With Distribution
Now, this segment is in trouble. Domestic movie attendance is off by 7 percent. The subhead of Kate Kelly's story, "The Multiplex Under Seige" in The Wall Street Journal Dec. 24, 2005:
With attendance down and movies popping up faster on DVD, theater chains are scrambling to pry you off the couch—trying everything from discount tickets to curbs on rude patrons. Their fight to stay relevant in the flat-TV era.
Movie theater tickets now range from $6 to $14 in deluxe venues. It makes total economic sense for a family of four to rent the DVD—or buy it so that they can see it an unlimited number of times and lend it to their friends and family.
If the "Bubble" model were to become the standard, it would cause a terrible ripple effect:
- It would deeply hurt the exhibitors. Movie theaters all over the country would close, depriving families, seniors and folks that don't have home video equipment from enjoying the film experience. The communal social fabric of communities would take yet another hit.
- A new motion picture in theaters means attention-getting ads in newspapers which, combined with reviews and coupled with theater posters and marquee signs, all create hype and excitement. This would be no more.
- Newspaper advertising would no doubt take yet another hit, to be replaced only in part by point-of-purchase fliers and maybe a small sign in video stores.
- In the glut of DVD releases, how would movie reviewers know which films to review?
- In short, this model takes the movie business from the very big and exciting, to the very small—from the "big screen" to the teeny DVD.
"Bubble"—the film in question—got a very good review in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3-1/2 stars out of a possible four. And the unusual distribution scheme generated some free publicity. But according to the The Wall Street Journal, many theaters shunned it. It did a paltry $72,000 in sales on the 32 screens it was shown on, and an estimated 500,000 viewers saw it on two showings on HDNet.
- Alden Hatch
- Arthur Vandenberg
- Cecil B. DeMille
- Charles Ruggles
- David Oreck
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Ella Fitzgerald
- Erin Brockovich
- Harold Stassen
- James Glicker
- John Moaney
- Kate Kelly
- Leonard Dry
- Paul Allen
- Robert Taft
- Sarah McBride
- Steven Soderbergh
- The News
- Thomas E. Dewey
- Victor Moore
- Walter Bedell