Movie to DVD window

I know there’s been some discussion in the comment threads around here recently about the short window between theatrical release and DVD release. We’re talking about how a movie like TITANIC today might not last so long in the theaters, since most people would expect it on DVD in relatively short order.

Then I read this today:

The Digital Bits – We Know DVD!

Okay… back to those announcements. First up, Sony has set Rent for release on 2/21. I believe we’ve mentioned this one before, but Universal has set The Ice Harvest for 2/28. Here’s a few new ones for you: Jarhead and Brokeback Mountain are both on the way for a 3/7 release, with Pride & Prejudice set to follow on 3/14.

Has BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN even gone into wide release yet?!?

ICE HARVEST and RENT both bombed in relatively short order, but I know RENT is being announced about a month after it debuted in theaters, if not less.

3 thoughts on “Movie to DVD window

  1. Here’s something to ponder:

    Back in ‘the day’, I remember a movie getting a big box office boost from Oscar nominations. Oftentimes they would get re-released, too. I don’t think this has been the norm for a couple of years now, though.

    In these announcments, though, i think we’re seeing the true trend in Hollywood: cut the theaters out of the big profits. I’m not a huge pro-theater person, so this isn’t a rant against it. Still, what I’m seeing is a studio’s clear decision to have theoretical oscar nom’s (and I feel reasonably confident Brokeback will get plenty of nom’s, maybe even some wins, having never seen it) benefit the DVD sales rather than ticket sales. I don’t know if we’ve EVER seen this be so blatent.

    On the other hand (just to get a good debate going), I believe that studios have been sending their hopefully nominated movies out as DVD screeners for a few years now. So, they’re already getting DVDs ready for these movies by the end of the year… might as well go ahead and release them! Still, they HAVE to realize that they’re effectively cutting off a lot of theatrical business.

    And Augie’s right, Brokeback isn’t in wide release yet. Just read a thing on that. This is NUTS.

  2. See, you’re touching on a not so brand new art form called “distribution”, concerning what gets wide release and the dreaded selected theatres only. It’s easy to speculate that the turn around is to make up some dough that didn’t get made like it was expected to, especially w/Jarhead. With Rent, I just think (and this goes w/out me seeing it and knowing just a bit of it story-wise) that it’s “time” has just simply passed so to speak. If that makes sense. Brokeback is easily going to make money in DVD form and rental.
    And I think to draw a line through my ramble, people just prefer to watch a film at home unless it’s something amazing and again, IMHO, amazing films just aren’t being made anymore, just a lot of rehashing of old stuff. And it wouldn’t surprise me to see more direct to dvd films being released skipping the entire theatre run.

  3. It’s no coincidence that BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is getting released on DVD two days after the Oscars.

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