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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Abduction’ Miracle: Lionsgate to Release Early VOD on December 23

With major studios risking exhibitor revolt over earlier and earlier video-on-demand releases, it seems the smaller players have found a way to keep everyone happy: Release movies on VOD “semi-early,” taking care to honor the 90 day theatrical window that exhibitors desire.
Lionsgate is doing just that with “Abduction.” It will release the Taylor Lautner movie at a slightly premium VOD price for 10 days in late December before releasing it on DVD and Blu-ray.
By timing “Abduction’s” Dec. 23 VOD debut to the Christmas holidays and making the film available for just 10 days, the studio believes that it can exploit the number of teens out of school on holiday break.
It will also allow the company to make money off the PG-13 thriller, which opens in theaters on Sept. 23, without pushing it into a crowded Christmas disc market, where family titles and summer blockbusters tend to dominate disc sales. The studio believes that the short 10-day VOD window will not significantly cut into disc sales, given Lautner’s star appeal.
The plan comes with theater owner’s stamp of approval.
“On VOD experiments, we’ve consistently asked for two things: that theater owners be consulted and that any release to the home should respect the range of the existing release window,” John Fithian,  National Assn. of Theater Owners president and CEO, told TheWrap. “Lionsgate did both those things and did it right.”
Theater owners hope that Lionsgate’s efforts to keep the lines of communication open will inspire other studios.
“What a refreshing approach,” Gerry Lopez, AMC Theatres CEO and president, told TheWrap. “How they handled ‘Abduction’ sets the bar for others to follow. We’re happy to be included in the dialogue and look forward to the movie’s release.”
“Abduction” will become available on demand some 91 days after it premieres in theaters. And at $6.99, though higher than regular VOD, the cost to consumers is a lot cheaper than the $30 studios charge for the DirecTV effort.
Source: Reuters Via: Twilightish

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