Sure, it wasn't a surprise when the head of Blockbuster Video in the UK suggested that movie studios would be better off releasing movies in theaters and on DVD at the same time. Blockbuster would clearly stand to benefit from that arrangement. It wasn't even that surprising to see Steven Soderbergh (with help from Mark Cuban) decide to do exactly that with his latest movie. It's more of an independent effort, and so it's not surprising that they'd try innovative marketing tools. However, to hear the incoming head of Disney say that they're considering the idea is a bit of a surprise. Did you ever expect to hear a mainstream entertainment industry CEO say: "We can't stand in the way and we can't allow tradition to stand in the way of where the consumer can go or wants to go." Of course, the rest of the article is about how the movie theaters are freaking out over such an idea, including quotes from the head of The National Association of Theater Owners claiming that "there would be no viable movie theater industry" if that happened. That, of course, is ridiculous. If the theater owners really believe that their only competitive advantage is the fact that they've got a headstart on DVDs, then they don't belong in business. Some theaters are finally realizing it's all about the experience, and a move to simultaneously release movies might force the megaplexes of the world to realize this as well.
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