European Movie Theaters Say They're So Bad That They Can't Compete Without Exclusivity

from the foot-stuck-to-the-floor dept

The debate over windowed movie releases -- releasing to theaters on one date, then video on demand later, then DVDs later and so on -- has been going on for some time. Despite the advantages and opportunities simultaneous releases would create, theater owners condemn the idea, basically because they can't provide a movie-going experience that can compete with watching movies on DVD at home. The debate is kicking off in Europe again, where some theater chains in Germany and the UK are refusing to show a major-studio film because it will be released on DVD "just" 13 weeks after it's out in theaters. Theater owners say such a short window will keep people out of their theaters, and they need a long period of exclusivity to ensure they'll sell some tickets -- a pretty clear admission that they're doing such a poor job of giving customers a good experience that they can't compete any other way. The German movie-theater association says that with a release window of less than four months, its members starts losing customers. Their theaters must be pretty awful if they'll drive people to wait up to four months to watch something at home. It's pretty amazing to see these companies basically admit their theaters are so bad, and it also shows a complete and utter misunderstanding of their business. Instead of trying to succeed by being the only place new movies can be seen, why not work to make movie theaters a place people want to see movies?

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous of Course, 6 Feb 2007 @ 3:38am


    I used to go to the theater regularly when I was a child.
    It was a great experience. They played music before
    the movie (the sound system was awsome,) the movie
    was bright, in focus and the lens was clean. The soda
    was heavy with syrup and the popcorn was hot and fresh.
    There was music after the movie as well and we left at a
    leisurely pace.

    Today, it's a stark contrast. Endless advertisments instead
    of music, the movie was out of focus, dim and there was
    dust on the lens. The soda was watery and the popcorn
    stale. When the movie ended the house lights came up
    to a painfully bright level as if to drive us out as soon as
    possible after the shearing.

    The only reason for me to enter a movie theater again
    would be failure of the air conditioner at home on a hot day.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.