Jackass 2.5: Good Concept, Mediocre Execution

from the close-but-no-cigar dept

Paramount is touting the release of "Jackass 2.5" as the first studio-backed film to be released online. In a lot of ways, Jackass seems like an ideal candidate for an experiment like this: it's a series of short vignettes that would likely get tiresome in a single sitting anyway, so it makes good sense to allow users to watch it in segments online. It was extremely cheap to produce, so there's little reason to worry about cannibalizing sales in other channels. And it's precisely the kind of gag humor that I can see being a good candidate for viral distribution. Unfortunately, the Times story suggests that Paramount's release strategy is rather confused. The video will apparently be released exclusively through Blockbuster's Movielink site for the first week, suggesting that Mac users like me won't be welcome. A week later, the movie will apparently be offered for purchase for $10-15 online or $30 on DVD. And then starting in January, it will once again be available for free on sites like Joost. It's rather confusing. The idea seems to be to experiment with different outlets to see which ones generate the most traffic, but it's hard to imagine why anyone would pay $10 for an iTunes download of a movie that had been available for free viewing (on Movielink) a week earlier and would be available for free viewing again (on Joost) a week later. It seems like all these format switches are just going to confuse and annoy viewers, who have to keep track of which sites will have the video on which weeks. Paramount apparently does know how to distribute video in an embeddable Flash-based format. It seems like it would have made more sense to simply distribute the whole movie that way from the outset. Or even better, given that Jackass isn't so much a coherent movie as a series of discrete segments, an even better idea might have been to release one segment per day over a period of weeks, increasing the chances of viral distribution and getting users in the habit of visiting the site regularly. That would generate a lot more buzz, and it would still leave them the option of selling a DVD of the whole thing once the final clip had been released. So Paramount deserves some credit for experimenting with new distribution strategies, but they still don't seem to quite get Internet distribution.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 2:05pm

    Pricing seems odd

    The $30 tag on the DVD is rather high. It's about
    twice what I would have expected.

    The on-line price at $10-$15 seems high too.
    To me a price in the $2.50-$50 range would be
    more reasonable.

    Is the pricing set to obtain a specific result?
    I doubt it is where maximum profit will be
    realized.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Woadan, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 2:33pm

    Tim, you could always come over to the Dark Side and buy a Vista machine!

    Woadan

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Tim Lee, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 2:43pm

    Re:

    That's true. I could also ask repeatedly bash my head against a brick wall.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Tim, may I then suggest a book for you... "Bad vs. Worse: The Ultimate Guide to Making Lose-Lose Decisions" by Joshua Piven

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Tim Lee, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Awesome!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Paul, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 4:26pm

    Wrong

    "an even better idea might have been to release one segment per day over a period of weeks, increasing the chances of viral distribution"

    One of the successful rules of viral distribution is to not withhold content.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Wrong

    That worked great for getting SouthPark off the ground.... oh wait, no it didnt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Fushta, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 5:47pm

    Nothing more than an Experiment

    They are experimenting with find the best method of distribution for a film like this. $30 for the DVD is high, but we don't know what it includes yet. What if the free online version was crappy (probably will be) video that is censored to the hilt. It will most assuredly contain obscene material and its freebie basis means it can be viewed by anyone, including underagers.

    Then the glorious DVD comes out, completely uncensored, in at least 1080i quality, with all sorts of bloopers/extras/interviews. It may well be worth the $30.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 7:46pm

    Paranoia is bad!

    Many of the developers of the site are on Macs, I can guarantee you that there will be an option for mac users. I think patience will work well, the site is going through a three stage release, and once it officially launches there's going to be a horde of easily-accessible content for Jackass fans.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 14th, 2007 @ 6:19am

    Yay

    At least they are starting to move in the right direction.
    After a couple trys I am sure they will realize the best methods and move even further towards the good direction.
    Props to them.

    Oh, and Tim's reply to using Vista is priceless!
    Lol.
    Woadan, Tim, you guys cool if I put that in my email signature?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Matt_, Dec 14th, 2007 @ 6:40am

    A little forgotten piece of this is Jackass will also be on Joost January 1st in a Ad Supported version

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Tim Lee, Dec 14th, 2007 @ 7:46am

    Re: Yay

    Go for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Yella, Dec 15th, 2007 @ 9:22am

    Mac

    It's streaming for free on all browsers so it will work on Mac Safari or Firefox. Mac should open their f-ing platform and everything would work on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Jade, Dec 20th, 2007 @ 11:07am

    The movie is so awesome! if you like Jackass, you might wanna check Steve-o's messy place as it was seen on Cribs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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