Putting A Movie On TV Before It's In Theaters

from the Mark-Cuban's-latest-experiment dept

While some movie studio execs are still claiming that it's not "technically possible" to release movies in the theaters and elsewhere at the same time, Mark Cuban forges ahead doing just that. A couple years ago he made news for doing a simultaneous theater and DVD release of a Steven Soderbergh film, recognizing that people want to watch a movie wherever it's most convenient to them. Unfortunately, short-sighted theater owners boycotted the movie and the press quickly condemned this "day and date" technique as a failure. Of course, it didn't help that the movie just wasn't that good.

However, that experience hasn't stopped Cuban from continuing to experiment and push the movie industry into this century. His latest, as pointed out by Carlo, is that the new Demi Moore and Michael Caine movie Flawless is actually debuting on Cuban's HDNet TV channel two days before the theatrical release. Slowly, but surely, perhaps theater owners will recognize that they can't rely on artificial scarcity to get people into the seats. They'll have to start innovating and offering a better experience. Perhaps it's worth noting that Cuban is also a theater owner... and appears to actually be working hard on making the theater experience better and experimenting with unique business models. If he, as a theater owner, isn't scared of "competing" against home theaters, why are other theater owners so afraid?

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2008 @ 11:15am

    Has anybody ever thought that the movie theater experience should deal with more than just what movies are available and when? I may only have a 40" screen in my living room with an up-convert DVD player, but I have the comfort of my couch and any form of junk food I want, not the often very uncomfortable chairs and lousy overpriced snacks that the theater provides.

    I think it theaters really want to innovate, they'll start selling a wider range of snacks at reasonable prices (lower your margins a bit and you should gain bigtime in overall sales, not that hard to figure out), as well as install more comfortable seating in the theaters.

    There's also the acoustics, which are really pathetic in some theaters (lots of echo). I know it's difficult to deal with large rooms like that, but I know for a fact that the technology is available to vastly improve the acoustics in large rooms. As of right now, a decent surround sound system in a living room can often sound better than a theater because you don't have all the echoing from a large room.

    Oh, and finally, STOP USING ADHESIVE FLOOR CLEANER!!!!! I don't care if it is commercial grade stuff, NOBODY likes to walk on sticky floors. Honestly, it makes a guy almost nauseous sometimes, which in turn may hurt snack sales (that's my personal opinion anyway). The bottom line here is there is QUITE a lot that can be done to improve the public theater experience. They have had a monopoly on the market for so long that they have forgotten how to innovate, and that needs to change. Any sane businessman should know that a business that doesn't grow will eventually die, and that applies to the theater industry as well.

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