Two North America cinema chain giants have reached a deal with Paramount Studios that would allow home viewers to watch a couple of trial titles several weeks after appearing in the theaters.
Canadian company Cineplex and U.S. chain AMC have teamed up to allow the studio zom-com Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension available through video-on-demand. The movies have been on the big screen for only 17 days and are only shown on less than 300 cinema screens. This kind of deal, said the Hollywood Reporter, could possibly shorten the time period that movies are shown in theaters and home viewing from four months to about six weeks.
Exhibitors often demands a lengthy window between theater release and home video. The basic premise to this is that people are not as likely to watch a movie at a theater if they can watch it in their home.
It’s believed that the increase in streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have caused the risen in viewer expectations on getting movies faster in the home.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s content acquisition boss, had made several exhibitors upset by criticizing the old distribution model. He is a big supporter of “day and date” releases for independent movies – a system where films are released via streaming services the same day they are released in theaters.
Netflix recently extended itself into film production, and will use the model to release their own titles. AMC is one of several chains that refuse to screen Beasts of No Nation, which is a potential Oscar contender. It stars Idris Elba and is directed by Cary Fukunga. Netflix will distribute by day and date.
Paramount is looking to talk with other cinema chains to find out if they’d be willing to follow the same terms with the two films. If so, they’ll get a cut of the rental revenue for 90 days after the theatrical release.
Gerry Lopez, CEO of AMC, said the prototype distribution model may not be a good idea for bigger movie titles but that exhibitors needed to follow in line with their customers.
Paramount said it’s going to watch and see what happens with the two titles before it decides to make similar deals on other titles. At this time, there are no plans for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation to be offered under the terms.