Theatre and DVD: Mind the Gap

The early release of “Sin City“ to DVD sparked a few thoughts for me. Here are some fun facts:

  • There will always be a New and Improved release of the DVD you’re just dying to own. I just noticed I have three copies of "Fellowship of the Ring" and two copies of "The Usual Suspects".
  • The first DVD released will always be the one with the fewest special features.
  • The gap between theatrical release and the first DVD is shrinking (note that "Sin City" is still in theatres at the time of this writing).
  • The price of a theatre visit for two now far exceeds purchasing the DVD.

Hollywood et, al. is compressing the gap between theatrical release and the first DVD. My guess is to solve two goals: leverage the ad campaign for the theatrical release and any resulting buzz and for anti-piracy purposes; if the "real" version is available straight away, why burn the bandwidth for a crappy copy?

For those who are infrequent visitors to theatres, the first view of a film may well be in the comfort of our homes, following a visit to CostCo. Granted, there are films for which the grandest of home theatres cannot possibly complete (the "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars" sagas come to mind), but what of the rest?

Hollywood is aware of this; there are talks of releasing that "first" DVD at the theatre, with others to follow (presumably near the gift-giving season). Director Rodriguez speaks about the initial DVD release on, citing it is bare bones. Of course, spoilers abound; specifically, who released the director’s commentary as a podcast to be enjoyed in an MP3 player while watching the movie.

Does this make theatres less relevant? Probably. Who wants to pay for overpriced snacks, be a slave to a schedule, have to arrange child care and more? Perhaps, in the future, theatres will simply be an extension to the marketing campaign for legitimate, downloadable content.

The usual caveats apply; these are just my thoughts.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

2 Responses to Theatre and DVD: Mind the Gap

  1. Pingback: Watch the movie tonight, "the DVD is in the mail" « OpsanBlog

  2. Pingback: "Bubble" released in simultaneous formats « OpsanBlog

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