Former top Fox exec and Pandemonium producer Bill Mechanic thinks that studios are being short-sighted and will inflict long-term destruction by enlisting in a plan to allow DirecTV to create a premium VOD window. Consumers will be able to pay 30 bucks for a 48-hour viewing window, 60 days after theatrical release, which further erodes the traditional theatrical window. He was interviewed by Bloomberg TV West to respond to a threat by theater chains AMC and Regal to boycott films that go VOD so quickly. I wonder what these shortening windows will do to tweener movies that do OK opening weekend box office business and build by word of mouth. Two current movies, The Lincoln Lawyer and Limitless, have shown surprising resilience. If consumers know they don’t have to wait long to see those films, will they bother going to theaters for anything other than VFX-filled 3D tent poles? AMC and Regal just launched a distribution operation to brand its own product that will show on hundreds of Regal/AMC screens. With battle lines being drawn between studios and theater chains, these chains could further squeeze tweener films by shortening their runs and replacing them with their own product. Here’s Mechanic:
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