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Question: Movie release timetables

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:39 pm
by chimaera42
Is there an average length of time it takes a film to go from the theater to DVD to Red Box to Netflix Instant Watch to HBO, etc? I did ask Netflix for their part, but they were less than helpful. Anyone have an answer?

Re: Question: Movie release timetables

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:39 am
by Spandau Belly
Yeah, I think it's about a four month cinema-to-DVD turnaround time for movies that were hits in the cinema.

But when a movie bombs at the cinema they usually rush it right onto video to at least capitalize on the marketting for the theatrical release and so that the film and its stars don't get hit with a second wave or backlash half a year later. Get it all over with in one shot. Case in point: The Love Guru, the movie was horribly recieved and was rushed out to home video pretty fast. Probably because the studio wants to forget about it so that they can put Mike Meyers in more movies, and they want to put as much distance between Love Guru and whatever he does next.

Christmas movies are released theatrically at Christmas time, and are delayed for DVD release until the next Christmas.

Re: Question: Movie release timetables

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:25 am
by Gerald Fried
It used to be:

-Cinema release
- Home video (six to eight months later)
- Satellite/cable showing (twelve to eighteen months later)
- general TV showing (eighteen to 24 months later)

Now, as Spandau says, it's been shortened to three or four months for hit films to get to DVD. And some television showing are now within of initial cinema release.

Re: Question: Movie release timetables

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:27 pm
by sonnyboo
As a former movie theater & home video store manager, the old "lists" of release dates were always 180 days (6 months). The first movie to break that tradition was BATMAN in 1989 when it was shortened from a June release to the November release on VHS.

These days, if a movie is a big hit, the studios tend to withhold the title and squeeze as much box office as possible (see WALL*E and almost any moderate hit from PARAMOUNT). Paramount withholds their titles longer than most studios for home video/cable TV releases. Warner Brothers tends to shorten their releases to cash in. Two schools of thought as to which one is more profitable.

A newer promotional technique is that if a movie bombs or disappoints at the box office, the studios release to DVD faster to capitalize on the TV and print ads from the theatrical release to translate to "branding" on the home video release. SERENITY was a flop for Universal so they released it to video right away to justify they print ad and TV campaigns.