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Australia Businesses Movies Entertainment

Movie Studio Finally Sees the Light On Rentals 213

Posted by Soulskill
from the turns-out-wishful-thinking-is-a-bad-business-model dept.
Griller_GT writes "After months of conducting studies about the effects of delays on sales of DVDs, 'Paramount Pictures has agreed to provide its movies to Redbox on the same day they go on sale.' A Paramount exec said, 'Those people who want to rent are going to figure out ways to rent, and us restricting them from renting isn't going to turn it into a purchase.' Gee, who would have thought of that?" Reader DisKurzion sends in news of another movie business experiment underway by an Australian company called Distracted Media. They are raising funds for a movie called The Tunnel by letting people invest in individual frames for $1 apiece. When the movie is complete, it will be released for free on torrent sites.
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Movie Studio Finally Sees the Light On Rentals

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  • by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:07PM (#32618086)
    Woohoo! On the same day of release.
    • Re:First Rental (Score:4, Interesting)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:44PM (#32619566) Journal

      It's funny how executives' thinking changes over time. Back in the days of VHS (early 90s) they had the opposite view - Release rentals first, and release Purchase copies a month later. Of course you could buy the VHS if you really wanted to, but the cost was kept high at $80, $100, or even $120 in order to discourage purchase by average people.

      I remember wanting to buy Star Trek The Undiscovered Country, and the store clerk handed it to me and said, "That will be $84.80," and my mouth dropped open. He then told me if I come back a month later I can get it for less, and sure enough it dropped to a reasonable $25.00.

      • Re:First Rental (Score:4, Informative)

        by Spellvexit (1039042) on Friday June 18, 2010 @07:55PM (#32620902)
        I worked at a video store when I was in high school, and every once and a while some customer would lose a copy of their new release. When we finally caught up to them, a month or two down the road, we would inform them that they owed us $90 for the actual video. Sometimes we'd be selling the same movies on our shelves for $35, since we had since bought more to sell to customers at a reasonable price point. The copy *they* lost was the $90 "new release" video, however. The logical arguments that ensued from this disparity were ugly, I tell you!
  • by SweeBeeps (1827982) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:10PM (#32618144)
    Alternative distribution methods are definately here to stay. Companies like Blockbuster (who may just consider this another coffin nail) had a purpose 10-15+ years ago, but were incredibly slow to react to market changes (Netflix in particular) and are all having rather violent death fits (they're using the last of their influence with the big production companies to try and force Red Box to carry childrens movies only or not carry any new releases).
    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "Companies like Blockbuster (who may just consider this another coffin nail)"

      Oh there were already nails in Blockbuster's coffin long before this announcement, [msn.com] and Hollywood Video isn't doing much better. [hollywoodvideo.com]

      Despite living in a large (millions) city Blockbuster and Redbox are my only physical video rental locations. Redbox worked out a deal with Walmart back in 2008 [insideredbox.com] so they're already virtually everywhere, I predict Blockbuster locations will disappear in the next 5 years and we'll be left with Redbox at
      • I predict Blockbuster locations will disappear in the next 5 years and we'll be left with Redbox

        Redbox machines tend to carry only new releases, not older films that I may have missed. With Blockbuster and locally owned video rental stores gone, where will people rent older films?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SweeBeeps (1827982)
          Older movies seem to be a Netflix specialty, especially with streaming content (whereas streaming new content is spotty at best!)
          • by X0563511 (793323)

            I'm not interested in Netflix (or anything similar). There must be others like me. What will we do?

            • by kimvette (919543)

              Shop for antique buggy whips? ;)

            • by iamhassi (659463)
              "There must be others like me."

              Not enough apparently.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Honestly, you'll probably be out of luck. I was recently looking for a semi-old movie (from 1997, which feels weird to call semi-old) recently, and had no luck, even at places like Blockbuster. Shelf space is apparently at a premium, and unless a movie is a bona fide classic or new release, it's hard to justify stocking it... I guess.

              I have no objection to Netflix, so I'll probably go that route one of these days, but an alternative that I like is Amazon/iTunes rentals. I know they're DRM-ed, so many h

            • I'm not interested in Netflix (or anything similar). There must be others like me. What will we do?

              You'll start your own movie rental place specializing in old videos if you REALLY want them, and think others do. Otherwise you'll go without or give in and take one of the options provided to you like Netflix.

        • by LBt1st (709520) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:42PM (#32618670)

          From their couch.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mrmeval (662166)

          Check their website, you can have movies delivered to a redbox and they'll tell you when you can pick it up.

    • by ma1wrbu5tr (1066262) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:46PM (#32618754) Journal
      Refusing to make content available to low-cost vendors encourages piracy. Plain and simple.

      I'll never pay .99 cents a song to iTunes when there are other cheaper and legal options out there anymore than I would pay the now defunct Hollywood video $5 for a rental when I can get it elsewhere for $1. I'm willing to wait!

      To a similar end, I have dumped DirectTV's crooked asses and replaced them with a Netflix subscription and a digital converter box to get broadcast channels. Why would I pay $75 a month for commercial laden TV? What good are 120 channels if they are paid programming 8 hours a day?

      The entertainment industry might be finally getting with the digital age, but still seem to have trouble doing math. Perhaps they should ditch the abacus and get a calculator.
  • Something seems off (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anon-Admin (443764) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:14PM (#32618174) Homepage Journal

    Most movies cost $800,000 + to shoot. At 1$ a frame and 24 frames a sec, a standard 190 min movie only comes out to $273,600. Seems low

    Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing.

    • by CarpetShark (865376) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:16PM (#32618214)

      Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing.

      Remember, what big companies put on paper as "costs" after tax evasion, big bonuses, and drug-fueled parties isn't much to do with the actual costs of a project.

    • At the same time The Blair Witch Project cost (reportedly) 40,000 to shoot.

      Movies can be done on a budget. They just normally aren't.
    • by spun (1352)

      Movies do not cost that much to shoot. Explosions, hot famous actors and actresses, and anthropomorphic CGI animals cost that much to shoot. I know most people nowadays think the one is synonymous with the others, but that is not necessarily the case.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      Yeah, except it's quite possible to make a good film for less than even that.

      If you RTFA'd, you'd see their finished film intends to have 135,000 frames. So, $135,000 budget. That's not unreasonable.

      Consider that the biggest costs with film production these days is CG/special effects, actors, marketing, and distribution. The technology for doing something with film is cheap - and mature - enough to put the bar for entry at around $1500, give or take.

      This film looks like it might be an action/horror/thriller

      • by tepples (727027)

        their biggest costs will likely be in costumes and makeup.

        That and licensing music for the soundtrack. I seem to remember a couple films where fully half the budget was spent on clearing music.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          The solution is to avoid using popular swill, and paying a composer to do the job. It's probably cheaper, and has a better result.

          • by tepples (727027)

            The solution is to avoid using popular swill

            For the scene inside a nightclub, or when a car drives by with its radio blaring, what music will be playing to set the period of the setting?

      • by afidel (530433)
        enough to put the bar for entry at around $1500, give or take.

        I don't think you can buy the glass for a decent film camera for less than $1500 let alone the film or digital camera itself.
        • by Trepidity (597)

          You can get high-quality used cameras for previous-gen technologies for pretty cheap, though, which is why lots of indie films shoot on things like Super 16. There are also places that will rent equipment, including some indie-filmmaker organizations that acquire equipment for their own members' use.

          One of my favorite recent films, Primer [wikipedia.org], had a $7000 total budget.

          • by afidel (530433)
            That only works because someone else has already depreciated the asset, *someone* has to pay full price to keep the R&D and production facilities running. I'm not saying that essentially unlimited budgets like Avatar have to be the norm, but the real average per film is going to be well north of $7k.
            • by Trepidity (597)

              Oh, I agree, I'm not arguing any average price. Merely that, given that big-budget films exist, and will probably continue to exist, and continue to depreciate those assets, it's quite possible to make films cheaply by taking advantage of the resulting used market.

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        Consider that the biggest costs with film production these days is CG/special effects, actors, marketing, and distribution.

        If you spend $20 million on Tom Cruise, you'll make at least that much back in presales; actors generally pay for themselves. On smaller films getting one "name" actor is the difference between the film getting funding or not in the first place, so in that case their value is inestimable.

        People will pay to watch cool special effects. If your trailer has awesome shots, people will come

    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:24PM (#32618344)

      One of my favorite movies, The Man from Earth [wikipedia.org] cost $200,000.

      It had 0 CGI, no big name actors but a kick ass story from Jerome Bixby.

      Paranormal Activity was made for $15k and grossed $9M the first weekend.

      • One of my favorite movies, The Man from Earth [wikipedia.org] cost $200,000.

        It had 0 CGI, no big name actors but a kick ass story from Jerome Bixby.

        Ditto, an utterly amazing movie. But I cannot stress enough that anyone viewing it should go in cold, not even knowing the premise. Don't read the box, don't read a blurb, don't even follow the link. Watch it cold. That's what I was told to do, that's what I did, and boy was it worth it.

      • Paranormal Activity was a bit of a con though. The movie itself sucked, the beginning was kind of promising, the middle kind of sucked, and the ending really sucked.

        The only reason they made as much money as they did was because of their constant advertising on TV to get it in theaters like it was some underground masterpiece. It piqued everyones interest. Unfortunately, I haven't met anyone who said it delivered on that interest.

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        The thing with films like Paranormal and Man from Earth is that they're essentially stunts that only make money because of their novelty. For everyone one of those that goes on to get recognition there are literally hundreds of quarter-million-dollar quickies that never swing that one festival screening that puts them over the top, or gets them the attention of the fanboy press, lying in wait to deck themselves in the borrowed plumes of the filmmakers they "discover."

        There's definitely no business model in

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      I'm pretty sure you can make an Indy film with no-name actors for less than $273,600. Hollywood blockbuster with lots of special effects and A-list actors, no.
    • If it's digital, they may going with the average of 30fps. 190 min * 60 seconds * 30 frames = $288000. That extra $15,000 should cover gas, lunch and tolls.
      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        That extra $15,000 should cover gas, lunch and tolls.

        But Lonestar won't take the money, because he fell in love with Vespa along the way.

    • by jfengel (409917)

      We're talking about a horror movie here, and they can be incredibly cheap. Big special effects cost money, but it's usually scarier if you catch only glimpses of the monster. The real emotional impact is in the reactions.

      Blair Witch Project was shot for under $25k (though high-end editing and sound were applied later, ballooning the price before it hit theaters). Paranormal Activity was shot for $11k. They're treated like documentaries, which means that the audience will forgive and even expect things l

    • by migla (1099771)

      Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing.

      No-one is holding a gun to their heads, forcing them to spend all that money. :)

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        No-one is holding a gun to their heads, forcing them to spend all that money. :)

        Well, the guy who ran IATSE (my union) in the 30s used to keep a .38 on his desk when he had meetings with studio execs :) I'm not sure any SAG negotiator has ever brandished a firearm, but there is the story about Jon Peters threatening Ray Stark when he was Barbara Streisand's manager...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ma1wrbu5tr (1066262)

      Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing.

      How much of that cost goes to pay made up positions like "Associate Producers" and others who really contribute nothing to the project?

      • by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:11PM (#32619082)

        How much of that cost goes to pay made up positions like "Associate Producers" and others who really contribute nothing to the project?

        For the record, APs work their asses off, and usually earn that credit by doing the line producing or post-production supervision, and are themselves usually one promotion over the coffee gofers and runners. It's miserable and unglamorous work and as a technician I have nothing but respect for them.

        You might be getting confused between Associate Producers and Executive Producers, but even they sometimes work very hard, or if they don't work on the film they at least are risking millions of dollars of their own money. Everybody's different of course.

    • >Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing. And remember that equating cost of a movies doesn't equal how good a movie is. They'd be better off using unknown artists every time and have creative writers to write a good story line instead of spending 300mil on special effects to wow the sheeople.
    • 190 min? That's a long movie! I think you mean 90 min. Which is only $129,600
  • Asmounding! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CarpetShark (865376) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:14PM (#32618178)

    So, you mean, I can now drive to a store and rent the DVD/Bluray of a movie on the same day as I can buy it in a store, six months after I could download a virtually complete and much more interesting workprint release?

    Wow, this is real cutting-edge tech they're bringing to consumers. Who wouldn't want to pay through the eyeballs for that?

    • Re:Asmounding! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jeffmeden (135043) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:28PM (#32618426) Homepage Journal

      Is a $1 (perhaps $1.50 or whatever bluray ends up costing at the 'box) really "paying through the eyeballs"? That's the big deal here, it used to be that Blockbuster was the only outfit to rent from, and new releases are regularly $5 or more per day from them. Now, the 'box will rent them for $1 or so, and you can find one at tons of convenient places and there's no pimply guy behind a counter to eye you for renting a chick flick (or even require a voided check, social security card, and fingerprint before 'allowing' you to be a customer). Just swipe any credit card and you get your movie. Digital distribution may be a little ways off yet, but this is surely a step in the right direction (and away from overpriced brick and mortar rental places.)

      • by afidel (530433)
        The best thing about Redbox if you have kids and do roadtrips is you can rent at one location and return at another. When we were driving back from Florida to Ohio and the kids had already watched all the DVD's we brought we were able to rent 10 new ones and return them when we got home. It was probably the best $10 spent in the history of humanity =)
      • It's funny, the local video rental store in my hometown used to rent out VHS and DVD's for 3 days for $1.00 a pop. Then Blockbuster moved in and put them out of town because they had a better selection and a membership card. Now the Red Box is putting Blockbuster out of business because it doesn't have as huge of a selection or a membership and it rents DVD's for $1.00 a pop. What is it that folk tend to say about pendulums and cyclical nature and what not again?
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by ubermiester (883599) *

      six months after I could download a virtually complete and much more interesting workprint release

      You mean steal right? I have a feeling the producers are not giving you special access to their prints, so if you're downloading it you're stealing it from them. Same goes for leaked music. Are you working on the assumption that because no one can stop you that you have the right to take whatever you want? It's theft whether you've got a black mask and a flashlight or not.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DamienRBlack (1165691)

        Yes I see it now. Someone with a black mask and flashlight breaks into a house, looks and the jewels, takes some photos and then goes home empty handed, leaving the jewels. He used a technologically advanced 3D printer to recreate his own copy of the jewels. Theft! How dare he! What is he doing? He is the vilest of thieves, duplicating other peoples property. /sarcasm

        For the record, downloading movies or music is copyright infringement, not theft. Illegal? Yes. Theft? No. I'd like to see a prosecutor try to

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Indeed. I can sympathize if you have an actual reason to do it, but if you go downloading it because "lolz i can watch this before you lololol" then you're part of the problem.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      It's about the step. In order for the movie industry to get with the future, this is a necessary step.

  • About time! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eihab (823648) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:15PM (#32618200)

    It's about time movie studios started realizing that. I'm a rental-convert and have been renting my movies for almost 2 years now.

    I have a shelve full of DVDs and VHS tapes that are collecting dust. Most movies aren't worth re-watching and it seems ridiculous to purchase things you're only going to watch once.

    I still buy DVDs, but I only buy movies that I know I will watch again (e.g. The Matrix, God Father trilogy, etc.).

    Everything else is on the Netflix queue, and if it takes 10 months for me to finally see it, oh well, so be it.

    Case in point, I was looking forward to watching Ninja Assassin because the previews looked good and it has the "Wachowski brothers" stamp on it.

    When it finally reached Netflix and my mailbox, I was extremely excited... extremely excited that I didn't go out of my way and buy it. The movie was a piece of junk in my opinion, and it would not even be on my shelve collecting dust with other DVDs.

    tl;dr: Renting Movies "FTW".

    • Re:About time! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:20PM (#32618294)
      You're missing the point of buying DVDs: start a co-op with 19 of your friends. Take turns buying new movies as soon as they are released, and share them with friends. You're not paying the overhead of a for-profit distribution company like Netflix, and it's perfectly legal.
      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        You're still being forced to pay $1 (or more depending on how much the price exceeds $20) for every single movie you or your friends wants to see. Surely there are movies you would rather not see... Right? Just go to a RedBox or similar $1-per-rental outfit and rent only what you want.

        Plus, there's no in-fighting between you and your 19 "close friends" over who gets to keep Avatar on their DVD shelf...

        • by tepples (727027)

          Just go to a RedBox or similar $1-per-rental outfit and rent only what you want.

          Unless a movie is old enough that Redbox doesn't have it anymore.

      • by eihab (823648)

        You're missing the point of buying DVDs: start a co-op with 19 of your friends.

        19 friends?? I can count my friends that I still interact with on one hand with a few missing fingers!

        I pay about $8 a month for Netflix and I watch anywhere between 1-3 movies a month. In addition to that, I watch a lot of movies/shows on my Wii or my Blu-ray player. It's insanely cheap compared to any other method (including socializing with 19 people and exchanging DVDs).

        To each their own though :)

      • You're missing the point of buying DVDs: start a co-op with 19 of your friends. Take turns buying new movies as soon as they are released, and share them with friends. You're not paying the overhead of a for-profit distribution company like Netflix, and it's perfectly legal.

        Prerequisite: 19 friends w/o Netflix subscriptions

        • by Locke2005 (849178)
          Worse than that, it requires 19 friends with similar tastes. My wife's friend loaned her Pride and Prejudice. I, uh... still haven't watched it. Another reason for buying... kids. My daughter will actually watch the same movie several times in a row -- on the same day. Myself, most movies I buy I only end up watching once.
    • Most movies aren't worth re-watching

      True, most movies aren't made with single-digit-year-olds in mind. But when little Staisy wants Cinderella, she wants Cinderella. And she wants it once a week or more often. I should know: I was six once, and I was that way with The Care Bears Movie.

      • by eihab (823648)

        Most movies aren't worth re-watching

        True, most movies aren't made with single-digit-year-olds in mind. But when little Staisy wants Cinderella, she wants Cinderella. And she wants it once a week or more often. I should know: I was six once, and I was that way with The Care Bears Movie.

        Are you telling me you have never re-watched a movie past the age of 6? Ever go back and watch a classic that you have seen before but it's so good that you want to see it again?

        I happen to forget movies and even plots sometimes, and re-watching a good movie (not weekly obviously) can be a fun experience where you notice the subtle hints you may have missed before (sixth sense, beautiful mind, butterfly effect, etc.).

        I would take a good movie that I watched before any day over a crappy shiny new movie.

        • by tepples (727027)

          Are you telling me you have never re-watched a movie past the age of 6?

          Over the 20-year life of a home video format, I'll re-watch a film three, four, five times, maybe. But not 20, which is the number of times I would have to re-watch to break even with Redbox.

          • by eihab (823648)

            Over the 20-year life of a home video format, I'll re-watch a film three, four, five times, maybe. But not 20, which is the number of times I would have to re-watch to break even with Redbox.

            Well then I guess I'm one of the weird people who thinks of classic works as collectibles that I like to own even if the underlying technology becomes obsolete.

            You don't need a ROI plan with dollar amount and break-even analysis on every little thing you purchase you know :)

      • by tooyoung (853621)

        True, most movies aren't made with single-digit-year-olds in mind. But when little Staisy wants Cinderella, she wants Cinderella. And she wants it once a week or more often

        Yeah, she wants it, oh well...

        I've seen this behavior with plenty of my friends and it just blows my mind. Their kid will sit in front of the TV watch Cars or some Disney cartoon over and over and over. Every time I am at their house, the kid will be watching the same movie. Is this really healthy for a child? I have enough of a

        • by tepples (727027)

          How about interacting with your children instead of letting them set the rules?

          A lot of parents can't take three months off work to interact outside with a child on summer vacation.

        • by eihab (823648)

          Their kid will sit in front of the TV watch Cars or some Disney cartoon over and over and over. Every time I am at their house, the kid will be watching the same movie. Is this really healthy for a child?

          I think my son's TV/movie watching habits are healthy. He doesn't watch Cars back to back, but every once in a while he'll ask to watch it again and I let him.

          He's been recently asking to watch old cartoons that he used to watch a year ago (Blues Clues, etc.).

          I sit down and watch it with him, and I'm noticing that he wants to watch it again because he has a better command of the language now and he "gets" what Blues means now. It's fun to watch him get excited and his face lighting up/laughing because he is

  • by sammyF70 (1154563) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:16PM (#32618208) Homepage Journal
    funny how stories tend to come in packs. The Movie "Unthinkable" [imdb.com] was ranked #3 at IMDB prior to the release of the DVD/BR (it was a straight to video release) [latimes.com]. The producer ended up asking on the IMDB forums the people who had rated it where they got it from and about ideas on how to make things fairer for both sides.
    As someone who saw it ~early~ too, I can only urge you to watch it (if possible through a legal rental or by buying the DVD or BR ... it IS worth it), as it is a really interesting movie.
    I wonder whether this and TFS are linked somehow.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:16PM (#32618220)

    Obligatory from the Onion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TrPwOrf4sM [youtube.com]

    Blockbuster Offers Glimpse Of Movie Renting Past

  • by Supurcell (834022) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:16PM (#32618226)
    In the last couple years, there have been a ton of retail exclusives. There are a few distributors who won't sell us movies that have some bogus exclusivity, but you know who will? Best Buy. We just buy em there, and rent em out just like anything else. The only thing we can't effectively get a large quantity of are the Netflix exclusives, but those are usually more obscure movies(which my store specializes in).

    What I really hate are the "Rental Exclusive" editions of movies which have long, unskipable previews before the movie.
    • What I really hate are the "Rental Exclusive" editions of movies which have long, unskipable previews before the movie.

      That sort of thing has me absolutely livid. I have netflix but it makes me want to go seed a hundred movies out of spite.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What I really hate are the "Rental Exclusive" editions of movies which have long, unskipable previews before the movie.

      Posting anonymous so I'm not karma whoring, but there was a LifeHacker article some weeks (months?) ago that said there's a good trick that works for many DVDs and DVD players (granted, not all of them)... to skip all the crap at the beginning of a disk, once it's started, hit STOP-STOP and then PLAY. Many players will start up the main title. I know this has already saved me from many annoying and painful preview crap on discs that we already own.

      • by Sir_Dill (218371)
        Fast forward also still usually works

        and if your player is like mine, hitting it more than once makes it go faster.

        A "preview" at 20X is practically like hitting the next chapter button.

  • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:20PM (#32618276)

    A Paramount exec said, 'Those people who want to rent are going to figure out ways to rent, and us restricting them from renting isn't going to turn it into a purchase.'

    That statement just kills me. In recent years, phrases like 'the customer is always right' seem like out-of-style-like-full-service-gas-stations concepts. If I were to go back in time like 15 years and talk about how these places lowered the value of the products to the people who pay for them to increase sales from those who didn't, they'd think I was concocting some silly sci-fi story.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I wonder if that Paramount exec had considered the implications of substituting "pirate" for "rent" wherever it occurs in that statement. It would be just as correct.

      • not entirely.
        I tend not to pirate stuff I can rent from Netflix/Redbox/etc.
        So...
        they can get the rental (at least that first sale) or nothing at all.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          I don't see how that's a counter example. You evidently don't want to pirate, you want to rent. The best course of action for the publishers is not to stop you from pirating, but to provide opportunities for rental. This is completely consistent with my statement above.

  • At last (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symes (835608) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:21PM (#32618298) Journal
    Having kids, a busy job and a generally hectic life I just don't have time to get to the cinema as often as I would like to. I would more than happily pay the equivalent, or even a small premium, to see a new release at home... why? Because going to the cinema is not just going to the cinema - it is an event with baby-sitter costs, a meal, drinks and generally making the most of a rare night out. Why oh why can't the movie business see this market (I'm pretty sure I'm not alone, well maybe on slashdot) and cater to my needs? I mean really! They are bonkers, the lot of them. Hell, I'd even subscribe and watch a new release once a week.
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Having kids, a busy job and a generally hectic life I just don't have time to get to the cinema as often as I would like to. I would more than happily pay the equivalent, or even a small premium, to see a new release at home... why? Because going to the cinema is not just going to the cinema - it is an event with baby-sitter costs, a meal, drinks and generally making the most of a rare night out. Why oh why can't the movie business see this market (I'm pretty sure I'm not alone, well maybe on slashdot) and

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I can't stand the damn advertisements at the beginning. My bladder is only so big and sitting through a 2 hour movie is a challenge. I also have this thing about arriving late to miss the ads - walking in the dark, trying to find a seat - I like to sit at the very back under the projectionist - anyway, I have to plan to be dehydrated a little before I see a movie so that I can sit through it.

      It's also pretty pathetic that they have to remind people to be quiet and turn off their cell phones. Off course the

    • The whole point of going to the cinema is to watch the movie on a huge screen. If you just want to watch a DVD, there is no particular reason to watch it as the same time as it runs in the cinema, you can just as well wait a couple of months for the release anyway.

  • by maillemaker (924053) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:27PM (#32618398)

    >They are raising funds for a movie called The Tunnel by letting people invest in individual frames for $1 apiece.
    >When the movie is complete, it will be released for free on torrent sites.

    Sounds like a return to the days of commissioned art.

  • Other than these two, totally separate stories being about movies, how are they even related? Shouldn't they be two different front page submissions? One is about rental policies from a major studio while the second is about a decidedly independent movie-making effort. Or did we just piggyback one on the other so that it could get Slashdot front page face time?
  • Big Rental Release (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RichMan (8097) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:37PM (#32618586)

    The bigger the rental release the more copies the rental places need to have to meet the surge. If the surge is dampened because of earlier sales and less hype because of the mixed release dates then the rental places have to buy less to meet the peak opening demand.

    So releasing into both markets at the same time is likely to lead to more sales into the rental market.

  • A Paramount exec said, 'Those people who want to rent are going to figure out ways to rent, and us restricting them from renting isn't going to turn it into a long term rental ending when we change to a new DRM scheme.'

    There, FTFY
    Also: Restricting. Nice to know they're owning up to that word.

  • They must have decided that saying "No" to customers' offers of money, isn't quite the optimum revenue-generating strategy. Saying "Yes" to offers of money, apparently gives the movie-makers a subtle financial edge, relative to their old business model. Who knew? What a weird and unintuitive market this is; conventional wisdom is that the best approach to business is "The customer can always go fuck themselves."

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

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