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Australia Businesses Movies Entertainment

Movie Studio Finally Sees the Light On Rentals 213

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 sammyF70 ( 1154563 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:16PM (#32618208) Homepage Journal
    funny how stories tend to come in packs. The Movie "Unthinkable" [] was ranked #3 at IMDB prior to the release of the DVD/BR (it was a straight to video release) []. 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 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.
  • 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 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:24PM (#32618344)

    One of my favorite movies, The Man from Earth [] 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.

  • 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.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:48PM (#32618764) Homepage
    Tru dat. if a set on a [Warner Brothers] movie burns down in Botswana, they can charge it against [Babylon 5's] profits []. $1 billion dollars gross revenue and rising, and Babylon 5 is still listed as a net loss.
  • Re:At last (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:58PM (#32618912)
    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 there's always one person that gets a call, their ringer is on full blast, it's also some hokey ring tone that just pierces through the movie sound ( and if you have an actor who likes to do those dramatic whispering dialogs ...), and of course, the phone is somewhere that's not in easy reach so it rings 4 or 5 times (one ring of a ringtone lasts the equivalent of 4 standard rings.) Then, some asshats actually answer the phone and talk.

    Then there's the shitty quality of movies in the theater. After watching clear crisp DVDs, a 35mm projected movie looks fuzzy to me. They all do so it couldn't have been a projectionist that didn't know what he was doing.

    DVDs for the win.

  • by PrecambrianRabbit ( 1834412 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:35PM (#32619466)

    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 here will object, but I consider a rental a disposable purchase anyways. I don't mind if it has no future compatibility and limited viewing options, I just want to watch the movie this evening and then forget about it.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:37PM (#32619484) Journal
    NO. Redbox and Netflix are both on record as buying discs at retail stores. The retail chains were even pressured by the studios to limit the amount of discs a single person can buy.
  • 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.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday June 18, 2010 @06:10PM (#32619916) Homepage Journal

    Oh, I just had an old-guy moment and remembered people don't build sets anymore. OK, so hire a greenscreen stage for a few days and get a freelance digital set designer to work for you for a few months. No union crap to load down your production.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky