Shyamalan says no to multiple release

MNightShyamlan.jpgLooks like John Fithian, the heads of the US association of Cinema Owners, is not the only one who doesn’t like the idea of simultaneous releases of films in Cinema, DVD, Cable and Internet. Now M. Night Shyamalan is unhappy too. In fact he doesn’t even want the release window shortened. According to the Guardian:

“It’s greed,” Shyamalan told delegates at the ShowEast industry convention in Orlando, Florida. “It’s heartless and soulless and disrespectful. And of course, cable companies are behind it, and internet companies. They need their product. But they have to wait their turn. Wait for the thing to finish its life.”…”If you inspire audiences, cinemas will be packed,”

Yes they will, and he’s totally right. I also do think that despite the product being the same I do view the releases in Cinema and DVD as two distinctly separate things. In the Cinema you enjoy the Cinema experience, in the Home Cinema you (if produced correctly) can enjoy the experience as intended by the creatives behind the movie, plus you can enjoy the experience of understanding about the movie and the filmmaking process. These things are very different to me, and I enjoy both – however it’s well documented which I prefer more!

Yet he goes on a short rant…

He continued: “Movies are the definitive art form of our lives. We have been seduced by the DVD and what will sell the DVD. It has been the worst year in cinema for quality.”

Is that down to the DVD though? That’s what is being inferred with this statement, and I don’t think he can say that with truthfulness and accuracy as much as they can claim that the downturn in cinema trips is because of Internet Piracy. The DVD has been here for a long time, that’s not what’s contributing to the downturn in audience figures, it’s poor movies, half rate celebrity hyping vehicles; shoddy, cheap remakes and a general lack of quality.

Sure there are many other factors, but DVD’s not killing it. In fact Mr Shyamalan, if you bothered to turn out decent DVD’s you might actually get more revenue. Instead your last DVD didn’t even have a commentary…poor, poor.

However all is not yet lost: experts say box office fortunes may recover thanks to a highly anticipated slew of year-end films like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, King Kong, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Yes, there you go. Quality.

Still, going back to the main argument and taking a breath, I’m really on the fence about this release timing business. I think giving the good movies a crack at the Cinema first is a great idea, and then selectively chucking the not so good ones straight onto a simultaneous release is a great idea.

Quick bit of background, this has really come about because…

…studio 2929 Entertainment’s billionaire owners Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban announced earlier this year that they would release six low-budget Steven Soderbergh films simultaneously in cinemas, on video and television

Something we’ve already written about, note the phrase here “low-budget”. Perhaps they qualify in the not so good bracket? It might just work for that kind of movie. Thoughts? Do you like the split idea of good movies in the cinema and not-so on all media? Prefer everything on everything from release day? Why – that’s the big one, why do you think that and what are the benefits?

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