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Old January 18th, 2006, 05:15 PM   #1
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Will "Bubble" Bust Cinemas?

http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2006/mf...gvisit=y&npu=y

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On Jan. 27, well-known Hollywood director Steven Soderbergh and billionaires Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban will release the movie Bubble almost simultaneously to DVD, cable TV, and movie theaters. Is this the paradigm shift that kills the already-suffering movie theater industry?
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Old January 19th, 2006, 07:17 PM   #2
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I'm still not convinced that this roll-out will work. I've been following this since they announced it and for the life of me I can't figure out how it's going to work. I understand what they're trying to do but on the other hand I don't think it's a smart move. I just can't seem to figure out the added benefit that they keep saying this will create.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #3
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I think it's mostly a business decision to save sales & marketing dollars. They save money by just having one marketing campaign for all three outlets, instead of a separate costly campaign for each one.

The benefits they're touting to the consumer are basically marketing fluff. In effect, they're acknowledging that consumers are already using these other media outlets to watch their movies. and they're just following the customers, not setting a new trend or paradigm.

Haven't seen the movie, but I'd classify this method of distributing a movie as one step above "straight to video". That's not meant to be derogatory classification, because I bet their is a nice healthy profit to be made with this type of distribution model.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
I think it's mostly a business decision to save sales & marketing dollars. They save money by just having one marketing campaign for all three outlets, instead of a separate costly campaign for each one................

Haven't seen the movie, but I'd classify this method of distributing a movie as one step above "straight to video". That's not meant to be derogatory classification, because I bet their is a nice healthy profit to be made with this type of distribution model.
I'm a producer with a strong marketing and distribution background. Maybe I'm stupid but I still don't see how a "healthy profit" can be realized from this over say a traditional release pattern. By shrinking the window of release between theatrical to dvd does not guarantee a bigger slice of the proverbial pie. I realize that this is a "beta" test of sorts but I still don't see how it can work and/or benefit the consumer.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 07:23 PM   #5
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Here's another take on this.

http://www.nymag.com/nymetro/news/me...543/index.html
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Old January 21st, 2006, 02:06 PM   #6
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I've heard that the bulk of money made from hollywood movies is actually in the rental and dvd part of the marketing setup. The movie release is more of a big marketing prelude to dvd sales.

I haven't researched it much, its just what I've heard and I admit openly that it could be completely off the mark but their is something about this that i apperciate - I don't live in LA or NY or even the US - Translated that means, if its a limited release it takes forever to get out of theaters and even longer to DVD or TV. So If I want to watch it then by the time its available a long time has past even if I pre-order it on dvd, talking a long long time. A simul release means I can watch the movie before I forget about it, which should translate into them getting more of my money quicker.

I think though even if i'm wrong about where the money is made its a convience thing. If you can reach more audience faster then your potential for sales should go up - Thats why I'm a strong believer that online distribution is eventually going to be the way to go - huge audience + a half decent movie should equal better sales than having a few film prints travelling around and a forgotten release in the end.

I don't think hollywood will adopt this, they can easily make and distribute film prints, but smaller budget stuff would hopefully benefit from this new paradigm.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 02:14 PM   #7
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I think the simultaneous makes far more sense for limited release and indie films.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 10:45 PM   #8
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I'm hoping that the whole dvd pirate thing is a "fad" and people will realise that they are short changing themselves by buying them and things will go back to normal.

Andy.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #9
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Ebert and Roeper gave "Bubble" a strong review, btw. Ebert called it "Soderbergh's masterpiece".
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Old January 30th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #10
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And the numbers are in...

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/arts...=1&oref=slogin
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Old January 30th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #11
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It's a good try at breaking the strangle hold of the traditional distribution model.

Those theatre owners complaining about it should get on the ball and at least try to embrace the model to see if it works for them. They might find that they have more targeted content that their local audiences are willing to pay for. The big Hollywood blockbusters will always be there, but I don't see why offering more appealing localized content via this system can't be a win-win situation for everybody.

Obviously it's not for big expensive Hollywood movies, but it's a much better system for independent productions with smaller audiences And, if it catches on it will make a nice compliment to the traditional Hollywood movie release and distribution system.

A nice contrast to this disheartening article.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 11:08 PM   #12
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Wow, a whopping $70,664 at the box office. Sounds like a winner to me!

Seriously, let us never forget how Mark Cuban became a billionaire -- he owned and sold a domain name before the "bubble" collapsed! Ha! Gotta wonder if that kind of success makes someone feel invincible?
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Old January 30th, 2006, 11:42 PM   #13
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$70,664 may not sound like a lot, but comparing it to the revenue of a much larger Hollywood blockbuster would be a mistake.

Consider that Bubble is a small art film, it's not a big Hollywood Blockbuster. They only released it in 32 theatres nationally. Here in Manhattan, arguably THE media nexus, it's only showing in one theatre, and that theatre is a bit out of the way for most Manhattanites.

This movie is not a "King Kong" it's got a limited audience and can't be marketed in the same way. The producers of Bubble seem to understand this quite well.

And that's where this odd distribution model seems to fit. I think it addresses the needs of many smaller films and is quite viable as a business model. The point of it is not to break the latest & greatest Hollwood weekend record, the point is to find the customers for smaller independent films, recoup their expenses, and make a profit.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 01:31 PM   #14
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Another interesting tidbit, they're not releasing it on film at all. It's been an all digital 4K theatre release on Sony's SXRD projectors.

Studio Daily article: http://www.studiodaily.com/main/news/6022.html
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Old February 1st, 2006, 12:54 PM   #15
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Very interesting interview with Steven Soderbergh about Bubble and filmmaking in general.
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