The Monday Question: Availability!

As a movie lover it is often frustrating to see that a lot of movies don’t get released at the same time all over the world. So it might happen that glowing reviews of something like Looper are filling my inbox with me having no possibility to see it yet (it will be released here at the end of November). Lately it also seems to be happening the other way around. Avengers for example came out in Europe first with America following two weeks later. It’s a frustrating practice which I wished wouldn’t exist, but these are the issues with several distribution companies.

In an ideal situation I would like to see movies released on all formats at the same time. Of course this probably wouldn’t be happening anytime soon because the big cinema chains would surely let the movie companies know about it, but why should people be forced to go to the cinema to see a movie? With three kids in the house I just simply don’t have the time to go there as much as I’d like. In a perfect world I’d like to see movies come out on all formats at the same time so I could just fire up my VOD service and watch that movie I’d really want to see immediately without leaving my house.

I’m interested in your thoughts on this:
Should movies be available on all formats at the same time?

24 thoughts on “The Monday Question: Availability!

  1. There’s no cinema in the town I live in. If I want to go catch a movie, it means taking the train or bus (20-30 minutes each way), which costs roughly half of what the movie ticket costs. Going to the cinema can thus be a bit of a pricey hassle, so I don’t do it as often as most film fanatics do.

    That said, I still think films should be exclusive to theaters at first. If not, people most likely wouldn’t go, which means theaters would go out of business. And there is no better way to watch films than at the cinema. I want to have that option.

    The issue of region-specific release dates, on the other hand… I do wish everything was released everywhere at the same time. Badly.

    • Wow, you really have to plan your trips with so much effort involved. The question is whether it’s a bad thing if theaters would close because of less attendance. I think it’s up to a cinema to make it an experience you enjoy having over watching it at home. If they manage to do that than it wouldn’t be an issue.

  2. Should They Be? YES.
    Will It Eventually Be That Way? MAYBE But Not Likely.
    WHY? Because There’s More Money To Be Made If There’s A Trickle-Down Effect. It’s A Sad Fact…
    …But It’s A Truthful Fact. 🙁

    • Yeah, in the end it is all about the money for the big releases. But I must say that some independent movie makers do choose for simultaneous releases (the Morgan Spurlock docs for example).

  3. I have drive over 100 miles roundtrip to the nearest theater to see a movie at the cinema. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. The cinema is an experience in itself. I love the digital big screen and booming sound. I do wish DVD and Blu-ray releases came quicker though.

  4. I think films should be released in the cinema, worldwide, at the same time. The staggered cinema releases are just painful for film fans the world over. It’s just plain not fair.

    Then, release the same films on DVD/blu-ray at the same time worldwide too. Not just that, but with the same bloody extras. That’s another thing that annoys me!

    • Yeah, I would already be quite happy if they were released in the cinema at the same time, but like to dream on and think about a time when you could watch it on any format of your choosing. I personally don’t care about the DVD extras anymore, but I can understand your frustration.

  5. Interesting question. The old me would have said theatres, then DVD/Blu-Ray, followed by TV.

    Now I am not sure. There are pluses and minus. The argument for all at the same time is that you may have a person watch a film on TV through On-Demand that would not normally go to the theatre. I think I would watch more comedies on opening weekends if they were available On-Demand.

    Forced to answer, I’m fine with everything being released at the same time.

  6. It’d be cool to see all movies come out on every format at the same time and then make the choice how to watch them, but I really don’t see that happening. What I really would like is for all movies to open simultaneously across the globe. It’s frustrating to wait months and even years to see something they’ve already enjoyed in Europe and the US. My biggest wish, though, would be no dubbing. Release all the damn films in their original language.

  7. I can see that there are practical reasons why movies aren’t released simultaneously. The actors can’t double themselves as they’re doing promotion for the films. A week or two could be acceptable to make the marketing work. But as it is now where I, living in a small market, has to wait for months and months, sometimes years, is just annoying and damaging since it will give people excuses to make illegal downloads.

    That was the short version. I wrote a long rant about this recently.

    • That is a very good reason indeed, because promotion is a big part of movies of course. But then again I never see many actors coming to the Netherlands for promotion (it’s a small market just as is the case with you) so I still hope it would change (but it probably won’t)

  8. That’s an interesting proposition. I can see how it would make sense to have just one release date but I also like having the home release later because they can add more features to them. I do kind of wish there was less stigma behind straight to video releases, though.

    • Interesting point. People often see straight to video as a bad thing even though there are probably a lot of examples where the movie was a very good one.

  9. I vote to keep them in the theaters first, followed by home release. I just love going to the movies and I feel if they came out on DVD the same day, less people would head to the theater.

    • I’m not sure if that would be the case (less people going there). Of course for a lot of people it would be more convenient, but in the end it’s about the experience and some people would still want to see it on a very big screen.

  10. Yes absolutely YES. Keep people out of cinemas, Make cinemas work harder for their money, give the consumer total choice! Would certainly cut down on piracy surely!

    • 🙂 I think it’s up to the cinemas to make it a worthwhile experience to go there and to me that’s by service which often is very bad (usually not in the places I go to, but if I believe all the stories I read about bad experiences). I think it would help cutting down piracy too…

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