Last week, National Association of Theater Owners head John Fithian announced that some member theaters would block Steven Soderbergh's "Bubble" for fear that the simultaneous release on DVD, pay-per-view, and in theaters would be bad for the theater biz. Mark Cuban, co-founder of the company distributing the movie (2929 Entertainment), responds on his blog:
With the release of Bubble on January 27th in theaters, on DVD and for 2 showings on HDNet Movies, there has been a ton of press and discussion about the future of the movie industry. The most extreme has come from John Fithian, who wins the award for the best ever imitation of Jack Valenti’s famous comparison of the VCR to the Boston Strangler when he was quoted in FastCompany as saying
[Fithian] called Iger’s suggestion this summer a “death threat” against his members. Fithian says that “if [release] windows were eliminated, what you would have would be fewer movies, fewer total dollars for the industry, and less choice for the consumer.” He thinks movies would become little more than commodities and that hundreds or thousands of theaters would close.
But he wasn't done there. He said the same thing to USA Today: It’s the biggest threat to the viability of the cinema industry today,” John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, said of the so-called “day and date” release strategy.
How sad is it when the President of the National Assoc of Theater Owners doesnt think his members can create a better movie going experience than what we can see in our houses and apartments? Guess what John, I can whip up a mean steak, but I still like to go to restaurants. Because I enjoy it. I enjoy getting out of the house with family, friends, who ever.
Link to full text of blog entry. (Thanks, John)
Update: Theater owners who object to "day and date" release will soon have more movies to block: IFC is about to do the same. "IFC Entertainment unveils a plan to release 24 films in theaters and on cable at the same time this year," reports the NYT. Link