Advanced Television

Paramount breaks release window rules

July 9, 2015

By Chris Forrester

Paramount Pictures is altering the normal TV release windows for – at least – some of its movies.

The core deal covers two major US cinema chains, AMC Entertainment and Cineplex. The scheme says that just two Paramount films will be available for online purchase just 17 days after the US distribution of those movies falls to below 300 screens. In other words towards the end of the movie’s wide distribution cycle.

The current window for online purchase tends to kick in after about 4 months on average.

Investment bank Exane/BNP-Paribas, in a note to clients early on July 9th say: “Under the deal, the two cinema chains will get a share of the digital sales generated during the first 90 days of a theatrical run, proportional to their box-office shares. Films generate only about 1 per cent of their box office when the screen-count falls below 300, Rob Moore, Paramount’s vice chairman, said in an interview. New movies can typically debut in 3,000 to 4,000 locations.”

“Note that this will not apply to blockbusters as they generally have a long theatre life, but mostly to non-tier movies (horror movies in this case).”

The bank’s note continues: “It’s a general trend we expect to happen across the different markets. In France the concept of ‘e-cinema’ was introduced a few month ago: movie producers in France can decide to release their movies online directly (on VoD platforms), scrapping a cinema release.”

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