At least two new movies are going to be released in home-viewing formats much sooner than usual — with more hopefully on the way — thanks to a new deal Paramount has reached with AMC Theaters and Cineplex. Though limited in scope so far, the deal seeks to shorten the time from cinema to home theater, and if the trial takes off, it could change movie distribution timelines for good.
Time reports that the two upcoming movies in question, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, will be released on DVD and digital formats just two weeks their theatrical run shrinks to 300 theaters or less. Although theaters have traditionally pushed to have a longer window to maximize ticket sales, movie studios are trying to remain competitive as the entertainment industry becomes extremely saturated with various forms of content. According to Time, Paramount hopes to increase the number of films for which it can have an abbreviated release window and has even conceded some of the revenue from digital views, including iTunes downloads, to theater owners as an incentive.
With our binge-watching culture, we seem to be growing increasingly impatient when it comes to our entertainment, so Paramount’s move is understandable. On top of that, Netflix now doubles as a film studio, and the company plans to make certain movies available online on the same day that they open. The standard 90-day minimum release window that theaters have traditionally enjoyed may become a thing of the past.
Don’t expect the change to come easily, though. TIME previously reported that theater chains, including AMC, Regal, and Cinemark, are boycotting Netflix’s much-anticipated sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in light of the release format. A Regal spokesman announced in a statement that “at Regal we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to [three inches] wide on a smart phone. We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear.”
For now, we’ll be happy with shorter release times. Best get your home theater ready!
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