Warner Bros. releases DVD in China the same day the movie opened in the US!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Nils Luehrmann, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Warner announced last month the possibility that they would consider releasing DVD editions in China and parts of Asia of films the day that they are released in theaters in order to combat video pirates. Now it looks like they were being quite serious.

    From an AP article published today:
     
  2. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    And WB will charge $3.00US for the DVD!
     
  3. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Warner actually dropped their DVD prices to below $3 over a month ago and so far, I have not heard that it has made any significant change in the Asian bootleg market. Typical bootlegs sell for about $.50 a DVD and many of these are exact copies of official DVDs. Lately there are reports that Asian bootleggers are offering 5 to 6 movies compressed on a single DVD for only 60 cents. Obviously the quality must be quite poor, but for a dime to see a major studio film on DVD... geez.

    I'm not convinced Warner's price drop and early DVD release strategy are enough of a difference to make a major impact on piracy, but time will tell.
     
  4. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Steve Christou brought attention to the following AP article:

    Americans Prefer Watching Movies at Home

    In it included the following:
    Basically what we have been seeing and continue to see is that theatrical releases are slowly becoming simply a marketing tool for their video release, and thus we will likely see more DVDs released closer to their theatrical release dates until eventually the majority of studio films will get released on video the same day they come out in theaters.

    New encryption technologies will likely further this effort along, but admittedly, I find it hard to believe they will ever come up with an encryption scheme that will be unbreakable.
     
  5. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Exactly what would happen. Nils weren't we joking about that a few weeks ago, releasing dvds close to a movies opening premiere to defeat the pirates? And now the studios and filmmakers are considering the same thing, especially with dwindling cinema audiences and illegal downloads increasing thanks to faster internet speeds available to millions more people each year.

    Maybe in the future only the big blockbuster movies will be premiering in cinemas while smaller movies like say Jet Li's Unleashed will be unleashed first on HD-DVD or the web or cable tv. I just hope we're not witnessing the beginning of the end of cinema. [​IMG]
     
  6. Brad M

    Brad M Second Unit

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    History is repeating itself. The tv brought the same problems to theaters that we are seeing now. Cinemas need to move to the next level. What that next level is, I have no idea. [​IMG] The last few visits to the movie theater have not gone well for me. I saw Batman and the guy next to me elbowed me throughout the whole thing. He was just too big for the seat. Cell phones ring, babies cry, etc. It gets annoying. It's easier to set your own temperature, set your own sound level and pop your own popcorn. This is what theaters are up against. I'd like to see a theater ban infants or at least charge them full ticket price. But that's just me being an insensitive bastard.

    As for piracy, it's a huge problem. I see people at work with copies of movies they should not have. It's everywhere. I'm not sure how you fight that.
     
  7. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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  8. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    Back to 70mm! [​IMG]
     
  9. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Like Brad said, I think theaters are just going to have to modify the way they do business in order to show that they offer enough of an advantage over a typical home theater system, but frankly even that wont be enough for many consumers who are simply happy to stay home no matter what.

    I personally hope that perhaps we are witnessing the beginning of the end of low quality mass produced cinema and instead perhaps we will witness a resurgence of the great classic theater houses that proliferated the landscape prior to the infection of the multiplexes.

    Here in Austin we have several unique theater houses, perhaps none more so than the Alamo Drafthouse which started as a single theater and whose success has now expanded to several theaters. It is hard to describe, but half the entertainment value the Alamo Drafthouse has to offer is the ambiance as it is like diner theater. Quentin Tarantino was so impressed with the theater that he selected it as the host for his Annual Quentin Tarantino Film Festival.

    IMAX theaters are another example of how not all theaters are suffering. In fact Polar Express made more money in its limited IMAX release than it did in general theaters.

    If better and cheaper HT technology in combined with quicker high quality video releases means the end of poorly run multiplexes with un-calibrated outdated equipment, inexperienced projectionists, grade school acoustics, and unimaginative over-priced concessions, then let me be the first to say HOORAH! [​IMG]

    Honestly, no matter how good home theater systems and sources get, I will always support imaginative high quality theater houses as they continue to offer an experience I simply could never reproduce at home. On the other hand, I have done my best to avoid the theater chain clones as they usually end up disappointing me, and making me wish I were back at home.
     
  10. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    They need to start filming in the 70mm Todd-AO 30fps format style again! Seeing Oklahoma on DVD at 30fps is a revelation (although the 70mm negatives need a thorough restoration due to print warpage).

    24 fps is not good enough and you get a greater depth of field, more brilliant colors, far more image detail and a lot less motion judder by going to at least 30fps and 70mm.

    How about uncompressed or lossless compressed 8-10.2 channel, ultra-high resolution discrete surround with premium sound systems and large, full range surround speakers too!?

    Coupled with giganto screens, premiere/luxury styled movie theaters-- not cineplexes, it would KILL digital video filmmaking and presentations!

    This would translate well to spectacular home HD audio-video, let me tell you!!

    Theaters and the studios must be willing to compromise on front loading as well, with a more equitable distribution of funds during the first few weeks of a first run.
     
  11. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Isn't it about time the U.S. declared War on China? [​IMG]
     
  12. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Yesterday at the Home Entertainment Summit Bob Chapek, president of Disney's BVHE and the Digital Entertainment Group, was quoted as saying, "I think there's value in (release) windows and I don't see a need to shrink them.".

    While I agree to a certain extent, there are some real advantages to smaller release windows including fewer marketing costs which may give studios more of an incentive to shrink the average DVD release window much in the same way that Warner is starting to do.
     
  13. Eric Vedowski

    Eric Vedowski Second Unit

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    Unless they improve the movie-going experience they can expect further business drop off. As old time movie mogul Marcus Loew said: "We don't sell tickets to movies. We sell tickets to theatres."
    The poor quality of movies lately hasn't helped any either.
     
  14. Tim-H.

    Tim-H. Second Unit

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    Brad Pitt Announces Next Film
    Bootleg DVDs Already Available in China

    HOLLYWOOD, Ca. - In an extreme example of video piracy, production on a blockbuster motion picture came to a halt today just minutes after it was announced at a press conference. The cause was not creative differences, budgetary constraints or scheduling conflicts, but the fact that the film was already available on DVD in China. Star Brad Pitt and director Wolfgang Peterson were on hand to discuss their multi-million dollar envisioning of "Dante's Inferno" when a French reporter told them he'd already seen the picture, and that it wasn't particularly good. "I thought this guy is joking," Peterson said later, but the reporter produced a copy of the film on DVD. Despite many factual and grammatical errors on the packaging ("Beethoven's 2nd is the all-time enjoyable epic of thrilling today!") the disc itself contained the complete 3 hour film, in 4 languages, numerous subtitle options, and Digital Surround and DTS-ES sound. Recovering from his initial shock, executive producer Jon Peters stated "From what little we've seen, it looks like Wolfgang really captured Dante's classic for a whole new generation. We're really pleased, and feel no need continue production. Hans Zimmer did an amazing job with the score." Saving an estimated $230 million dollars, the budget will now only cover duplication costs of the bootleg DVD. "We were willing to pay three dollars for a copy of the DVD," continued Peters, "but the French guy didn't want his anymore." Wolfgang Peterson looks forward to watching the entire film, and perhaps recording a commentary. "There is a director commentary already listed, but it seems to be in Mandarin Chinese, so I don't think it's me." he said. Star Brad Pitt did not comment on the turn of events, but is expected to immediately move on to his next project.
     
  15. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Yeah, I have a copy of Inferno. Great transfer. Poor film. The casting of Carmen Electra as Electra was foolish. James Caan is impressive as Virgil, however.
     
  16. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Looks like Disney and Landmark Theaters are serious about developing a marketing campaign that would to sell DVD's of films that are currently showing in theaters, at least for those that buy a ticket to see the film.

    This is not the first time Disney has proposed releasing some new films in theaters and on DVD at the same time, and the idea of this is growing amongst all the major studios, especially as they are seeing a rapid growth in the demand for bootlegs of films not yet available on DVD.

    There are several news sites carrying the story, but HTF sponsor, Home Media Retailing also has a brief article about this development:

     
  17. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    The idea of buying a DVD in the theater right after seeing the movie sounds great, especially for the blockbusters. But if they use the same markup that they do with popcorn then most people will wait and buy it elsewhere.
     
  18. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    I think bootleg popcorn will be next.
     
  19. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    [​IMG] I think bootleg popcorn came before bootleg DVDs though. I always see a few people bring their own snacks and drinks into the theater. Hard to blame then when theaters charge $7 for about a dimes' worth of popcorn, and $3 for about a quarters' worth of soda... maybe less seeing as they fill the cups mostly with ice. [​IMG]
     
  20. David Noll

    David Noll Stunt Coordinator

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    I remember seeing a HDNet/HDMovies promo about 8 months ago saying "soon they would be broadcasting movies the same day they premier in theaters". I haven't heard anything since though. Still waiting.

    David
     

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