According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Paramount Pictures is planning to begin making its movies available to watch at home on platforms such as iTunes, only two weeks after the end of theater releases. The source notes that the movie studio has struck a deal with two major cinema chains to make new movies available on-demand earlier than ever before. Furthermore, two small films will initially be released this way, with more films to follow the new schedule later in the year.
“By reaching a pact with two of North America’s largest exhibitors— AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Canada’s Cineplex Inc.—Paramount has crafted the most legitimate threat yet to the traditional theatrical model. To sweeten the pot, the studio will share a portion of revenue from iTunes downloads, video-on-demand, and other digital channels with exhibitors that play the films, giving them a hedge in case box-office revenue declines”.
The studio’s vice chairman, Rob Moore, said the same terms will be available to other theater chains, but Paramount has so far struck deals only with AMC and Cineplex, which had previously expressed more flexibility on release dates than competitors. If no other exhibitors agree to the new terms, Paramount will still release the movies with just those two chains, Mr. Moore added.
The first movies to follow the new schedule will be two inexpensive horror features out in October: “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” and “Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”.