2013 a Big Year for Digital HD: Expected to Continue in 2014

Digital HD had a big year in 2013, and 2014 will likely have more in store for digital home and on-the-go entertainment. Though the model of renting or buying physical movies still exists, a shift in the standard model was palpable as streaming and electronic sell-through methods became increasingly popular. This was intensified by the commonplace offers from studios to consumers for early online releases of movies before physical copies hit the shelves. Continue reading 2013 a Big Year for Digital HD: Expected to Continue in 2014

Full-Length Feature Film to Be Shot Entirely on Apple iPhone

Production is scheduled to begin in June for what is claimed to be the first full-length feature film shot entirely with an Apple iPhone. The film is under a SAG-AFTRA production contract — “Ultra Low Budget” — and will be shot on the newest iPhone, the 5s. Writer/director/producer Brian Kowalchuk and crew are working with Apple executives to address the challenges of logistics. The production has a target release date of April 2015. Continue reading Full-Length Feature Film to Be Shot Entirely on Apple iPhone

Netflix Executive Says Theater Owners Resistant to Innovation

During a keynote at the ninth annual Film Independent Forum over the weekend, Netflix executive Ted Sarandos told attendees the video streaming giant might begin releasing its own movies. During the 40-minute speech at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles, the chief content officer attributed the move to the fact that theater owners are resistant to let movies bow day-and-date on Netflix, and that they are not supportive of innovation. Continue reading Netflix Executive Says Theater Owners Resistant to Innovation

DCDC Launches Digital Theatrical Delivery Service via Satellite

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition launched the industry’s first-ever digital theatrical delivery service yesterday. The service delivers films and other content to theaters via satellite. The DCDC initiative was founded by theater chains AMC, Regal and Cinemark, with Warner Bros. and Universal. Partnering with the remaining major studios and exhibitors Southern Theatres and National Amusements, the service will reach about 17,000 screens in 1,200 theaters. Continue reading DCDC Launches Digital Theatrical Delivery Service via Satellite

ShowEast: Digital Cinema Turns to Laser Projection Tech

To address complaints that theater screens are too dark, especially when showing 3D films, the digital cinema industry is experimenting with laser technology. Advocates of laser-illuminated projection assert that benefits include lower operating costs, reduced power consumption and increased system lifespans. However, others are concerned that the cost may be too exorbitant and fear the involvement of the FDA, since it monitors the use of lasers. Continue reading ShowEast: Digital Cinema Turns to Laser Projection Tech

Canadian Exhibitor Bundles Movie Admission and Home Video

Canadian movie exhibitor Cineplex launched its SuperTicket service this summer that bundles admission to a theater screening with a digital copy of the same film, delivered electronically months later. The package costs more than twice as much as a ticket to see the movie in a theater. The company experimented with SuperTicket deals for three films: “The Smurfs 2,” “Pacific Rim,” and “Kick-Ass 2.” While the approach could be a remedy for declining DVD sales, it remains unclear whether fans will pay in advance for a digital copy. Continue reading Canadian Exhibitor Bundles Movie Admission and Home Video

DirecTV to Co-Finance Indie Films in Exchange for VOD Rights

DirecTV is entering the world of film financing through a new partnership with startup movie studio A24 Inc. Through the deal with A24, the satellite operator will acquire independent films in exchange for exclusive rights to offer them on DirecTV’s video-on-demand services 30 days before the indies are released theatrically. DirecTV will initially commit $40 million to co-finance and market independent films; the first acquired with A24 is the thriller “Enemy,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Continue reading DirecTV to Co-Finance Indie Films in Exchange for VOD Rights

Vimeo Partners with Toronto Film Festival in Streaming Deal

Vimeo is providing filmmakers with movies at the Toronto International Film Festival the opportunity to have their films viewed by larger audiences through online streaming. Vimeo is offering a $10,000 advance to filmmakers who agree to feature their movies exclusively on the site for 30 days. With consumers increasingly turning to their mobile devices for viewing movies, the partnership may prove profitable for emerging filmmakers. Continue reading Vimeo Partners with Toronto Film Festival in Streaming Deal

EXCLUSIVE: Looking Beyond Summer Box Office as Trends Emerge

With Labor Day the traditional end of summer, pundits survey the uneven landscape of a fickle summer. Disappointing openings and steep weekend-to-weekend drop-offs jarred execs and provided fodder for commentary and soul-searching. It may be easy to find irony in the titles of two financially successful movies — the low-budget “The Purge” and “This Is The End,” which spoofed the end of the world against a backdrop of contemporary Hollywood — to suggest that this summer truly marks the end for movies. But that would only happen if there were a total failure to recognize emerging trends, acknowledge this is not the first time Hollywood has faced a changing market and apply new ideas to shape the future. Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Looking Beyond Summer Box Office as Trends Emerge

Megaupload Shutdown: MPAA Rejects Findings of Piracy Study

Last week, the MPAA rejected findings of a European study that suggests the shutdown of piracy site Megaupload damaged revenues for theatrical films other than blockbusters. Megaupload was shut down by the FBI in January 2012. While researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that the shutdown boosted legitimate digital sales of movies, a new study from Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and Copenhagen Business School argues that anti-piracy measures may have unintended consequences for different kinds of movies. Continue reading Megaupload Shutdown: MPAA Rejects Findings of Piracy Study

Studios Test Super Premium VOD During Theatrical Runs

Hollywood studios are experimenting with a new business model in South Korea that offers movies through video on demand while they are still screening in theaters. “Django Unchained” was made available to rent online or via cable weeks after premiering in Korean theaters. A similar approach was taken with animated features “Wreck-it Ralph” and “Brave.” If the “super premium VOD” tests prove successful, they could impact how the studios view exhibition. Continue reading Studios Test Super Premium VOD During Theatrical Runs

Soderbergh Distinguishes Between Cinema and Movies

Last week, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh dissected the business of making movies when he spoke on the current state of cinema at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Soderbergh, who has achieved success in both the Hollywood system and the independent arena, spoke at length about the challenges faced by today’s artists to get their movies screened in theaters. Based on unprecedented demand, Soderbergh gave The San Francisco Film Society permission to post his keynote video and transcript in its entirety. Continue reading Soderbergh Distinguishes Between Cinema and Movies

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