Film While we're on the subject, numerous film directors, many of whose work I adore are backing a new venture called The Screening Room (proposed by Sean "Napster" Parker) in which a consumer pays $150 for another set-top box and then $50 a time to rent a film on the day of release at the cinemas, with the added incentive to cinema chains that they'll receive $20 from that $50 for effectively allowing it to happen.
Because that's what this is really about. Film studios still need cinemas to project their product and cinemas won't do that if they're also competing with a home streaming service which is why consumers would have to pay $150 to even access the films even though a Roku or Fire Stick and Amazon Video app would do the same thing.
And does. Stephen Fingleton's The Survivalist was released at cinemas and on demand on the same day. Here it is on Amazon Video. The Veronica Mars film too was VoD on its week of release, although that also illustrated the stranglehold the cinemas have on distribution in that the film company had to hire the screens in order to show the thing.
Netflix is trying to break the stranglehold but only some IMAX screens would carry the Crouching Tiger sequel in the US and Beasts of No Nation? well, Wikipedia, do tell:
"Netflix bought the worldwide distribution rights for around $12 million. The film was simultaneously released theatrically and online through its subscription video on demand service on October 16, 2015, with Bleecker Street handling the theatrical release. Considering the online release a violation of the traditional 90-day release window of exclusivity to theatres, AMC Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark, and Regal Entertainment Group—four of the largest theater chains in the United States—announced that they would boycott Beasts of No Nation, effectively downgrading it to a limited release at smaller and independent theatres. The film was also theatrically released in the UK on October 16, 2015, in Curzon Cinemas."So what this is also about is how so many of us would prefer to pay to see the film at home, even at a premium rate, even on a small screen, than have to endure the process of going to the cinema, of having to deal with our fellow audience members, a potentially shitty projection, horrible sound and a general sense of being forced to watch something in less than optimal circumstances.
I can see why they're scared. Their business model is in peril, in much the same way that music venues were when recorded music was introduced and radios have been when with the addition of streaming. Both became smaller, streamlined and there was pain, lots and lots of pain. But they coped and adapted. Which is what cinemas need to do.
If they'd been really clever at the start they would have been the companies offering video on demand in the first place. You wouldn't visit Amazon Prime to stream a film, you'd be visiting the Odeon or Cineworld app or something run by a consortium of them all making films at home. But they didn't. Instead, we'll continue to wait the 90 extra days to see these films in our own home.