Has the Theaters’ “Bubble” Burst?



You may have heard by now that Steven Soderbergh’s new movie, Bubble, is being released more or less simultaneously in theaters, on cable, and in DVD form. This is scary stuff for theater owners and studios because they worry that people won’t come out to the theaters anymore. Mark Cuban, who is putting money behind the idea, has some interesting ideas up on his blog (which you should read regularly:

The point in all this is to emphasize my shock in reading EVERY SINGLE COMMENT about the day and date release strategy of Bubble and the many films we will release this way behind it.

Go through every article. Hollywood Producers, Directors, Theater owners from big chains and honchos from theater trade organizations.

NOT A SINGLE PERSON. NOT ONE stood up and said, “screw him, our product is great. We dont care what he does”. Not a single person said  “It could hurt our business, but we will just have to work harder to bring people in to our theaters”. Not a single person said, “It will make us have to work harder and create a better value and experience for our customer”

I think this is really on target. Just like the music industry, the movie studios and theater companies are going to have to get used to all the competition out there. It would be sad for me, personally, if movie theaters disappeared, but who am I to tell people where and how they should watch movies? In New York, going to a movie can cost a family of four sixty dollars. Why would someone struggling to make ends meet pay that when they can watch the same movie on DVD at home (a few months later) for three dollars? They wouldn’t, unless they are given a unique experience at the theater. Right now, all they get is sticky floors, uncomfortable seats, expensive popcorn, and “The 20” (which I actually like). Movies, we love you. But don’t take us for granted.

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