Thursday, May 10, 2007

Disney Won't Embrace Simultaneous Release

Disney CEO Robert Iger threw cold water Tuesday on the disclosure by Comcast COO Steve Burke earlier in the week that he was in discussions with studios to make movies available on pay-per-view cable on the same day they were released in theaters for $30-50. Iger insisted that Disney was "not in discussions to sell movies to cable in the same window as theatrical." Iger's comments came during a telephone conference with analysts following release of the company's first-quarter report showing total revenue rising to $8.1 billion from $8 billion during the same period a year ago. Iger forecast a big second quarter but declined to predict whether the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End would exceed the box-office take of the new record holder, Spider-Man 3. He called the new Pirates film, due to open over the Memorial Day holiday, "simply great." Asked about remaining the only major studio to release new movies on Apple's iTunes online store at prices well below those for DVDs, Iger said that Disney makes the same amount of money from an iTunes sale as it does from a DVD. Commenting on the policy of other studios to release only library titles via the Apple site, Iger indicated that only Disney's "fresh titles" are selling well on iTunes.

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$30 sounds like a lot to watch a movie on cable TV. I'd much rather go to a theater. But nonetheless, same day multiplatform release is going to become a standard sometime soon. Read more about Simulatenous Release Platforms here.

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