With all of the hype surrounding whether theaters, Sony, or anyone else really made the right decisions with initially pulling the much anticipated film The Interview from its originally-scheduled opening on Christmas, I think a hidden benefit was embedded in the outcome.
While I personally am not a Seth Rogen fan and have no real desire to see the movie (and even less of a desire after some of my friends reviewed it basically saying it was two hours of their life they’ll never have back), the fact that the company rallied to make the film available through streaming, online, and on demand resources in extremely short order is a huge step in the right direction for direct-to-consumer film viewing. I think the future holds a lot of key decisions on whether some films may be best served direct to the home. This could be a huge benefit for nearly everyone involved, aside from traditional brick-and-mortar theaters. Continued innovation in this space would be bad for the theaters, but presents a great opportunity for anyone willing to embrace change (similar to what happened to Blockbuster when the Netflixes of the world forced them to, unsuccessfully, review their business model and what consumer demands really were).
The movie has apparently done fairly well ($15M in first four days), and I’m glad that we now have a benchmark for what’s possible if companies started pushing more content directly to the consumers in preferred viewing outlets. I think Americans, now more than ever, are enjoying entertainment in the home, whether it’s foregoing sports events or waiting until movies come to TV/DVD so they can save themselves the $10-20 apiece on concessions, food/beverage. I’m a huge proponent of this shift and was glad to see the parties involved rally around a reasonable and safe solution for delivering their movie to the public.
Til Next Time,