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Jeffrey Katzenberg envisions a huge shift in how movies are released

04.29.2014

The shift in how we consume film has grown and changed over the years so much that it happens very rapidly now and Hollywood can barely catch up. Going from film to digital, VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray, video stores to On Demand, the list goes on but one constant is that we are getting entertainment faster and those who make them have to find a profitable way to catch up. It used to be you had to wait forever to get a theatrical film out of the cineplex and onto video and even then you may have to wait until it hit cable to see it. With the Internet and wireless communication becoming commonplace, all of this has changed.

Dreamworks executive Jeffrey Katzenberg sees another major shift coming to how movies are made and released over the next ten years and while it sounds a bit shocking, I don't doubt he is right. At the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Katzenberg said that movies are not a growth industry and that shortform content online and on television is the direction studios need to go in.

"I think the model will change and you wonít pay for the window of availability. A movie will come out and you will have 17 days, thatís exactly three weekends, which is 95% of the revenue for 98% of movies. On the 18th day, these movies will be available everywhere ubiquitously and you will pay for the size. A movie screen will be $15. A 75" TV will be $4.00. A smartphone will be $1.99. That enterprise that will exist throughout the world, when that happens, and it will happen, it will reinvent the enterprise of movies."

We have already seen some of the early stages of this with Comcast and other cable companies providing access to theatrical films on demand the same day they hit theaters. While these are typically not major studio releases, there will come a day soon when that is how we will see the latest Marvel superhero movie or big budget summer film.

Nothing will ever replace the communal experience of going to a theater to see a movie, but as our society gets further and further into an Internet-centric mode, the theater will become obsolete. Broadway was able to survive with the advent of motion pictures, but it never hit the same level it did before movies. Hopefully we don't lose the experience of seeing a movie on opening weekend before everyone else, but that day may be coming.

Source: Variety

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