Disney wants to reduce the time between theatrical debut and home-viewing release. And some theaters are wondering if that means you won't want to go to the theater at all.
Last week, stories emerged about how with the upcoming release of Tim Burton's live-action Alice in Wonderland, Disney was pushing different terms for exhibitors. Typically, theatrical exhibition contracts identify the minimum time between the theatrical opening and DVD release, typically 17 weeks. But with Alice Disney wanted to change the terms to 12 weeks, claiming the need to beat the pirates to the street. Theaters balked, wondering if the narrow theatrical window would encourage potential viewers to wait until they could watch at home. Reportedly, Disney attempted the same maneuver with Up last summer, but backed off when some exhibitors said they'd pull bookings of Disney's A Christmas Carol later in the year. This time, Disney has stuck to its 12-week-window guns.
Now, one exhibitor has actually followed through on a threat to bail out on Alice. England's Odeon Cinemas announced that they will not be showing Alice in Wonderland, citing the 12-week theatrical window as the reason. No U.S. exhibitors have made the same choice as of yet, but there's still time before the March 5 opening date.
Does a shorter window from theater to home-viewing change your decision about whether or not to go out to the movies?