A couple of years ago, I posited that some day we’d be able to buy the DVD version of a movie that we’d just seen in the theatre:
I wondered out loud Ã¢â‚¬Å“why donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t they just sell DVDs in the cinemas, so that you can buy them as you leave the theatre?Ã¢â‚¬Â That idea is probably heretical to the industry, but I wonder if it might not prove more profitable in the end?
LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s assume there are two kinds of DVD buyersÃ¢â‚¬â€œthose who see the movies in the cinema, and those who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. The people who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t watch the movie arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going to be affectedÃ¢â‚¬â€œtheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll just get their DVD sooner. Those who do see the movie probably wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be too cannibalizedÃ¢â‚¬â€œtheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re coming for the experience of attending a cinema. Plus, the industry would enjoy a boon of impulse purchases from people leaving the show.
That hasn’t happened yet, but the New York Times reports on an interesting variation (registration required). Zack Snyder is directing the hotly-anticipated “Watchmen” for a March 2009 release. He’s directing another, related film:
The twist is that Mr. Snyder, known for turning the Spartan comic book series Ã¢â‚¬Å“300Ã¢â‚¬Â into a global hit movie, is also directing a separate-but-related picture that Warner plans to distribute exclusively on DVD.
The second film, tentatively called Ã¢â‚¬Å“Tales of the Black Freighter,Ã¢â‚¬Â follows a side Ã¢â‚¬Å“WatchmenÃ¢â‚¬Â storyline about a shipwreck and will arrive in stores five days after the main movie rolls out in theaters. The DVD will also include a documentary-style film called Ã¢â‚¬Å“Under the HoodÃ¢â‚¬Â that will delve into the charactersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ backstories.
Of course, I can’t imagine that you’ll be able to buy this movie from the cinema itself. Even though that’s when you’re likeliest to buy, distributors would never let that happen.