A scene from Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Paramount Pictures, AMC Theatres and Cineplex Entertainment have announced a new plan for theatrical and digital distribution, a plan that will begin with Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, both releasing near the end of October. The new agreement will find the films receiving a traditional wide release with the films available for purchase digitally beginning 17 days after each film dips below 300 domestic theaters.
To put this in perspective, 2014’s release of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was in theaters for 28 days before it dipped below 300 theaters. This means after 45 days, or just over a month-and-a-half, the studio could begin selling the film digitally. The key to this, however, is AMC, Cineplex and other exhibitors will receive a percentage of any of the studio’s digital revenue for the period of digital availability through 90 days from the initial U.S. theatrical release, with each exhibitor’s share proportional to its theatrical gross market share. So, for the first 45 days of The Marked Ones‘ digital release, the exhibitors would get a cut of the profits.
The fact the share given to each exhibitor is based on their “theatrical gross market share” protects a studio from exhibitors attempting to sabotage their own release and the studio will be driven to ensure a film stays in theaters as long as possible so as not to give up any portion of the digital sales.
Looking at some of this year’s releases, it appears Pitch Perfect 2 will dip below that 300 theater mark heading into this weekend, which would allow for 17 days of digital sales and even films such as Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron may find themselves with a week or more available to them before the 90 day term runs out.
This move would seem to also put yet another nail in the coffin of physical media not to mention probably has the likes of Amazon and Apple drooling at the prospects of selling more movies even earlier. [The Wrap]