In Prison of Your Own Making
To date, largest opening day sales for a video game is $500,000,000 for publisher Activision Blizzard’s Destiny, released this year. The largest opening for a film so far is $207 million, which Marvel’s the Avengers did in 2012. That was over a 3-day period making Activision’s accomplishment that much more impressive.
The film industry (at least the one based in Hollywood) is in relative decline, in part, because they seem to have run out of ideas and, in part, because they are locked in to an old distribution model. Their business model calls for theatrical release followed by a cascading series of releases including DVD, pay cable channels, specialty cable, network TV and, possibly, Internet streaming service at some later date.
Like many old line industries, they are prisoners of a business model that is failing. They haven’t taken advantage of the possibilities of an Internet-based economy circa the 21st century.
How many adults over the age of 40 go to films any more? Teens still go; it’s part of being part of their tribe. But to make a Hollywood release truly world impacting, they need a revamp of their delivery mechanism. Why should Hollywood care whether their product is delivered on a theater screen or a tablet or, for that matter, a smart TV?
Does it bother a video game maker which type of screen their products are shown/played on? No. Does it matter if PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo, all feature their game? Yes.
How exciting would it be to have a truly global release of a blockbuster, available everywhere. Some places for a price. Other places, maybe it could be shown for free.
When we were designing the Ottawa Palladium (now Canadian Tire Centre), we wanted to be able to turn it into a humongous theater where we could premier major films when the Sens weren’t playing. When U2 recently released Songs of Innocence, Apple bought the rights and made it available free, exclusively on iTunes. A similar model would work for arena shows, I am sure.
Here’s the thing–if Hollywood doesn’t change its business model*, it’s only a matter of time before the Internet and a group of entrepreneurs ubers them.
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