Winterbottom film continues “day and date” trend

posted by Patrick Crowley on February 14, 2006 at 6:36 am

Following in the steps of the recent Landmark Cinemas release of Steven Soderbergh’s film ‘Bubble’, which was released on DVD and in theaters on the same day, British director Michael Winterbottom will also be pushing distribution boundaries with his next film.

According to a report from the Guardian, ‘The Road to Guantanamo’ is set to debut on television, DVD, in theaters, and now online — all at the same time.

The Road to Guantanamo, the story of the three British Muslims who were held at the US military base for two years without charge or trial, premieres today at the Berlin film festival. It will then be shown on Channel 4 on March 9. The day after, the film will be released online, on DVD and in cinemas.

“With a film like this that’s starting with what would traditionally be the last outlet – a television broadcast – we thought it would be better to go with everything else at once,” said the film’s producer, Andrew Eaton. The film-makers are planning to release the film in 30 UK cinemas and are finalising an agreement with an internet company.

Comments (13)

VincentParisi on February 14, 2006 at 11:26 am

Gee how about a movie about the 14 hijackers who received express visas and then betrayed this country’s faith in them killing thousands of innocent people.
Now why don’t we ever see a movie like that?

KenLayton on February 15, 2006 at 5:31 am

In general anytime a film distributor pulls stunts like that it means the movie sucks bigtime.

ArchStanton007 on February 15, 2006 at 9:01 am

If you read into the Jihad manuals, they instruct the terrorists to cry torture, abuse, etc knowing well many Americans will fall for it. Yes, some of the abuse is true, but much of it isn’t either. Thanks to Landmark to going for their defense so quickly.

JohnMessick on February 15, 2006 at 9:43 am

I was wondering, how is Soderbergh’s movie “bubble” doing. Haven’t heard anything since’s its release in theaters and on DVD. Does anyone know anything about it? Or has it bombed?

PeterApruzzese on February 15, 2006 at 11:23 am

“Bubble” is a disaster – after two weeks, it’s dropped to #58 at the box office with a total gross of $135,996. It came out two weeks ago on DVD and didn’t crack the Top 35 rental chart, nor the Top 20 sales charts.

JohnMessick on February 15, 2006 at 11:32 am

Thanks Peter….kinda what I thought it would do

anomie666 on February 15, 2006 at 12:46 pm

The day and date idea is probably going away very soon unless there is some fundamental changes in how these films are distributed. Most people agree that there is something special and unique about the actual movie going experience, getting your popcorn and soda and seeing a film on the big screen with a room full of strangers. When you give customers the option to first experience a film in any medium, you are undermining the theater going experience.

If people want to be the very first to own a DVD of a brand new release of a film while it is still in theatrical production, they should have to pay a high premium for that. I wouldn’t mind if movie studios made a very limited number of DVD copies available and charged 3 or 4 times what the “after theatrical release” price would be. That way, people would still have an incentive to see movies during their theatrical releases and diehard fans could pay for the privelidge of being the first to own the movie.

Blockbuster films need time for word of mouth marketing and that time is built up during the theatrical run. When you allow a movie to go to all mediums, you kill off any hope that the movie will achieve a large word of mouth/ cult following. Movie studios will realize soon that they need theaters to be the exclusive home of the new release.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 15, 2006 at 9:43 pm

To TommyR above: Please re-read the story carefully and then watch the real news (not Fox!) carefully as well.

Landmark has nothing to do with ROAD TO GUANTANAMO and the U.S. government has no defense for having arrested and held these men for two years. No Jihad here. Just two Brits held in prison by the U.S. for two years without a trial, then released with no explanation. And no, the U.S. government does not get the courtesy of innocence before being proven guilty denied these men.

The only controversy here is the day and date release of another film.

anomie666 on February 16, 2006 at 5:06 am

A friendly request, can we keep the political discussions off of here? I don’t think discussing the merits of whether fox is real news has anything to do with movie theaters.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 16, 2006 at 11:02 am

A cheerful “bon mot” to you Jews who think the cencentration camps are a bad thing. They are for your own good and please do stick to the subject of cinema preservasion and never mind those silly German films now at our cinemas and on TV. We do understand you and America will keep you from harm…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 17, 2006 at 7:54 pm

I expect day-and-date release to be an advantage for small, independent movies that rely on word of mouth to maximize their audience. Blockbusters with corporate money can saturate the theatres and spend as much on advertising as was spent on making the movie. Of course, if the movie is crap, all the advertising won’t bail it out, but the saturation of theatres will at least bring in some revenue before the negative word-of-mouth kills the box office. I don’t think the big, expensive movies will gain anything by day-and-date release.

The small movie can only afford to be in a few theatres at a time, and will probably never be shown at all in some markets unless word-of-mouth makes it a sleeper hit. Releasing such a movie to DVD and, even more importantly, to the Internet at the same time as it is released to theatres may be able to serve as the independent filmmaker’s substitute for the millions the big boys spend on advertising and widely distributing their costly special effects movies.

In the long run, assuming a particular independent movie is good enough to attract an audience at all, day-and-date release may actually help it sell more tickets to its theatrical runs, and even get it into more theatres than it would have been in otherwise. We’ll have to wait and see if it works out this way, but I’d say it’s worth trying.

JohnMessick on February 22, 2006 at 1:51 am

In Central Pennsylvania, Great Escape Theatres is building two mutiplexes. One being a 10 screen the other being a 14 screen. Now if movies are going to be released in theatres, DVDs, on TV and in stores at the same time. Why would theatre chains keep building more theatres? Would someone please explain in depth about this.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 6, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Blockbuster is closing stores every where.Don’t think the movie business with all its problems has a thing to worry about.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment