Time to revisit the Paramount Consent Decree?
Many readers here on Cinema Treasures are aware of the 1948 Paramount Consent Decree which, in a nutshell, forced the big Hollywood studios of the time to divest themselves of the theater chains they owned, based on the contention that the studios unfairly controlled film distribution. These chains included some, if not most, of the greatest movie palaces ever built.
In a recent piece written for a blog at Film.com, commentator C. Robert Cargill argues that studios should once again be permitted to own theaters outright, pointing out that circumstances have radically changed since 1948 and that competition would now be enhanced not diminished if studios now had their own exhibition outlets.
The idea of the studios not being able to own their own theater chains is an outdated concept that should be challenged and overturned, something producer Joe Roth opined at the Digital Hollywood Conference a few weeks back. Roth’s beef stems from a collective boycott by a number of theater chains against his film, the runaway hit Alice in Wonderland, because they were upset with the 12-week window between their scheduled release of the film and its appearance on Blu-ray and DVD. And while that time may look short on paper, remember that Alice in Wonderland appeared in theaters on March 5 and the DVD release is still a month away.
The whole essay is here at Film.com.