The task set in that title may seem a little difficult for a blog post to achieve, but hey – challenge accepted.
We all know the sob story. The millionaires running major studios are sad that they’re losing money to piracy. The millionaires running the major cinemas are sad that they’re losing money to piracy. And, the millionaires, running the distribution industry are sad they’re losing money to piracy. Boo f**king hoo.
I will be using The Dark Knight Rises as my lead example in this case.
On July 20th, 2012, The Dark Knight Rises hit cinemas. That was the only legal way to view the film, and that’s fine. However, TDKR is now out of cinemas, but not available to watch legally. Piracy called, it said thanks for the huge gap for us to distribute the film before your December 3rd home media release date! Ridiculous! DECEMBER 3RD! That is still TWO MONTHS AWAY.
My idea is a simple one, I call it the closing weekend. An initiative for cinemas to sell tickets to films as they depart the cinema – but for a higher price. Hear me out. Let’s say it costs £5 to watch TDKR, on closing weekend, you pay £10 – £15. You get to see the film, and then you get a single-use Digital Copy download code for the film – DVD is an extra £2, Blu Ray another £5 – due to manufacturing and shipping costs. Maybe an extra offer for a couple of pounds more would get you a Director’s Cut. Then, a week or two after closing weekend, the film is released to the public.
See what happens here? There is a huge incentive to return to the cinema! And, due to the short two week gap between cinema pre-release and public release, piracy that would occur in this viewing gap period will be – mostly – removed! This will keep cinemas happy, studios happy and distributors happy.
But why stop there? The Dark Knight Rises is a part of a trilogy, right? On closing weekend, why not show all three films back-to-back, and then sell the Digital Copies individually, thus possibly maximising the amount you could sell. Plus, if you pen that many people in a cinema, give them an hour or so intervals, what else will happen… mass profits on the concession stand! or maybe even that Frankies and Bennies that is always near a cinema! Seriously, team up a cinema with a restaurant chain, have them order before the film, food ready afterwards. Hey presto! Milk them for ALL the money!
Will these ever happen?
Because this would be far too convenient for a millionaire to agree with.