Cuban And Wagner Disrupt Movie Channel

Associated Press: If you live in New Jersey, Virginia or Nevada and want to see the new Steven Soderbergh film Bubble in a theater, pack your bags. It won’t be showing in those or more than a dozen other states.
The country’s largest theater chains are snubbing the film because they object to it being sold on DVD and shown on cable TV the same day it debuts in a handful of theaters owned by the same company that produced the movie.
“Bubble” isn’t the first film to be released this way. But the combination of a high-profile director and the backing of maverick billionaires Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban have studios and theater owners paying close attention this time.
“It’s the biggest threat to the viability of the cinema industry today,” John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, said.
The low-budget Bubble, a murder mystery set in a doll factory, opens Jan. 27 and is the first of six films to be produced under a partnership between Soderbergh and 2929 Entertainment. Founded by Wagner and Cuban, the company owns Magnolia Pictures, which will distribute “Bubble” in partnership with Landmark Theaters and HDNet Movies, the cable TV channel that will air it.
All six films produced by the partnership will be released simultaneously on DVD, television and in theaters. Bubble will appear on DVD a few days after its theater and cable release.
A typical film now earns about half of its revenue from home video and only about 25% from theaters. The remainder comes from selling the film to cable and broadcast TV and other sources.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.