Saudi Vice Minister of Defense Visits CENTCOM Headquarters    Saudi Minister of Education Meets with CEO of British Cultural Council    Russian diplomat resigns, says he's never been so ashamed of his country    SDAIA: Autonomous vehicles will be commercially available in world by 2030    Sheikh Al-Muajab meets with head of Eurojust Agency in The Hague    Ma'aden Enters Forbes 2000 List of World's Largest Public Companies    Misk Foundation Inaugurates Youth Council at the World Economic Forum    Tea Day event at Madinah university highlights diversity of traditions, cultural heritage    Sheikh Dr. Al Al-Sheikh, Sundberg call for spreading tolerance and dialogue    WEF unveils virtual global collaboration village as future of strong public-private cooperation    Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Nonprofit City appoints Dalkia EDF Group to implement sustainable solutions    Saudi minister: OPEC+ would increase production 'if demand is there'    Saudi student clubs in US hold graduation ceremony    MoH reveals information about monkeypox and ways to reduce its spread    Australia's new PM sworn in ahead of Quad meeting    UNHCR: Record 100 million people forcibly displaced worldwide    Manchester City clinches Premier League title on dramatic final day    How Syrian singer Rasha Rizk dazzled millennials at Jeddah Season?    King Salman Park begins construction on its Royal Arts Complex    Shoura members propose equal blood money for men and women, Muslim and non-Muslim    AMAALA Reveals Iconic New Yacht Club Designs    Arab League Renews Commitment to Enhancing Arab-African Cooperation    KSrelief Signs Agreement to Implement First Phase of Rehabilitating New Building of Mecca Medicine Eye Hospital in Omdurman, Sudan    KSrelief's Masam Project Dismantles 1,339 Mines within a Week in Yemen    British Investors Express Interest in Investing in Saudi Arabia's Food, Drug Market    Asian Shares Mixed    7 Die in Philippine Ferry Fire; over 120 Rescued from Water    Weather Forecast for Monday    Ithra Participates in Cannes Film Festival with New Films to Support Saudi Talents    Exclusive launching of Michael Schumacher Digital Experience at Jeddah F1 Grand Prix    MoH allows 6 categories to receive second booster dose    Mbappé signs new 3-year PSG deal after rejecting Real Madrid    Junaid, Tusif, Ashfaq, Rizwan, Furqan excel Butt Sport to clash with Center System Group in Ace Travel Saudi Cup final    Saudi Aramco: London Championship to Witness Participation of World's Best Female Golfers    Saudi woman finds out she is male after 20 years    Saudi Arabia Heads to Cannes International Film Festival to Promote Country's Flourishing Industry and Support Emerging Talent on World Stage    President of SAFF Participates in AFC General Assembly Meeting    Saudi Athletes Achieve Great Victories in the 2nd Day of the GCC Games Tournament in Kuwait    Jazan Hosts West Asian Beach Soccer Championship    Bollywood actor's tweet reignited debate over Hindi as India's national language    SFDA Advises to Wash Dates Well Before Eating    SFDA Advises Against Mixing Surplus of Iftar and Suhoor with Different Foods or Surplus from Other Days    Ministry calls on imams to avoid long supplications in Tahajjud Prayer    Nothing wrong with a Muslim celebrating birthdays, says Saudi scholar    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Cinema versus streaming The battle over when and where you can see movies
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 10 - 04 - 2019

WHILE superheroes, monsters and aliens battle on the big screen, a real-life fight is raging behind the scenes that will determine what moviegoers will see at their local cinemas.
The off-screen skirmish centers around the theatrical "window," the time a movie plays exclusively in US theaters before it can be released on DVD or digital. That period averages 90 days, but upheaval across the media business is fueling debate on whether that should shrink.
At stake is the future of movie theaters and small-screen entertainment as new technology giants upend decades of Hollywood tradition.
Netflix Inc has streamed original movies at the same time, or just a few weeks after, their debut in cinemas. Competitor Amazon Studios has said it would like some of its films to play for only two to eight weeks in theaters before hitting the Amazon Prime Video streaming service.
Many theater owners object, citing potential damage to their business. The group that awards the Oscars is weighing whether to respond, and A-list celebrities are taking sides.
Adam Aron, chief executive of AMC Entertainment Holdings, the world's largest theater operator, said his company would "consider any and all alternatives" but any changes to the current industry standard "would have to be beneficial to us or neutral to us."
Even the king of the multiplex — Walt Disney Co — is getting into streaming, and is set to unveil details on Thursday of its strategy. That has stoked concern that it, too, might want movies in living rooms sooner.
Disney executives insist they remain rock-solid behind existing windows for big event films. Disney's franchise fare such as "Black Panther" and "Avengers: Infinity War" generated a total $7.3 billion at global box offices in 2018.
At a recent CinemaCon convention for theater owners in Las Vegas, Disney and other studios stressed the special experience of watching a film in a darkened theater.
"A lot more people have had their first kiss in a movie theater than their parents' living room," said Toby Emmerich, a senior executive at Warner Bros., part of AT&T Inc's WarnerMedia, which also plans a streaming push.
Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren was more forthright. "I love Netflix, but fuck Netflix!" she said to cheers and applause. "There's nothing like sitting in the cinema and the lights go down."
Netflix is in talks to buy the Egyptian Theatre, a historic movie house in the heart of Hollywood, a source with knowledge of the matter said. Netflix would host premieres and other industry events at the theater, which opened in 1922, the source said.
Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke, meanwhile, declared the company "committed to the theatrical experience." In June, it is slated to release comedy "Late Night" in theaters, with a traditional window.
Shorter windows would keep some customers at home, said Greg Marcus, chief executive of The Marcus Corporation, owner of the fourth-largest US theater chain.
"If you damage the business and take away 10 percent of our customers, we won't be able to reinvest in the theatrical experience," Marcus said. "That would ultimately hurt content providers."
Others said consumers are happy with the current system. Ticket sales in 2018 reached a record $41 billion globally and $12 billion in the United States and Canada, even as Netflix released about 90 movies for streaming.
"We're not talking about something that's broken," Vue International cinemas CEO Tim Richards said in an interview.
"Windowing" is expected to be on the agenda this month at a meeting about rules governing the Academy Awards.
Some members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the group that awards the Oscars, have been debating whether films must play in theaters for a specific length of time to be eligible.
Director Steven Spielberg told Britain's ITV News last year that movies seen primarily via streaming should compete for Emmys, not Oscars. A representative declined to comment on whether the director will urge the Academy to address the issue.
In February, Netflix won three Oscars for "Roma," which streamed three weeks after a limited theatrical debut. Netflix tweeted that it "loved cinema" but also supported access for people who cannot afford, or do not live close to, theaters.
The Justice Department has waded in, warning the Academy that some eligibility limits could be anti-competitive.
An Academy spokesperson said any changes would be weighed at the April 23 meeting.
The issue could flare up later this year when Netflix releases "The Irishman," a mob drama directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
Filmmakers hope "The Irishman" will play broadly in theaters, De Niro said in an interview, though they realize Netflix's chief audience is its streaming customers.
"They're not going to cut their noses to spite their face," De Niro said. "We get it. This kind of movie has to be presented that way."
But he added: "We're working it out so we can have as much theatrical as possible."

Clic here to read the story from its source.