Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Specialty Market Proposal


While it finally made its way to my local theater on Christmas Day, I was quite flustered when I had to deal with La La Land having a slow theater rollout. People that have been able to see it have been raving about it while I've waited impatiently to finally check it out myself.

But that little frustration gave me a little idea. What if more certain movies hit streaming the day they hit theaters? By certain movies, I mean films in the specialty market with smaller distributors (A24, Bleecker Street, The Orchard, etc.) that have a slow expansion. If those films were available to viewers that don't live in major cities yet still want to see them to see what the buzz they receive is about, then the studio will have reached out to a wider audience even if the film is playing in a handful of theaters. Also, if a film struggles to expand, then viewers will have seen it anyhow on streaming.

Also, it would be an interesting way to create word of mouth. For example, if I really wanted to see Loving and I was able to pay for it on Google Play since I don't live in New York or Los Angeles, then if I loved it, I would probably tell my friends to see it and they might end up seeing it when it reaches our local theater, adding to the film's box office numbers. Not only that, but viewers would be able to see new releases at a cheaper price when streaming and not have to worry about watching a leaked copy online for free. 

I love going to the movies but my biggest gripe with going to the movies is how expensive it is. An afternoon show at my local downtown theater costs about $11.50 per ticket. I can rent about 3 to 4 movies on Google Play or iTunes for that price. So why pay almost 12 bucks to go to the theater, plus food and likely gas expenses, when you can watch a new release at a cheaper price in your own home? You wouldn't have to travel or buy food. 

However, there are plenty of specialty releases that have a short life in theaters and end up in streaming pretty quickly anyhow. But streaming services like Netflix have started to get into the film distributing business, releasing films in theaters the day they start streaming. So this could be something worth thinking about.

Maybe I'm speaking out of my own frustrations of having to wait for specialty films to play near me because I don't live in New York or Los Angeles. But I do think it would be beneficial for those that can't afford to go to the movies and/or can't see it because they can't find the time or don't live in major cities.

What do you guys think? Do you think this would be beneficial for moviegoers? Please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!