No, no, no – Internet distribution WON’T kill cinemas

By Patrick von Sychowski | December 18, 2007 5:55 am PST

Print and on-line media have been getting WAY over excited about the straight-out-on-Internet release of Paramount’s Jackass 2.5 (less so about Hammer Horror’s return to production with the S-o-o-I release of Beyond the Rave). For a film that came across in its first outing (Jackass 1.0?) as something of a collection of don’t-try-this-at-home YouTube clips, it is not exactly as if the next Spielberg or Michael Bay epic was headed straight to a broadband pipe near you, without passing the cinema to collect $200m on the way.

Yet the price for the most over the top reaction to this development goes to Canada’s FP Trading Desk that breathlessly proclaimed that “it could spell the beginning of the end for the traditional theatre operator as we know it.” Right you are, journalist David Pett, talking to Blackmont analyst Barbara Gray. Just as straight-to-DVD films like Return to Two Moon Junction crippled the cinema medium that was already reeling from network TV premiers of movies-of-the-week such as Oliva Newton John’s 1994 effort A Christmas Romance, much missed at the multiplex but fortunately available on Amazon. Or the way that frozen TV dinners killed off going to the restaurant.

Yet Barbara Gray, the analyst that inspired this article and headline (Direct-to-internet movies a worry for Cineplex: Analyst), remains surprisingly stoic in the face of the soon-to-be-death of her local ‘plex. “For now, however, she’s content with her “buy” recommendation for Cineplex and left her $24 price target unchanged.”

Patrick von Sychowski
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