Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Is the blockbuster-model in way of DRM-free movies?

One reason cited when we talk about why movie companies are against DRM-free downloads is that while music artists can make money touring (often their main sources of money, ask the Rolling stones), this is not in case of movie stars, who can’t act like touring drama groups.

The blockbuster-model has spoiled the production houses:
The producer spends huge sums on signing up big, marquee stars, spends a bomb on production including overblown digital effects and when the film is finished, upto 40% of a film’s total budget are spent on marketing. It is imperative that the movie makes at least 150% over its production costs for the movie to make a profit.

Now, every film in Hollywood is not made in the blockbuster mould. My big Fat Greek Wedding, Napoleon Dynamite, the Blair Witch Project lead a long list of independent, on-a-tight-budget filmmaking.

The movie industry doesn’t not want DRM-free downloads and instead has so far provided awful download experiences on so-called ‘authorized’ sites.

Sales of DVD titles, the obvious fall back alternative are not that exciting as they were in 'Shrek 2' days.

Cost of cinema production promises to go down with increased adoption of digital projection, thus doing away with expensive film.

One option would be to go for DRM-free downloads within 15 days of a movie’s release. I bet we will still flock to theaters – for the big screens, for the social aspect of movie viewing.

More people go to watch movies in theaters around than they go to music concerts.

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