Should Movie Prices Be Tied To The Size Of The Viewer’s Screen?
In Jeffrey Katzenberg's vision of the future, movies will appear exclusively on the big screen for exactly three weekends before they become widely available for all formats, from regular TVs to smartphones.
During a panel discussion at this week’s Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg described what movie prices and distribution — and, consequently, movie watching — could look like in the future. “A movie will come out and you will have 17 days – that’s exactly three weekends [to see it in the theater]…On the 18th day, these movies will be available everywhere ubiquitously and you will pay for the size.” Suggested prices were US$15 for a theater, $4 for a 75-inch TV, and $1.99 for a smartphone.
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What’s the Big Idea?
Historically the time between a movie’s big-screen debut and its availability in smaller formats has been quite long, but with advances in technology and increased consumer demand, that period has grown significantly shorter. While Katzenberg’s proposed model would, as he said, “reinvent the enterprise of movies,” The Verge‘s Vlad Savov wondered how it would work given the many different types of screens and formats available. “[I]t’s hard to imagine a security system that would reliably recognize the exact size of the screen [the movie is] being displayed on.”