New York: News Corp’s Twentieth Century Fox plans to offer high-definition digital sales of new movies two to three weeks before they come out on DVD and video-on-demand, a fresh bid to rekindle consumer interest in buying movies.
The venture, Digital HD, will begin with the release of director Ridley Scott’s science-fiction thriller “Prometheus,” Jim Gianopulos, co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, said yesterday in an interview. Fox will offer the films for $15, he said.
Fox is shortening the time movies are in the so-called theatrical window, typically about four months, to encourage consumers to buy rather than wait to rent films at a lower price. The movies will be sold through most digital venues and can be stored online for play on a variety of devices. The studio consulted with theatre operators to avoid a confrontation over the timing and price of the releases, Gianopulos said.
“This offers advantages to ownership that you’ve never had before,” Gianopulos said. “The theatre owners are less concerned about it because it’s not a lot earlier.”
The time between a movie’s theatrical run and its release on home video varies from about 10 weeks to more than 16, depending on factors such as holidays and competition in the marketplace, Gianopulos said. Fox’s new offering is within the general understanding between studios and theatre owners, he said.