General Question

LeopardGecko's avatar

How come there is usually a 3 or 4 month stretch between when a movie is in theatres until it is released on DVD?

Asked by LeopardGecko (1237points) December 22nd, 2009

Just wondering.

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7 Answers

Freedom_Issues's avatar

To give time for the movie to make money in the theatre. Less people would go to see the movie in the theatre if they knew it was coming out on DVD a week later.

Darwin's avatar

Because first they have to milk as much money out of the first-run theaters as they can. Then they have to do the same for the bargain theaters. And then they have to build up the expectation that if you don’t go see it in the theater now you will have to wait a long time before you could see it on DVD.

sndfreQ's avatar

Also keep in mind that licensing issues come up when the movie makes its transition from theatrical release to DVD, especially considering that DVDs are released in markets internationally and are disseminated internationally (for the most part) once they hit DVD. This almost always has to occur after the film has hit theatres internationally first.

The more successful the theatrical release, the longer it takes to run this process…unless the DVD release is pre-negotiated and built into the marketing. Some theatrical releases almost coincide with DVD (on lesser-known films).

lillycoyote's avatar

Sometimes, a theatrical release really amounts to nothing more than an extended “commercial” for the DVD, cable broadcast, etc. They need to give the film enough time to generate a buzz, critical commentary, publicity so people will want to buy or rent the DVD, or so your cable company will want to put it “on demand” or pay per view.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

@lillycoyote I don’t think Cable/Satt. companies turn down anything to be made available on PPV

aprilsimnel's avatar

Also, movies are released at different times to different parts of the world. The studios want to get all the money from every theater they can first, anywhere, before they put something out on DVD. Plus, the film needs to be remastered for DVD, audio commentaries and extras have to be added, art direction done, etc. It’s a lot of work and bureaucracy, as well, because departments have to sign off on things, the lawyers are involved, etc., etc. These activities all take time.

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