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The Lure of the Theater

26 May, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

When querying U.S. home video distributors about their sojourns to the 57th Festival de Cannes last week, I realized that despite the phenomenal impact DVD has on a film's potential profitability, the lure of a theatrical release, despite the cost and marginal return, at times will supersede conventional wisdom.

Wellspring Home Entertainment, which acquired the rights to Vincent Gallo's infamous The Brown Bunny, plans to release the film theatrically prior to video.

Tanya York, CEO of York Entertainment, said filmmakers prefer a theatrical debut largely due to ego and tradition.

“There is absolutely more money to be made in home video, but the prestige remains with theatrical,” she said.

Ildi Toth-Dady, director of international home entertainment at First Look Media, agreed.

“DVD is the bread and butter of our business,” said Toth-Dady. “It has to be really special to get a theatrical run.”

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