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Symbiotic Relationship Between DVD and Theatrical Releases Is Growing Stronger

19 Apr, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

With Miramax Films' successful $25 million box office theatrical launch of Kill Bill Vol. 2 coming just days after the DVD launch of Kill Bill Vol. 1, the relationship between DVD and theatrical releases is closer than ever.

Miramax executives have even attributed the bigger bow of the theatrical sequel to the availability of the first volume on DVD, and the studio launched the week's festivities with a gala party at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles — not for the film, but for the first volume's DVD. With this new strategy, it's hard to determine whether the DVD is piggybacking on the film or vice versa.

As DVD has grown in stature in the creative and theatrical community, so has its strategic value in the box office arena. We've seen several free movie ticket offers packaged in DVDs, with accompanying friends helping to boost initial weeks' box office tally. The “Lord of the Rings” franchise boosted box office in this way. Most recently, Warner Home Video's direct-to-video DVD release of an animated “Scooby-Doo” title included a free child's admission to see the theatrical release Scooby-Doo 2. Certainly, each child brought along at least one parent or friend to increase the take for that film.

Still, the strategy employed by Miramax and Buena Vista Home Entertainment for Kill Bill appears to have taken the relationship to a new level. Could we soon see films waiting to piggyback on a DVD?

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