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ClickStar Wants to Shine

7 Jul, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner

Another upstart media company is proposing to bring films to the Internet and other channels on the same day as the theatrical release. ClickStar already has Intel backing and Hollywood talent, but the company doesn't have much else yet.

ClickStar is a joint venture of Revelations Entertainment, the partnership between actor Morgan Freeman and producer Lori McCreary, and computer component giant Intel. ClickStar's CEO, Nizar Allibhoy, is a former VP of strategic alliances for Sony Pictures Digital and most recently served as EVP at Revelations.

Last year, the companies established the Intel/Revelations “Open House,” which was set up to start a dialogue between content creators and the technology industry about digital distribution. ClickStar is an offshoot of that.

“ClickStar addresses the growing worldwide consumer demand for digital content — especially filmed entertainment,” Freeman said. “Our goal is to deliver first-run premium entertainment to film fans around the world and to make film easier to buy than to pirate.”

The companies announced July 6 that they will launch ClickStar as a movie download site in early 2006. There's just one hitch: So far, they have no content and no physical distribution.

Allibhoy acknowledged that so-called superdistribution will face obstacles, but he believes the principals' Hollywood insider status will help ClickStar overcome those hurdles.

“We just feel that now is the time to take advantage of the fact that the Internet and broadband technology let us create a whole new media,” Allibhoy said. Some titles may be released simultaneously on the Internet and in theaters, and others may have staggered releases.

“The overarching principle is making content available to consumers in any way they desire,” he said.

His comments echo the mantra of 2929 Productions partners Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, who announced earlier this year that 2929 plans to release films across platforms simultaneously. The company was able to screen Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room day-and-date on 2929's HDNet cable channel and in its Landmark Theaters. But the title still hasn't found a DVD distributor or exhibitors outside of theaters the partners own.

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