Oscar Titles Should Hurry to Disc6 Mar, 2012 By: Stephanie Prange
Purists will say that ideally every Oscar-lauded title should be seen in the theater, and I understand that sentiment. Sitting in the middle seat of a packed theater offers an experience that is truly unique.
But that ideal experience doesn’t always occur. Often, arriving late to a packed theater I have to squeeze into a seat way up front or way at the back. Perhaps the focus is off or there is a screaming baby in the theater. If you arrive early, you often are forced to sit through numerous commercials. In short, the theater experience isn’t always the ideal that filmmakers, who are often treated to private screenings, extoll.
At the Oscars this year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences made a point of touting the virtues of going out to the movies. Ushers handed out popcorn and other goodies to the theater audience at the ceremony, a nostalgic nod to the movie-going experience of yesteryear. It only made me recall that the last time I got popcorn, I had to wait in line at the refreshment counter and pay $4 for a snack that cost the theater pennies.
I can’t exactly blame the Academy for romanticizing the movie experience. That’s sort of its job. But I do think the home viewing experience has an important place in exposing consumers to these critically acclaimed films.
Last year’s best picture winner, The King’s Speech, wasn’t easily accessible to my mother after the ceremony. She couldn’t find it playing theatrically anywhere near her Texas town, and she asked me when the disc was due. I told her it would be weeks away. A few years ago, I tried to see Frost/Nixon, another Oscar-lauded film, but could only find it at one theater in my area in Orange County, Calif. This disc wasn’t yet available.
While it’s great that this year’s Academy Award juggernaut and best picture winner The Artist, may be opening up to more theatrical screens, I wish it were available immediately on the home screen.
The Oscar ceremony’s marketing push lasts only so long, and disc often is the best medium to capture that fever.