Finding the Audience: Distribution Notes for 7/30/08

“Boring, baby-maintaining adult” and one of my favorite AdFreaks David Griner picks up on “social viewing” being the common thread between Netflix’s new distribution deal through the Xbox 360 and Disney’s Blu-ray Sleeping Beauty functionality. And he rightly pegs that sort of feature as something that’s going to be increasingly important to younger viewers.

Don at Mashable says free streaming movies would be a better allocation of studio resources than constant tilting at windmills in the form of “fighting” piracy.

An interesting piece from the Hollywood Reporter on how it’s the exception and not the rule for successful movies to spend some significant time at the top of the box-office heap. What’s interesting is that the lifespan of a hit movie this year, while it pales in comparison to the staying power of movies twenty years ago or so, is still better than last years. There’s the assumption that this shift from last year to this means Hollywood’s decision to release fewer movies worked, but I think that might be a hasty conclusion to jump to. I think it’s just the quality of the movies, which is much higher than it was last year.

Oh, and this year’s box-office is a lot better than last year’s at this point.

Scott Kirsner passes on the results of a survey that shows while independent filmmakers are frustrated by not making much money from digital distribution channels now, they still remain optimistic that this is the way to go for the future.

The only surprise in the story of how Netflix is shuttering their Red Envelope distribution division is that it took this long to happen. As Karina and just about everyone else points out, the venture put Netflix in the position of competing against the studios it needed to provide it with blockbusters and catalog titles that are so popular.

Laurie at Infinicine has a great interview with the head of Shooting People, a network of filmmakers and other creatives that allows members to trade information and resources, on how the members of the group are getting involved in changing distribution patterns and leading the charge to adopt new technologies.

Laurie also is doing some thinking out loud about whether the digital download market is actually a good thing for small filmmakers or not.

20th Century Fox has become the first major studio to partner with an exhibition chain on the oft-promised introduction of digital upgrades. The studio has worked out a deal with a consortium of exhibitors that would significantly expand the roll-out of digital projection and delivery, something that brings with it lower costs and a better overall audience experience.

Anne Thompson gives small & creepy films, a small distribution site run by screenwriter Caroline Thompson, a brief profile.

On the home video front, Blockbuster says it’s planning a string of digital download kiosks as well as the eventual integration of Movielink into their offerings. And Netflix has hit the 12,000 title mark for its Watch Instantly service while it signs a series of distribution deals.

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