Jackass Movie Straight to Web: Screws theatres, BBI

Give the folks at Paramount credit for being enterprising and awake. The need to give movie theatres an exclusive sales period before a movie’s digital release (DVD and web) hurts the studios’ marketing flexibility, and box office sales are declining. Meanwhile, young movie viewers are all online, DVD sales are also declining, and Blockbuster (BBI) is fighting for its survival.

Put all those factors together, and you get Paramount’s (VIAB) marketing strategy for the third instalment of the offensive and popular “Jackass” series, Jackass 2.5:

  • A week of exclusive downloads starting on Dec. 19 through Blockbuster’s invisible movie download site Movielink (BBI)
  • A release on DVD, iTunes, etc on Dec 26, with exclusive rental distribution through Blockbuster.
  • A Jan 1 release to other online distributors, such as Joost.

Who gets screwed in this equation? Movie theatres. According to the WSJ, the first two Jackass features brought in $64 million and $73 million at the box office, respectively. If Paramount can begin to cut theatres out of the distribution chain, it will have more ability to release movies on all platforms at once (or in whatever order makes the most economic sense).

And Blockbuster probably also gets screwed. It had to pay $2 million for its week of exclusivity on MovieLink. We’re sure teenagers will pay almost anything to watch tee shots get hit off crotches, etc., but even teens, we imagine, will be willing to delay gratification a week. (Doug McIntyre at 24/7 Wall St has a similar take)

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