Paramount has struck a deal that could change theatrical releases forever

Paramount Pictures is partnering with two leading theatrical distributors for an unprecedented theatre/digital revenue sharing plan that could change the way we watch first-run releases.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Paramount, AMC Theatres and Cineplex Entertainment have struck a deal in which two of the studio’s upcoming low budget horrors, “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” and “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” will be available in theatres exclusively for only two weeks before going onto digital home release platforms.

Since the VCR-era of the 1980s, the standard for studios has been waiting 90 days after a movie debuts in theatres before the title is available on other platforms.

According to the agreement, The Wrap reports, AMC and Cineplex will receive a percentage of any of the studio’s revenue for the period titles are available digitally through the 90 days of the initial U.S. release.

The WSJ story also states, if the early release plan is successful for the two horror titles, Paramount will make the strategy standard for its future films, which include franchises like “Transformers,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Star Trek.”

This is not the first time a studio have tried to shrink the theatrical release window.

In 2011, Universal planned to release “Tower Heist” on VOD to Comcast cable subscribers in two cities at a premium price two weeks after the film debuted in theatres. That was quickly canceled following overwhelming resistance from the National Association of Theatre Owners.

“Movie-lovers want us to respond and meet their desires. Exhibitors want to keep their businesses strong. Filmmakers want us to put a premium on the theatrical experience and optimise consumer access to their creations. Our hope and intent is that this initiative offers a degree of innovation that benefits all parties,” Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, told The Wrap.

“Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” opens in theatres October 23, while “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” comes out October 30.

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