Movie Theater Execs Fight Shrinking DVD Window 
Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News
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Tuesday, 04 April 2006

Executives from top movie theater chains on Wednesday dismissed calls to shorten the period between a film's release on the big screen and on DVD, saying it would be harmful to studios, theaters and consumers. Some studio executives, including Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger, have called for faster DVD releases to combat rising piracy over the Internet, amid slowing sales of DVDs and a U.S. box office slump.

But executives from Regal Entertainment Group, the world's largest movie theater chain, and National Amusements Inc. disagreed with a narrower theatrical window -- the time between when movies are released in theaters and subsequently on DVD.

National Amusements operates 1,500 movie screens around the world, some of which have been outfitted with express concessions, leather rocking chairs, live pre-show entertainment and other successful gimmicks.

Films, on average, move to the home video market about four months after their release in theaters, a timeframe that has been steadily shrinking over recent years and eroding the exclusivity theaters used to enjoy.

Disney's Iger has even suggested previously that the industry may need to release DVDs while films are still in theaters.

National Amusements' Redstone, who is also vice chairman of CBS Corp. and Viacom, said the industry should even consider extending the period between when a movie is shown on the big screen and when it is available for home viewing


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