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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Your logic is insane and happenstance, like that of a troll."
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October 05 2005

Universal to put its movies online. It seeks to enter the internet era by the end of the year, by allowing people to get movies online.

I think the "Who Needs Theatres Anyway" article beneath it is just as interesting for different reasons. They mentioned that Universal is spearheading a new line of Direct to DVD original pictures called "Universal DVD Originals." If Serenity continues with only mediocre box office returns, but great DVD sales (as is expected) then I think that there's a chance of a Direct to DVD sequel... which I'm frankly ambivalent about.

On the one hand: Yay! More Serenity! On the other: Boo! Lesser budget! They are starting this line of originals with Carlito's Way 2: Rise to Power and American Pie Presents: Band Camp. If you look at their budgets, CW2 has a $6,000,000 budget, and Band Camp has a budget of $10,000,000. And I don't see Serenity grossing as much as any of the AP series. Could a $5,000,000 or $10,000,000 Serenity sequel be made? Would that make it essentially just another 2 hour episode of Firefly?
We don't really need a big budget to tell Firefly stories. If they did a episode only on the ship or on a frontier planet it could cut down costs. Its not like Buffy where you need tons of money for latex make up.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-10-05 21:55 ]
This may be, in the medium to long term, where the industry is going but right now I do NOT want to see Serenity put in the same catogory as the flogged-to-death American Pie series!

I think in many ways the studios already think of DVD sales as "The Market" and treat the theatrical release as simply a cost effective marketing tool for the upcoming retail sales. But It will take a major movie, a Spielberg/Cruise $150M blockbuster, being released directly on DVD for the "stigma" of direct to video to wear off.

Edited because I can't spell.

[ edited by zz9 on 2005-10-05 22:27 ]
Same as zz9. Although I do want to see Serenity's sequels (and I haven't seen Serenity yet ;) ), I am not willing to go to any deep for that. Joss has a chance in movies, he must stay here; I'd rather see him make theatrical movies rather than straight-to-DVD things (all the more if he hasn't the budget to tell the story he wants - and, eddy, starting by saying "hey, make an episod on the ship or a planet" is NOT giving him the freedom to tell the story he wants!).
I'm hoping that Wonder Woman gives Joss the clout and cred to package future BDM's as part of deals. "Want me on this project? Greenlight Serenity 2."

[ edited by IMForeman on 2005-10-05 22:53 ]
I wonder how much they will charge for a movie download and what restrictions would come with it. I'm assuming they won't include the extras on a DVD release.
I'll always prefer to go to theaters, but this is interesting.
Anyway, I think I'm more interested in Tv Series Online (Firefly Season 2,3... Wonderfalls, The Inside... anyone?)
I see business in that.
Related, perhaps: Universal Music Group are launching iRadio, making its music catalogue available on the service.
Simon - I guess it would be like which allows you to downloads movie when they are released on DVD. You have to have a highspeed connection. Movielink already does business with Universal.
However, he cautioned, the studio's entry into the Internet sphere must be accompanied by fail-safe methods to prevent the films from being copied and redistributed.

*sigh* They just don't get it, do they? How many decades does it take until the suits get a clue and realize that no matter how "smart" their protection, it will be cracked before their product is out the door. All they do is alienating the actual customers that have to put up with non-working games, not being able to play their CDs on their computers or even software having the arrogance to dictate what someone is supposed to have installed on the computer he paid for.

I can see where this is headed. DRM-WMV files that won't work for anyone but MS-slaves, later with added "features" like "only playable 3 times" and generally such an overpriced hassle that everybody would rather be criminal and download an uncomplicated DVD-rip than putting up with the official mess. Bottom line, all their "protection" will be a pointless waste of time and money and achieve nothing but losing tons of potential customers.

Me? Pessimist? Nooo, how can it be?

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