Warner Bros. is continuing to explore plans to offer some of its films on home video in as little as 17 days after their theatrical debut, according to Variety. For over a decade, most major studios have had a partnership with movie theaters for a 90-day window between theatrical release and home video, but in recent years Warner Bros., as well as Paramount and Universal, have floated the idea of a shortened window. Now, Warner Bros. CEO/Chairman Kevin Tsujihara said that his company has been "making a lot of progress" towards that goal.
“We’re making a lot of progress. We’re aggressively working with exhibitors to talk about models that will grow the market instead of cannibalizing the market," Tsujihara said in a press conference call. "Part of the reason that’s driving this is consumers and the economics of the film business.”
Variety goes on to cite several unnamed sources that one of Warner Bros.'s ideas is for some films to be offered 17 days after they open in theaters, for a 48-hour $50 rental, with an undisclosed portion of that going to participating theaters.
Citing an industry trend towards CGI-based action movies (such as superhero films) and animation squeezing "the middle of the market," the Warner Bros. CEO/Chairman said it would help another flagging genre. The Warner Bros. head somewhat indicates with this that the early release wouldn't apply to tentpole releases such as its DC Comics and Harry Potter franchises.
“The middle of the market in the theatrical business has gotten extremely tough,” said Tsujihara. "[Some movies in home earlier would] change the economics of adult dramas. It’s about giving consumers what they want. If we don’t give it to them, they’re going to go to pirated versions.”
A report from earlier this year estimates that CGI-heavy sci-fi and superhero films are the most pirated.