Drinking Buddies star Olivia Wilde took to Buzzfeed to explain why she embraces Video on Demand.
Her newest film, Drinking Buddies, opens on Friday in Chicago and New York (Listings) before expanding to a few more theaters during Labor Day weekend. When all is said and done, the film will likely play in less than 30 theaters overall. For $9.99, you can rent the film for 48 hours through Amazon Instant Video and watch in HD on Kindle Fire HD, Xbox 360, PS3, Roku, TiVo and other Amazon Instant Video HD-compatible devices.
Wilde asks “why is there still a collective skepticism when it comes to films released on VOD and iTunes before a theatrical run?”
The actress cites on Entertainment Weekly article from August 2012:
“Not only does VOD service over-busy cinephiles, it finally allows heartland audiences that have historically been underserved with independent film a chance to be the first to see the buzziest festival movies.”
It’s true. I live in a city that has one art house theater and at least 4 mainstream theaters. A second-run theater will have independent films run as “exclusives” but the theater is not the proper venue to watch such a film. It doesn’t offer the stadium seating and the air-conditioning is louder than the audio at times.
Wilde finds it “understandable that change comes with the requisite amount of resistance.” However, the actress goes on to ask “when will we stop turning our noses up at this new way method of distribution, as it directly benefits the consumer?”
About the new model of watching movies, the actress says:
The point is, people will have the opportunity to see it, which wouldn’t be the case if it were competing with summer tent poles at the multiplex. With this new model, Drinking Buddies can be seen by our friends in Kansas who otherwise would only hear about it long after its release.
There is also the compelling argument that this will allow for better films to be made. If the industry embraces this new model, distributors can buy riskier films, without having to worry about an expensive theatrical marketing campaign for a limited release. That means better stuff gets produced, and, so long as we reject the assumption that small-screen premiere equals failure, we can just sit back and press play.