Following its statement last week on the issue of release windows – and in the light of developments since then – the CEA has today published a further statement on the issue, as follows:
“The recent issues around release windows were not just about one particular film. Rather they reflect much wider-ranging efforts by studios to change a key element of longstanding trading relationships. Such changes are a matter for negotiation between the studio and exhibitor concerned. But in general the CEA would be concerned about any negative impact on the UK cinema industry
Cinema is not the music industry, where existing business models are widely seen as broken. UK cinema admissions have been steadily rising for the last 25 years. Box office in 2009 in the UK and Ireland broke the £1bn barrier for the first time.
Many cinemas have invested huge amounts of their own money in improving the cinema-going experience, most recently through digital 3D. Without a clear window between a film’s theatrical release and its release on other platforms, such as DVD, that investment is at risk.
Significant changes to the release window could cause a marked reduction in cinema admissions, particularly for those smaller operators who can only play a film several weeks after it is released. Hundreds of cinemas up and down the country would be put at risk by any significant reduction in admissions.
The impact of this would be lost jobs and businesses. But more importantly still, it would result in less film choice and less opportunities for the public to see movies where they were intended to be seen – the cinema.”