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Paramount Pictures changes distribution model for some upcoming films

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The front gates at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles, CA
Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Paramount Pictures is shortening the window for a film's theatrical release to its availability on streaming services.

The studio will shorten the typical three-month period before releasing a film to DVD and streaming after its theatrical release.

Paramount Pictures has announced that it will release some of its upcoming titles in an unconventional way: the studio intends to release two films —including the latest entry in the "Paranormal Activity" franchise — on video-on-demand platforms just weeks after their theatrical debuts, going against a long standing routine of a three-month wait period.

Paranormal Activity Trailer

This is all happening in the wake of Hulu's $192 million deal for rights to the TV show, "South Park," as well as Netflix's recent deals with independent film producers.

Andrew Wallenstein, co-editor in chief of Variety, spoke with the Frame's John Horn to discuss the news.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

There is some big news today out of Paramount, which is addressing what is know in the industry as "The Window." That is the time period between when a movie leaves a theater and when it is available on DVD and streaming services. What has Paramount announced?

Paramount announced that it has two of the biggest theater chains on board, but it doesn't have Regal, which is the biggest. I suspect there is going to be a little bit of backlash from the theater chains, not just about these movies, but about the entire Paramount slate.
The Paramount news really underscores the whole evolution of streaming. There is other big news this week about streaming: Hulu is reportedly paying $192 million for the rights to "South Park." That is even more than what Hulu paid for "Seinfeld." How do the economics of all of these deals make sense for these fledgling streaming services?
There is other news in the streaming world from Netflix, which is expanding its relationships with independent producers for original feature films. That's on the heals of a big deal it made with the Duplass brothers and its recent deal to distribute a film starring Brad Pitt. So what is Netflix's strategy and how does it differ from Hulu's?
Amazon, Netflix, Hulu — is there another major player in the wings in the streaming world and who do you think that might be?
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