We’re all familiar with the Hollywood-machine consigning movies to the ‘straight to video’ market, bypassing a theatrical release altogether. This week, MGM began to experiment with a new category: straight to download — with “A Dog’s Breakfast”, directed by David Hewlett (star of the sci-fi series, “Stargate Atlantis”), making its debut on Apple’s iTunes and Amazon’s Unbox.
Even though the movie is a low-budget affair (presenting little risk to MGM) it seems that the film’s distribution strategy is being driven by the potential to appeal to an existing Stargate fan-base.
Hollywood Reporter quotes MGM executive, Charles Cohen, as saying:
“David Hewlett’s film has generated a tremendous amount of interest among the ‘Stargate’ fan online community, and we are thrilled to give them what they want with this initiative.”
Additionally, “A Dog’s Breakfast” has been promoted on YouTube, with the trailer being viewed over 250,000 times, as well as through the film’s own website, ADogsBreakfastMovie.com. At the time of publication, “A Dog’s Breakfast” sits at number nineteen in Amazon’s download chart.
In the future we’re likely to see many more movies going straight to download, as it reduces distribution costs to near-zero, and — supported by social media and other types of online marketing — a movie distributed this way has a much better chance of reaching its niche target audience (and turning a profit) than in the old days of straight to video. I also think we’ll see the most successful ‘straight to download’ movies making the journey back the other way, by being rewarded with a full theatrical release.