Exhibitors steaming over 'Meatballs'

MUMBAI: Exhibitors are unhappy over Sony‘s decision to release Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs digitally on 8 December, less than three months after its theatrical release.

Sony said that Meatballs would be made available for early home entertainment viewing by owners of internet-enabled TV sets and certain Blu-ray Disc players.
Owners of Sony-branded Bravia TVs and the latest generation of networked Sony Blu-ray players will be able to rent the title almost a month earlier than the Jan. 4 street date for the DVD and Blu-ray discs.

This marks the second time Sony has tried to exploit inter-divisional synergies between Sony Pictures and Sony Electronics on a home-entertainment release. Summer 2008 actioner Hancock also got a month‘s digital jump on its packaged media release when released for Bravia and Sony Blu-ray households the following October.

That tightened its theatrical window to about 3 1/2 months. But the Hancock move but drew less discernible reaction from exhibitors who object to any disc released sooner than four months after a pic‘s theatrical opening.

Distributed in both 2D and 3D versions theatrically, Meatballs, which bowed 18 September played last weekend in a total 1,126 venues and was expected to shed at least a few hundred engagements next Friday.

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