The much bally-hooed crowdfunded feature motion picture Veronica Mars is set to upset the long established exclusive theatrical “window” that has been in place since the beginning of time.
Although proffered as an “independent” movie on Kickstarter, it quickly became apparent that the film was a child of Warner Bros studio that was looking to offload the production risk on the pre-existing fan base developed during the television run that was cancelled several years earlier.
The Kickstarter campaign was successful beyond anyone’s imagination, raising $5,702,153 from 91,585 “backers” in exchange for T-shirts, digital copies of the screenplay and other “swag.”
Now, the studio plans to “4 Wall” the movie in about 270 theaters across the country and sell/rent it online on the same day. Films that are released in theaters, at the exhibitors’ insistence, usually are not available for home viewing until, generally, they have finished their theatrical run, typically 90 days or more after their theatrical release. 4 Walling means that Warners is renting the theaters and taking the economic risk that the film will fill seats during the week that will cover their rent expense (the theaters keep the popcorn money, which is their profit margin in all situations anyway). The film will stay in theaters as long as there is an audience to support the rent.
The WSJ has a good article on this here: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB20001424052702303636404579397322240026950?mod=index_to_people&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB20001424052702303636404579397322240026950.html%3Fmod%3Dindex_to_people