Sunday, April 3, 2011

Window on Wake Wood

In the distribution game it is, generally, all about the 'window' - the amount of time a film is available to be exploited on each platform.

In recent times 'windows' have been severely contracting, especially at the niche end of the market. Smaller release titles are increasingly using the marketing push of a theatrical cinema release with reviews and editorial coverage to piggy-back a simultaneous release on other platforms.

In the recent instance of Ken Loach's Route Irish, the film was in cinemas, on Sky Box Office and on two VoD platforms as of March 18.

Here we have the Irish/UK title Wake Wood, from Fantastic Films and Hammer. It was launched in two Irish cinemas on March 25 by small UK distribution outfit Vertigo Films and took €909.00 at the box office on its opening weekend.

Lo and behold the week was hardly out and the Momentum DVD release was available to buy in Tesco for €10.95. It'd be interesting to know how many 'units' they shifted.


Fred said...

The danger with a DVD release of course is that it is closely followed by piracy. The generally positive - in some cases very positive - reviews for Wake Wood in recent weeks have no doubt contributed to the film's current popularity on the 'file sharing' circuit. You could argue, maybe, that the film's very narrow cinema release (in both the UK and Ireland) only exacerbates illegal downloading as for many punters the internet is the only way that they can see this film.

A strange release pattern, especially given the positivity of the reviews.

irish film portal said...

Fred, I suspect the 'file sharing' problem you refer to is a consequence of a bit of a delay in the film reaching the market after it had been well touted around the horror/fantasy circuit and brought to the attention of Hammer devotees. Perhaps its illegal availability made them hesitant to give it a bigger push?
It started shooting in September 2008 and received a last bit of top up funding from the Irish Film Board in March 2009 (giving a total production loan of €975,000). So the film has been two years reaching the market and leakage into the nether zones was almost a certainty.
I would have thought that the DVD market for titles like Wake Wood was all about the 'extras' that would not be available illegally, but I don't know that this DVD release is enhanced in this way.