Small Films Go ‘Straight To iTunes’; Apple Still Trying To Kickstart Movie Collection
After a string of box office disappointments cooled distributors interest in his latest production, indie filmmaker Edward Burns will release his new movie, Purple Violets via iTunes download only next month. A NYT piece notes that Purple Violets is the first full-length feature to go this route. Last month, director Wes Anderson got some traction for his movie The Darjeeling Limited when he released Hotel Chevalier, a 13-minute “prequel,” on iTunes for free in advance of the main feature’s theatrical showing. Chevalier has been downloaded about 400,000 times and has gotten more attention now that it is now being paired in theaters with Darjeeling, suggesting that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) was able to have some influence in the film’s marketing. A greater reliance on Apple by indie films could help Apple as well as the filmmakers. As Apple has admitted, the movie side of iTunes has not come close to matching the force of its music download sales. And as we’ve noted, the AppleTV device has not especially caught on. So far, Disney, Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount have a small number of titles available through iTunes. With fewer than 1,000 titles - including a paltry 28 indie films - to choose from, iTunes has had trouble capturing consumers’ attention. James McQuivey, a media analyst at Forrester Research, tells the Times that unless Apple can get a better variety of content to demonstrate its value in the video space, “they stand to lose whatever momentum they’ve gained.”
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