Quicksummer Entertainment LLC

Exhibitors Blowing Off 'Bubble'

Theater owners are apparently mounting a fairly united front to black out the Steven Soderbergh-directed Bubble in many cities on Friday. Exhibitors object to the planned simultaneous release of the movie on DVD and on pay-per-view high-definition TV. (The film is actually being released on DVD on Tuesday, the day of the week that virtually all DVDs are released.) The film is being distributed by Magnolia Pictures, owned by Mark Cuban, the dot-com entrepreneur who also owns 2929 Entertainment, the film company that backed Bubble, and the art-house theater chain Landmark Theaters. The Baltimore Sun reported today (Thursday) that no theater in that city, the country's 24th largest market, will screen the film. It quoted Scott Cohen, head of R/C Theater Management, as saying, "At this point we're not going to play any movie that is under that model." In Seattle, where the film will open at one theater, Landmark's Metro, an unnamed exhibitor told the Post-Intelligencer, "It's not a question of if we will be hurt [by simultaneous release of movies in theaters and on DVD]; it's a question of how much." In an article on his website posted on Wednesday, Cuban indicated that some exhibitors have defied the stonewall being erected against his film, but he does not indicated how many have agreed to screen it. He urges patrons of those theaters to "thank the manager ... for having the balls to go against the rest of the industry."
2006-02-11 15:13:51