DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg predicts movies will only be in theaters for three weekends

By Daniel S Levine,

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg likes to make bold predictions and one he made earlier this week certainly grabbed the attention of Hollywood. While speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday, Katzenberg said that the way movies are distributed will completely change in just 10 years. The most drastic change may be that movies are only in theaters for 17 days, or at least three weekends.

Katzenberg believes that once those 17 days are up, the movies will be available everywhere at once and that consumers will pay a fee to see the movies at home based on a screen size of their choice. “You won’t pay for the window of availability, you will pay by the inch you watch,” he told the crowd, reports The Wall Street Journal.

A ticket to see the film in a theater would be $15 and seeing it on a TV would cost you $4.99. If you only want to watch the movie on a small, phone-size screen, it would only cost you $1.99.

“The fact is our core business is pretty changed,” Katzenberg said, notes The Hollywood Reporter. “So diversification right now is necessary for us if we want to grow the business.”

Katzenberg said that even though movies remain popular, the way people are watching them has changed, as evidenced by the growth of Netflix. He believes that Netflix has now created more opportunities for the business, as it makes more content available.

Katzenberg’s comments that the movie business is changing seemed to be validated on Tuesday, when DWA reported that it had to take a $57 million writedown because of the failure of Mr. Peabody & Sherman at the box office.

“The box office shortfall of Mr. Peabody & Sherman is evidence of the current challenges we face within our feature film segment, and restoring the strength in our core business is my number one priority today,” Katzenberg said in a statement Tuesday.

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