Indie Flicks Now Come To Cable Boxes As Soon As They Hit Theaters

It used to be Steven Soderbergh who could get away with bringing indie films to cable on-demand services on their theatrical opening day

Now IFC Entertainment has reached a deal with Comcast and Cablevision that pipes all its films, in HD, to cable boxes, giving moviegoers an option to ditch their local art houses.

Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke reports Cablevision charges $6.95 for either standard definition or high-definition, while Comcast charges $6.99 for SD and $7.99 for HD. Here’s a look at the current slate, which includes older films as well as new ones.

New Alphabet For Indie Fans: IFC-HD-VOD [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
(Photo: videovdcombo)

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  1. GMFish says:

    This makes sense. Big budget hollywood movies can afford to have multiple advertising budgets, one for the theattrical release, one for the release to cable, one for the release to DVD, etc.

    But independent movies don’t have that luxury. Independent movies have that initial buzz that gets everyone talking. But it dies away quickly. And by the time the movie is finally released to cable the buzz is gone. This is a great plan as it will allow more people to see these movies.

    I know I’ve put independent movies in my Netflix saved queue but forget why I saved them when they enter my actual queue to be sent. That’s because the initial buzz is gone and all I have is the title to go by.

  2. kaceetheconsumer says:

    I’m not a Comcast customer, but I’d use a service like that as a rabid Anthony LaPaglia fan, since most of his movies end up on limited release in the US. Like right now, I’d pay to see $9.99 at home (an animated film with LaPaglia and Geoffrey Rush doing vocals), but the best I can do otherwise is wait and hope it shows up ata theatre here. Then comes Balibo…bet that won’t get wide release here either.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I think it’s important that people who enjoy independent films still support their local theaters. Most of them charge less than the big chains, feature indie movies as well as the big features and and at the same time as well.

    For instance, one of my local (non chain) theaters charges $9 flat rate, regardless of when you see a matinee or a nighttime showing..but the AMC near me charges $11.50 and $9 for nighttime and matinee, respectively.

    • takes_so_little says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: I think a lot of us who enjoy indie films and arthouse theaters like the experience of going to the show.

    • MMD says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: I agree in principle…but speaking as someone who’s about to move from a city where this is possible (Chicago) to a smaller town where I fear it won’t be possible, I see alternate distribution methods as a positive development!

  4. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    around my area most of the art house theatres charge less AND serve beer… but a few of them are in trouble. my brother in law worked at one until recently and wrote about its impending closing:
    [filmbabble.blogspot.com]

    it’s stuff like this that could kill off the theatres showing independent films or smaller release titles just like the multiplex and stadium seating killed the drive in.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @catastrophegirl – brand new homeowner: Arguably, I love stadium seating because I’m short and I hate being behind really tall people. Since we exclusively go to theaters with stadium seating, Mr. Pi and I haven’t had to do the “can you see?” and then swap seats and find a happy medium in which you’re behind no one and hope no one sits there, or you’re watching the screen from between two heads.

      The Arlington Drafthouse in Arlington, VA, thankfully has stadium seating AND good food!

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: i’m not saying stadium seating isn’t good – i’m short also. although it’s a pain when the person behind you can kick you in the back of the head

    • takes_so_little says:

      @catastrophegirl – brand new homeowner: That’s too bad. For me, the indie theater I go to is cheaper, has better movies, better and cheaper food, less advertising, fewer ill-mannered people, and live jazz in the adjacent cafe after the show… it’s no contest. Why would I ever go to a bigbox place?

  5. aedude01 says:

    This would be great for people who don’t live near an art house theater. I’m fortunate enough to live in a big metropolis, so I can generally see things “first run”. Back when I lived in the mid-west though, we were on the last “leg” of arthouse tours, and generally speaking the film would be on DVD the week after it opened in our town.

    In some ways this is a good thing. In others not so much…

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      This would be great for people who don’t live near an art house theater

      @aedude01: Yep. I’m thinking that people who are into indie films are (hopefully) also into supporting the art house theaters so (again, hopefully) this wouldn’t cause a drop in the number of people going.

      It might get harder to get more people to go once they can get it at home though.

  6. synergy says:

    I’m all for it. I’d rather watch a good “small” film at home than go to an “art house” where the prices for everything are over-inflated to make up for their lack of broad appeal.

  7. Peter_Betts says:

    This I believe is the whimper of the end of movie theatres.

    Someone mentioned that most people like the experience of going to the show. I am sure there are those who will continue to frequent their local independent theatre. The one’s who do not, will try this service. The struggling independent movie houses will then lose some much needed funds either causing them to fold, or to charge more which will lead more people to this service.

    If this service is a success and the smaller films start making more than they did before I see no reason why a major studios would not try this method for certain films…and so on, and so on.

    We are going to be slurping our meals and traveling with floating chairs in no time. MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  8. Keith Hobin says:

    IFC “reaching a deal” with Cablevision isn’t that surprising… Cablevision owns IFC.
    Cablevision -> Rainbow Media -> IFC
    [en.wikipedia.org]

    The supprsing part is that Cablevision is going to allow Comcast to show IFC movies on demand at all.

  9. BytheSea says:

    This is pretty cool. If you live in Bumblefuck or the suburbs, there probably isn’t an arthouse within an hour of you. Tix plus gas can get pretty expensive to see that Tears for Kosovo just so you can get that girl from the poetry slam into bed.

  10. kyle4 says:

    Yes and yes. Glad to see Indie films getting more exposure, they’re much better made than high profile Hollywood bs.