As watching movies online — legally — becomes more popular, discs are gradually moving to the wayside. Sony is helping things along in this direction by announcing it will offer Moneyball online Dec. 22, 19 days before it hits shelves on Blu-ray and DVD. Indie films often get this sort of treatment, but it’s rare that you see a major studio film take the increasingly popular distribution plan.
Deadline reports Sony is the only major studio so far to sell downloads before releasing discs. The studio took the same route with Bad Teacher and 30 Minutes or Less and said online sales were significantly higher because of the maneuver.
It seems releasing movies online before they hit retail could be a strong way to fight back against file sharing, because studios are selling films while the rogue digital supply is fairly slim. Once a movie is out on DVD, it’s easy to rip the file from the disc and give it to anyone who wants it.