In the past five years the use of digital distribution has had a positive and negative affect on the marketing of films. Films can now be digitally marketed through the internet on sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. This access through social media and the internet has revolutionised film advertisement and has massively influences the profit made. Today almost every method of distribution is digital from digital screenings and cinema screenings and this affects the profit made by cinemas as consumers have easier access to see cinema contents which boosts sales for film companies such as Warner Bros.
An example of digital distribution being utilised for marketing and distribution is the 2013 science fiction thriller film Gravity. Gravity opened the 70th Venice International Film Festival in August 2013 and had a North American premier at the Telluride Film Festival the same month: it was released to cinemas in the United States and Canada on October 4th 2013. The films taking in North America reached $17.5 million on Friday and 80% of the film’s opening weekend gross came from its 3D showings. Because the film trailer was more accessible through social media such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook it encourage more people, who may not have gone to see it, make an effort to visit the cinema increasing general sales.
Nearly all films are now digitally sent and screened in cinemas, this is a faster method. It also means the fil can be sent to any cinema with an internet connection in seconds: meaning it can be distributed more widely. This meant that Gravity could be sent to cinemas in both 2D and 3D and shows why the 3D showings grossed $44 million.
Due to technological convergence it is easier for most people to access films at home or on the go via their tablets, phones or laptops/computers rather than going to the cinema. Cinemas are threatened by these new methods of digital distribution as it poses the question of who would pay to see films at the cinema if they can watch it at home on their multi-media device?
Digital distribution has affected the marketing and consumption of films in almost every aspect and it is now hard to think of a recent film that is not being digitally distributed. This is a negative for cinemas as it reduces consumers for them but a positive for production companies as more people are willing to pay for films in the home and the end result is an increase of sales.