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JJ Abrams says bad theatres keep movie fans at home, suggests ‘inevitable’ exclusivity window reduction

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams

Hollywood director J.J. Abrams has seemingly tolled the bell for the theatrical release exclusivity window enjoyed by blockbuster movies, adding that he understands why people would want to watch at home.

While industry disruptor Netflix wages a war of its own on the exclusivity window by directly releasing its movies onto its platforms, Star Wars: The Force Awakens director Abrams has said it is “inevitable” top movies will be available at home faster.

Variety quotes the director, who was speaking at a Milken Institute Global Conference panel in Beverly Hills, who blamed a sub-par theatre experience. He said he was convinced his local theatre in Maine “hates movies,” adding “you go there and they’re angry with you, it’s cold and there’s no music. The lights go out when the movie starts - there’s no ceremony. It has the most uncomfortable seat and You’re convinced there’s something in front of the projector.”

Underlining the issue, he concluded that “most people in that audience have better TVs at home than the image you’re seeing”.

From the cinema chains' perspective, he added that the economic reality is tough but expressed that they must improve the overall experience and make it worth consumers’ time and expense.

His solution to the whole issue is that eventually, movies will be made available to consumers at home during the traditional theatre release window for a “premium” fee. This move will could also cut cinemas out of the scenario potentially allowing studios to sell directly to consumers.

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