Now indie filmmakers can skip the distributor and take their features directly to Blockbuster. The world’s largest home video chain has recently decided to accept submissions directly from major studios, indie producers and distributors, as well as shopping for titles at festivals such as Sundance.
The chain plans to acquire exclusive U.S. domestic video rights to roughly 15 titles per year, and then stock them in stores with one million customers a day. Features that have aired on TV, or that have had limited theatrical releases will be considered, as well as brand new productions. Between 24 and 36 titles a year will also be acquired directly from Showtime cable net, a fellow Viacom company.
‘We want to bring in a spectrum of genres, from kids to docudramas to dramas to family product, so we’re looking for all sorts of different types,’ says spokesperson Karen Raskopf. ‘Our research has confirmed that our customers want variety-what we’re trying to do is to make sure we offer that.’
Blockbuster will display the exclusive titles in the new releases section, backing them with shelf talkers announcing ‘new title’ or ‘only at Blockbuster.’ In-store monitor ads, window banners, Preview magazine coverage and electronic advertising for select titles will also help get the word out. Raskopf says interested filmmakers and distributors should contact Greg Creel at 214-854-3000.