Mark Cuban has a job waiting for you…all you have to do is solve the movie business model that seems to be haunting him. He poses the following question:
How do you get people out of the house to see your movie without spending a fortune?
He goes on to talk about the outrageous amount of money that must be spent to manufacture a blockbuster movie.
I think he’s going about this all wrong. The problem is in the phrase “out of the house.” Let’s face it. Movie theater attendance is down, mostly because most people don’t want to leave their house. They’ve found great ways to entertain themselves without ever leaving home. Look at all the money that’s been and is being spent on home theater systems, high-end televisions, etc.
Cuban needs to get out of the model that worked in the past and focus instead on the future. Or, another way to look at it is by saying that he’s still trying to apply the blockbuster mentality in a long tail world. I know because I often face the same challenges in the book publishing business, especially when working with brick-and-mortar accounts vs. online ones.
Sure, there will be more blockbuster movies later this year, next year and in the years after that. But they’ll come at a price, and Cuban has correctly noted that the price is ridiculously high. So rather than fighting within the parameters of the existing model, break through and completely changing the playing field.
Build a new model that’s centered on the home entertainment experience, not the theater. Cuban has stated before that he wants to break the system and not force customers to go to a theater to watch a new release. Great. Now make that an irresistible proposition. He talks about an affiliate program for theaters. Forget about that and build one for home rentals/viewing. Figure out how to fold in some sort of snack component so that people can really “stick it to the man” by not having to pay an arm and a leg for stale popcorn and a bucket-o-Coke. The solution here is right under his own roof, not at the movie theater.