In an experiment that tests consumer appetite for online movies, Paramount's movie, Jackass 2.5 is skipping traditional theatrical release in favor of online distribution. The movie is the second sequel in a franchise based on the MTV program that features violent, often stomach-churning stunts.
On Dec. 19, it will be available exclusively on Blockbuster's Website for free streaming, meaning viewers can watch but not keep the movie. Starting Dec. 26, the movie will be available for purchase on DVD at major DVD retailers, but rentals will be available only at Blockbuster. Starting Dec. 26, it will also become available for sale online at other outlets like iTunes. From Jan. 1, downloadable rentals of the movie will be available exclusively at Movielink, which Blockbuster bought earlier this year.
The move comes as the studios explore new media in the face of lackluster revenue in traditional outlets. Box-office sales are down about 7% for the holiday season. DVD sales are down for the year, dropping 1% so far in the fourth quarter.
If Paramount can show this tactic brings in revenue, it could become a template for movies aimed at young, Internet-savvy viewers. The movie will be promoted heavily online, including on Facebook. (info from The Wall Street Journal)