n. The simultaneous release of a new movie in theaters, on DVD, and on pay-per-view television.
In February, the film industry as we know it may change forever. That's when "Bubble," a low-budget murder mystery directed by Steven Soderbergh, will appear in theaters — and on cable, and on DVD, all on the same day. The movie is the first in a six-film deal between Soderbergh and 2929 Entertainment, a partnership led by the media moguls Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, which includes theaters, cable channels and production and distribution companies. While no one expects "Bubble" to break box-office records, even a modicum of success could indicate the arrival of something many in the movie business have anticipated — and feared — for years: universal release.
Well before it reaches the silver screen this autumn, Bubble, a murder mystery set in small-town Ohio, is emerging as one of Hollywood's most talked-about films. It is not the cast, which will be made up of local people, or the budget, a pittance by Hollywood standards, that is creating such a buzz. It is the fact that Bubble will be the motion picture industry's first "universal release", made available simultaneously in cinemas, on home video and through pay television.
Mark Cuban says digital distribution and universal release will expand both the audience and the profits, while curbing piracy.