Veronica Mars' Release Takes Novel Approach for Hollywood

Warner Bros. will make it available for home viewers on same day as opening
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2014 12:08 PM CST
In this 2006 photo, actress Kristen Bell appears on the set of the television series 'Veronica Mars.'   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)

(Newser) Veronica Mars already set a Hollywood precedent by turning to Kickstarter for a successful fundraising campaign. Now it will set another on its release date of March 14, reports the Wall Street Journal. Warner Bros. will make the movie available online and for video-on-demand services the same day it opens in theaters, a first for any of the major studios. Normally, big theater chains demand a 90-day window before movies become available elsewhere, but Warner Bros. is getting around that with a technicality: It's actually renting 260 theaters from AMC to show the movie.

Is this the way of the future? Variety doesn't think so, calling this a "one-off" exception to make good on filmmaker Rob Thomas' promise to Kickstarter donors for a limited theatrical release. What's more, given the TV series' strong fan base, the movie is likely to make most of its money not in theaters but in rentals and DVD purchases. "The existence of Kickstarter and the emergence of the social Internet make something like this possible," says a Warner exec. "The economics work."

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