From Film To DVD?

‘Idol’ Movie Slows Its Rush to DVD
LOS ANGELES ( – The profits from the “American Idol” franchise are coming so fast and furious that Fox Studios can be forgiven for almost putting the cart before the horse in its latest run for the money. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox was prepared to blitz the first “Idol” -related film, “From Justin to Kelly” onto video and DVD within six weeks of its theatrical release, scheduled for Friday, June 13.
Not surprisingly, nationwide exhibitors balked at this possibility. Exhibitors typically receive a miniscule percentage of the box office proceeds from early in their run, relying on longevity and shelf-life (as well as popcorn and beverages) to make money.
Longevity and shelf-life haven’t necessarily been the watchwords of the “American Idol” franchise. With twice-weekly airings, regular specials, CDs by the winners, CDs by the finalists, concert tours, a spin-off (“American Juniors,” starting Tuesday, June 3), and now a film, Fox has realized the importance of capitalizing as quickly as possible on a product that has very little second-run syndicated value.
“From Justin to Kelly,” starring the show’s first two finalists, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, has already been moved from a proposed spring release to its current early summer slot in order to cash in on the show’s sustained popularity and to maintain the show’s buzz. An additional dose of aural methadone comes courtesy of Guarini’s new album, which is schedule to drop just days before the film. Citing anonymous sources, the HR says that Fox intended to get the film into theaters as quickly as possible and then have the DVDs on shelves before the end of the summer.
Any dead air around that time would be filled by the “American Idol” tour and with the release of singles by this season’s winner, Ruben Studdard, and Clay Aiken, the popular runner-up. The DVD momentum then might carry into hypothetical Christmas releases for their full albums, which would flow into the new season of “American Idol” starting next winter. That could gush into the inevitable feature film starring Ruben and Clay, which could be swiftly followed by its own release on DVD.
Exhibitor concerns have reportedly slowed this “Idol” circle of life somewhat and the DVDs of “From Justin to Kelly” won’t hit shelves until September.
A Fox spokesperson denies the whole fracas, saying, “As with all of our films, no home entertainment release date has been set prior to the opening in theaters.”