Cable TV Run Before Theatrical Triggers Lawsuit

   March 20, 2017-Theatrical release still has cachet and continues to collide with early runs on TV and video-on-demand VOD. Major Hollywood movie studio Sony Pictures refused to make a $950,000 license fee for movie “Wild Oats” asserting the producer violated their contract for theatrical release by licensing a pre-theatrical window on basic cable network Lifetime.
   According to a Hollywood Reporter story, Wild Oats was telecast Aug. 22 on Lifetime and that triggered lawsuits. The same film premiered on 100 screens later Sept. 16 via Weinstein Co.’s

This Lifetime TV art mimics the theatrical poster for Wild Oats

Dimension label and grossing a miniscule $40,498, or just $406 per screen, per Boxofficemojo. Consider that $2,000 per screen is considered poor. Its theatrical run was so poor Wild Oats didn’t play on screens a second week.
   According to Sony, the contract for $950,000 was conditioned on a “qualifying U.S. theatrical release…[with] the first public exhibition of the Picture (other than private recruited previews, test and press screenings and screenings for marketing and/or promotional purposes) would be its theatrical release on at least 100 screens in the top markets in the United States.”
   The PG-13-rated Wild Oats stars Demi Moore, Jessica Lange and Shirley MacLaine in a yarn about sudden wealth.
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