CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Romance, Distribution, Home Entertainment, Cinematical Indie, Features, Movie News, CinematicalOn November 20, for the first time ever, a movie will be exclusively distributed via iTunes. Yes, we already heard about this briefly when our own Kevin Kelly talked with Edward Burns at ComicCon. But at the time, Burns had said he would be given a trial run, in which his latest film, Purple Violets, would be available on iTunes for four weeks beginning on October 9. That date has come and gone, and now the New York Times has revealed that the film will actually get a full, exclusive release on November 20. That means you won't be able to see it in theaters, or on DVD, or on Cable. Yet, anyway. Personally, I'm a bit shocked the idea didn't happen sooner. There's tons and tons of indie films out there that can't get good distro. Going with iTunes sounds like a great opportunity to get notice. Plus, with iTunes still only offering less than 1000 movies, and still unable to get titles from all the studios, the service would do well to increase its library with exclusives like this. The idea certainly worked for companies like Netflix, which started exclusive distribution via its Red Envelope Entertainment moniker. Maybe one day, like Red Envelope, iTunes could even produce its own movies.
The Times goes into detail about iTunes distribution, mentioning the strategy of putting Wes Anderson's Hotel Chevalier up for free download, which sparked extra interest in The Darjeeling Limited. It also points out the benefit of having short films on iTunes in general, not just for well-knowns like Anderson. The move can affect DVD rentals, though, according to Burns, who has had difficulty securing video distribution for Purple Violets now that it will be available on iTunes. The movie, which stars Burns, Debra Messing, Patrick Wilson and Selma Blair, premiered earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival, where Eric called it Burns' "best film since The Brothers McMullen ... a more mature film than anything Burns has done in the past."