OK, so just before we start, I want you to know that I'm going to try very hard not to make any jokes about the French in this post (even though a certain line of dialog from The Last of The Mohicans keeps running in my head). But, back to the news at hand: Variety is reporting that more than 2,000 French movie theaters will be turning off their lights between 6 and 7PM in protest of a new anti-piracy law, and since Wednesday is new release day in France, exhibitors thought that would be the most opportune time to make their point.

So what is their point exactly? Well, it turns out that French movie distributors are starting to feel the pains of rising services like VOD competing with first-run movie theaters for business. Originally, movie theaters were granted a six-month window of exclusivity before a flick could move on to other distribution channels, but under their new anti-piracy law, the home entertainment market will now only have to wait 4 months before a film becomes available for the DVD and VOD market. French cinema owners claim that this law is, "degrading of theater owners' economic conditions." (Even though, according to statistics, the box-office is up 3.4% from last year).

After the jump; French movie theaters aren't the only ones suffering...




French theaters aren't the only ones worried about box-office dollars these days, although as a dedicated film goer, I'm a studio's best friend, because there isn't much that can keep me from the big screen. But I'm not the norm, and lately, even Hollywood is feeling the pinch. Studios are starting to rely more and more on 'event' films and gimmicks like extended footage or 3-D technology to get people into the theaters. Unfortunately for French exhibitors, I think it's going to take a lot more than a brief protest to solve the problem, don't you?

Has the home entertainment market ruined the movie theater business? Sound off in the comments and tell me if you think the rise of VOD and DVD availability has changed your movie-going habits...