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Fox to offer digital movies closer to theatrical release

Fox is about to pry open the window for digital film sales by offering customers the opportunity to purchase the films much closer to their theatrical release dates, NY Times reports.

Among the first to be offered for sale later this month will be Ridley Scott’s science fiction thriller Prometheus, which studio plans to offer in high-definition at newly lowered prices about three weeks before making the movie available on discs and through video-on-demand services.

The new system is an aggressive bid to revive consumers’ interest in the purchase of movies. That will push into what has been a waiting period of roughly four months in which films play exclusively in theatres before their release in home entertainment formats.

James N Gianopulos, Chairman and Chief Executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment, said several factors converged to make the timing right for the new initiative: the growing consumer comfort with digital purchases; an expanding base of retailers like Amazon, Google Play and Apple’s iTunes; and the potential drawing power of Prometheus.

In a bit of rebranding, Fox will call its electronic sale offerings Digital HD, or DHD.