Entrepreneur Mark Cuban Slugs It Out With Nato President Fithian
Landmark Theaters owner (and Dallas Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban has lashed out at National Association of Theater Owners President John Fithian following Fithian's warning to exhibitors that proposals to release movies in theaters and on DVD on the same date represent a "death threat" to NATO members. Cuban's production company, 2929 Entertainment, is releasing Steven Soderbergh's Bubble simultaneously in theaters, on DVD, and on HDNet Movies on Jan. 27. In a statement posted on his website, Cuban begins by remarking, "How sad is it when the president of the National Association of Theater Owners doesn't think his members can create a better movie-going experience than what we can see in our houses and apartments? Guess what, John, I can whip up a mean steak, but I still like to go to restaurants. Because I enjoy it. I enjoy getting out of the house with family, friends, whoever." Cuban points out that when he took over the Mavericks, he put every game on TV -- and attendance rose. "It didn't take me long to realize that the business of the Mavericks was not selling basketball, it was selling a fun night out." Cuban accuses theater owners of failing to create a similar "fun" experience for their patrons -- particularly older ones. Moreover, he notes, movie theaters currently serve as a platform to create demand for DVDs. "Your problem is that you don't get paid for it." By contrast, he remarks, every theater showing Bubble will receive a percentage of DVD sales.