Lachlan Murdoch Slams Post-Theatrical Blackout Window for Films: ‘Doesn’t Make Sense for Anyone’

“Highly inefficient” movie release system is enabling piracy, Fox boss says

Do NOT talk to Lachlan Murdoch 46 to 90 days after a Fox film is released in theaters. He won’t be in a good mood.

The co-chairman of 21st Century Fox and son of Rupert Murdoch (pictured, middle) is highly displeased with the way traditional movie rollouts currently work, which puts a film on the shelf for about a month-and-a-half between its time in theaters and on-demand.

“First, you spend way too much making the film in the first place,” he started in on the system on Wednesday. “And then you spend tens and tens of millions of dollars marketing that film. You go into a 45-day theatrical window, and then there’s a blackout for another 45 days where the consumer can’t access that content anywhere, no matter what they’re willing to pay or do.”

“A lot of piracy happens in that 45 days, and then it starts to be available on video-on-demand,” Lachlan (pictured, left) continued during his stage time at Goldman Sachs Communicopia. “That’s a highly inefficient system — particularly the blackout period where you’re not monetizing the film at all, and… pirates are the only way people are able to access that content. That system has to change, and I think it will change sooner rather than later.”

It “doesn’t make sense for anyone,” he concluded the matter.

When asked when the system will be overhauled, Lachlan quoted 20th Century Fox studio chief Stacey Snider, who promised, “You’ll see these windows start to change within the next 12 months.”