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Internet Killed the DVD

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | October 5, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | October 5, 2010 |

After “Stargate” finished its run (second only to “Doctor Who” in number of seasons for science fiction show), it had a couple of straight-to-DVD movies that tied up loose ends of the story. “Stargate: The Ark of Truth” and “Stargate: Continuum” put together decent enough business on DVD and then aired eventually on the Sci-Fi Channel. And I’m allowed to spell it without pain because technically they aired before the name degradation. Then “Stargate Atlantis” finished up its run rather abruptly, getting a final episode that felt more like a season finale than any sort of wrap up to the series. A couple of movies were promised to wrap up loose ends (i.e., basically all of them) but it was understood fairly quickly that the ratings of “Atlantis” hadn’t been quite up to what had been hoped for, and a new spin off “Stargate Universe” was getting up and running instead.

Well those couple of “Stargate” movies that had been in limbo up until now (“Stargate: Revolution” and “Stargate: Extinction”) have gotten a little attention from producer Brad Wright in an interview:

“The only thing that is blocking the SG-1 movie or the Atlantis movie, the only thing, is the fact that the direct-to-DVD market has gone away. We were very fortunate with Ark of Truth and Continuum to be among the last very successful direct-to-DVD releases before it all stopped happening. The market has changed, and it’s still changing, and it’s not what it was. And, of course, there have been very big changes at MGM that kind of added to that.

“But we had the intentions to make them. We were ready to go, and it was ‘Wait a while’ and ‘We should wait a little longer’—and the climate never got better. We held on to a lot of stuff and were ready to go for a very long time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not gonna happen. We have a plan B, and I’ve been talking with MGM about it, and hopefully we’ll still get our chance.”

Yeah, so the basic idea between the lines is that internet video has killed the straight to DVD market. The Hulus and iTunes stores have quickly monopolized those second tier releases. Hell, you can watch both “Stargate: Continuum” and “Stargate: Ark of Truth” up on Hulu now for free. So the “plan B” that Wright references has to be one of basically three things: big screen release, which is exceedingly unlikely since MGM is flat broke and there’s no real sign this series would hold its own in theaters; SyFy channel release, which is a bit more likely given the channel’s willingness to go there with “Battlestar Galactica,” “Farscape,” and even “Stargate” before this; and last, a straight up iTunes release, which is probably most likely in conjunction with a broadcast on SyFy.

(source: Blastr)

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.