Todd Wagner

The producers interviewed Todd Wagner, CEO of 2929 Entertainment and founder of the Todd Wagner Foundation at the Landmark Inwood Theatre (formerly Interstate) in Dallas, Texas. Landmark Theatres is part of the vertically integrated 2929 Entertainment which includes production companies 2929 Productions and HDNet Films, distribution company Magnolia Pictures, television networks HDNet and HDNet Movies, exhibition company Landmark Cinemas, and home entertainment distributor Magnolia Home Entertainment. Mark Cuban partners with Mr. Wagner in ownership of 2929 Entertainment.

Mr. Wagner discussed the influence and promise of technology in all phases of the movie industry, from HD that comprises all the product shot for HDNet and HDNet Films, to new ways to distribute entertainment including digital projection and 3D digital projection, and release window refinements, such as day-and-date.

In response to many in Hollywood who have viewed date-and-date as a death sentence for theatrical distribution and movie theatres, Mr. Wagner said, " We obviously did a very dramatic thing by completely collapsing the windows. I think that all different shades of releasing a film should be fair game, meaning maybe you release the movie and a month later you release the DVD, or maybe you release the movie and two nights later it's a VOD (video on demand) event or pay-for-view event as well. The idea is using multiple platforms around the advertising spend.... The economics of the industry are out of whack, and you have to look for increasing your revenues and lowering your costs-- and there are some of those staring you right in the face."

Wagner began experimenting with day-and date with Steven Soderbergh's Bubble as part of a multi-picture deal with 2929, and also with Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, a HDNet Films production. Mr. Wagner  premiered his 2929 production, What Just Happened? starring Robert De Niro and directed by Barry Levinson, at the Inwood on the day of our interview with him.


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