Slumdog nearly went straight to DVD

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London, Feb 24 (ANI): Slumdog Millionaire, which is likely to hit the 170-million-pound mark in worldwide ticket sales, following the Oscar sweep nearly went straight to DVD.

Slumdog, which cost only 8.7 million pounds to make, last night scooped eight Oscars, including Best Picture.

According to The Times, studio executives at Warner Bros had decided to sell the distribution rights to Slumdog Millionaire last August - three months before the film's release.

The movie's earnings are likely to go on raking in millions of dollars a year for decades, thanks to DVD sales, TV licensing, and revenues from Internet streaming.

Last year, because of crisis of confidence Warner Bros had decided to circumvent its relatively small bet on Slumdog by handing over 50 per cent of the US distribution rights to Fox Searchlight, part of News Corporation, parent company of The Times.

Simultaneously, Warner Bros decided to pack up its Warner Independent Pictures division, which had co-produced Slumdog along with Path‚, Celador Films, and Film4.

The move was made to focus on more mass-appeal movies such as The Dark Knight.

Of all the movies that were on Warner Independent Pictures' 2008 plate, it was believed that Danny Boyle's film was the only one that had its distribution rights sold to a third party.

Boyle - who was told that the film was going to go straight to DVD in the US - made sure to reference Warner Bros in his acceptance speech for the Best Director award.

"I've got to thank everybody at Warner Bros for having the great grace to pass the film on to the extraordinary guy at Fox Searchlight, Peter Rice, and all his team," he said.

Peter Carlton, the senior commissioning executive at Film 4, remembered showing a director's cut of the film to Warner Bros last June.

"It was like showing it to a brick wall. They told us afterwards they were thinking of sticking it out on DVD," he added.

Carlton, however, added that Slumdog's eventual distribution deal with Fox Searchlight remained heavily biased in favour of the studio.

He accused big American studios like Fox and Warner Bros of "damaging British film" by imposing distribution deals that gave little or nothing back to independent film financiers.

"They make sure they're the first in line for the profits. And the second and third in line as well. It's damaging to the whole British film industry," he said. (ANI)

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