Although we're all too proud to admit it, I doubt there's anyone reading this who doesn't love to while away the odd bit of free time perusing sites like YouTube and break.com for funny videos of stupid people doing dangerous things. However, there are few individuals who have been more successful at combining funny, stupid and dangerous than the team behind the popular MTV show Jackass, and the several blockbuster movies based on the same premise of a few guys doing everything they can to humiliate and physically damage each other in the name of entertainment.
With their latest movie, Jackass 2.5, the studio is trying a transformational new approach to movie distribution. Instead of relying on box-office revenue, they have partnered with Blockbuster to make it available for free directly over the Internet, funded through advertising.
This is an Internet first - an online premiere of a full-length feature film, distributed exclusively using Silverlight and a rich media content distribution network provided by Limelight Networks and Microsoft. Blockbuster anticipates that this will drive millions of streams over the next couple of weeks, and their choice of Silverlight over alternative competitors is evidence of its ability to provide a powerful and reliable solution for a high-volume project. Silverlight is taking off - we're seeing downloads of the 1.0 plug-in rise exponentially over the last few weeks as many big sites go live.
Jackass 2.5 will be available online, right here, free to anyone in the US aged 17 or older, between December 19th and December 31st, 2007. It's exclusive to Silverlight at first, and then will be made available for sale online.
As my mother would say, it's not funny, and it's not clever. But I'm guessing she doesn't fall directly into the Jackass target demographic...