A simultaneous release takes place when a movie is made available on many media (cinema, DVD, internet...) at the same time or with very little difference in timing.Simultaneous releases offer great advantages to both consumers, who can choose the medium that most suits their needs, and production studios that only have to run one marketing campaign for all releases.

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A straight to video (or straight-to-DVD or straight-to-Blu-ray depending on the media upon which the movie is made available) release occurs when a movie is released on home video formats (such as VHS, DVD, etc.) without being released in theaters first, thereby not taking into consideration the "theatrical window".

As a result of strong DVD sales, Direct-to-video releases also achieved higher success and have become a profitable market lately, Internet research is still new when it comes to the film distribution platform.

In the United States, these theaters came to be known as nickelodeons, because admission typically cost a nickel (five cents).

Historically, all mass-marketed feature films were made to be shown in movie theaters.

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The flip side, though, is that such distribution efforts are often regarded as experimental and thus do not receive substantial investment or promotion.

In the course of the years simultaneous release approaches have gained both praise, with Mark Cuban claiming movies should simultaneously be made available on all media allowing viewers to choose whether to see it at home or at the theater, Cinema owners can be affected seriously in case they have to share their opportunity window, specially at the beginning of the movie lifecycle, since, according to Disney, about 95% of all box office tickets for a film are sold within the first six weeks after initial distribution.

When a film is initially produced, a feature film is often shown to audiences in a movie theater.