VOD for Thirty Dollars After Two Months of Theatrical Release- No April Foolin’

Stupidity. That’s what the owners of several theater chains are saying in response to a (ahem) very bold and “bright” idea brought forth by four major studios. How’s this for an April Fool’s joke- for $30 dollars, you can rent a film on VOD in less than two months after that movie comes out in theaters. No, uh, sorry. It’s not a joke. Variety reports this “very bright” strategy:

Warner Bros., Sony, Universal and 20th Century Fox are the first studios that have agreed to launch Home Premiere as the official brand under which the industry will offer up movies to rent for $30 two months after their theatrical bows for a viewing period of two to three days, depending on the distributor.

Studios contend that offering up films 60 days after their theatrical run won’t hurt the box office since most films generate most of their coin during their first three months.

As a result, some chains have threatened to find out what movies could be up for such service, and may decide not to book those films or have limited engagements for them. In the long run, I don’t really think it will hurt theater chains. I do see the 30 dollar price point for a VOD film even after a few months in the box office- going bust very quickly. It will be the studios who will lose the most money. How do I know that?

Let’s say..you wait another two and a half months, give or take. Four months after a theatrical release. VOD will be a cheaper price. Watching films at home still offers you the same distractions- the dog barks, the phone rings (and you must take the call) and so on. True, you may have access to more beer and wine, and you may not have to fuss about the hi-calorie battle over movie butter and such-and you could watch in your PJs if you want to. But are you ready and willing to pay 30 greens?

I’m not.
In addition, it might give a few jokers out there another (lame) excuse to pirate films. I’m not for that sort of thing, and I discourage it where I can, but Hollywood still refuses to help itself.

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