Theaters Fight Back against Early VOD Plans

The window from Theatrical release to DVD/Bluray has already become slender, and now we find out that a Video on Demand initiative is being considered to bring out first fun films in half that time at an estimated $30 price tag.

But theater chains are concerned how this will affect their financial income and are willing to forego carrying major summer tentpoles in retalliation – one such title is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2!

MovieWeb shares:

NATO (the National Association of Theater Owners), which represents such huge regional chains as Regal Entertainment and AMC, is threatening to drop some of this summer’s biggest blockbusters in response to the recently announced Video-On-Demand plan that is being utilized by four of the six major studios.

I can understand how this would upset the theaters.

Despite being the bloodline to the studios product, and they really get the short end of the stick. The first couple weeks, the theaters give up most of the ticket income to the studios, and it isn’t until after the first month before the theaters are given a larger share of that ticket price.

Longer running titles are quite profitable for the theaters, as it is in those latter weeks that they stand to take in more than the extortion of snack prices.

To show they are serious, posters and other promotional materials are being pulled from theater lobbies in an effort to put off the studio’s distribution plans.

Could this be the start of a Civil War between the theaters and studios?

I know there is a tradition and nostalgia that the cinematic experience brings, but could this be the first volley in the extinction of theatrical releases?

Direct content releases are the inevitable future. But where does that leave the old theaters?

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