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Premium Video on Demand: $30 Movie Rentals On the Way

Hollywood studios plan to charge big bucks for premium content

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Premium Video on Demand: $30 Movie Rentals On the Way
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This is not an April Fool’s joke.  I repeat, this is not an April Fool’s joke.  Much to the chagrin of theater owners, four major Hollywood studios have decided to unveil their own premium on-demand service, charging $30 a pop.

Warner Bros, Universal, Fox and Sony will launch the service under the collective brand “Home Premiere.”  Viewers will be charged $29.99 for a 2-3 rental, depending on the distributor.  The movies offered will be films that are two months out of the theaters.  This means that they will be films not yet released onto DVD and Blu-Ray.

According to Variety, DirecTV will be the first to launch “Home Premiere” to its 20 million customers, to be followed by Comcast and other cable providers at an unknown time.

Will people pay this incredibly high price tag for a film that they don’t get to keep?  People that missed the initial theater run of some buzzed about movies might value the experience.  Some folks might think the price is worth it to avoid waiting for the films on HBO or Redbox.  But with many DVDs releasing three months after closing in theaters, is a month of waiting really worth $30?

The price is hard to justify for a single viewer or even a couple, but maybe not for larger families.  The cost of a night out at the megaplex could easily eclipse $30, and that is a fact that the studios are banking on.  Families could avoid the hassle of leaving their homes and pay an equivalent or possibly even cheaper price for the same entertainment.

The National Association of Theater Owners is not too thrilled about the service, saying in a statement:

“These plans fundamentally alter the economic relationship between exhibitors, filmmakers and producers, and the studios taking part in this misguided venture.  Studios risk accelerating the already intense need to maximize revenues on every screen opening weekend and driving out films that need time to develop — like many of the recent Academy Award-nominated pictures. They risk exacerbating the scourge of movie theft by delivering a pristine, high definition, digital copy to pirates months earlier than they had previously been available.”

Ah yes, then there is the piracy issue.

Sources told Variety that the service should debut sometime in April.  The Adam Sandler comedy “Just Go With It” and the Liam Neeson thriller “Unknown” are said to be two of the early offerings.

Netflix’s popularity is at an all time high, and since studios like Warner Bros and Fox have been hesitant to jump on the wagon, the must feel the need to offer something new to compete.  Does “Home Premiere” have the chance to succeed?  Tell us what you think.

Premium Video on Demand: $30 Movie Rentals On the Way
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  • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

    Bah. I hope this arrogant venture fails miserably and these misguided studios have to crawl back to Netflix and RedBox, begging them to push their content again.

  • Greg

    You will not catch me buying that service. If I didnt go see it in the theater then there is a reason!

  • http://www.jesscorbin.org Jess Corbin

    Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf ?
    3 movie pickups for $10 each ? I can see that having some appeal HOWEVER with Netflix and the others trying hard to keep business in this economic backlash, on track; maybe this is not such a good idea ?
    Like pushing the small store keeper to one side trying to monopolise the street with one big seller trying to take the main course and let the crumbs fall to the lesser mortals ?
    I want my books to go to film, who as a writer doesn’t’ but not at the expense of making the time period between cinema showcase and home screens shorter simply to capitalise on the cash cow.
    However how many of the movies produced are worth watching at the theatre in the first place ? Ask yourself how many of last years movies remain memorable enough to want to add them to your DVD collection ? then look at just how many came out of Hollywood and other film studios released through the big players ?
    How many of them were churned out simply to feed the egos of the producers ? We all know examples of the next best thing since sliced bread to coin the cliche which seems all too familiar with film production and sales ?
    Selling more doesn’t mean you are delivering quality, but maybe as might be the case between the Big bad wolf and Red Riding Hood when it comes to having it shoved down our throat, we all have different interpretations of what is edible, I very much doubt the BB Wolf worries about what she’s going to taste like let alone the consequences of eating her !
    Probably why n this case the sacrifice of those trying to earn an honest buck at the expense of those simply wishing to add to their already overfull treasure chests is something that may not be so easy to swallow.

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