Universal Pictures is taking on huge gamble with Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist by releasing it on Video-on-Demand three weeks after its release for $60 dollars. The battle between studios & theaters and the release of movies on VOD has taken a new turn. Recently Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox launched Home Premium, a VOD service that offers studio movies two months after their release at a price of $30 per movie. The drop in DVD sales played a major factor into VODs and now with the rising cost of theater ticket prices and concessions, studios believe that consumers will turn to VOD.
Obviously, theater owners are furious over this plan since it not only reduces the window between theatrical release and home viewing, but because Tower Heist, which has proven to be a success at some test screenings, could be a huge hit. The experiment “will be offered in Atlanta and Portland, Ore., to approximately 500,000 digital cable subscribers of Universal’s corporate parent, Comcast Corp., marks the first time a major studio movie will be available to watch in-home while still playing in thousands of theaters,” reports the LA Times.
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