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Could studios begin releasing theatrical movies to a "premium" VOD service?

Sep. 27, 2010by:

I think in my entire life, I've used VOD maybe twice. Maybe? I'm sorry but I'm just an old school guy who likes the feeling of having something tangible. But what if movie studios began releasing their theatrical movies on VOD well in advance of the DVD window and while they were still running in theaters? Then you might just count me in.

Turns out the major Hollywood studios are currently collaborating on a plan tentatively titled "Premium VOD," which would basically serve to offer up some movies that are wrapping up their theatrical run on VOD. It would slice the current exclusive theatrical window of 120 days to less than half that; a mere 45 days after release, a movie would be available on VOD. So you're telling me that right now I could be watching SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD in HD on my couch without having to wait until November for the Blu-ray? Umm YESPLEASE.

Of course there's a lot to be figured out here. First of all, with the going rate for a VOD at about $4 for a 24-hour rental (based on what Amazon is currently charging for ROBIN HOOD), the price would most certainly increase to a proposed $25 for a rental. While it may seem expensive to pay $25 to rent a movie, think that if you and your buddy went to see that same movie in a theater, you'd likely be paying close to $25 anyway.

The move is designed to help disappointing DVD and Blu-ray sales while at the same time combating piracy (the theory is that consumers would be less likely to turn to piracy if they knew a HD VOD option was going to be available).

The studios love the idea, cable providers like DirecTV, Comcast and Time Warner love the idea and consumer testing seems to show that audiences will love the idea. So what's the hold up? Well for one, stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart are worried this will even further cut into their home video sales. And theater owners are ready to blow a stack at just the thought of this idea.

But will Premium VOD really replace going to the movies? I'd love to watch a movie AGAIN at home or perhaps catch an indie movie that never opened up by me, but nothing will ever substitute for the real thing. The darkened theater, the big screen, the communal audience experience...

Would you pay $25 to rent SCOTT PILGRIM or THE EXPENDABLES right now? Would a Premium VOD service make you any less likely to go to a movie theater or buy a DVD or Blu-ray?

Source: NY Times

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7:57AM on 09/28/2010
I can understand spending the money at the theater, 15 bucks is worth the whole experience. However 25 dollars for a movie to watch at home for only 24 hrs seems a bit too expensive. If you had waited a little bit longer, you could buy the blu-ray the first week it comes out for only $19.99, and you can watch that as many times as you want!

I can completely understand the families that have a lot of kids and taking them to the theaters are expensive, but you could still just buy the damn
I can understand spending the money at the theater, 15 bucks is worth the whole experience. However 25 dollars for a movie to watch at home for only 24 hrs seems a bit too expensive. If you had waited a little bit longer, you could buy the blu-ray the first week it comes out for only $19.99, and you can watch that as many times as you want!

I can completely understand the families that have a lot of kids and taking them to the theaters are expensive, but you could still just buy the damn movie when it comes out on blu-ray.

The VOD price should not be more than $9.99
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6:27AM on 09/28/2010

Chaaaaaaaaching

I have a family of five.Hell I could sit at home watch it in 3D and the best part the snack bars free!!!!!
I have a family of five.Hell I could sit at home watch it in 3D and the best part the snack bars free!!!!!
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2:31PM on 09/28/2010
I have 4 kids, and can see this VOD route being cheaper. But for them (they're between ages 3-7), half the fun is getting out of the house and going to the theater, so I don't see my family using it much.
I have 4 kids, and can see this VOD route being cheaper. But for them (they're between ages 3-7), half the fun is getting out of the house and going to the theater, so I don't see my family using it much.
+3
6:57PM on 09/27/2010
I think I'm just going to stick to pirating.
I think I'm just going to stick to pirating.
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5:24PM on 09/27/2010

Give me a fucking break.

Will this service come with a giant dildo? I ask, because for 25 fucking dollars a viewing, I should get to FEEL the ass raping too.
Will this service come with a giant dildo? I ask, because for 25 fucking dollars a viewing, I should get to FEEL the ass raping too.
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5:02PM on 09/27/2010
I would absolutely do this. I already shell out $15 to go to a theater, and if I go in the first month it will likely be crowded (with people! ahh!). At home, I have a 65in TV, excellent audio, much cheaper snacks, a private bathroom, and the ability to enhance my experience with herbal supplements.

I don't really understand the hate; if you want the theater experience, go to the theater. Me, I'm willing to support alternative means of media distribution.
I would absolutely do this. I already shell out $15 to go to a theater, and if I go in the first month it will likely be crowded (with people! ahh!). At home, I have a 65in TV, excellent audio, much cheaper snacks, a private bathroom, and the ability to enhance my experience with herbal supplements.

I don't really understand the hate; if you want the theater experience, go to the theater. Me, I'm willing to support alternative means of media distribution.
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+1
5:01PM on 09/27/2010
I actually prefer to watch movies at home (it's been years since I've had an actual good experience at a theater..people can be so fucking rude and inconsiderate) and I don't even like this idea. I personally would MUCH rather wait the extra few weeks and spend the $25 on the blu-ray, add it to my always growing movie collection, and be able to watch it any time I want and as many times as I want. I'm sure this "premium vod" would work for some people, but it's definitely not for me.
I actually prefer to watch movies at home (it's been years since I've had an actual good experience at a theater..people can be so fucking rude and inconsiderate) and I don't even like this idea. I personally would MUCH rather wait the extra few weeks and spend the $25 on the blu-ray, add it to my always growing movie collection, and be able to watch it any time I want and as many times as I want. I'm sure this "premium vod" would work for some people, but it's definitely not for me.
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+3
4:32PM on 09/27/2010

I'd do it...

If I invite 25 of my neighbors and we all pay a dollar. Stupid. I'm really going to fork over $25 for a movie that may turn out to suck too much to even pay for the theater ticket price of ~$9.

And this line: "and consumer testing seems to show that audiences will love the idea." Who did they test it on?! The upper 1% of America's wealthiest? I bet they targeted big families with kids movies where it'd cost a fortune for them to get into a theater... other than that, I can't figure out who
If I invite 25 of my neighbors and we all pay a dollar. Stupid. I'm really going to fork over $25 for a movie that may turn out to suck too much to even pay for the theater ticket price of ~$9.

And this line: "and consumer testing seems to show that audiences will love the idea." Who did they test it on?! The upper 1% of America's wealthiest? I bet they targeted big families with kids movies where it'd cost a fortune for them to get into a theater... other than that, I can't figure out who would pony up that much cash for a lack-luster film for such a short window of time.
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4:18PM on 09/27/2010
So wait a minute..you can pay 25 bucks to rent a movie or wait another 1-2 months and pay the same amount to own it? doesn't make any sense to me
So wait a minute..you can pay 25 bucks to rent a movie or wait another 1-2 months and pay the same amount to own it? doesn't make any sense to me
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4:13PM on 09/27/2010

yeah right

I would never pay that amount for a one day rental, unless it's a car. Movie studios think too highly of themselves. I have never been so impatient that I need to see a movie right away. I have been wanting to see The Town now since it's release but if it was available for $25 at home I would not take it, cause I just like to get out of the house from time to time. I would also rather wait for the DVD release a few months later and just pay $15 and have it for life. Doesn't every movie
I would never pay that amount for a one day rental, unless it's a car. Movie studios think too highly of themselves. I have never been so impatient that I need to see a movie right away. I have been wanting to see The Town now since it's release but if it was available for $25 at home I would not take it, cause I just like to get out of the house from time to time. I would also rather wait for the DVD release a few months later and just pay $15 and have it for life. Doesn't every movie just wind up on the WB Saturday afternoon rotation at some point or another? The reason sales are down isn't becuase people rather stream, it's beacuse like me, we are unemployed and don't want to spend money where it's not needed.
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4:10PM on 09/27/2010
Why the hell would I pay $25 to watch a movie for only 24-hours when I could wait a few more months and but it for almost the same price and watch it whenever I want. I pay $7 for a matinee now, if the price were the same I may consider it. I can wait!
Why the hell would I pay $25 to watch a movie for only 24-hours when I could wait a few more months and but it for almost the same price and watch it whenever I want. I pay $7 for a matinee now, if the price were the same I may consider it. I can wait!
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3:40PM on 09/27/2010
Just a greedy cash grab for impatient people who cant wait to see a movie. Half the new releases on netflix take a month to access even after they are on dvd but I dont mind the wait, I got enough shit que'd up to keep me busy.
Just a greedy cash grab for impatient people who cant wait to see a movie. Half the new releases on netflix take a month to access even after they are on dvd but I dont mind the wait, I got enough shit que'd up to keep me busy.
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2:21PM on 09/27/2010

I think some people are missing the point

I don't think the intent is to stop people from buy physical media, but to suppliment it. They don't care how you watch it, as long as you spend the money to see it. I mean, pretty much every movie I own, I already saw it somewhere, either in the theater or on TV. So this won't stop me from going to the theater or stop me from buying a movie after I already saw it.

But its awesome for those times when, lets say you can't find a babysitter, put the kids to bed and watch a recent movie at
I don't think the intent is to stop people from buy physical media, but to suppliment it. They don't care how you watch it, as long as you spend the money to see it. I mean, pretty much every movie I own, I already saw it somewhere, either in the theater or on TV. So this won't stop me from going to the theater or stop me from buying a movie after I already saw it.

But its awesome for those times when, lets say you can't find a babysitter, put the kids to bed and watch a recent movie at home, or, say their is 4 or 5 members in your family, it def becomes cheaper to watch these at home then paying for everyone in a theater.

But on the other hand, $25 for a movie thats already been in the theater for 45 days is kind of steep, if it was while the movie was in the theater I can understand, but not the time from when its not in the theater to the DVD time. If I waited that long, I can wait a little longer.
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+3
1:16PM on 09/27/2010

NO F WAY!!!

25$ for a movie i could watch for 8$ and in a GIGANTIC screen? yeha, thats gonna happen :P

i think weve covered something like this already at joblo...
and besides, movie pirating will be even easier since you have access to HD content much faster that usual, and isnt his a bad thing? i mena, arent they trying to fight online movie piracy? as i see it, this goes in the exact opposite way, but hey, im all for HD movies on the web soones then later :D :D :D

personally, i would never
25$ for a movie i could watch for 8$ and in a GIGANTIC screen? yeha, thats gonna happen :P

i think weve covered something like this already at joblo...
and besides, movie pirating will be even easier since you have access to HD content much faster that usual, and isnt his a bad thing? i mena, arent they trying to fight online movie piracy? as i see it, this goes in the exact opposite way, but hey, im all for HD movies on the web soones then later :D :D :D

personally, i would never pay this premium just for a movie, i know, you can call a bunch of friends over to see it, and divided by all, its cheapper than going to the movies, but its not the same thing now is it?

having said that, even if this ever sees daylight, it will never come to my country, so, no worries here :D
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-2
1:15PM on 09/27/2010

NO F WAY!!!

25$ for a movie i could watch for 8$ and in a GIGANTIC screen? yeha, thats gonna happen :P

i think weve covered something like this already at joblo...
and besides, movie pirating will be even easier since you have access to HD content much faster that usual, and isnt his a bad thing? i mena, arent they trying to fight online movie piracy? as i see it, this goes in the exact opposite way, but hey, im all for HD movies on the web soones then later :D :D :D

personally, i would never
25$ for a movie i could watch for 8$ and in a GIGANTIC screen? yeha, thats gonna happen :P

i think weve covered something like this already at joblo...
and besides, movie pirating will be even easier since you have access to HD content much faster that usual, and isnt his a bad thing? i mena, arent they trying to fight online movie piracy? as i see it, this goes in the exact opposite way, but hey, im all for HD movies on the web soones then later :D :D :D

personally, i would never pay this premium just for a movie, i know, you can call a bunch of friends over to see it, and divided by all, its cheapper than going to the movies, but its not the same thing now is it?

having said that, even if this ever sees daylight, it will never come to my country, so, no worries here :D
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-2
1:14PM on 09/27/2010

NO F WAY!!!

25$ for a movie i could watch for 8$ and in a GIGANTIC screen? yeha, thats gonna happen :P

i think weve covered something like this already at joblo...
and besides, movie pirating will be even easier since you have access to HD content much faster that usual, and isnt his a bad thing? i mena, arent they trying to fight online movie piracy? as i see it, this goes in the exact opposite way, but hey, im all for HD movies on the web soones then later :D :D :D

personally, i would never
25$ for a movie i could watch for 8$ and in a GIGANTIC screen? yeha, thats gonna happen :P

i think weve covered something like this already at joblo...
and besides, movie pirating will be even easier since you have access to HD content much faster that usual, and isnt his a bad thing? i mena, arent they trying to fight online movie piracy? as i see it, this goes in the exact opposite way, but hey, im all for HD movies on the web soones then later :D :D :D

personally, i would never pay this premium just for a movie, i know, you can call a bunch of friends over to see it, and divided by all, its cheapper than going to the movies, but its not the same thing now is it?

having said that, even if this ever sees daylight, it will never come to my country, so, no worries here :D
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-2
1:12PM on 09/27/2010

NO F WAY!!!

25$ for a movie i could watch for 8$ and in a GIGANTIC screen? yeha, thats gonna happen :P

i think weve covered something like this already at joblo...
and besides, movie pirating will be even easier since you have access to HD content much faster that usual, and isnt his a bad thing? i mena, arent they trying to fight online movie piracy? as i see it, this goes in the exact opposite way, but hey, im all for HD movies on the web soones then later :D :D :D

personally, i would never
25$ for a movie i could watch for 8$ and in a GIGANTIC screen? yeha, thats gonna happen :P

i think weve covered something like this already at joblo...
and besides, movie pirating will be even easier since you have access to HD content much faster that usual, and isnt his a bad thing? i mena, arent they trying to fight online movie piracy? as i see it, this goes in the exact opposite way, but hey, im all for HD movies on the web soones then later :D :D :D

personally, i would never pay this premium just for a movie, i know, you can call a bunch of friends over to see it, and divided by all, its cheapper than going to the movies, but its not the same thing now is it?

having said that, even if this ever sees daylight, it will never come to my country, so, no worries here :D
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+3
1:07PM on 09/27/2010
It sounds good in theory, but I'm gonna see the movies I'm interested in in the theaters and the movies I don't catch I'm certainly not gonna plunk down $25 bucks to see.
It sounds good in theory, but I'm gonna see the movies I'm interested in in the theaters and the movies I don't catch I'm certainly not gonna plunk down $25 bucks to see.
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1:02PM on 09/27/2010
Call me materialistic, but I much prefer to have something physical that I can add to my collection on the wall. Add to that the sentiments from the other posts here about bandwidth and and storage space and it's going to try to happen now, but likely fail.
Call me materialistic, but I much prefer to have something physical that I can add to my collection on the wall. Add to that the sentiments from the other posts here about bandwidth and and storage space and it's going to try to happen now, but likely fail.
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1:15PM on 09/27/2010
i hear you bro, i too like to have my collection on the wall, its my own library, but with movies instead :D
i hear you bro, i too like to have my collection on the wall, its my own library, but with movies instead :D
2:14PM on 09/27/2010
I don't think the intent is to stop people from buy physical media, but to suppliment it. They don't care how you watch it, as long as you spend the money to see it.
I don't think the intent is to stop people from buy physical media, but to suppliment it. They don't care how you watch it, as long as you spend the money to see it.
+3
12:24PM on 09/27/2010

Too early

It wont work bc there isnt enough bandwidth to DL a real HD movie, just like Blu-Ray ur talking 50+Gb's that needs downloaded and then buffered, were like 10 years away from that device and speed existing where you dont have to plan a day in advance that yu want to watch something. VOD cant give you the same quality at all and cant do HD sound at all.
It wont work bc there isnt enough bandwidth to DL a real HD movie, just like Blu-Ray ur talking 50+Gb's that needs downloaded and then buffered, were like 10 years away from that device and speed existing where you dont have to plan a day in advance that yu want to watch something. VOD cant give you the same quality at all and cant do HD sound at all.
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1:14PM on 09/27/2010
yeah, but if this were real, you´d never get the full quality, you´d probably get the rips you can get from the web :P
yeah, but if this were real, you´d never get the full quality, you´d probably get the rips you can get from the web :P
12:18PM on 09/27/2010
They should at least try it out. DVRs & internet options have cause a lot of people like myself to "time shift" my entertainment. My local theater only plays new movies past 8pm so if I didn't catch it the first weekend, I didn't see it at all because I'm busy before 8pm. If I could sit down at 11pm, 1am, or whenever to watch something it would be great because this is already what I do with TV, DVDs, Hulu, Netflix, etc. What I don't get is why they don't just match it up with the hotel
They should at least try it out. DVRs & internet options have cause a lot of people like myself to "time shift" my entertainment. My local theater only plays new movies past 8pm so if I didn't catch it the first weekend, I didn't see it at all because I'm busy before 8pm. If I could sit down at 11pm, 1am, or whenever to watch something it would be great because this is already what I do with TV, DVDs, Hulu, Netflix, etc. What I don't get is why they don't just match it up with the hotel OnDemand movie system which essentially already does this.
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12:17PM on 09/27/2010

Piracy

Wouldn't this just make piracy easier?
Wouldn't this just make piracy easier?
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12:59PM on 09/27/2010
seems like it would, huh?
seems like it would, huh?
1:25PM on 09/27/2010
Yep. Now instead of 120 days to the HD torrent, it will only be 45.

What a bunch of geniuses that run Hollywood.
Yep. Now instead of 120 days to the HD torrent, it will only be 45.

What a bunch of geniuses that run Hollywood.
2:29PM on 09/27/2010
D YOU have an easy way to record streamed media in HD format? You wait 120 days for HD Torrents because someone copied the HD Disk they have adter the movie came out....
D YOU have an easy way to record streamed media in HD format? You wait 120 days for HD Torrents because someone copied the HD Disk they have adter the movie came out....
5:40PM on 09/27/2010
Freddyrich - I'm in no way trying to advocate piracy, but I imagine that the saying "when there's a will, there's a way" applies. I remember when DVD rips used to be made before CSS was cracked by automating the screenshot function and the pirates would literally capture a movie frame by frame, and then overlaying the audio afterwards. Pirates also put up high quality versions of LOTR Return of the King shortly after theatrical release by getting a hold of the Academy Awards screener. The
Freddyrich - I'm in no way trying to advocate piracy, but I imagine that the saying "when there's a will, there's a way" applies. I remember when DVD rips used to be made before CSS was cracked by automating the screenshot function and the pirates would literally capture a movie frame by frame, and then overlaying the audio afterwards. Pirates also put up high quality versions of LOTR Return of the King shortly after theatrical release by getting a hold of the Academy Awards screener. The studio thought they beat the pirates by placing a watermark on random frames of the movie, only to have the pirates literally scrub every single frame of video from the movie to find and remove the offending watermarks. Believe me, if they want to pirate it, they'll find a way.
11:37AM on 09/27/2010
new movies come out every week.. go see something new and wait for the blu-ray.

watching a movie again months after seeing it in the theater is a fun experience too because you havent seen it in so long. for $25 i'll buy the blu-ray when it comes out.
new movies come out every week.. go see something new and wait for the blu-ray.

watching a movie again months after seeing it in the theater is a fun experience too because you havent seen it in so long. for $25 i'll buy the blu-ray when it comes out.
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