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Universal realizes charging $60 for Tower Heist was a bad idea, cancels VOD plan

10.13.2011

Universal marketing has its work cut out for them just trying to convince me to pay $10 to see TOWER HEIST. So the thought that people would want to pay $60 to see TOWER HEIST on premium VOD seemed misguided to say the very least. Now just one week after the initial announcement, Universal has canceled its premium VOD plans for TOWER HEIST.

The studio released a statement saying the decision came "in response to a request from theater owners," which included a threat from Cinemark and other theater owners to boycott TOWER HEIST on all their screens. In addition to the exhibitor fallback, there was considerable derision of the plan in the media and talent representatives for Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and director Brett Ratner were unhappy with the deal.

Though they called "uncle" this time around, don't expect Universal to give up this quickly. They are, after all, owned by Comcast, the largest cable operator and home Internet service provider in the United States. Corporate synergy ain't just a river in Egypt, if you know what I mean.

What Universal likely will do for any future attempts is work in conjunction with exhibitors and talent on a schedule, price point and other particulars that are amenable to everyone.

But regardless of this plan and how amusing it is that the pilot program was a Brett Ratner film, would you be willing to pony up $60 to watch THE AVENGERS at home three weeks after release? Or THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO? Does quality make a decision-maker in using the premium VOD program?

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Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
4:40PM on 10/14/2011

BUY A PROJECTOR ... THEY ARE CHEAP THESE DAYS

I am a father which makes it impossible to see any movies at any theater, so wife and I decided to buy a projector ... sits on top of my entertainment center aimed at the wall (no projection screen necessary)! Netflix streams through it or I rent it from red box! Best deal that I have ever made -- Projectors are very very cheap these days guys! BTW 60 dollars for a movie? Now I know why people are protesting in wall street! The greed!!
I am a father which makes it impossible to see any movies at any theater, so wife and I decided to buy a projector ... sits on top of my entertainment center aimed at the wall (no projection screen necessary)! Netflix streams through it or I rent it from red box! Best deal that I have ever made -- Projectors are very very cheap these days guys! BTW 60 dollars for a movie? Now I know why people are protesting in wall street! The greed!!
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6:49AM on 10/14/2011
Sad to say but this movie, with its cast, would have interested me if it was rated-R. Would love to see Eddie Murphy cut loose for the 1st time in how many years.
Sad to say but this movie, with its cast, would have interested me if it was rated-R. Would love to see Eddie Murphy cut loose for the 1st time in how many years.
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-1
6:16AM on 10/14/2011
where do i return my pre-order! i was really looking forward to this event! Sike!
where do i return my pre-order! i was really looking forward to this event! Sike!
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2:18AM on 10/14/2011
No I wouldn't pay $60.00 to see any movie in my home unless I had a theater screen, and I could watch the movie three weeks BEFORE it came out in theaters and not after.
No I wouldn't pay $60.00 to see any movie in my home unless I had a theater screen, and I could watch the movie three weeks BEFORE it came out in theaters and not after.
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4:27PM on 10/13/2011
It has to go this way surely. I would love the option to choose whether I go tO The cinema or stay on my sofa. I would probably go to the cinema then re watch once home for tdkr.
It has to go this way surely. I would love the option to choose whether I go tO The cinema or stay on my sofa. I would probably go to the cinema then re watch once home for tdkr.
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1:25PM on 10/13/2011
I'm kind of pissed that the writer here wrote a title that makes it seem like the they pulled the idea due to them realizing they were charging too much and not because theaters threw a pissy fit over an overpriced, 3 [link] VOD plan for a second rate film.

I'm sorry guys, I like seeing the occasional movie at a theater, but not to the point where I'm interested in letting them get in the way of studios finally doing launches of new films at home.
I'm kind of pissed that the writer here wrote a title that makes it seem like the they pulled the idea due to them realizing they were charging too much and not because theaters threw a pissy fit over an overpriced, 3 [link] VOD plan for a second rate film.

I'm sorry guys, I like seeing the occasional movie at a theater, but not to the point where I'm interested in letting them get in the way of studios finally doing launches of new films at home.
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+3
12:43PM on 10/13/2011
I understand that the reason they cancelled the experiment was due to understandable theater opposition, but what people seem to be missing here is that if someone has a home theater and invites a bunch of people over to chip in and watch the movie in a group, this could be a very neat way (or... a "premium" way...) to watch a new film.
I understand that the reason they cancelled the experiment was due to understandable theater opposition, but what people seem to be missing here is that if someone has a home theater and invites a bunch of people over to chip in and watch the movie in a group, this could be a very neat way (or... a "premium" way...) to watch a new film.
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+2
11:40AM on 10/13/2011
what a surprise, they“ve cancelled it :P
that must really come as a total shocker for those dumb ass marketing guys over at universal, as they must have thought that this was a winner :D :D :D
this will never work, i mean, why would people pay 60$ to watch a movie at home that they can see for 8$ in a theatre???? it makes no sense, for cryin out loud :S
there is just no way to sell it, "oh, but you can split the price with your buddies, and see it in the comfort of home", WTF??? why would i
what a surprise, they“ve cancelled it :P
that must really come as a total shocker for those dumb ass marketing guys over at universal, as they must have thought that this was a winner :D :D :D
this will never work, i mean, why would people pay 60$ to watch a movie at home that they can see for 8$ in a theatre???? it makes no sense, for cryin out loud :S
there is just no way to sell it, "oh, but you can split the price with your buddies, and see it in the comfort of home", WTF??? why would i want to see it at home? if i want to see a movie and i am paying, you can bet your ass i am going to the nearest theater i can find, a movie is not just about the film, its an experience that evolves with the film, and besides, everyone is forgetting something, if i paid the VOD price tag and invited all the bros to share it, i“d probably be stuck with the bill on my very own :P
people don“t go to another person“s house to seee a movie that envolves paying, unless that person has a VERY BIG ASS SCREEN at home, that“s just not happening.

big props to whoever made this cancellation possible :P
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11:18AM on 10/13/2011
$60... £38? I wouldn't pay that even if I was splitting the price with 37 friends who'd brought booze, extra chairs and a spare £1 coin with them.
$60... £38? I wouldn't pay that even if I was splitting the price with 37 friends who'd brought booze, extra chairs and a spare £1 coin with them.
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10:32AM on 10/13/2011
"What Universal likely will do for any future attempts is work in conjunction with exhibitors and talent on a schedule, price point and other particulars that are amenable to everyone."

Everyone, but the viewing audience that is...
"What Universal likely will do for any future attempts is work in conjunction with exhibitors and talent on a schedule, price point and other particulars that are amenable to everyone."

Everyone, but the viewing audience that is...
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+14
10:07AM on 10/13/2011

Until I have a 30 foot high screen in my home....

...I'll let theaters be the place I see films when they are released.
...I'll let theaters be the place I see films when they are released.
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+18
9:47AM on 10/13/2011
I actually think the idea of trying to charge me $60 for a movie is ludicrous regardless of the flick. Especially considering that three weeks after release, it's probably going to be at the cheapie $2.50 theater. Anybody willing to pay that price (on a smaller screen) is a straight up sucka!
I actually think the idea of trying to charge me $60 for a movie is ludicrous regardless of the flick. Especially considering that three weeks after release, it's probably going to be at the cheapie $2.50 theater. Anybody willing to pay that price (on a smaller screen) is a straight up sucka!
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9:42AM on 10/13/2011
DUH!!
DUH!!
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9:31AM on 10/13/2011

The saddest part...

...is that it takes everyone else to show the guys at Universal how fucking stupid this idea was in the first place. There must be some out of touch people in that marketing department.
...is that it takes everyone else to show the guys at Universal how fucking stupid this idea was in the first place. There must be some out of touch people in that marketing department.
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