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