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Warner Bros. set to launch Premium VOD next June

11.04.2010

Back in September, we first told you about a "Premium VOD" service that would charge consumers a higher fee to watch still-in-the-theater movies at home. At the time there was a lot of testing a grousing from organizations like the National Organization of Theater Owners, who are obviously vehemently against the concept. But just over a month later, Warner Bros. has announced its plans to go ahead with Premium VOD and will launch their service next summer.

The studio said it was charge between $30-$50 per movie, slightly higher than the originally speculated $25 fee. The price range will differ based on its theatrical debut date (SUCKER PUNCH, a movie that releases in late-March, for example, could be less expensive than THE HANGOVER, PART II, which will be new to theaters) and whether or not the film will be available in 3D. Yes, even 3D releases will be available at home if you have the available hardware.

While the studio refused to list titles that would be among the first available, the two aforementioned films are good bets as are GREEN LANTERN and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2. Movies could hit the Premium VOD service as early as three-to-four weeks after it first hits theaters.

NATO was, unsurprisingly, pissed saying the decision "could damage the entire movie industry" and by that they mean "make someone else more money than us."

Back in September, when we first discussed this, readers were sharply divided over whether they felt this was a benefit to movie fans or not. Personally it's all gravy to me. I wouldn't pay $50 to watch 127 HOURS by myself but if I had a group of people over and we all wanted to watch TRON: LEGACY, why not? Everyone chips in a couple bucks and it's exactly the same (financially) as heading to the movie theater.

It works for some movies and some families but doesn't work for all movies or all families. That they're offering is a nice option I may rarely take advantage of, but it's nice to know that it's there. And don't believe the guy from NATO; it's not damaging the movie industry nor will it irreparably damage movie theaters. Even with DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Netflix and Redbox, ticket sales are at an all-time high. I don't see that slowing down because a few studios are offering up Premium VOD at a premium price.

Source: Variety

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