LAS VEGAS — Feeling blindsided, theater owners were irate Thursday that four Hollywood studios didn’t brief them on plans to launch a new premium VOD service on DirecTV late next month, followed swiftly by Comcast and VUDU.Adding to their ire, word of the service broke just as exhibitors and studios were together in Las Vegas for CinemaCon, the annual convention of theater owners.
Warner Bros., Fox, Sony and Universal are all on board, according to insiders. The movies will be available 60 days after their release in theaters for $29.99. Fox Searchlight titles will be offered 60 days from the date that they go wide. The first titles to be offered are likely Sony’s Just Go With It, Fox’s Cedar Rapids and Warner Bros.’ Unknown.
While exhibitors knew there were discussions going on between the studios and DirecTV, they didn’t know the deal had been ...more.
Here are some strange bedfellows: Paramount and BitTorrent. That’s right, the pirate-fighting studio just teamed up with producers who are hell-bent on using the pirates’ favorite peer-to-peer sharing software tool to release The Tunnel on May 19. At the same time, Paramount will release a DVD version of the horror film.
The DVD will contain content that’s supposedly compelling enough to lure those who downloaded the movie into buying the hard copy. The movie won’t be in theaters — it’s another one of those straight-to-video titles. But this is a first: The BitTorrent version, while full-length, serves as a tease. So if you buy the DVD, you’ll get alternate endings, along with extra material that won’t be available on the BitTorrent feed.
Are moviegoers ready to pay a premium to watch new movies in the comfort of their own homes? Disney has quietly conducted a test — in Portugal — and the response was underwhelming.
In January, only six weeks after Disney’s Tangled was released in theaters in the small country, the animated film was offered for a limited time on VOD for 24.99 euros ($32.73 U.S.). Disney declined to discuss the results, but by all accounts, it wasn’t considered a success, attracting fewer than 1,000 hits.
Word of the Portugal experiment comes as several other Hollywood studios prepare to shorten the theatrical window and launch a new VOD service in the U.S. via DirecTV. Theater owners are none to keen on the idea, but have come to accept ...more.