Comcast Wants To Charge Up To $49.95 To Stream Movies To Your Home

Not content with providing just fee-ridden television and internet service, Comcast is looking to charge up to $49.95 to stream movies to your home the day they premier in theaters. The two largest movie theater operators, Regal Entertainment and National Amusements, have banded together to express their displeasure, with Regal’s CEO saying: “We’re not interested in playing anything that makes its debut in the home and at the theater at the same time.” Comcast doesn’t care.

Stephen Burke, Comcast’s cable president and chief operating officer, told an audience at an industry conference this week that several studios were “very interested” in the idea of allowing cable providers to charge $29.95 to $49.95 to watch an opening-day movie at home. He said it would increase studio revenues rather than cannibalize them, if handled properly.

The studios, too busy drooling over the prospects of additional profit, declined to comment. Would you forego the deliciously buttery movie theater experience for the comfort of your home? Tell us in the comments. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

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  1. Onouris says:

    You’d have to be an idiot to pay $50 to watch a film in your own home when the experience is far better in the cinema.

  2. mantari says:

    Actually, I believe that the price reflects the studios’ acknowledgement that watching a brand new movie in-home can be superior to the ‘theater experience’.

    It just doesn’t make as much sense, though, to a family of one, or those with a more humble home entertainment center.

  3. kenposan says:

    You guys are forgetting to factor in the cost of the popcorn and a small drink. LOL

    But seriously, unless you have a killer home system and are having the neighborhood over to watch, not worth it.

  4. Onouris says:

    I don’t care how good someone thinks their home entertainment system is, unless they live in the middle of nowhere and their cinema is a wooden shack with a 6 inch TV, cinema always wins.

  5. Ikki says:

    Hm, I live pretty close to a movie theater (10 min walking distance), so this isn’t really worth it for me. However…

    I can expect that the encoding scheme on this will be cracked pretty fast. People can expect a DVD quality copy of a movie on the day it comes out. It’s just not worth it IMO.

  6. SkippyKilimanjaro says:

    @Ikki: That is an excellent point and probably what will submarine this deal before all is said and done.

  7. zaq2g says:

    At first I didn’t think it was a great idea, but $50 for a movie on the first day doesn’t seem that bad. If you take 4 people to a movie on opening weekend, thats easily $30. Then add food and drinks, plus dealing with crowds and sometimes parking and gas, you can easily go over $50.

    Now, wanting to watch that on a 13″ tv might require some thought, on a decent setup it would be totally worth it IMO. Especially if it can be paused and rewound.

    From personal experience, taking my family to the movies on an opening weekend has reached pretty close to $100 on more than one occasion. I’d be much happier to watch that at home on a 50″ with surround sound than deal with the hassle of going to the theater.

  8. PhilK says:

    OMG. Yes, yes, and yes again…on conditions. I’d watch them at home in a second if it meant getting away from those complete assholes who answer, yes ANSWER their phones in the movie theater. All the punk kids talking in the movie because it’s the only place they have in town to hang out at without their parents telling them their loud and obnoxious.

    That said…50$? How much crack does one have to smoke and where can one acquire it? Seriously, how dumb are the movie studios (or more aptly, how dumb do they think we are, “Hey, they’re ok with DRM, maybe they’ll bite on this too!”). 30$ isn’t as bad as it sounds if you consider 2-3 friends (8*3=24$) plus popcorn and drinks (4$ drinks, 5$ popcorn = 17$)…ok, maybe 50$ still isn’t a bad deal…

    Forget it, I’ll just keep waiting for the DVDs.

  9. Stan LS says:

    I think $35 is a fair deal.. You can invite your friends and ge them to cheap in. I’ve spent $2500 on my hometheater (1080p, 7.1) and it totally rocks.

  10. krunk4ever says:

    Too many problems with theaters these days.

    First of all, on opening days of highly anticipated movies, all seats are sold out. What that means is a ton of people are going to have very bad seats (i.e. sitting very close in the front, or watching it from a very obscure angle). Want to avoid bad seats, line up a hours earlier.

    Second, there’s the problems with kids. Ever had kids screaming or yelling? I mean once I even had a kid kick my seat. It’s not only kids that are problems. People sometimes forget to turn off their cellphone, people whispering to each other, people hanging their feat on top of the seat next to you. All of these ruin the experience.

    With HDTVs becoming more mainstream and affordable and decent (not great) home theater systems which can be purchased for $100-200, the experience at home is actually very nice. Watch the movie on your schedule (no need to rush through dinner in order to make it to the starting up). Sit in comfy sofa, at the angle and distance you prefer. Increase/decrease the volume to your satisfaction.

    Theater experience are overrated and theaters know that if they can’t prevent simultaneous releases via other channels on opening day, they’re going to lose a lot.

  11. sled_dog says:

    Why not?

    I prefer my home theatre to the sticky seats / crying bables / talking patrons / out of focus projector / unkept sound systems run by college dropouts.

    50 bucks is a bit high. However, If I could RECORD the movie to DVD while watching it, I could be persuaded to pay 35. Most good DVDs run about 20 bucks anyway, a trip to the theater is at least 12 bucks for two people.

    If the theatre owners are worried about this, why not add some value to the experiece? Train the projectionisits better, make sure you’re “DBX Certified” sound system has indeed been tested and certified in the last year, make consessions a little easier on the pocketbook (or at least expand the menu past popcorn and candy bars … more than once I’ve been to a theatre and craved a latte or some friut.

    Let the market slug it out!

  12. kingoman says:

    This is simple. Theater owners will not want the competition, so they’ll stop booking anything that’s going to be available to Comcast. That will dry up the first-week revenue (and all the buzz it generates) and the studios will be forced to stop supplying to Comcast. Game over.

    They’d need to sign up enough different cable companies to blanket the country to even have a chance. Even then, singles, low-tech homes, etc. will never go for it, and that’s a lot of customers.

  13. No way. You can wait 3 months and watch it on DVD for whatever it costs to rent it at Blockbuster these days. If it’s that super-important a movie that you MUST see it while it’s still in theaters, skip out of work early and hit the last Wednesday afternoon show that starts before the high schools let out. Theater entirely to yourself.

    (We also have a “budget” theater now called Nova that shows first-runs for $4 matinee/$6 evening and has a $1.50 popcorn-and-drink deal. They do a volume business that the $8 and $10 theaters can’t match. Talk about your crack — $10 movies in PEORIA? Are you KIDDING ME? Them’s NYC prices.)

  14. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I wouldn’t pay $50 for that, any more than I’d pay $50 for the privilege of eating macaroni and cheese in my own dining room. I might think about it for $10, but not $50.

    I suppose for people who have a $5000 home theater system and who can invite 6 people over, it doesn’t seem quite as outrageous, but still.

  15. 2Legit2Quit says:

    Are you sure that it implies $50 a movie? How about $50 a month – which would make a lot of sense.

    The revenue for the studios would be off the charts. The average person goes to the movies, what? once a month if that.

  16. suburbancowboy says:

    Prices for Home Theater equipment are falling like crazy. Look at the price of Plasma Tvs. Epson has a really good 1080p projector for $2,999. Get a decent receiver and audio system, and you are looking at a way better experience than at the movie theater. You can pause the movie to take a leak, eat your own food. No lines. No trouble finding parking. No sold out shows. No sticky floors (maybe). No jerk behind you rustling his 6 dollar bag of carcinogenic fake buttered popcorn. No being forced to sit through 10 minutes of soda commercials and car commercials before the trailers start. No cell phones ringing in the middle of the theater. 50 bucks to see a movie first day? If you have a few friends over to watch, this is a no-brainer.

  17. emax4 says:

    I think Onouris has only a few good points, and that is that the screen is bigger in the cinema. But I’m on the same track with everyone else.

    1 You think you’ll leave in time to get a good seat only to find out that the good seats have all been taken

    2. No crying babies, teenagers trying to impress girlfriends/boyfriends by annoying others

    3. No cellphones, although you’d have to disconnect your own home line during the movie for true phone uninterruption

    4. No having to deal with traffic getting in and out of the theater.

    5. There should be no movie previews and ads if paying for it in-home.

    6. You can increase or decrease the volume at will.

    $50 though? C’mon… How do they reach that amount of money? Why pay 5X the amount of money to stay indoors? It’s not worth it. MaxPayne has it right though, more like $50 a month. It might be even more beneficial for Comcast if they had lower movie prices in the afternoon, like a matinee, and higher prices afterwards when it’s most likely to be ordered. It had also better be a flat rate per day so that a viewer in another room could order a different movie that someone else watches in one room.

    Although the perks are nice, no one will be sensible enough to pay that amount of money.

  18. magic8ball says:

    Hmm … link’s not working for me at the moment, so I haven’t actually RTA.

    @ emax4: “5. There should be no movie previews and ads if paying for it in-home.” Hahahahaha. I like your optimism.

  19. slolobdill44 says:

    i have a great tv, 48″, so inviting a bunch of friends over and splitting the price would be a great idea. who would rather pay 10 bucks for a movie when you can have 10 friends all paying half the theater price and having a great time without all the annoying crowd distractions?

  20. Adamatic550 says:

    I tend to agree that the home-theater experience, for at least some, is beginning to be a viable alternative to the theater experience.

    It’s all about free enterprise. Studios should be able to release their content in whatever forms of media they choose (without the fear of repercussions from theater chains) and let the consumers decide how to consume. It’s a market, and someone will eventually offer consumers what they want.

  21. Trick says:

    @Onouris:

    I don’t care how good someone thinks their home entertainment system is, unless they live in the middle of nowhere and their cinema is a wooden shack with a 6 inch TV, cinema always wins.

    Maybe the cinema wins for you, but that is not true for many others.

    I have a pretty damn nice setup in my den and it didn’t cost a major fortune. But there are times I would prefer my big nice two rows of reclining leather chairs and easy access to the kitchen for whatever I want.

    Plus I don’t have to deal with the chowderheads on the cell phone, the crying babies. The two stupid girls behind me talking through the whole movie and kicking the back of my chair.

    Movies are fine, the family unit and I just went and saw Spiderman 3 today. $27.50 just to get in the door and not including the $5 soda or $4 popcorn…

    I won’t pay Comcast $50 on principle but I start thinking about it more if it were DirecTV and say $30-$35 to watch a new release…

  22. Jon Parker says:

    @Adamatic550: Huh? So it’s free enterprise when studios release movies for home viewing on the day of release, but it’s not free enterprise when the theaters refuse to show these movies?

    Your logic completely escapes me.

  23. szamot says:

    People still go to theaters? Suckers.

  24. crazylady says:

    pretty amusing when anyone with a decent connection (6-10mbit download) could get an almost-DVDrip copy of a movie in an hour or two sometimes before they even premiere in the US…

    :[

  25. Buran says:

    Let’s see. I can pause when I want, I can get captions, I can get better food for far less money — you bet I watch movies at home.

    But I won’t pay $50. $15 for a DVD is another matter.

  26. Adamatic550 says:

    @Jon Parker: It’s totally up to the theaters, I’m just saying that, in the long run, I don’t think it’s in their economic best interest to try to heavy-handedly force the studios to stick to the same business model.

    For example, they can refuse to show Sony movies if Sony goes this route (just as an example), but I think they will lose customers in the long run for refusing to show pictures like Spider Man, for instance.

    I think the companies have the choice to do anything they want (except killing babies, maybe), but the consumers are the referees, at some point, and will reward companies whose decisions they agree with.

    That’s the point of a market, bringing buyer and sellers together on terms they can agree on. If a seller won’t deal with a consumer, someone else will at some point.

  27. FLConsumer says:

    @Onouris said

    I don’t care how good someone thinks their home entertainment system is, unless they live in the middle of nowhere and their cinema is a wooden shack with a 6 inch TV, cinema always wins.

    I’d agree that when you’re comparing this to someone who bought a “home theater” system at Circuit City/Best Buy/Wal-Mart, and maybe even their local mom & pop stereo store, cinema wins hands-down.

    When you’re using commercial and industrial-grade studio equipment that is the exact same or better than what the movie itself was mastered with, no theater comes close. While technology has become better, I’ve noticed the movie studios using cheaper & cheaper equipment in their productions, with a few notable exceptions. I have no problem with some of this, but I really do miss the way the “big board” audio console mic inputs sound compared to the cheapie desktop mixers now used for overdubbing and often mastering. Just seems asinine to me that at a time where cinemas are improving their projection and sound systems and movie budgets are at all-time highs, they’re cheaping out on post & mastering. Bastards.

    $50 for a first-run seems a bit on the high side to me, but I’d gladly do it for $30 or $35. I’d invite over a few friends and enjoy the movie… and not having to deal with the sticky floors, smell of stale disgusting popcorn, annoying people, etc. Also, for what it would cost to get food and beverages for 5-10 people at a cinema, I can hire a caterer. Hmm.. I’m starting to like this idea. Of course…if I wait ~12 hrs after the initial showing, I can probably find a copy on the ‘net somewhere.

  28. faust1200 says:

    I think this

  29. faust1200 says:

    I think this is definitely the way of the future. Wheth

  30. faust1200 says:

    I think this is the way of the future. Whether or not Comcast spearheads it is another story. I would pay more to watch a first run film at home – not $50 if that is the figure per-movie I can’t tell. Technology is helping us insulate ourselves from the gross obnoxious public so why not in film also? I think movie theaters will be nothing more than a novelty in 10-15 years.

  31. quantum-shaman says:

    The economics of this are interesting in light of the fact that movie theaters are essential soda and popcorn selling facilities. In other words, that’s where they make their money…. the movie is just bait. So if you leave the junk food out of the equation, you’re basically paying about twice the price to stay home. No wonder the studios are drooling. Hey I loathe the thought of paying even $12 to sit in uncomfortable seats on sticky floors with a bunch of loud, smelly people as much as the next girl, but I refuse to participate! I can buy 3 six packs of Corona for the price they are asking (or half a tank of gas on a good day) and STILL have money left over for some re-run that I haven’t seen on pay-per-view. I have my priorities.

  32. Charity Froggenhall says:

    F

  33. Charity Froggenhall says:

    Fifty BUCKS? There’s hardly a movie I want to spend $

  34. tigerjade says:

    Crowds stink, people are sheep and theatres can’t handle the load of opening-day movies. We spent nearly an hour standing last week at the IMAX in Charleston to see Spider-man 3, ’cause they didn’t have their game faces on.

    That being said, no way in the world am I going to pay $50 to see a movie at home, for two reasons:

    1. We can always wait for the DVD or HBO/Showtime releases; and,
    2. When we went to the theatre to see The Hulk, a random kid yelled out during the last fight scene, “Throw him in the water! Rocks can’t swim!” Can’t get that at home.

  35. lemur says:

    There’s no way I’m going to pay $50 to watch a movie at home. I don’t care how many friends I need to bring home to make it a winning proposition. This price is just a non-starter for me.

    But then again, I’m not the average consumer. I rarely ever go to the theater. If I do go, I go to a matinee. Even at that price, I find that going to the theater is too expensive and unless I judge that a movie just has to be seen on the big screen, I usually wait for it to come out on DVD.

    I find that the producers of content are taking advantage of the digital transition to gouge their customers. They use prices that were justified in the context of the old distribution model to justify inflated prices in the new model.

  36. Onouris says:

    Sure people have nice set-ups but I still stand by the fact that a 50 inch screen and 7.1 surround is child’s play compared to a decent cinema.

    If you take a bunch of people it might be cheaper to do it from home, but if there’s say 3 of you, I won’t be ditching the cinema any time soon anyway.

    I love going to the cinema, I’m just thankful mine isn’t on a farm or something where everyone else is a loud, obnoxious moron.

  37. RandomHookup says:

    Since a trip to Symphony Hall in Boston can end up in a fist fight, perhaps we should encourage more people to stay at home.

  38. Nytmare says:

    Even if this method forces those newly abundant theater ads into the stream, your own TV can always be muted or turned it off until the real content begins.

  39. Canadian Impostor says:

    To take my girlfriend to the movies in CT it costs me $10 each for two tickets, $5 for each soda and $5 for popcorn. That’s $35 and the theaters here don’t have stadium seating.

    My comfy couch, new plasma, and favorite speakers are way nicer than going to the theater. I’d invite two friends over and split the costs before going to the theater if this was available to me, plus I could enjoy a frosty beer while watching.

  40. Canadian Impostor says:

    @Onouris: If I still lived in Boston I’d agree about the theater being awesome. Modern theaters with digital surround sound, giant screens, and stadium seating are awesome. Unfortunately I live in a movie wasteland now. All of the theaters near me were built 30 years ago, have tiny screens, uncomfortable seats, and the same prices as the nice theaters in Boston and New York. No thanks.

  41. crayonshinobi says:

    If these movies get pirated and distributed online, it should be easy to catch the distributors, because they will be the only ones spending the ridiculous $50 price tag for this.

    It’s a great idea, but as usual the cable companies and the movie studios are way out of whack in their pricing.

  42. Asvetic says:

    I’d like the option to choose either.
    Some movies need to be seen on a huge 50 foot screen with an incredible sound system, such as an action blockbuster like Spiderman.
    But, then there are movies like Knocked Up that would look and feel the same on a much smaller screen and a semi-decent sound system. Like the one in my home. Granted, I probably wouldn’t pay $50 bucks regardless if it’s per movie or per month.

    There’s an another upside, competition. If theaters have to compete with Comcast and your home, it might force them to make changes to the current movie going experience. Why charge us an arm and a leg for crappy artificial popcorn, sugar laced soda, cramped and uncomfortable seating and an unruly audience? How bout a customized experience with gourmet food, lush accommodations and a selectable viewing audience.

  43. dantsea says:

    Would I pay $50 to see a movie on the day of release at home? Depends on the movie and how misanthropic I’m feeling that day. :)

    As for the theater chains harrumphing and threatening, oh please. The studios have a time-tested way of keeping them in line: “Run the movies we simultaneously release to Pay Per View or kiss your access to our guaranteed summer blockbusters goodbye.”

  44. slapstick says:

    Never never never. I love seeing movies at the theater, especially on opening night. I love the crowds, I love the fake butter than could survive a nuclear holocaust, I love seeing things thirty feet high on a screen, and I love focusing on a movie without all the distractions at home, where my desire to multi-task could win over.

  45. I know that one of the theaters in my area is the exception rather than the rule as far as noise and overcrowding. It will continue to get my business no matter how cheap they make this service.

    Back in the city I grew up in however I could see this being very popular. People have actually brought toys for their kids to play with in the aisles while they watch an R rated movie. I wish I was kidding.

  46. bsheairs says:

    One thing that everyone is missing: the Main Audience for the money-making movies (summer blockbusters, etc.) are teens and young adults. These are the people who are forking over the bulk of the money at the theater (and talking on the cell phones, and kicking the backs of chairs, and throwing “gummy babies” at the screen, etc.) . Heck, go to any theater anywhere on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and you’ll see just a TON of kids there – dropped off by parents who just want them out of the house.

    So, logically, you have to ask yourself, “Where are the kids getting the money?” From their parents, obviously. So, are parents going to be willing to foot this $35-$50 bill? Depends on how much their kids whine about getting the service.

    And the next logical question is “Will home-viewing of first run movies appeal to this younger audience?” The answer depends on if you think kids are staying home more (video games, internet, etc.), or if this is one of the few “socialization” outlets they have left (GOING to the movies), and are willing to hold on to.

    It’s more of a question of culture, than one of economics.

  47. LTS! says:

    The cost is $29.95 – $49.95, let’s not always assume the high side but even still, there have been some good comments here.

    This not much different than pay-per-view events anyway and plenty of people pay for those.

    So you get

    No hassles at the theater.
    Your own home to view it in (no travel)
    Refreshments with no crazy mark-up.
    Start the movie when you feel like it (VOD)
    Probably the ability to pause it
    The ability to split the cost amongst friends if desired.

    If you don’t want to do that, then drive your asses to the theater, or don’t go, or pirate the movie. It’s a perfectly viable option for the reasons stated above.

    My home theater is not that great but I prefer it to the movie theater every time. Primarily because the movie theater just annoys the living hell out of me.

  48. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Thanks for the tip about Nova. I’d stopped going there sometime before they changed their name (and maybe owner?) because their movie times aren’t listed on Yahoo and I’m a lazy bastard, but this would make it worth it.

  49. suburbancowboy says:

    According to some studies, the movie experience is 70 percent sound, so if you have a decent audio system, you are already in good shape.
    I won an A/V custom installation store. We have a 106″ screen with an HD projector in the store. My friends come and watch movies here, and they all agree that it blows away going to the theater.
    You don’t need a huge room or a ton of money to pull it off.

  50. mikyrok says:

    It would be great if there was more than 0-1 movies worth watching each month. Waste of money.

  51. axiomatic says:

    $50 no.

    $30 yes.

  52. Buran says:

    @Onouris: Oh really? $7 popcorn when I can make it my own way from a $1 bag with the seasonings I want? $0.50 sodas instead of $3 sodas? Captions on the screen that the movie theaters fail to provide, thus being inaccessible to the deaf/hard-of-hearing? Ability to pause the movie any time I want? My chair/couch in which I can stretch out and use my own blanket to keep my legs warm? My room temperature? My pause button?

    I’m an idiot, now?

    I don’t think so.

    You were saying?

    With the way the theater owners are behaving, you’d think they were selling buggy whips or something…

  53. Buran says:

    @Buran: Mind you, I don’t pay $50. I don’t know why they think they can charge that when the market has decided that $15-$20 (at MOST) is the correct price for a home-watchable copy of a film.

  54. xboxishuge says:

    Hell yes I would, as long they offer them in HD. I have a nice enough projector, and haaaaate going to the movie theater enough that I’d be all over it.

    Plus, even at $50, if you split it five ways it’s actually cheaper than movie tickets, AND you can drink during the movie.

  55. MarkMadsen'sDanceInstructor says:

    I think it would be great. You’d just have to get 7 of your closest friends together, and it would be cheaper than a matinee without any of the weekend-opening lines, expensive parking and traffic.

    Plus, what is so great about the theater experience? Crying babies, people talking, $5-6 popcorn? I’d much rather watch using my digital projector and Dolby 5.1 surround.

  56. Onouris says:

    @Buran:

    Oh I’m sorry, you thought you had a point in all of that? Oh wait, no you didn’t.

    So you don’t want to pay the cinema prices? Don’t pay them. Are you actually unable to watch the film without popcorn etc? It’s not even like it’s hard to take your own drinks in there, or your own blanked if you are that picky about temperature…

    “Where the film makers have provided the required digital disk, certain performances in this auditoria will have captions on-screen. These performances will be listed separately with the word “Captioned” after the film title.”

    The theatres failing to provide? No, the film makes fail to provide.

  57. wmbetts says:

    I’ve read several comments where people say ZOMG you have to be a retard to want to watch new releases in your home or the experience will suck. I have a feeling most of these people don’t have infants with no one willing to watch them. I wouldn’t have a problem paying to watch a new release in my house. My wife and I haven’t watched a new release in a long time (almost a year) because we don’t have anyone to watch our kids. Even if we did manage to find someone we trust to watch our kids after paying them to watch them and then paying all the charges at the theater it would be about the same price.

  58. redrobot5050 says:

    One time when I went to the Waterfront Theater in Pittsburgh, these four — I apologize for using the term but it suits them — eurotrash guys sat down. The problem: Their panteen pro-v style hair (long hair, down to mid-back) obviously hadn’t been washed in a month.

    My girlfriend kept hitting me because she thought I was farting all the time. Then imagine our disgust when we realized we were breathing in a cloud of their body funk.

    I don’t want to go to theaters because I don’t feel its worth $20 to be around the *literally UNWASHED masses*. It soured me on the whole experience. And when you consider that theaters put something like 15 minutes of commercials ahead of the previews, well, I don’t feel the value reflects the price.

  59. Justinh6 says:

    Interesting idea, but too much money.

    Regal tickets are only $8 each around these parts. I’d rather spend the money to go to the theater, and have a night out, instead of sitting at home and paying money to sit on my couch.

  60. Gopher bond says:

    People over 16 years old still go to the cinema to see movies?

    Do they still grab a malted from the soda jerk on the way home through the town square?

  61. fiennesite1 says:

    Add another $30 or so for a babysitter…I’m sold on this idea. Get the price down to $35 and I’ll love it. I’m actually fond of the whole Cinema Cafe experience…if they could improve the food. Theatres would be forced into this business model…focusing on servicing the customer, and enhancing the viewer experience, which in the end is the best thing for the consumer anyway. It’s a win-win.

  62. Brad2723 says:

    $50 to watch a movie in the comfort of your own home? It’s actually cheaper to just go to the movies.

    Only retards would pay for this service.

  63. bonahstabone says:

    If it were a film I really wanted to see I’d pay up to $30, otherwise I’d wait for DVD.

    I don’t go to the theatre anymore–

    1. Because movies in general suck these days, I’m unwilling to pay for what they’re offering, and refreshments are egregiously priced.

    2. Because fellow movie goers can be inconsiderate/rude in all sorts of ways.

    It just seems to be a bad business model overall when you have to pay $20.00 for a ticket, some popcorn and 16oz. bottle of water and then have to sit in a theatre with crying children, grown adults constantly talking or getting up to go outside, answering the phone, kicking your chair, saturating the air with offensive perfume/cologne, etc.

    I’m all for busting up old and tired institutions. Let the consumer decide.

  64. mac-phisto says:

    i think they’re basing the price on the age-old idea of mom, dad & 2-1/2 kids.

    w/ what i’ve seen in the theatres lately, i think i’d pay comcast $50 just to keep it OUT of my living room.

    it would be a great idea to get some indie movies/foreign films that you normally can’t see in the theatres (then again, isn’t that what sundance is for? idk, i don’t subscribe)

    & finally, please guys, can we grow a collective spine here? if the asshole next to you is talking on the phone, tell him to stop. don’t pretend you can’t hear him. & if he doesn’t, take it out of his hand & throw it. i’ve only done that once, but i think that idiot got the message (plus, he didn’t sit back down next to me after he went scrambling for his phone – BONUS!).

  65. PianoPlayer says:

    I wasn’t sure whether that’s $29.95 to $49.95 per movie or per month as noted in the opening article.

    Whether the price is per movie or per month my wife and I won’t pay it.

    Here’s what we do:

    1) We have the $14.95/month Netflix service (2 DVDs out at a time).

    2) We check out the reviews of new movie releases in the Sunday paper. Usually we choose the the 3-4 star (out of 4 stars) rated movies.

    3) We put the selected movies into our Netflix queue (yes we know they’re not available yet).

    4) In a few months when the movie is released on DVD we receive the movie and watch it.

    5) We make our own popcorn.

    Ed

  66. ShadowFalls says:

    Only for HDTVs. Straight up, the only way this thing will be able to hit the market is the requirement to use HDMI. Otherwise, the likelihood of this not being cracked would be low. So for all those without HDMI, too bad, this won’t be happening for you.

  67. s00p3rm4n says:

    Why do these corporate douchebags’ imaginative ideas always end up reading like bad April Fool’s pranks?

  68. ReggaeLove says:


    I’ve been waiting for this day to come, the movie experience for my girlfriend and I, these days is horrible to say the least. I dread going to a theatre to see a movie. If it’s not the baby crying, it’s the old lady that can’t hear and is asking her friend what was just said, or the idiot sending a text message (the small light from your cell phone is like a beacon when all the lights are off DickHead), “stop kicking my chair KID!” Damn dude, use a toothpick to get that piece of popcorn stuck in your tooth, stop laughing at inappropriate times. Should I go on? I would gladly pay $50 to see an opening day movie, where do I sign up?

  69. Onouris says:

    @mac-phisto:

    Yep, last time someone annoyed me I just turned around and straight out told them to shut the fuck up. They did.

    Getting them kicked out and wasting their money on half a film also works well.

  70. 02J says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time.

    Some people say you’ll be paying more for a lesser experience. I disagree entirely.

    I’m already looking at a bare minimum of $35-40 for the “going out to the movies” experience for two between the $10 tickets and $4-7 drinks and snacks.

    I’d think nothing of paying $10 more to avoid the lines, smells, sounds and drive that a trip to the theatre while enjoying the comfortable peace of my own home.

    Beyond that, just add an extra person or two to the value of the viewing only gets better.

  71. vshank says:

    i don’t know if anyone has thought about it this way at $50.00 a pop. I don’t have kids, but some of my friends do and here’s how they look at movies:

    to take their 2 kids (and usually a friend) is 5 tickets (just assume matinee) at $6.00ea is $30.00, plus drinks for all at $3 and a bucket of popcorn at $6 they’re at $51 to walk in the door at the theater.

    if they go on a date, $15 for tix (no matinee) $50 for a babysitter, and $50 for dinner (since they’ve got the sitter). $115+ for a dinner/movie date

    at $50 a show w/ comcast, the kids can have a few friends over, they can order $20 worth of pizza (nowdays that’s 4 or more pies). AND sit in the other room and comment on Consumerist.com

  72. Trick says:

    @mac-phisto & Onouris say: [reply to this comment]:

    & finally, please guys, can we grow a collective spine here? if the asshole next to you is talking on the phone, tell him to stop. don’t pretend you can’t hear him. & if he doesn’t, take it out of his hand & throw it. i’ve only done that once, but i think that idiot got the message (plus, he didn’t sit back down next to me after he went scrambling for his phone – BONUS!).

    -or-

    Yep, last time someone annoyed me I just turned around and straight out told them to shut the fuck up. They did.

    Getting them kicked out and wasting their money on half a film also works well.

    Ah yes, the internet tough guys… you failed to mention what type of martial arts you mastered to conquer said ruffians…

    When the chowerheads talk, yes they are told stop. Perhaps a web board is not quite the place to beat ones chest on how people are to STFU. Some STFU, some are complete idiots and or jerks that don’t.

    Now I know a couple of real tough guys like you will then turn around and punch them right in their pop-corn spewing bread basket, getting applause from everyone along with a couple hot co-eds running to congratulate you on such a swift knock out with beer and hot dog. But in the real world that usually only lands the rest of us non movie-super-hero types in with assault charges.

    Oh but we are supposed to run to the pimpled faced 16 year old that just made manager that week and tell them about the idiot with the crying baby or blathering on with Buffy about her BFF Jill trying to steal someones boyfriend on the cell phone, right?

    Once again, you being the total hip dude everybody loves get service right away, the offender kicked out and no doubt drowned in vat of buttery popcorn oil. And I bet they even re-wind the part of the movie you just missed while going to tattle on Jim-bob and how his 17 children are gnawing on the seat cushions.

    If you like the movies, more power to you. I like them too but I’m not so obsessed with them that I won’t consider alternatives. When first runs come out on a service other than Comcast and in the $30 range then I’ll think more about it.

    But don’t let that stop you from going on about how everyone who doesn’t appreciate the Dolby 5.1 whatever that only techno-geeks care about telling us the movies are far more superior. You know you are just dying to give us the latest specs and all…

  73. Daniel K says:

    This is very, very bad for theatres. All they have going for themselves is exclusivity for a couple of months, and the studios hate that because they have to pay for two publicity blitzes (theatrical, DVD) instead of one. So of course they will refuse to show movies which also premiere on Comcast.

    Which means that independent theatres will get those movies instead, and do well because they’ll be semi-exlusive runs. Hmmmmm. I like it.

  74. Onouris says:

    @Trick:

    Oh yes, I know the sheer number of ‘technical specs’ included in the sentence “child’s play compared to a decent cinema” are bewildering to someone as spineless as yourself, but to the average person, it’s not that baffling to be honest.

    What do you have against pimple faced 16 year olds who are made manager? Are you jealous they’re 16 and probably making more money than you?

    The fact that you liken telling someone to shut the hell up to punching them in the face basically shows me that you have no idea what you’re talking about and it is infact you who are pretending to be the tough guy here. Some words can be powerful but wow, I didn’t know they had the ‘punch in the face’ effect, that really is amazing, don’t you think?

    Who actually cares whether you think they are considering the alternatives or not? You want to pay $30 for a single film, go ahead, be the laughing stock of the entire neighbourhood.

    You must be the first person who’s shown support for the morons. Maybe you were one all those years ago, maybe your spine has just withered away over the years or, hell, maybe you still are one of the imbeciles who thinks they’re ever so cool if they annoy everyone else.

  75. Trick says:

    @Onouris:

    Who actually cares whether you think they are considering the alternatives or not? You want to pay $30 for a single film, go ahead, be the laughing stock of the entire neighbourhood.

    Who actually cares? Oh I don’t know, probably nobody other than some pinhead wannabe tough guy who is probably closer to being that pimpled face 16 year old the cute girls laugh at when he rambles on about how theaters are far better than staying at home.

    Let it out Onouris, you will feel better after you talk tough and act like the big shot from the safety of your little computer world.

    Here, I’ll make it even easier for you.

    OOOH, you are scary Onouris. Please don’t woop up on my spineless little self anymore. If you do, I may not get that manager job at Regal. And if I don’t, then I will never end up like you.

  76. Slab says:

    I really like this idea. The cinema is great but I’ve put a lot into my home theater. If you have a movie night and everyone splits the cost it will be cheaper anyway. I’d still go to the IMax for certain releases but I’d much rather watch it at home usually.

  77. 02J says:

    @Trick:

    Ah yes, the internet tough guys… you failed to mention what type of martial arts you mastered to conquer said ruffians…

    When the chowerheads talk, yes they are told stop. Perhaps a web board is not quite the place to beat ones chest on how people are to STFU. Some STFU, some are complete idiots and or jerks that don’t.

    Now I know a couple of real tough guys like you will then turn around and punch them right in their pop-corn spewing bread basket, getting applause from everyone along with a couple hot co-eds running to congratulate you on such a swift knock out with beer and hot dog. But in the real world that usually only lands the rest of us non movie-super-hero types in with assault charges.

    -

    Well said.

    I’ve actually done the type of thing those dorks above are fantasizing about. I’m also pretty much the guy these guys fantasize of being. I’m bif wrestled, boxed and more.

    Of course, it was in reaction to something a bit more offense than talking on a cellphone.

    Guess what?

    It really doesn’t matter if the guy was being a complete dick, it doesn’t matter if on top of that he decides to hit you first, hell it doesn’t even matter people see it, the cops show up and they tell the guy he deserved it and he should fuck off.

    That rude ass in the theatre can still run off to the commissioner, say whatever the hell he wants and if the guy buys it, haul you into court if only to waste your time.

    Now you have to go make a counterclaim, find a lawyer and/or attend a preliminary and eventually go to court. This costs lots of time and money, $750-1500 minimum for a criminal lawyer and at least a day off work.

    It can potentially cost you a lot more. Good luck with professional job search if you have a fresh assault conviction on your record.

    Who wants to deal with all that shit? It just isn’t worth it. It has absolutely, nothing to do with having balls or being tough.

    This is actually one of the big reasons I’m all for this Comcast plan. I know bad things are going to happen when I’m faced with rude, aggressive, stupid people and the best solution is to simply avoid them.

  78. mac-phisto says:

    @Trick: oooh! you pegged me, trick! i certainly sound like the repressed one here, don’t i? look, if you don’t like going to the movies, just say so. don’t hide behind the fact that you don’t stand up for yourself when confronted with a problematic situation.

    @02J: i’m sorry, do i know you? so what if you’re beefed…evidently you’re a little light in the cranium. you don’t get an assault charge unless you hurt someone. KRUNK MAD! KRUNK SMASH! AAARRRGGHH!