Movie Studios Set To Charge $30 To Watch Movies On-Demand While They're Still In Theaters

When we first brought up the idea of charging $30 for on-demand titles that are still lingering in theaters, less than 20% of you said you would be interested. But our little poll — and the protests of theater owners — hasn’t stopped everyone from moving forward with plans to launch the service in the coming weeks.

Dubbed “Home Premiere,” the service will debut first on DirecTV and then roll out to other cable providers, including Comcast. For $30, viewers will have access to each title for two to three days.

The studios that have embraced the idea are Warner Bros., Sony, Universal and 20th Century Fox. According to Variety, among the first films to be made available will be the latest Liam Neeson-goes-apesh*t flick, Unknown, and the Adam Sandler/Jen Aniston cash-in, Just Go With It, both of which came out in February.

While this service gives studios and cable companies a chance to cash in while the body is still warm, it isn’t exactly earning applause from theater owners, who stand to lose out on audiences who choose to stay home instead of heading out to the movies.

“These plans fundamentally alter the economic relationship between exhibitors, filmmakers and producers, and the studios taking part in this misguided venture,” reads a statement released by the National Assn. of Theater Owners.

Variety reports that the studios won’t release a title to Home Premiere if it’s still doing well in theaters. That means that the majority of what ends up on the service will be things you probably never wanted to see in the first place, or that you could have waited weeks, months, or years to see for a lot less than $30.

WB, Sony, U and Fox cue premium VOD [Variety]

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