Movie theater owners successfully stared down Universal Pictures, which planned to release the Ben Stiller comedy Tower Heist on video on demand three weeks after it debuted in theaters. After a large contingent of theaters vowed not to play the movie if Universal stuck to the plan, the studio backed down.
Having a more difficult time getting viewers out to theaters, movie studios want to get their films into homes faster. Theaters aren’t happy with plans to subvert the traditional theatrical window, and the conflict is coming to a head with the Ben Stiller comedy Tower Heist, due out in theaters Nov. 4 and slated to go on demand three weeks later. Some theater owners, including mega-chain Cinemark, are protesting the quickie on-demand plan by refusing to show the film unless the studio changes its plans.