Movie studios have been vague about their plans to offer new films in homes via video on demand, but Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has recently detailed his company's vision for the service.
Bewkes says that Time Warner movies that are still in theaters will be offered in living rooms by the middle of 2011. He says pricing will be roughly $50 for new flicks, which at first blush seems extremely high, though when you factor in the cost of several movie tickets, popcorn, drinks, and so on, it may be a deal if you have a group of people watching with you. Then again, you're watching it on your HDTV instead of a giant screen and missing the whole movie-going experience.
The fallout from Time Warner's plans could be considerable. For instance, Bewkes says his company would examine whether the timing for making its films available to DVD-rental services like Netflix and Redbox should be lengthened from the current 28 days after their DVD release date. Theaters owners will howl in protest, especially since they're in the midst of spending considerable sums to add new 3D screens to their venues.
Nonetheless, Time Warner seems committed to this new strategy, which is in response to fewer people going to new movies and more people watching films through pay TV's on demand options, DVD rentals, and online streaming. Consumer will ultimately decide if paying $50 to avoid movie theaters that they're already going to less frequently is a viable way to catch new films. Do you think it is? Let us know in the Comments section.