Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

Summary: Major movie studios continue to take baby steps toward offering new films to cable subscribers via premium on demand while the flicks are still in theaters. The biggest test to date will come in a few weeks, when Comcast will bring the new Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller potential blockbuster Tower Heist to a pair of test markets just three weeks after it debuts on movie house screens.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Telcos
19

Major movie studios continue to take baby steps toward offering new films to cable subscribers via premium on demand while the flicks are still in theaters. The biggest test to date will come in a few weeks, when Comcast will bring the new Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller potential blockbuster Tower Heist to a pair of test markets just three weeks after it debuts on movie house screens.

Subscribers in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta will have a chance to pay $60 to avoid noisy patrons, expensive concessions stands, and another annoyances that can mar movie-going in the 21st century. Needless to say, theater owners are furious at Universal's decision, even if most movies are in a box-office swoon by the third weekend. According to the Los Angeles Times, theater chains could threaten to not show Tower Heist in the test markets, or boycott the film altogether.

The irony, of course, is that the number of households that actually ponies up the money to watch the film may only total in the dozens, especially considering the price is double that of previous premium on-demand offerings. But what seems to be particularly alarming the theater owners is that the window between theatrical release and on-demand debut in this case has been slashed from 90 days to 21 days, which, if it becomes a trend, could eventually impact their bottom line. Universal says it will compensate those theaters if it appears the test does impact their box-office receipts.

The commotion around these on-demand experiments tends to cloud over the real issue for both studios and theater owners: How to make the movie-going experience enjoyable enough to get people back into the theaters instead of sitting in front of their HDTVs on their comfy sofas. Though $60 added to your cable bill for each new movie you watch may be one way to do it.

[Via Engadget]

Topic: Telcos

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

19 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    Based on Eddie Murphy's track record lately, this is doomed.

    Dave? Pluto Nash? Anyone...?
    dazzlingd
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    I tend to wait a couple weeks anyway so the theater isn't so crowded. It's more enjoyable that way because I don't have to get there 2 hours early and can choose any seat I want.

    While movies are expensive, I don't see myself spending $60 for ANY movie to watch. Don't care if it's the same day of release or 21 days later, I pay for the theater because I dont have an 80-foot IMAX 3D capable screen at home (would be awesome though).
    jmiller1978
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    LOL - <i>$60.00</i> to watch an <i>Eddie Murphy</i> film? That's what Comcast is paying <i>me</i>, right?

    It's interesting that they would choose an Eddie Murphy film and attribute the avoidance of "noisy patrons" as a benefit for staying home and ponying up sixty clams. Now let's examine what type of patrons are most likely to go to the theater to watch Eddie Murphy, shall we?
    frizzllefry
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    This is way too much, the movie looks like it could be pretty cool and it is actually Owen Wilson's new movie...

    If they said, $35 I could see that because you still have to get snacks and such.
    slickjim
  • When you count average household size

    it's not that bad. My initial reaction was no way! But the more I think it's really not that bad. $40 seems more reasonable. You figure $10/person. If I were going to do this I would likely invite friends over. So 4-6 people watching for $60 is okay. I usually expect $30 for me and my daughter at the movie, $45 if my wife is there. That includes concessions, which would be cheap at home and potentially much better food.
    LiquidLearner
    • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

      @LiquidLearner - that's still way too much.

      Movie theaters charge outrageous rates, because
      (a) movie costs are out of control
      (b) they usually like to stay IN business

      $20 would still be too high because,
      (a) it'd be for a single viewing,
      (b) most movies on DVD cost less than $15, with Blu-Ray movies being $15-$30 depending on title and features.

      Still, we all said "CDs cost too much!" When they were $12 and contained 12 songs, uncompressed for full clarity... with the digital realm and a lesser need for packaging and artwork costs, the cost of a download for one compressed set of 12 songs is... $12, oh dear...

      and yet customers are the pirates by default...
      HypnoToad72
  • Re: Crysis Warhead on Consoles?

    http://mcaf.ee/y5b3c
    linmmcc
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    I love how they choose to test this with what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest flops of the year. Of course, this way they can tell the theaters the test "was successful" for all parties involved, since no one will watch the damn movie anyway and therefore the theaters won't be losing any patrons they wouldn't have had to begin with.
    Playdrv4me
  • Movie theaters cater to 13-year-old boys and girls

    They want viewers who have no impulse control, who *must* see a new movie the week it comes out, who have no concept of taste, and who mainly want a place to go with their friends without their parents around.

    My neighbor's kids go the the movies every Friday and Saturday night. But they don't do it on their own money, their dad inevitably caves and gives them the cash to go, including the snack money. I really wonder how well his kids will do as grownups, but at the rate they are going, they will probably never move out of the house ...
    terry flores
  • $0.60? Sure.

    $60?

    No thanks. The DVD release will be far, far cheaper.
    HypnoToad72
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    ah............no thank you, I'll just go see it on a weekday, matinee, with the old folks for $6.
    JunitoNH
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    Not in this lifetime. Probably not in any future lifetimes either.
    MGP2
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    Not in this lifetime. Probably not in any future lifetimes, either.
    MGP2
  • Not on my cable bill...

    Cable tv is already expensive enough. I don't go to movie theaters because it's a pain to drive across town to sit with annoying people who use cell phones during the movie while I listen to sound that it is twice as loud as it needs to be. If a movie was $10 on cable I might bite if it was a truly good film. A $60 movie hasn't been made yet and probably never will be as far as I'm concerned.
    shawkins
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    People still want to see Eddy Murphy? 10 or 15 years ago, maybe, but not $60 to watch on a TV (even 50" HDTV) This test is rather irrelevant, if the studios and Comcast would test this with a guaranteed blockbuster, that outcome would be interesting
    Juergen Hartl
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    I have some land real cheap for the goofballs that do... just send an email to land@for.suckers.com I would love to see the number of the people that would fall for this - and it will probably be a bomb of a movie on top of it.
    ItsTheBottomLine
  • Are you kidding???

    Any customer that purchases a package with movies channels, probably is paying well over a $100 a month for the service already. And now they are going to ask customers to ante up $60 a movie on top of that? This a DEAD ON ARRIVAL. Most customers can't afford that kind of cost, especially in the current economy.
    linux for me
  • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

    If movie makers and theaters want to get butts into seats, how about giving us value for the ticket price. Movies are getting shorter and shorter. There never used to be a movie less than 2 full hours, plus cartoons, newsreels, previews, and something artsy to top it off. A 3 hour experience, well worth the $2 it used to cost. Now, $8 and you are in and out in 105 minutes, and that was with commercials at the beginning. (A 90 minute movie won't even fill 2 hours of TV time unless they pad extra promos in every commercial to fill time, er, wait, they already do that, don't they?)

    That is one of the biggest reasons I do not go to the movies anymore. Anyone remember double features? That was the way to kill a rainy Saturday afternoon! They want to put butts in seats? Put value in the movie going experience!
    mlashinsky@...
    • RE: Will any Comcast subscribers pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy's brand-new movie on demand?

      @michaellashinsky@...
      I remember as a kid our family going to the drive-in (another thing of the past) and watching four Clint Eastwood flicks...a double double feature...
      AmraLeo