The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a new service is launching next year with the promise that you can watch new movies in your home. Not films that have been in the theaters for a month or two -- brand spankin' new titles. Prima Cinema will provide this service to you for just a small setup fee. Small if you're a movie studio head or an Internet tycoon, that is.
Prima Cinema is planning to charge $20,000 to put a digital delivery device in your home that gives you the ability to watch new flicks beamed into your home. You'll then pay $500 for the privilege of viewing each new film in your home theater.
Hollywood's reaction is mixed. Some studios fear that such a service puts new movies at a greater risk for piracy, since a pristine digital copy will be going out to individuals, though it's unclear if anyone who is rich enough for the service would really be that interested in spreading them across the Internet. Others think Prima could be tapping a tiny, but profitable, niche of ultra-wealthy who might not bother going to the movies otherwise.
Despite the eye-popping costs involved, Prima's service is just another sign that the future of new movies is home viewership and that trips to the cineplex will be fewer and for more "event" pictures. Someday in the not-so-distant future the promise of Prima will be available to everyone, not just the Steven Spielbergs of the world.