Movie studios have been mulling over the idea of releasing "new" movies via video on demand for a premium fee, but now it looks like they're finally ready to test this concept out. According to Variety, four major studios are launching a new brand later this month to release recent flicks on VOD for $30 a pop.
Fox, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. have created the Home Premiere brand, which will begin offering titles in April to all DirecTV customers. Comcast will also be testing the service in select cites, though there's no apparent time table for when and if it will roll out the service nationwide. Paramount is opting out of Home Premiere for fear it will increase piracy.
Two films are slated to kick off the service: Adam Sandler's latest, Just Go With It, and Liam's Neeson's Unknown. Both have already earned most of their box office money, which is part of the studio's plan: Release movies to Home Premiere two months after their theatrical debut in order not to cannibalize box office receipts. Nonetheless, movie theater owners are worried that people may get used to the idea of waiting for films to show up for premium VOD rental and go to the theaters even less than they already are.
While $30 is still a hefty sum to drop for one VOD title, it's a little more palatable than the $50 per pop that Time Warner's CEO suggested late last year. Considering that you'd probably pay a lot more for four people to go to the movies, it may be a bargain for families looking to watch a recent flick. Still, the 60-day window is only 30 days before new films are typically released on DVD and Blu-ray, which you can then rent from Redbox for $1 instead.
Would you pay $30 for a new film on Video on Demand instead of seeing it at the movies? If not, what price would entice you to do so? Sound off in the Comments section.