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Would you pay $30 to watch a first-run movie in your home ahead of video release?

Discussion in 'Streaming and Digital Media' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Interesting story this week concerning the backlash of Directors

    over early studio offerings of first-run movies in the home.


    Click Here


    So, my question is, would you pay out $30 to watch a first-run

    mega-hit in your home just two months outside of theatrical

    release and ahead of home video release?



    Visit our [​IMG]DVD, [​IMG]BLU-RAY and [​IMG]3D REVIEW ARCHIVES
     
  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Premium
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    There should be a poll box for "maybe, depending on the release."


    I probably wouldn't pay $30 for a movie I haven't seen. I understand why some people might; for families, it might make sense to skip buying for tickets at $10 a pop. But from the articles and studio comments I've read, they're more interested in doing it with films that aren't huge films, acclaimed films that aren't lighting up the box office - "127 Hours" was cited as the kind of movie they might try it with, something that got good reviews, a bit of buzz, but wasn't showing everywhere. (In some ways, it doesn't sound too dissimilar from some of those IFC films that go Pay-Per-View the same date as theatrical, like "Carlos" and "Heartless" last year to name a couple. I haven't read any numbers about that distribution model but it doesn't seem like it's been the end of the world for anyone.)


    edit: I just re-read the article and had missed the first time that the Adam Sandler comedy "Just Go With It" will be the first title. It's out of theaters now, so it wouldn't hurt the theatrical distribution, and I think the price is high enough that most people wouldn't feel inclined to skip theatrical for the privilege of paying $30 to see it two months later, when the DVD could be had for half that if they waited a month or two more. But I could see it hurting art houses that might typically have smaller showings of a movie over an extended period.


    The type of movie I might be willing to pay that for would be something that I truly loved in theaters and felt a strong desire to watch again, but maybe wasn't something that demanded to be seen on the big screen (for instance, a 3-D release I'd go see in a theater a second time vs watching 2-D at home). I like to see the Harry Potter films more than once, I saw the new Star Trek a bunch of times in theaters, same for The Dark Knight -- those might be movies I'd be tempted to shell out for. But it would have to be more than a 24-hour rental; I'd want 30 days with it, or from the time I ordered it until the week before the Blu-ray came out, something like that -- which I'm guessing is exactly what the studios don't want to do.


    One thing I haven't heard discussed (can't say I blame the studios for not bringing this up) is that with how easy it seems to be for people to bootleg films, wouldn't this early release window just allow unscrupulous people or illegal file sharers a chance to get a pristine, HD copy of a current film? That to me sounds like a more damaging potential than the release window itself being shortened. I'm in no way advocating piracy, but I think it would be unreasonable to think that it wouldn't happen.


    If anything, and I don't mean to take this thread too far off-topic, I'd be willing to buy a Blu-ray at a premium price at a theater after a showing. If you like a Broadway show, you can buy the soundtrack on the way out; after walking out of Star Trek or The Dark Knight, if someone at the box office had offered me a pristine HD version, completely barebones, for $50, I probably would have made that impulse buy. But $30 for a 24 hour rental? Not very likely.
     
  3. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Well-Known Member

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    A "mega hit" will run long enough that I would be able to get in as many screenings as I cared for before the BD/DVD release.

    $30 is just too much for a single viewing of a film I can own for $20 or less if I hold out for a few weeks.
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    There's no chance that I would pay $30 for a movie that I can see at a regular movie theater for under $10 at a matinee. That being said, I can understand how someone with a family who is paying $10 or $12 each for 5 people and another $1,000 for food, candy or soda might be interested in it though.


    I might be interested if we were talking about a small movie that isn't playing near me and the price was about the same as a movie ticket.
     
  5. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Well-Known Member

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    If they were smart they'd charge $50 for "big event" films and show them a couple days before their theatrical release date. I'm sure some die-hard fans of certain films (like the upcoming THE HOBBIT) would probably fork over much higher dollars just to see the film early.

    I watch movies on the IFC On Demand but they're usually the same price as a ticket you'd buy at the theater. So, no way in hell would I pay $30 when I could go to a matinee for around $10 or wait a few months and rent it for $1.
     
  6. Jason Charlton

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    When will the Hollywood Studio bigwigs get it through their thick skulls that it doesn't matter how they "package" it (3D/2D, Combo-Pack, Digital Copy), how long they make us wait (30 days, 60 days, 132 days), whether it's a "reimagining", "reboot", "remake", "sequel", or "prequel", or some bizarre hellspawn of 80's camp TV, childhood toy, boardgame, or "pre-existing property"...


    ... revenues will continue to dwindle unless they improve the product they put out there. Make a movie that's worth owning, renting, or watching and people will do so. As it stands, you make hundreds of utterly forgettable and craptastic movies every year and then wonder why people aren't willing to spend their hard-earned money to relive and re-experience the films. The reason is simple - most aren't WORTH owning or watching again and everyone forgets about them. So your solution? Make them available to own BEFORE we forget them! Brilliant! Are you going to take Josh's suggestion to heart and offer the movies as patrons leave the theater? For many movies, that'll be your best and only hope of making a sale.


    "Patience is a virtue" and sadly is something that lies in stark contrast to the "instant gratification" and "gotta have it now" mentality of much of today's culture as evidenced by the preponderance of mobile electronics that keep people in constant connection to (it seems) everything that occupies even the smallest percentage of their daily lives (really?!? you just HAVE to be able to stream your DVR to your 3 inch phone screen?). As a parent, patience is one of the qualities I most hope to instill in my boys.


    If I can wait 60 days to see it, I can wait another ~60 days to see it.
     
  7. JonZ

    JonZ Well-Known Member

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    I like that idea.
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Based on history, I think that time is coming soon. It seems like some aspects of pop culture (whether it's music, movies, TV) have sunken to such a lousy level that something will be coming along soon to flush out the garbage. This isn't the first time that the studios have made lame huge budget movies and people didn't come. A movie like Easy Rider or Pulp Fiction will come along and open a new door for movie makers and audiences or a different type of band will come along that makes all the current pop music look ridiculous. Those movies and bands will become the new norm and alot of the stuff that's popular today will quickly look dated & goofy and quickly be out of fashion with audiences.
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I used the word mega-hit to best describe a movie that

    would be highly popular and of interest to the individual.


    So, count that as a YES vote if it is a title you are interested in.



    Visit our [​IMG]DVD, [​IMG]BLU-RAY and [​IMG]3D REVIEW ARCHIVES
     
  10. snoopy28574

    snoopy28574 Well-Known Member

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    I will always think that bringing movies back to the big screen would help with loss of revenue. Say a movie like Cleopatra, or any movie. A limited release is not what I'm talking about. They should just try it and see.

     
  11. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    On the way out of Rock of Ages, I was kind of tempted to pay $25 for the cast recording CD. But I waited and ordered it for $9 from Amazon. The fact is, I didn't even have to wait -- I could've just ordered it via my phone. I could've even ordered it as an mp3 download and listened to it immediately!


    I doubt many people would pay a big premium for a disc of a movie they'd just seen. For one thing, when you walk out of a great musical, you're humming the tunes and psyched to hear them again ASAP. Rarely are people psyched to re-watch a movie immediately. Maybe if the disc had lots of extra features it could work, since it's not uncommon to want to watch extras or even listen to a commentary right after watching a film.
     
  12. Josh Steinberg

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    I think you kinda clarified/remade my point better than I did, right there -- if it's an awesome movie, people will pay a premium price for it. If it's anything other than that, it's not gonna happen. I understand why filmmakers and theaters might not be fans of this $30 idea, but the way the studios have set it up, they shouldn't worry - I can't imagine many people are going to be paying for this. Basically, it seems like the equivalent of hotel pay-per-view or inflight movies, a little bit earlier than the DVD at an extra premium.... no one gets super excited over being able to see a movie slightly ahead of its DVD release in those scenarios, and at these prices, I think the effect will be the same. Maybe as people browse the pay-per-view offerings on their cable box, they'll see a new title and think "cool, I wanted to see that" but as soon as they see the price tag, I think they're moving on to their next choice.

    edit: the idea of charging that premium price to view a movie a couple days before it's premiere... while I'd understand everyone who's ever worked on a movie would be against it, and while the purist in me would like to think I'd never succumb to it... there's a chance I might go for that. But I think the studios know enough not to even try it. If studios and filmmakers want more people to go out to the movies, they should try some more simple things, like.. making better movies. Making fewer movies per year but making them all of a higher quality. At least in my experience, when people don't see something in a theater that they might have been interested in, it's not because they decided to wait for the DVD - it's because most people have other priorities than getting to the theater the day the movie opens, but with so much coming out year round, things disappear before people can see them. And theaters really need to step up on their presentations. Having the latest and greatest digital projectors or IMAX screens is useless when the popcorn is always cold and stale, and when theater management refuses to do anything about obnoxious patrons either talking on cell phones or bringing crying babies into R rated movies. Give me a theater where they make the popcorn fresh before each showing, and where people who cause disturbances get kicked out (without me having to get out of my seat and miss part of the movie to get an usher who won't do anything anyway), and give audiences screens larger than their big screen TVs, and then we might be in business. I find it pretty enlightening that on just about any thread on any forum about moviegoing, the top complaints are rarely the price in and of itself, but that the presentation quality is severely lacking, that disruptive audience members aren't kicked out (or that they even let people in who shouldn't be there in the first place - what about just saying "no" to the parent with the baby that's trying to buy a ticket to the 10pm show?), and that the popcorn is terrible. Audience members don't feel appreciated or respected, and that's the bigger problem.


    To go along with Jason's point about patience being a virtue... some people have this overwhelming sense of entitlement that lets them believe they are the only person in existence... those people feel they have the right to talk on the phone or be disruptive or bring in toddlers to inappropriate movies at "grown-up" times, that sense of entitlement that lets them believe that their desire to see that film at that time is more important than everybody's else's collective right to enjoy the show they paid for. If you're disruptive at a concert, a bar, a Broadway theatre, a restaurant, a sporting event, pretty much everywhere - you get thrown out, and if you behave badly enough, you might be banned from ever going there again or possibly even arrested. Heck, you can't bring a baby into a bar, so why can you bring one into an R rated movie at 10pm? The movie theater is one of the few places where this behavior is tolerated. Be honest: if, next time you went to the movies and someone either was talking on a cell phone, being really loud, or had a screaming baby in their lap, and you saw them escorted from the theater -- wouldn't you find yourself more willing to go back to that theater? I know I would!
     
  13. JonZ

    JonZ Well-Known Member

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    It depends. Some films, I want to see again as soon as possible. I go see so few films a year, but I prob would have dropped some dough to take home a bluray of (a few examples from recent years) TDK, WallE, Toy Story3, The Road.. and be able to watch it again in the comfort of my own home without the trouble of having to drive, wait on line, deal with bad theater manners,etc.


    Again, I like the idea.
     
  14. Adam Gregorich

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    Hmm I'm the only one who voted yes. We watch a lot more movies at home rather than in the theater due to cost. For my wife and I to go to the movies: $20 tickets, $20 snack bar, $30+ babysitter. I'd save a pile of money by only paying $30 and waiting until the kids have gone to bed. Not to mention what if you made a party out of it and invited friends over to watch? Then it would be a really good value compared to a trip to the theater.


    Now I agree that this isn't for every movie, but I could see doing it two or three times a year for certain movies.
     
  15. Josh Steinberg

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    Adam, those are all really great points -- I'm just curious, based on the studio's plans for this -- would you still be willing to spend $30 for a movie that's already out of theaters (so it's not a choice of going out vs. staying in to see the same film - that's the kind of release timing I personally think would be the only way to justify the price) and will be on Blu-ray/DVD in a month or two, which you could rent or buy for less than $30? (I'm genuinely curious to hear your answer, I'm not making fun of you or anything - just didn't want it to come across that way.)


    I'm really curious to see how sales for this work out. Everyone's posted some great theories for both why it would or why it wouldn't be a success, but it'll be interesting to see how it actually goes.
     
  16. RobertR

    RobertR Well-Known Member

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    I still don't get it. Why not save still more money and pay a measly $1.50 at Redbox? If you were willing to forgo seeing it at the theater, why not wait a little longer?
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    No I would not and I reserve the right to mock those who would and chastise the corporate bozos who keep coming up with these stupid business models that clearly won't work from the start and are not based on any kind of reality. Evidence in play: DIVX. DRM. Disks on Demand.


    JUST STOP IT ALREADY.
     
  18. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Yup. It depends on how many people are willing to pay a premium to watch a disc NOW. There are way too many movies already out there that I haven't seen for that to ever be an issue for me -- it's not like I ever won't have something else to watch. :)
     
  19. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this, and also voted that I would not pay the premium. But realize that it is the NOW that the studios are concerned with. Their preference is not for people to discover movies a year or two later. They'd much rather see people watching their films as soon as they are released. This particular business model is about generating the maximum amount of revenue as soon as possible. I doubt it will work, but studios are not going to be satisfied until it is tried and fails. I doubt there is any talking them out of it at this point.
     
  20. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

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    Nope, and here's why...


    1. Too expensive for a single viewing.

    2. Too late after it's theatrical release. Maybe if it was a same day home release and theatrical.

    3. Wait just a couple more months and I can own it for much less, on Blu-ray

    4. It'll most likely be a streaming video or a download, either way...poor quality with no lossless audio and no 1080p.
     

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