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Thread: Would You Pay $30 to Watch a Theatrical Release at Home?

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Default Would You Pay $30 to Watch a Theatrical Release at Home?

    Would You Pay $30 to Watch a Theatrical Release at Home?

    by Eugene Novikov May 24th 2010 // 9:03AM

    The same-day-as-theaters video-on-demand release scheme that's recently been embraced by IFC Films and Magnolia Pictures (and occasionally a few other, smaller outfits) is the best thing since Tivo. I'm an avid and frequent user. Yes, I know: movies are meant to be seen on a movie screen, etc. In principle I agree. But the choice between schlepping to a low-rent arthouse halfway across the city to watch, say, Red Cliff, and sitting on my couch and watching it in glorious HD on my 52" screen (for the same price) is, I'm not really embarrassed to say, a no-brainer. This weekend, I watched the underrated Survival of the Dead in the comfort of my apartment. A few weeks ago, The Human Centipede.

    The mainstream theatrical release model is pretty entrenched, but given the rapidly expanding capabilities of home theater (3-D TV is practically here), it's not surprising that studios and distributors beyond the indies would be hankering to experiment. And so it is, according to The Wall Street Journal. The latest proposal: theatrical releases in your home after 30 days, for $20 to $30 a pop. So, instead of going to the theater to see Clash of the Titans last weekend, you could have waited until Memorial Day and watched it at home, adding $30 to your cable bill.

    The economic arguments for movie audiences are pretty straightforward. For most people the scheme is an intermediate option between theatrical release and traditional "home video." $30 is more than a movie ticket, but you pay it once, not per-person -- there's obviously a great deal of appeal for families. You don't pay a fortune for snacks. If your goal is to save money, of course, you wait a couple more months and get the film on Netflix, or pay half the price to own the DVD. If you are excited to see the movie, you venture to the theater on opening weekend.

    Theater owners are understandably perturbed, believing that this brand of "premium" VOD will cannibalize ticket sales (and of course concessions). It's not a fundamental change, but it is a radical tightening of the home video window, which theaters will fight tooth and nail on the theory that if you can see a movie at home 30 days from now, you are less likely to go to the theater than if you have to wait six months. I think the central question is whether this is true. Do people value the theatrical experience, or do they go to the theater because they don't have any other way to see the movie?

    It's not clear. Theatrical grosses have increased despite more widespread piracy and shrinking DVD windows. On the other hand, I can say with certainty that if I could watch a movie on DVD 30 days after theatrical release, my theater-going behavior would be affected. on any given day, I would choose to watch 90% of movies at home rather than in a theater (assuming I could do so in HD). What about you? And what do you think of the specific proposal on the table -- thirty dollars and thirty days?
    Source: Would You Pay $30 to Watch a Theatrical Release at Home? - Cinematical
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    $30 is way too high, but yes, i would pay probably $10-$20 for this service.
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Yeah, I would do it. Considering how much going to the movie, getting my kid the damn snacks, gas to and fro... no brainer.
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    Gold Member emkat's Avatar
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    I just might. It would be a lot cheaper than 5 movie tickets and I wouldn't have to sneak in the snacks.
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    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    I would IF it was available sooner. If I'm going to wait 30 days from its theatrical release, I would just wait a bit longer to see it on Blu-Ray upon its DVD release. It doesn't really make sense to me to pay that kind of money for a theatrical release which has already been out for so long in the theatre - I probably would have seen it by then if I was really interested. But I could see this being really nice for friends who come over, or if I was baby-sitting young kids - that would be pretty great.
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    I like the idea of this. You can have a movie night with friends with everyone chipping in a few bucks to cover it, bring beer along, order pizza or a takeaway and still end up paying less than if you went to the cinema. And the bonus is that you won't have any of the distractions from random cinema-goers that can spoil a film, like noisy kids, seats that make your arse numb and missing 10 minutes of the film if you need to pee (no coming out of the screening room, trekking down the hall, hoping there is a stall free, hearing the ending being gossiped about by people who have just come out of an earlier screening, etc).
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    I'd definitely use it, depending on the price. I have a big-screen (36") TV, I could use my own bathroom, not have to wait in line for a drink, not have to go find my car later, etc. I don't think I'd use it for $30 though -that's a little pricy, even with the possibility of a group paying for it.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    $30 for one movie? Hell no. There is no film that I need to see that badly that I'm paying $30 for it, especially with all of the crappy films Hollywood keeps making. Hell, it's cheaper to just pay the $9 or $11 at the theater, if you don't have to worry about kids.

    And since films are moving from the theater to DVD at a quicker rate it's cheaper to wait. Or I can just wait for the movie to be available On Demand for $4.95. Now if it was a $30 monthly fee to have access to ALL theatrical releases, mainstream & independent films, then I might do it.

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    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    No way in hell. Even if I had kids, I wouldn't pay $30 for a freaking movie. They can wait until it comes out on Netflix. Before that, they can do creative interpretations of it with sock puppets.

    I thought this was some kind of joke, but maybe that just shows how cheap I am.

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    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    If it was some big film my kids really wanted to see like Avatar, yes I would pay. It's such a hassle going to the theater with finding parking, finding seats. Plus after paying for everyone's snacks, I'd probably save money if we saw it at home.

    I much prefer staying home to watch a movie. I used to love to go to the movies but it's just so crowded and expensive now.

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    Ehhh, I can download a good copy of it the next day for free. And then if I really like it, I'll go see the movie

    The movie system in NA sucks, in Asia and I think parts of Europe you can actually make reservations for seats, etc online.

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    Elite Member aabbcc's Avatar
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    For thirty bucks, not a chance in hell. It only costs 5.00 to see a movie here if you go on Tuesday.

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    Elite Member sprynkles's Avatar
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    No! Way too much money for the 50/50 chance of it sucking. Maybe $10.

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Well, no, since I can just pirate it for free within days or weeks of its release... but then I'm evil that way, so.
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    No, because I'm cheap.

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