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Thread: Coronavirus: Universal to make current theatrical movies available for home viewing on Friday ‘The Invisible Man’

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    Coronavirus: Universal to make current theatrical movies available for home viewing on Friday ‘The Invisible Man’

    Coronavirus: Universal to make current theatrical movies available for home viewing on Friday
    ‘The Invisible Man’


    By RYAN FAUGHNDER STAFF WRITER

    MARCH 16, 20201:44 PM
    Universal Pictures, in a bold move to confront the coronavirus’ threat to the movie industry, is collapsing the theatrical window.

    In an extraordinary step, the studio on Monday said it would make its movies available in the home on the same day as their global theatrical releases, beginning with DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls World Tour,” opening April 10 in the U.S.

    The company will also make movies that are currently in theatrical release available on-demand beginning as early as Friday, starting with the Elisabeth Moss horror film “The Invisible Man,” the satirical thriller “The Hunt” and Focus Features’ period comedy-drama “Emma.”

    The movies will be available on a wide variety of on-demand services, including those owned by parent company, Philadelphia-based cable giant Comcast Corp. and its European subsidiary Sky, for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested retail price of $19.99. The movies will also be released on platforms including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime and FandangoNow, which is part-owned by NBCUnivesal.

    The decision is a radical departure from the longtime industry practice of waiting 90 days between a movie’s release in theaters and when it is available for home viewing. Theaters have long resisted collapsing the so-called theatrical window, fearing it would undermine their business by discouraging consumers from going to the multiplex.
    Well, $20 bucks is pretty discouraging in itself. I never pay that for movie ticket prices.

    I might bite for $10 bucks and I'd be outraged at that.

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    Yeah, that's a steep price for something that is likely to be forgotten in a few days.

    The idea of releasing films online and in theater simultaneously isn't new. I did some paid research for fun a few years ago on this very concept and made it be clearly known back then that the prices they wanted to charge were mind bogglingly high for what is basically crap movies these days. Their justification is that a family of four with snacks would be a lot higher than that in most metro areas, and the convenience of having it at home on release day would outweigh the higher cost for streaming.

    Prices they put out were anywhere from $10 per movie to $50, and I think I gave them a thumbs down on anything over about $7.50. Sure, it's more convenient, but I'm losing the big screen and big sound experience at home, and streamed 1080p (or even streamed 4k UHD HDR) isn't going to be nearly as good looking as the digital "prints" in a modern theater.

    Not sure what they were expecting to hear from someone like me; the last movie I saw in a theater was a second run of Pan's Labyrinth in Saint Louis at the Tivoli, and the only reason I did that was because I had several hours to kill waiting on a car repair. That was in 2007, I believe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Yeah, that's a steep price for something that is likely to be forgotten in a few days.

    The idea of releasing films online and in theater simultaneously isn't new. I did some paid research for fun a few years ago on this very concept and made it be clearly known back then that the prices they wanted to charge were mind bogglingly high for what is basically crap movies these days. Their justification is that a family of four with snacks would be a lot higher than that in most metro areas, and the convenience of having it at home on release day would outweigh the higher cost for streaming.

    Prices they put out were anywhere from $10 per movie to $50, and I think I gave them a thumbs down on anything over about $7.50. Sure, it's more convenient, but I'm losing the big screen and big sound experience at home, and streamed 1080p (or even streamed 4k UHD HDR) isn't going to be nearly as good looking as the digital "prints" in a modern theater.

    Not sure what they were expecting to hear from someone like me; the last movie I saw in a theater was a second run of Pan's Labyrinth in Saint Louis at the Tivoli, and the only reason I did that was because I had several hours to kill waiting on a car repair. That was in 2007, I believe.
    I guess the 'family of four' thing is somebody's mangled memory of what they assumed happened in the 60s. I don't think that was ever a standard thing outside of a drive-in. From what I can see, most patrons are individuals or couples or one parent and one child. Groups pay individually. You might see a family thing on holidays in suburbs but it would be a rare treat.

    Since the link between what movie-goers like and what critics like is now so vast, most people aren't going to spend $20 bucks on something blindly even if they can watch it in their underpants while eating ribs and doing shots.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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