Disney And Sony Test Premium VOD In South Korea: Report

By | Monday June 24, 2013 @ 10:25am PDT

Exhibition chains won a major battle here in 2011 when they forced Universal to back off its plan to offer the Ben Stiller-Eddie Murphy caper comedy Tower Heist on VOD just three weeks after it opened in theaters. But … Read More »

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CinemaCon: Execs Agree Premium VOD Might Work With Other Changes In Movie Business

By | Wednesday April 17, 2013 @ 10:42am PDT

The controversial proposal is still alive — but will have to be part of a much bigger effort to restructure the studio-theater relationship — reps from both camps said at a CinemaCon panel this morning. “I don’t … Read More »

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UPDATE: Cinemark Vows To “Push Back” Against Proposal To Make Theaters Shoulder 3D Glasses Costs

UPDATE, 6:40 AM: CEO Alan Stock made his comment in a conference call with analysts who asked what he’d do if Sony continues with its plan to stop paying for 3D glasses — leaving it to exhibitors to manage the expense. ”We think the way the glasses model works in the U.S. is a great way to work it,” he said. He added that there’s still a lot of time to negotiate before next summer, when Sony wants the change to take place. “I’m pretty confident we can work out a solution,” Stock says. “If we can’t, we’ll have to head in a different direction.” Regarding Universal’s plan, which it canceled, to show Tower Heist on cable VOD just three weeks after opening in theaters, Stock says the studio “thought they had something the exhibitors would comply with.” After Cinemark threatened to boycott the film, “there hasn’t been any further discussion of that particular test, or anything else they’re working on.” Read More »

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Theater Owners Demand A Longer Wait For ‘Tower Heist’ Premium VOD Test

Comcast-Uni Testing ‘Tower Heist’ At $59.99
Cinemark Threatens Boycott Of ‘Tower Heist’ Over Early VOD Experiment

Theater owners seem resigned to the fact that Universal will run a premium video-on-demand test of its upcoming film Tower Heist – … Read More »

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Report: Premium VOD Likely To Fizzle As Movie Industry Regroups

Movie theaters face a lot of problems but competition from premium VOD probably won’t be one of them, Moody’s Investors Service says in an industry report today. The debt rating company says that studios probably will continue to wait … Read More »

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Big Media’s 1Q Earnings Roundup: Cash

The money is flowing again into Big Media. Just about every media CEO who recently spoke to Wall Street analysts about this year’s 1st Quarter earnings said that ad sales are up and consumers are spending. “Viacom … Read More »

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Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes: ‘Too Much Excitement’ About Premium VOD

Time Warner Jeff Bewkes comes across as the media world’s most laid-back CEO. But he asked a lot this morning when he told movie theater owners to cool their jets about Premium VOD. “There’s been too much excitement about this,” Bewkes said at a panel discussion sponsored by investment firm Jefferies & Co. “Our interests are aligned.” That will come as a surprise to the National Association of Theater Owners and its members who loathe PVOD as much as the Tea Party hates taxes. Exhibitors say many would-be ticket buyers will wait to watch films at home as studios including Warner Bros begin to offer 8-week-old releases on cable and satellite VOD services for about $30 a showing. Bewkes says theater owners are wrong: “I’m saying (box office revenue) doesn’t go down.” Everyone will suffer, he says, if the studios can’t provide an alternative to pirates who sell bootlegged copies of recent movies to people who don’t want to wait for the official home video release. Other panel members — none of them exhibitors — supported Bewkes. CBS chief Les Moonves said that although theater owners are scared, “you have to change a bit.” And Sony Corporation of America CFO Robert Wiesenthal said that “everybody is experimenting and being aggressive,” even though studios should recognize that theaters are “the foundation of the economic value chain for a feature film.” Read More »

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UPDATE: News Corp Exec Calls Premium VOD ‘A Test’ But Hedges About Plans

UPDATE, 3:15 PM: Add NewsCorp COO Chase Carey to the list of executives of studio owners who characterize Premium VOD as merely a test that shouldn’t hurt theater owners. In a quarterly earnings conference call with analysts and reporters, Carey said that Fox and other studios are beginning to offer 8-week-old movies to cable and satellite VOD because they had little choice: Services such as Netflix and Redbox are renting DVDs for as little as $1 a night ”and that doesn’t work,” Carey says. “We have to build appropriate values and windows into our business.” Fox is “in the very early stages (of the P-VOD trials) with one small film.” He doesn’t want it to affect exhibition chains because they “set the pace for the film industry.” Still, he hedged when asked whether Fox would let exhibition companies see how well P-VOD movies perform — something that the National Association of Theater Owners says it wants. Carey says he “doesn’t know what request has been made,” although he adds that it’s “important for everyone to understand what’s going on.”  Read More »

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NATO Asks Studios To Divulge P-VOD Data

The National Association of Theatre Owners today asked the Hollywood studios involved in DirecTV’s Premium VOD trial to release sales figures for the movies that have appeared since the service’s launch April 21. The films offered to DirecTV customers so far — at a price of $29.99 and a windows-shortening … Read More »

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Now Top Filmmakers Decry PVOD Ploy Including James Cameron & Peter Jackson

By | Wednesday April 20, 2011 @ 8:38am PDT
Mike Fleming

The propaganda battle over the decision by four studios to supply their films for VOD viewing 60 days after release is intensifying. Today, NATO released an open letter by a group of filmmakers speaking out against the shortening of theatrical windows: Michael Bay, Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, Guillermo del Toro, Roland Emmerich, Antoine Fuqua, Todd Garner, Lawrence Gordon, Stephen Gyllenhaal, Gale Anne Hurd, Peter Jackson, Karyn Kusama, Jon Landau, Shawn Levy, Michael Mann, Bill Mechanic, Jamie Patricof, Todd Phillips, Brett Ratner, Robert Rodriguez
Adam Shankman, Gore Verbinski, Robert Zemeckis
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AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE CREATIVE COMMUNITY ON PROTECTING THE MOVIE-GOING EXPERIENCE

We are the artists and business professionals who help make the movie business great. We produce and direct movies. We work on the business deals that help get movies made. At the end of the day, we are also simply big movie fans.

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk by leaders at some major studios and cable companies about early-to-the-home “premium video-on-demand.” In this proposed distribution model, new movies can be shown in homes while these same films are still in their theatrical run.

In this scenario, those who own televisions with an HDMI input would be able to order a film through their cable system or an Internet provider as a digital rental. Terms and timing have yet to be made concrete, but there has been talk of windows of 60 days after theatrical release at a price of $30.

Currently, the average theatrical release window is over four months (132 days). The theatrical release window model has worked for years for everyone in the movie business. Current theatrical windows protect the exclusivity of new films showing in state-of-the-art theaters bolstered by the latest in digital projection, digital sound, and stadium seating.

As a crucial part of a business that last year grossed close to $32 billion in worldwide theatrical ticket sales, we in the creative community feel that now is the time for studios and cable companies to acknowledge that a release pattern for premium video-on-demand that invades the current theatrical window could irrevocably harm the financial model of our film industry.

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DirecTV Reveals Details of Premium VOD Service

DirecTV said today that it is launching its much-discussed premium video-on-demand service on Thursday, with Sony’s Just Go With It the first movie available to subscribers. Universal, Fox and Warner Bros also are in on the partnership, and cross-channel promotions … Read More »

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More Theaters Threatening Movie Moguls

By | Friday April 8, 2011 @ 2:45pm PDT

Nikki Finke (who’s just fnishing up her medical leave with a last visit to the doctor) will be posting a complete update on the battle over DirecTV’s recently announced premium plan in partnership with Sony, Warner Bros, Fox and Universal to offer on-demand movies only 60 days after they premiere in theaters. On Wednesday, … Read More »

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