On-Demand Movies Threaten Traditional Theaters
In what could potentially be the largest entertainment industry battle since the 2007 writer's strike, producers and distributors are looking to fight a growing trend in user behavior: On-demand media.
For the first time, movies are being offered through on-demand venues just months after they hit theaters. The first movie in the new distribution platform is Sony's "Just Go With It" which is being offered on DirectTV, pre-empting its DVD release. The release prompted angry letters from dozens of top filmmakers including James Cameron and Peter Jackson. However, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers have entered into similar agreements with DirectTV.
Studios, exhibitors and filmmakers are trying to predict the future needs of movie watchers. The trend is going toward home theater systems and movies on-demand, which would completely cut out traditional theater exhibitions.
The threat comes at a particularly bad time: Both sides of the movie industry have spent millions creating 3D film technology and projection platforms that bring 3D films to moviegoers. If on-demand becomes the name of the game, and users are able to download their favorite movies to a private digital "vault" for re-viewing, then where does that leave theaters?
The answer remains to be seen – but for now, one thing is sure. Cable and satellite subscribers will be able to see new movies sooner than ever before.
Posted at 07:05 am by Peter Koeppel