Remember back when it took over a year for movies to make it from the theaters to VHS? Now, the wait for the DVD/ BluRay release is only about three months.
But by next year, you could be watching blockbusters in your home theater in as little as two weeks after the theatrical release date. How much would you be willing to pay to eliminate movie theaters from your life?
Apple and Comcast are negotiating with film studios to create a digital rental program that would cost between $30 to $50 per movie. That may sound expensive, but a family of four may spend that much to see a 3D movie before they've even bought snacks.
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Film studios will benefit greatly from this rental program. When movies flop at the box office, they're the ones who take the biggest financial hit. They recoup that money in DVD sales and rentals, but those numbers are decreasing while digital sales are increasing.
Of course, this new movie watching system isn't good news for everyone. It makes movie theaters the middle man and then cuts them out. AMC, Regal, and Cinemark have already seen a decline in revenue. Collectively, theater chains have lost $1.3 billion just this year.
However, it's still possible for the theaters, studios, and Apple/Comcast to come to an agreement. The theaters want to split revenue from the rental program over the next 10 years. The film studios rejected this deal but are looking for other ways to satisfy everyone involved.
Some studios want to give the theaters an ultimatum where they must agree to their proposal or the studios will move forward without them. If a studio did do that, then the theaters could boycott showing all films from that particular studio.
What do you think about this new rental program plan? If you love watching films during opening weekend or you go to the movies in small groups then maybe you'll stick with watching in theaters.
But if you prefer viewing from the comfort of your own home and not spending a fortune at the concession stand, then maybe you're looking forward to this change. Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.