'Tower Heist' Hits On-Demand Three Weeks After Theatrical Release
In what will likely serve as an experiment for studios figuring out if they can change the face of movie distribution, according to the LA Times, the comedy Tower Heist (trailer) starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy will be given a video-on-demand release just three weeks after it hits theaters on November 4th. While independent films have been taking on this model for awhile now, some even hitting on-demand the same day the film hits theaters, this is the first high profile studio film to get the same treatment. With that in mind, it shouldn't be surprising that the price to get Tower Heist zapped into your living room is $59.99.
Now while the price certainly deserves at least an open-mouth stare, keep in mind that a family of four going to see a film nowadays usually has to pay more than that when taking ticket price and concessions into account. This new model likely isn't for the singular movie-goer sitting at home alone on a Friday night since the theater would be a cheaper and more viable option with this price in mind, so it's not exactly a bad deal. Of course, the question is whether the comfort of your home is worth the extra money if you're one of those who would rather watch the newest releases from your couch. However, right now only Portland and Atlanta (which is about 500,000 of Comcast's cable subscribers that can opt in) will be participating in this little experiment and the box office receipts in those towns will be monitored very closely.
If successful, we could see more studios and movies released in wider markets on-demand and we could be looking at a big war between studios and exhibitors. As Deadline jokes: "Now it’s 3 weeks for $59.99. Is $99.99 far behind" for same day? It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Thoughts? Will you pay?