'Tower Heist' Hits On-Demand Three Weeks After Theatrical Release

October 5, 2011
Source: LA Times

Tower Heist On-Demand

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?

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this is fuckin retarded

D13ballin on Oct 5, 2011


There's no justifying $60 for any movie....  At the rate that movies are hitting video release, I'd rather wait an extra 8-10 wks and see it for $1 dollar.  (Thank Yoooooou red box)

Anonymous on Oct 5, 2011


This is completely justifiable.  For two people to go to a movie at night, that is 15 bucks a person.  So sure, if you don't get anything else other than a ticket, it may be less.  But if you get popcorn, or have kids that want candy and snacks, you could easily spend 100 bucks a trip to the theater.  Plus the crowds is hard to navigate for some families as well.  This idea, while it is not for everyone, should work.  You don't have to pay 60 bucks so it shouldn't even matter.  There are alot of scenarios however that paying 60 bucks to watch a movie at home would be cheaper than going out.

Anonymous on Oct 5, 2011


ARE YOU KIDDING ME, JUSTIFIABLE? $60 is not justifiable to watch a movie at home. First off youre watching a movie on you own personal TV, nothing compared to the screen at the theaters. Secondly, if you want snacks at home, its significantly CHEAPER then theater snacks. So how is this price justifiable?  

Shelbyvillesharks on Oct 5, 2011


Okay so perhaps not completely justifiable, but I will say this: for only tickets to see a show for a family of four that is already 45 dollars. Plus the gas, the hassle of getting kids in the seats and getting snacks and stuff? You would easily spend $60. So you say to parents, as an alternative, they pay the same 60 bucks, you can stay at home where your kids can scream and cry all they want, you can have your own food as well? I don't know if you have kids or not so this argument may not resonate with you at all, but all I am saying is that people will look at this as an alternative for sure, especially families.

Anonymous on Oct 5, 2011


I see your point(s),  ESPECIALLY regarding dates & families however IMO the thing that turned me off about $60 at home is you can just pay $1 for the exact same experience you described if they wait a couple months...  If movies went to DVD say a yr or two later like they did when we were kids, this would make a heck of a lot more sense. 

Anonymous on Oct 6, 2011


Despite my response being "nonsense" or "laughable", I agree. If you have a family or group of buddies, it can be upwards of $60 just for the tickets. Here in Atlanta, it's $12 per person plus $8 for popcorn and a drink. That's $56 for a family.  Throw in gas and you're at $60. To the intelligent people out there who like to work the system, think of it this way: 6 friends each chip in $10 + a 6-pack. Grab some microwavable popcorn and some m&m's. No little jack***es talking during the film and my home theater is better than the cinema? Icing on the cake. I'm not a shill for the movie industry, but I would take the OPTION to watch from my home even if it is "retarded" to you.  If you don't like it, keep paying that $12-$18 box office ticket and $6-$40 concessions bill. 

Anonymous on Oct 6, 2011


$60??????? that's laughable.

Anonymous on Oct 5, 2011



butthead on Oct 5, 2011


I'll tell you why they are doing this - because this film is probably a total fucking stinker, and the studio is painfully aware that Ben Stiller is not a boxoffice draw anymore. We are witnessing the desperate flapping about of a creatively bankrupt project. 

Lebowski on Oct 5, 2011


It's for rich Republicans who don't pay taxes, don't care about the poor, and don't care about paying $60 to watch it.

Jedibilly on Oct 5, 2011


Ignorant post is ignorant... If you really cared about the poor, you'd sell your computer and donate the money to a homeless shelter. Keep your politicking to yourself. This is a movie website, not the DNC.

Anonymous on Oct 6, 2011


A babysitter for 3 hours + 2 movie tickets = 60 bucks

Guest on Oct 5, 2011


lol I had that open-mouth stare and laughed when you mentioned a family of 4 will probably spend around that much at the theaters.

MarcA on Oct 5, 2011


All the comments saying this is justifiable is just nonsense. Just wait a little longer and you can get the Blu-Ray, DVD, or just rent it for mere pocket change compared to this ridiculous price tag.     Plus, trying to justify the price by comparing it to going to see a movie in theaters is outrageous, as the experience is totally different.  You really would pay $15 per person to watch a movie in your own home?    Heck, if any of my friends start charging $15 for movie nights, count me out.

Chazzy on Oct 5, 2011


$60 is not justifiable. Until studios price reasonably instead of sucking as much money as they can from the audience that makes them money people will pirate it. Respect your audience and they will respect you.

Mic on Oct 6, 2011


This is never going to work, people are just going to steal it once someone buys it and uploads a good quality copy online.

peloquin on Oct 6, 2011


Exactly. Tivo it, burn it onto a DVD and it's better than a bootleg. Studios will lose big time on that. On the other hand, if people with kids want to buy it and stay home, by all means do so. I want have to here no F'n kids cry at the theater like when I went to go see "Drive" and um... what kind of parents take a baby and 2 kids under 10 to see that movie?

The Douche on Oct 6, 2011


Just rent a big screen TV and like a bingo hall, jam 100 people in there and charge them each $5 for a ticket.  Make your own movie theater and turn a buck. But unless you are someone who would do that, no, this is the definition of ludicrous.

Outlaw on Oct 6, 2011


This is just a new way for rich people to rent movies. For more than 3 decades The Home Theater has been the salvation of Hollywood. But it has been also a great annoyance, cuz THEY KNOW, THEY KNOW!!! that more that 1 person is watching that rented movie, or that purchased beta/vhs/laserdisc/DvD/blu-ray; and in their book, they are loosing money. This "event" they are trying to make, is not the way to go to bring more cash in. Lowering the prices will. I take it that the $60 does NOT include a copy of the film? I guess the reason this works with sports, is that the results are plastered everywhere the next day(often the min. after the results) and that it's live. So if you are a fan, you sorta have to see it live? I think we should pay some attention to this in the future, these $60 rentals will be pirated en masse, just cuz of this greed, vengance style. But maybe we should all cool down. It's just a few weeks/months before it comes out on regular sales/rentals. So it's for the rich, those who would gladly pay $60 to avoid the riff-raff of the lower classes. Us mortals will just have to wait a few weeks longer to see what crap they put out next. But on the other hand....this is great for childrens birthdays partys? 🙂

David Banner on Oct 6, 2011


Yeah, good luck with that business model. And it's the rich who are the MOST unlikely to pay $60 bucks a movie. How'd you think they get rich in the first place?

Anonymous on Oct 10, 2011

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