Comcast and Universal Pictures will be conducting a trial run that would deliver first-run films still in theaters to Comcast subscribers through video on demand. Movies will cost $60 each and be available for up to 48 hours after ordering.
The initial test will begin next month for half a million subscribers in Atlanta, Georgia and Portland, Oregon. The first flick to be offered will be Tower Heist, a comedy starring Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller and Matthew Broderick that hits theaters on November 4. Comcast subscribers will be able to order the movie starting November 23, just in time for Thanksgiving weekend.
Sixty dollars for a single movie sounds outrageous at first, but the pricing model actually makes a lot of sense for the average family that spends at least this much per theater outing. Pricing is also in line with many pay-per-view sporting events like boxing, pro wrestling and mixed martial arts.
By watching on demand, customers can enjoy the film in the privacy of their own home and additionally save a lot of money by eating in rather than shelling out money at the concession stand.
Naturally there are some drawbacks, such as not getting the full theater experience of a giant screen and booming sound system. Additionally some people just like to get out of the house for a change.
Universal will be implementing copy protection methods to prevent the film from popping up on torrent sites, although there is no mention of exactly how they plan to prevent this.