Comcast conducting trial run of $60 first-run movies over VOD

By on October 7, 2011, 1:30 PM

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.




User Comments: 24

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Lurker101 said:

Yeah, I can see this idea flying like a lead balloon

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Ferget it... No way in hell would I pay $60 for max 120 minutes of entertainment. Not to mention there's no guarantee it's going to be a good movie.

The only types of movies I could see this being a success with are kid movies where you can pack a house full of kids in to watch.

howzz1854 said:

you'll need to have at least 7 of your friends come to your house to make this worth while. single couples just won't make sense.

Guest said:

I wouldn't for a moment think that this would be a good business idea. Of course, there will be some people who would use this feature, but that would be a very small minority. Most people would not want to pay $60 to watch a movie from home.

The reason why I would go to a theater to watch a movie is not just because I want to watch the movie, but I want to enjoy a trip with my family where we enjoy the atmosphere of the theater and would like to have the experience of in a crowd.

Raswan Raswan said:

TomSEA said:

Ferget it... No way in hell would I pay $60 for max 120 minutes of entertainment. Not to mention there's no guarantee it's going to be a good movie.

The only types of movies I could see this being a success with are kid movies where you can pack a house full of kids in to watch.

Surprised you, particularly, don't also mention that it will ramp up the number of shitty bootleg copies like nobody's business.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

$60 is a bit much, I'd be willing to pay half that not to have to put up with people texting, kicking the back of my seat, talking or getting up every 15 minutes.

Guest said:

"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."

Lulz, the only reason movie outings might cost $60 is if you were at least getting some food at the concession stands. So not only do I get to pay $60 to watch it at home, I have to spend extra $$ for food.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

you'll need to have at least 7 of your friends come to your house to make this worth while. single couples just won't make sense.

I would bet that it is illegal to do that. Remember the NFL or FCC or somebody saying Super Bowl parties were illegal if more than some number of people were there watching?

Edit - Here were the super bowl details: [link]

Guest said:

$60...Priced to fail....$29 people might bite...$19 and you might actually make a business out of it.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Didn't they just do a $30 before PayTV/DVD release that pretty much failed? This seems like an even worse idea than that...

SNGX1275 said:

you'll need to have at least 7 of your friends come to your house to make this worth while. single couples just won't make sense.

I would bet that it is illegal to do that. Remember the NFL or FCC or somebody saying Super Bowl parties were illegal if more than some number of people were there watching?[/url]

I'd imagine if you make an announcement on FB for all to see. But just telling your friends and making it a BYOB/F or something along those lines you should be fine...unless one of your friends is a narc.

Guest said:

There are movies I might be willing to and have payed $30 to see when they first come out, However, no way in hell I would EVER pay $60 when I can just torrent it later.

Guest said:

Illegal my ***

war59312 said:

Sad! If you are willing to pay $60 to see a movie you are nuts!!!

Tickets here in SC cost $10 per person and with the average family only being 4 which would only be $40. Even that is ridicules.

Creed, creed, creed.

Rasta211 said:

You should at least let the people paying $60 watch the movie the same day it's released. Then at least the hardcore people might get it when there are long movie line ups and tickets are sold out.

I wonder if people with small TV's and sound systems are going to be willing to pay $60.

Tanstar said:

How anti-socail do you have to be to pay $60 just to see a movie without having to be near people?

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

No way in heck would I be willing to fork out 60 bones for a "first run" movie! Comcast is smoking the green stuff if they think this is going to fly. Movie ticket prices in my town are like around $10.00, I could see maybe paying Comcast like $15.00 maybe even $20.00, they would make like $5.00 per movie order on the deal. But $60.00 no way, someone on this ones "research & planning team" has drank to much Steel Reserves and is a bit tipsy!

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Raswan said:

TomSEA said:

Ferget it... No way in hell would I pay $60 for max 120 minutes of entertainment. Not to mention there's no guarantee it's going to be a good movie.

The only types of movies I could see this being a success with are kid movies where you can pack a house full of kids in to watch.

Surprised you, particularly, don't also mention that it will ramp up the number of shitty bootleg copies like nobody's business.

I would imagine its priced at $60 so if someone manages to record it, they won't lose too much money. Overall tho, this wont effect piracy one way or another. Someone would have to have a hell of a bootleg business going to recoup the $60 per movie.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

Thats INSANE....

cheaper to go to theater

Da Ralph

Ya Think

I would Never pay that, never.. I make $44.45 an hr replacing jet engines.....

And i would never pay that totally ridicoulous price..

There Like totally smoking DOPE.. and they are not sharing it with anybody

what a bunch of CRACK smoking pot heads..

Ya Think....

Guest said:

Not to mention that Eddie Murphy hasn't made a movie worth paying to see since Beverly Hills Cop.

Guest said:

F U Comcast

Guest said:

$60 for 120 minutes of entertainment? Who are they kidding? I'd rather pay $100 and get an hour with a hooker.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Stop and think. Why $60? Why not just $20? Well... do you think the movie studios are going to give up their box office revenue to let Comcast sell movies for cheap? No way. That is far crazier than a $60 PPV fee.

They'll try this out... maybe it'll work, maybe not. But why it's $60 is very easy to understand if you don't freak out about it and think for a minute.

MilwaukeeMike said:

war59312 said:

Sad! If you are willing to pay $60 to see a movie you are nuts!!!

Tickets here in SC cost $10 per person and with the average family only being 4 which would only be $40. Even that is ridicules.

Creed, creed, creed.

$10 now. Remember a few years ago they were $6. Movie theaters keep raising prices because they say 'the movies are cheaper than sporting events, or plays, or concerts, etc.' And they are.

You know each kid wants Junior mints, add another $7, throw in 3 sodas cause you and the wife can share and there's another $7.50. And you can't see a movie without a tub of popcorn, there's another $5. So now you're at $59.50 to go out. At home you'll get by with microwave popcorn.

Don't forget TVs are getting bigger and cheaper and the home experience is getting better and better. Ask any NFL owner. In a few years $60 will be very average for 4 people at the movie. And at home the kids can have friends over.

Guest said:

I would pay $60 for this service. Seems like a descent offer. Im surprised how many negative comments on this board!! I mean, you don't need to buy it lol. The fact is people spend a lot of money for their entertainment rooms or dedicated theatre rooms. I mean how many hours do we spend in front of the tube?? This seems like it will be a great product. The bigger problem they'll have is bootleg problems. But the avg. fam spends $60-80 to go out to each movie.

So this is not out of line with the norm..... sounds like the future to me. Plan on it.

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