Studios are reportedly interested in offering $30 on-demand 'new movie' rentals

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Hollywood studios for years have flirted with letting people rent movies in their homes shortly after their theatrical release. Those efforts, according to an exclusive report from Variety, are getting a bit closer to becoming reality (at an affordable price).

As the story goes, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara initially floated the idea of offering exhibitors (theaters) a cut of digital revenues in exchange for letting them offer films on-demand at $50 per rental just 17 days after their debut in theaters.

Some studios, such as Fox, felt $50 was too much to ask consumers to pay.

Instead, Fox and Warner Bros. are now reportedly considering making movies available between 30 and 45 days after their opening but for just $30 per rental – a price they feel won’t induce sticker shock from consumers.

As DVD sales continue to dry up, studios are looking for new ways to generate revenue and most would probably agree that this could be a major cash cow.

Additional revenue aside, studios are also interested in narrowing the window between theatrical debut and home release as it would save them money in the marketing department by not having to reintroduce audiences to a movie that hit theaters months earlier.

Given the options on the table, which would you prefer? Pay $50 to watch a movie in your home 17 days after its debut in theaters or $30 to watch it a month or so after release? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Greg S

TS Evangelist
Not happening. Anymore than $5 and I'm not going to pay to watch it only once at my own house. Especially when blu-ray discs are generally $10 two years or so after the movie comes out.
 
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kapital98

TS Guru
This has been happening in limited circumstances through places like Amazon. Usually it's $15 to see a movie that's been out for a week or two. This usually only happens with Indie titles (some big ones too).

$30 is reasonable to get an HD version of a movie that's been released within the last month. I really wish they would stick to that $15-20 price that it would cost to traditionally buy the movie. $30 is steep -- but not terrible considering how expensive the theater is.

This solution is still better than torrenting a low-res rip or waiting 4-5 months after a movie comes out to get an HD copy. This would also help slightly with piracy.

It's a move in the right direction.
 
J

Jibberish18

For a bit more than $30 I'd rather just go watch it in the theater. Don't get me wrong, watching it in the comfort of your home definitely has its benefits but $30 is just way too much and I'm sure these big wigs know that so why they wouldn't just go lower is beyond me. I can guarantee you the average person will not pay more than $10-15 for something like this and that's even IF they average consumer would bother.
 

J spot

TS Maniac
This reminds me of a new digital currency called Decent that's set to be released in a couple of months, that's about content distribution. It cuts out the middleman, so instead of pay Amazon, or iTune a percentage of the revenue, the creators keep a hundred percent. Thus $15 on amazon, then become like $9 through Decent, because the creator can offer it for cheap due to them being able to keep 100% of the profit.

Of course big companies are not going to go that route, since they can sell it directly, but then again not when they sell through Amazon, iTunes, etc.

Indi people could definitely benefit from the technology.

It's very interesting, because if it does pick up, then I could see big studios selling their movies through it, since it will save them money. All they have to do is use the APIs.

It would need a lot of liquidity like Bitcoin, in order for big companies to use it. But the whole concept of cutting out the middle man is so intriguing. It's not just movies, but any content, games, books, etc.
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
The price of a movie ticket is $30 these days??? Holy cow! If I went to a theatre I'd just want to watch the show, not buy the theatre itself.
 
R

Raoul Duke

Sticker shock...sticker shock....still causing sticker shock LOL
 
$30 USD? Really? Really?!?

OK, I can maybe see this for families, or for people that want to pool their money & that already tend to go see movies together. But for individuals & couples, it's just not worth it:
-- $16 USD at my local first-run theater for 2 evening tickets ($11-13 USD for matinee); or
-- $4 USD at the second-run theater for 2 tickets; or
-- $15-25 USD when the DVD/Blu-Ray comes out (& the usual digital download prices seem to be pretty similar); or
-- $3.25 USD (including tax) at Redbox if I just want to try it before I buy it (& most of the online digital rentals, like Amazon Video or through a cable provider's VOD library, are pretty similar) for a 24-hour rental

Nope, I'm not seeing how $30 for a rental of undisclosed duration is going to be worth it for people in situations similar to mine. Now, if it was a family like the one I grew up in (2 parents, 2 kids), then yeah, the $30 rental to watch at home is comparable in price to the first-run tickets (not to mention you can have your choice of meal or snacks at home for a lot less cash)...but that's assuming that a) you don't like the theater experience, & b) you have a home setup (largescreen 4K TV, 5.1 or better surround sound, etc.) that makes it worth it. I don't think it's going to be as successful as they hope.
 
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seefizzle

TS Evangelist
This has been happening in limited circumstances through places like Amazon. Usually it's $15 to see a movie that's been out for a week or two. This usually only happens with Indie titles (some big ones too).

$30 is reasonable to get an HD version of a movie that's been released within the last month. I really wish they would stick to that $15-20 price that it would cost to traditionally buy the movie. $30 is steep -- but not terrible considering how expensive the theater is.

This solution is still better than torrenting a low-res rip or waiting 4-5 months after a movie comes out to get an HD copy. This would also help slightly with piracy.

It's a move in the right direction.
I don't know what world $30 is reasonable for a movie. That's collector's edition money right there. Plus as soon as they release this $30 dollar high quality version, it will be all over the torrent sites in HD. It's not like offering it in HD is going to stop the torrent sites, it'll probably make it worse with higher quality rips making it there sooner. This is just a money grab by the movie industry. They're literally sitting there wringing their hands trying to figure out the best ways to bilk more money out of people. This is a hair brained idea, and I don't think it'll pan out.

I think it's time to consider that movie theaters themselves are becoming outright obsolete. Why do I need to spend $50+ for a night at the movie with my family when I can have an excellent entertainment experience at my house with my tv, surround system, comfy couch, food etc... Movie theaters really don't offer a lot more than the home experience any more. With the home virtual reality wave coming, (already here) I don't know how theaters will survive. Eventually the movie studios will realize they don't gain much by sending their films to theaters first and making consumers wait 3 to 6 months to watch it at home. Eventually they'll just give the media to us directly at home. The theaters will die kicking and screaming but they'll die off or morph into something completely different.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
There are quite a few with more money than common sense and for those it will be a novelty they can brag about to the other higher up's where they work, but for the average person it's simply too much money when there are cheaper alternatives and you know these films will be quickly pirated and put out on the web for many to enjoy, free of charge. I would think they would be much better to lower the price so something reachable like $10 for 3-4 nights on a platform like Netflix, but seeing as I am not a Netflix viewer I'm just talking out of my DVD .....
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
Shoot, if it is that important, some will just use a "popcorn time" app or download it on bit torrent.
30 bucks for a movie to watch in your home? NOPE
 

ZackL04

TS Guru
$50 for a rental? Never

$30 for a rental thats a few weeks old? Maybe, but if I could watch it on release day, then I probably would. I have a 120" 1080p projector setup, so my home movie experience is decent. I would probably pass on these high dollar rentals if I didnt have a tv over 60"
 

Radical

TS Enthusiast
This has been happening in limited circumstances through places like Amazon. Usually it's $15 to see a movie that's been out for a week or two. This usually only happens with Indie titles (some big ones too).

$30 is reasonable to get an HD version of a movie that's been released within the last month. I really wish they would stick to that $15-20 price that it would cost to traditionally buy the movie. $30 is steep -- but not terrible considering how expensive the theater is.

This solution is still better than torrenting a low-res rip or waiting 4-5 months after a movie comes out to get an HD copy. This would also help slightly with piracy.

It's a move in the right direction.
I don't know what world $30 is reasonable for a movie. That's collector's edition money right there. Plus as soon as they release this $30 dollar high quality version, it will be all over the torrent sites in HD. It's not like offering it in HD is going to stop the torrent sites, it'll probably make it worse with higher quality rips making it there sooner. This is just a money grab by the movie industry. They're literally sitting there wringing their hands trying to figure out the best ways to bilk more money out of people. This is a hair brained idea, and I don't think it'll pan out.

I think it's time to consider that movie theaters themselves are becoming outright obsolete. Why do I need to spend $50+ for a night at the movie with my family when I can have an excellent entertainment experience at my house with my tv, surround system, comfy couch, food etc... Movie theaters really don't offer a lot more than the home experience any more. With the home virtual reality wave coming, (already here) I don't know how theaters will survive. Eventually the movie studios will realize they don't gain much by sending their films to theaters first and making consumers wait 3 to 6 months to watch it at home. Eventually they'll just give the media to us directly at home. The theaters will die kicking and screaming but they'll die off or morph into something completely different.
And where, pray tell, will you get the content that you intend to watch in the comfort of your home? Torrenting kinda sucks dude, for everyone. If theatres are dying, then a new model has to replace it. Which is what this whole article is about...
 

Billy Vinson

TS Enthusiast
I think $20 would be the MAX I would pay. I can go to the DRIVE IN, here in Fort Worth and pay $5 per person (normally is 2 of us) and we get TWO movies.... COYOTE Drive In is the name of the place...

$20 would be a good deal... Regular Theaters cost about $22 for 2 people, sometimes a few $ more. But $30!? WOW.... $20 would be fair. I'd totally do it (A LOT)
 

Kraemepoo

TS Enthusiast
Every time this sort of thing is proposed, the reactions are the same.
Those with kids, and those without.
30 bucks seems steep to a single 20 Year old with nothing to stop them from going to a theater.
30 bucks seems like a steal to watch a Disney movie on release day with kids. After food and drinks, I'd come out $50 ahead easy. Added bonus, we could watch the whole movie all the way through without 6 bathroom breaks.
 

Coasterguy11

TS Rookie
What people on here seem to be missing is that you can watch it with AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU WANT. Sure, if you're a loner and watch movies by yourself, or with one other person it is not worth it. But, if you're family watches the movie, there are 5 in our family, then it is much more attractive! If you're a young 20 something simply have a movie night and invite like 10-20 friends and split the cost! Could be fun,.
 

James00007

TS Booster
It's a great idea that should have been done sooner. When they do this it will do more to reduce piracy than everything else that has been done and it will make them money rather than cost them money.