Universal movies will be available to stream the same day they hit cinemas

midian182

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The Hollywood Reporter notes that cinemas are entirely closed in 32 or more markets overseas and partially closed in another 15 territories. It’s expected that this week will see most or possibly all US theaters temporarily close. Cinemas in New York and Los Angeles have already been ordered to shutter, and many locations still open are limiting capacity to 50 people per auditorium.

Combined with so many Americans staying in their homes, the situation has led to the worst US box office weekend—just over $50 million—since 1995, when the top-grossing movie was, ironically, Outbreak.

As a way of coping with its lost revenue, NBCUniversal is making movies from its Universal Pictures stable available from a variety of on-demand services as soon as they hit the cinema. One of these will be DreamWork’s animation Trolls World Tour, which arrives on April 10, and films that are still in their theatrical run, including The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma, will hit digital platforms this Friday.

Movies will be available for a 48-hour period from NBCUniversal sister companies Comcast and Sky as well as a broad range of on-demand partners. They will cost around $20 in the US, with equivalent pricing in other locations. That’s obviously a lot higher than the usual VOD rental prices, but it reflects how much more money films make at the cinema compared to sales and rentals.

“We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theaters where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible,” said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell.

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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,556   +2,448
Wow, nice to see that even a pandemic can’t stop the greed... I’m sure the poor digital sales will then be blamed on piracy...
 

amoeba00

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TechSpot Elite
Wow, nice to see that even a pandemic can’t stop the greed... I’m sure the poor digital sales will then be blamed on piracy...
Doesn't seem greedy to make something available sooner than under normal circumstances. Greedy would be charging $50+ or keeping the $20 rental price long after the movie would leave the theaters. Folks pay more for a UFC or other pay per view events - so $20 to watch a new release at home - seems very reasonable, even if you go solo and consider any travel/food expenses involved.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,556   +2,448
Doesn't seem greedy to make something available sooner than under normal circumstances. Greedy would be charging $50+ or keeping the $20 rental price long after the movie would leave the theaters. Folks pay more for a UFC or other pay per view events - so $20 to watch a new release at home - seems very reasonable, even if you go solo and consider any travel/food expenses involved.
Hmmm.... it costs less to see it on the “big screen”... I like the justification to charge more...
 
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amoeba00

Posts: 53   +18
TechSpot Elite
Hmmm.... it costs less to see it on the “big screen”... I like the justification to charge more...
No argument there when it costs you less, but for those out there (like a date night or with families) when seeing a movie costs more than $50 - then I still say $20 is very reasonable. Such as everything in life, YMMV.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,556   +2,448
No argument there when it costs you less, but for those out there (like a date night or with families) when seeing a movie costs more than $50 - then I still say $20 is very reasonable. Such as everything in life, YMMV.
Yes.... but when you pay $50, you’re paying for the facility as well - huge screen, great sound, etc... now YOU are providing the screen and sound - and still expected to pay more for the movie...

Again, I’m impressed with the concept - provide less, and charge more...