We've all seen what's happening. The movies we're paying a premium for in the theaters are being released on DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming services quicker than ever before. Some new movies are even hitting limited VOD runs before they get a theatrical run. Meanwhile, theaters everywhere are revolutionizing the way we watch big budget films. Most chains are eliminating seating in a bid to offer more comfortable chairs and they're revitalizing older run down movie houses with premium sound systems and all digital projection. What this says for the future of the cinema, I really don't know. But, it looks like the major Hollywood studios and distributors are lining up to throw another wrench in our movie viewing experience.
Today, Variety has reported that seven major studios are aligning to change the model by which movies are brought into the home, meaning that the biggest new releases will be hitting the home market within weeks of their theatrical release. Early word is that the initial cost of $50 for a rental is being whittled down to a more reasonable $30 and will let people stream a nearly brand new major motion picture within 20 days of its initial release in the theatrical market. Fox, Universal, WB, Sony, Lionsgate, and Paramount are heading up this idea while Disney is still not 100 percent sure about taking this new route. The one major hurdle they'll have is that piracy will run rampant with their new plan.
Sadly for the major chains, this could spell doom for the recent boom in ticket sales. As a supporter of my local cinemas, I oppose this idea wholeheartedly.