Let’s use Whip It (the best movie no one saw) as an example. We were psyched from the previews, made plans to see it, and something came up. It didn’t come to our theater. The friend we swore to see it with was out of town. We had to work. And too soon, it was gone, not to be seen until the DVD release months down the road. Prima Cinema Inc. is looking to change all that, with a service that will release movies to homes the same day they hit theaters.
Declining DVD Sales Spark New Ideas
According to the Wall Street Journal, the previous model of maximizing revenue (theater release, DVD release, then on-demand release) from new films is failing fast. The new consumer is used to her fuzzy, illegal new releases available immediately online and isn’t buying DVDs like she once did. In fact, spending on DVDs is down 43% from its 2006 peak. Conversely, on-demand services are more popular than ever, rising 17% in popularity over the last year.
Don’t Get Your Hopes Up
So does the idea of having a movie released right into your living room sound too good to be true? It kind of is. The service would cost $20,000 to install, with a $500 price tag for each new film. Time Warner’s proposal of paying $20 to $30 for an early copy of a new release seems like a positive bargain in comparison. Despite Prima Cinema’s dreams of grandeur, it looks like transforming our home into a movie theater is still just a dream of our own. There might be a real movie buff out there who is willing to forego half a year of rent payments for the service, but we definitely aren’t her. Are you?