Brett Ratner's Tower Heist To Be On-Demand Three Weeks After Theatrical Release

By Eric Eisenberg 2011-10-05 16:47:26discussion comments
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Believe it or not, there's a very good reason why movie theaters make you pay an arm and a leg for soda and popcorn: it's because they really don't make that much from ticket sales. In the opening week of release for a film, studios take almost all of the money from tickets and in each subsequent week the studio lowers their percentage take, and the cinema takes more. As a result, the two sides have been at war, as the studios have tried to reduce the amount of time movies spend in theaters and rush them on to home video. Needless to say, theater owners are going to be royally pissed when they hear this news.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Universal and Comcast will be releasing the new Brett Ratner movie, Tower Heist, on VOD just three weeks after the film has been released in theaters. Because it's a test of a new system, the offer will only exist in Atlanta, Georgia and Portland, Oregon. Should they feel inclined not to leave their homes, potential audience members will have the option to view the new movie in their on homes at the price of $59.99. Factoring in the average movie ticket price of $7.97, this means that it will only be worth the money if you have at least eight people watching the movie with you (not counting price of gas, food, etc.). When reached for comment, AMC Entertainment, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark - the country's three biggest theater chains - either declined comment or did not return calls.

This will be interesting if not just because Ratner's films (for whatever reason) tend to make big money at the box office and with a cast that includes Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy Tower Heist has a chance to do the same. The next move is up to the theater owners. Will they try and boycott the movie and force Universal and Comcast to cancel their plans? Will they gamble and wait to see if the test has any major effect? These are questions that will likely be answered prior to the film's release on November 4th.
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