Theater owners aren't the only ones concerned about video-on-demand services gradually encroaching on the traditional theatrical release window for new movies. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that some of the biggest names in Hollywood are joining forces to state their concerns. This week the National Association of Theater Owners (not to be confused with that other NATO) released an open letter calling out studios over the practice of making first-run movies available over VOD while still in theaters. Among the big names signing off on the letter: James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Michael Bay, Brett Ratner, Robert Rodriguez, and Kathryn Bigelow.
The letter is in protest of recent deals between DirecTV and studios such as Sony, Universal, and Fox Searchlight, which make new movies available on VOD as early as eight weeks after initial release. The letter warns that this change could deal a serious blow to the already struggling movie industry, and claims that "the problem of declining revenue in home video will not be solved by importing into the theatrical window of a distribution model that cannibalizes theatrical ticket sales."
You can read more excerpts from the letter, as well as DirecTV's response, over at EW's Inside Movies blog