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Would you pay $50 to see a first-run movie from the comfort of your living room instead of a theater? You might have the option to do just that as Time Warner is apparently in talks with movie distributors to offer a premium video on demand service to their customers.
Yahoo posted the news, stating that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said they were “near agreement” with film distributors to offer a video-on-demand service that would allow subscribers to purchase first-run movies (films currently in theaters) to watch on demand on their TV. Yahoo stated that Bewkes didn’t discuss price points but industry reports suggested a price somewhere between $30 to $50 each.
$50 might seem steep for a movie (especially considering video on demand is usually only a few dollars per movie), until you factor in the cost of your average movie ticket ($10, roughly?). If you were to get five people to go in on the purchase or you're among a family of five already planning to shell out around that amount to see a movie in theaters, you’re really not losing any money. Get a couple more people to go in on it and you’d actually be saving money… Of course, you’d have to find space for everyone to sit but that’s still a small price to pay for not having to put up with sticky floors, and a stranger hogging your armrest. You’d also be losing out on the experience of spending way too much money for popcorn and a bucket of soda.
On the flip side, there’s something to be said for the movie theater experience. Certain movies just seem better in a packed theater full of enthusiastic viewers. Either way, this option sounds fairly brilliant. We’ll have to see if it actually happens. Bewkes implied that Time Warner might be able to launch the service sometime during summer 2011.