OK, let's say "Thor" hits the theaters May 6. Would you pay $30 to watch it at home on July 6, while it's still probably playing at the movies?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, four big time movie studios and DirecTV are all set to launch a premium pay per view service in April that will bring you this kind of deal.
In a few weeks, this will also become available to Wal-Mart backed VUDU -- a downloadable streaming service available on PlayStation 3, some Blu Ray DVD players and PCx -- plus Comcast cable customers in some parts of the country.
Warner Bros., Fox, Sony and Universal are on board, the Reporter says. The first titles to be offered are likely Sony's "Just Go With It," Fox's "Cedar Rapids" and Warner Bros.' "Unknown."
Fox Searchlight titles will be offered 60 days from the date that they release.
The movie studios are looking to replace some of the DVD business which is declining as people turn to streaming and downloading more. Paramount has concerns over piracy and apparently isn't participating.
Now is this good for the consumer?
On the one hand it would be great and economical for families, who fork over $10 or more per ticket (before you hit the concession stand) to be able to buy a (semi) first run film for $30 at home.
But I can't imagine the guy who runs your local 22-screen metroplex to be excited about this proposition. More people would just wait to see "Blockbuster X." Also the guy who shows those second run films for a buck or two won't be too happy either.
And I'd hate to see the theaters struggle. There's always something a little magical about going. It's date night. It's the big screen. It's the surround sound that rocks your seat.
And what happens when this $29.99 thing is uber successful and the demand grows to see first run films even sooner, and studios figure they can double their profits by offering these films one month after release for $60?
End of the day, studios are going to make some good cash off this because, even at $30 a pop, it'll be economical for some families who can wait a few weeks when the hot new film comes out. Others, of course, will just wait a little longer for the film to hit traditional DVD and pay-per-view windows.
This is another option for consumers, and one I'll be curious to see how they handle it.