Theater owners have unexpectedl taken issue with movie studios’ decision to prevent people from seeing movies in theaters. Did NOT see that one coming…
The relationship between studios and theaters has been contentious in recent years due to the trend of releasing films into homes (via streaming, DVD, etc) soon after their release in theaters, in effect allowing homes to be a substitute for the theater-going experience.
Now the bone that theater 0wners have to pick with studios is the advent of DirecTV’s Home Premiere, which allows subscribers to pay $30 to get a film in their living room 60 days after its premiere. The studios involved with Home Premiere could find themselves getting less screens handed to them for big releases than those studios that aren’t part of the Home Premiere syndicate.
What does this mean for theatergoers? Probably not very much, other than we may have to wait a day or two to go see a huge release from one of the offending studios. What is more interesting is what it could mean for the relationship between theaters and studios down the line. Might major studios cut out the middle man and start releasing films straight into homes, a la IFC? The only problem with that is that I can’t get my microwave popcorn hot enough to melt my Milk Duds. Advantage: Theaters. (Movie Line)