Warner Bros., Sony, Universal Launch VOD Service, Anger Theaters
Hollywood studios Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, and 20th Century Fox announced a plan called Home Premiere, which will bring new release movies directly to people's homes as video-on-demand content, Variety reported. Not surprisingly, news of the service didn't go over well with the nation's theater owners.
Home Premiere will likely begin streaming at the end of the month as a nationwide offering through DirecTV and in select cities on Comcast. The service will offer titles two months after their theatrical debut for $30 each. Considering the price of taking a family to the movies, that's not a bad price.
The first films offered by the service will include Unknown from Warner Bros. and Just Go with It from Sony. Citing piracy concerns, Paramount is staying away from the service.
The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) is strongly opposed to Home Premiere, alleging that offering new releases for home streaming will cut down on box office business. Since opening weekends are crucial to today's Hollywood releases, it's hard to imaging many titles having box office traffic two months after release. The studios involved said they wouldn't release any movie to Home Premiere that's still performing well in theaters.
The studio has a variety of owned, partnered, and in-development online video concerns. Now they all live under the same umbrella.
Partnering with Warner Bros., DeGeneres is building on her multi-platform online video success with an ad-supported programming slate.