Early On-Demand Release Experiment Continues with Tower Heist

Posted October 6th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Earlier this summer began an experiment to see how well movies would sell on-demand before they arrived on DVD/Blu-ray – even potentially while still in theaters a two months after release – for $30 through DirectTV. Returns were not particularly encouraging with studios determining that the wait from theatrical release as well as the price were prohibitive to its success. Now a tweak is being made to see how it could work under different circumstances.

In this case November’s Tower Heist will only be available to Comcast subscribers in Portland and Atlanta but will arrive on-demand there only two weeks after it hits theaters. The idea is to get a picture of how having it available that early affects area theater attendance – but also to see if the price point and earlier availability prove more appealing than the $30 for a film two months out from release.

$60 does sound completely unreasonable off the bat – though it could potentially be cheaper for large families or groups than trekking out to theaters or even for parents who would have to pay a babysitter to take a night out. It’s still a huge pill to swallow for something that can’t physically be kept for later. Again if a movie isn’t of enough interest to run out and see it immediately most will figure they can wait to rent or buy on DVD/Blu-ray a few months later and save the cash.