Would You Pay $20-30 to View a Theatrical Release At Home?

According to Time Warner Cable Inc. execs speaking at a cable industry convention last week, cable customers may, as early as this Fall, be able to watch a movie that’s currently playing in theaters in weeks instead of months at home via on-demand (typically movies hit DVD 4+ months after theatrical release). The privilege to do so will cost customers between $20-30 per viewing (roughly the price a couple would pay for movie tickets at a theater). The Wall Street Journal reports that Time Warner has already pitched the idea to Walt Disney Co.’s Disney Studios, General Electric Co.’s Universal Pictures, Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures, Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox. However, if things do go through, don’t expect blockbuster hits to be included during the initial test phase. Warner execs say they’ll most likely throw up a “trail balloon” on smaller movies as to not initially upset theater owners who they fear may revolt at the studios’ plans.

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